Sep 092010
 

With the 2-3 format that’s prevalent in the minors and independent baseball, winning Game One is crucial for the visiting team.

Why?

Because it instantly negates the chance of the first-half team, the home team for Games 1 and 2, either sweeping or going on the road only needing to win one game.

Harrisburg was up to the task, responding to a three-run 1st with a five-run 2nd and putting away Altoona with another five-run rally in the 8th en route to a 10-5 victory.

Potomac refused the hospitality of five walks and a two-out error that built an 8-0 lead after its half of the 1st and let the Keys back into the game with a seven-run rally. Instead, the bats napped for the next eight innings until Derek Norris went deep on an opposite-field blast to tie it in the top of the 9th at 9-9. A three-base error by Tyler Moore on a sacrifice gave the Keys the Little-League-esque win at 10-9.

Tom Milone started for Harrisburg and bore down after the first to go 5⅔ innings, with three runs allowed (two earned) on four hits and two walks. He allowed one home run, but struck out seven.

Danny Rosenbaum started for Potomac and lasted just one inning, giving up seven earned runs on four hits and two walks, the big hurt coming on a two-out grand slam by Brian Ward, his fourth professional home run.

For the rest of the highlights…

Team Pitching Star Hitting Star #1 Hitting Star #2
Harrisburg Senators
W, 10-5
Hassan Pena
2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Jesus Valdez
2-5, R, 3RBI
Ofilio Castro
3-5, R
Potomac Nationals
L, 10-9
Pat Lehman
3⅓ IP 5H 2R 0ER 0BB 6K
Jamar Walton
1-4, R, HR, 4RBI
Derek Norris
2-3, 2R, 2BB, HR, RBI

  14 Responses to “Game One Playoffs – News and Notes”

  1. Sue, Eastern League is bigger time I guess. They have a 2-2-1 format where second place finisher Harrisburg has to start and finish on the road. P-Nats are punished because if they muck up in Frederick they can lose a home gate if they get swept despite earning the extra game. Of course, if they get swept they probably deserve to lose that date.

  2. The fact checkers are relentless. (Or maybe I just spent too much time hitting the recap for a change. ;-) )
    The error in the 9th inning for Potomac was two errors on the same play. It was a sac bunt and Joe Testa through it into right field for the first error. Tyler Moore backing up the play then made a throwing error (think it hit the batter in the back?) that allowed the runner to score all the way from first. The Potomac radio guy was angry and perplexed about the batter before. Number 9 hitter, right handed batter, nobody out. So why do you concede a single by having Bill Rhinehart play back near the warning track? How bad are his back problems right now? And if they’re so bad and he’s just batted in the top of the 9th with an 0-5. A dinker lands in front of Rhinehart that sets up the sacrifice opportunity and leads to the meltdown.

    • Testa’s error came in the 8th. The official scorer ruled the play in the 9th a three-base error. Since I didn’t see it, I can comment on how the play unfolded; Flemming was obviously following the ball and relaying the progress of the throw into home.

      Rhinehart is not a very good OF, and he often plays too far back in an effort to keep everything in front of him and to his glove side. In fact, Bill’s a better 1B than Moore and may be the second-best 1B on the team (believe it or not, Lozada) but that’s the only position Tyler has played professionally and that handcuffs Cathcart if he wants to maximize offense, which clearly he does with the him playing Jacobsen at third over Lyons. I don’t envy Cathcart those decision because every combination that I can conceive of based on reasonable usage (i.e. player has played there this year) has a major drawback.

  3. Major props on the Sickels link. Sad for me to say that I rate him a C+ for me because he has zero margin for error in the bigs and he’s got to repeat this at AAA for me. If you’re giving him a B-, I’d need a parallel comparison with his stuff and his AA numbers to push him up there.

  4. @Sue
    Well I’ll be. The dangers of me missing the fine print of the recaps. Now I got to edit that stuff out on my other comments and posts. Dang, dang, dang.

  5. I’m especially bummed by my mistake given that I was listening to the end of the Potomac game. I must have been so mad at the play I didn’t want to listen to the recap on the radio and I missed the detail.

    • That’s why I keep score if I’m listening on the radio in lieu of actually being there. Sounds nerdy (ok, **is** nerdy), but when I first started out I used to write multiple gamers for the sports page in a single afternoon using nothing but my scorebook and a notebook. (And I liked it!)

  6. Good point, Sue. For majors games, I keep score whenever I’m at the park and keep Gameday open when at home. Is there anywhere you can keep score with some kind of online scorebook?

  7. Great stuff, guys, it sure adds to the fun. I have nothing smarter to say than either one of you, or Sickels. When I was reading some of that disrespect for Milone by the commentor on the Sickels page, I’m always reminded of something.
    In a few years, Maddox and Glavine will be inducted together as first ballot Hall of Famers and neither one could break a plane of glass with a fastball.

  8. @Mark L
    For a guy like Milone with that low velocity everything else has to work to get him to that 3rd/4th starter ceiling. Pitch sequence and understanding of hitters, makeup, location, and ruthless consistency. He’s done all of that in AA. I’d be interested to see how his stuff and minor league stats compare to Lannan’s, another dissed Nats prospect.

    Now the Aaron Thompson start, I’m listening to now? This is some ugly, ugly stuff. He has no out pitch from what it sounds like and his command is fleeting.

  9. The way I remember the play (as I was staring at the field in utter disbelief, watching the ball and the runner…) – - Players names I don’t remember:

    Runner on first being held on, batter up. Batter bunts, player ( think it was the first baseman, but it could have been the pitcher) picks it up between the mound and the line, but closer to the line and throws hard to first as the play was close. Ball went off the inside shoulder of the runner (brushed it) and kept going to the far R field corner. Meanwhile, the runner that was on first had already gotten to second, and just kept running. When the runner on first got to second (before the throw was made to first), I realized there was no way they were going to get a throw home in time as the ball reached almost the outfield wall. A throw was made in, but way too late. The original batter had made it all the way to third, and came home to a hogpile of players waiting to congratulate him.

    Imagine being up 8-0 after 1/2 inning and losing? How defeating. :o(

    • I’m originally from New England… so yes, I can more than imagine the ignominy of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

      I keep pounding on the theme of rain because I remember all too well an indy-league playoff series in which the visiting team won all five games. Well, my team was the home team for 3,4 & 5 and rain enabled the opposing team’s top two pitchers to go twice — the #1 guy driving four hours from his “winter job” as h.s. teacher to shut us down in Game 5

  10. @TBR
    Thanks for the clarification. That’s where my radio feed gets bummed out. I thought it was Testa who had made the original play not Moore. Moore’s had a horrible series so far. You thought he’d hit one out at Frederick. Guess he doesn’t do wallscrapers. And then the bad defense, yuck. Needs to turn it around for the haters who are going to remember this final impression against better competition.

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