After a 7-6 loss Thursday, Fort Wayne once again found itself in a one-run game Friday in the series opener at Lake County. Zach Eflin had allowed Lake County to snatch a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the TinCaps came back to tie the game at the end of three innings.
In the seventh, Stephen Carmon put the TinCaps in front, 4-2, with a two-run triple down the right field line, driving in just his seventh and eighth runs of the season. He’s been one of the hottest hitters on the team as of late, going 11-32 (.344) in his last 10 games, despite hitting out of the ninth spot in the order.
But it wasn’t going to be that easy, because Captains catcher Jeremy Lucas drove home shortstop Dorssys Paulino in the bottom of the eighth, slicing Fort Wayne’s lead to just a run. That was the third and final inning of work for TinCaps reliever Matt Shepherd, who provided a much-needed lift to a bullpen that had seen four different pitchers used the night before. Chris Nunn finished off the game in the ninth, picking up his third save of the year.
Fort Wayne is now 9-5 on one-run games, which is just the sixth-best mark in the league, but it’s still better than they were last year (18-24) in those situations. As Jose Valentin said after Thursday’s one-run loss to the Hot Rods, the TinCaps can’t afford to not win close games, especially when they’ve held a lead.
“It’s hard to see that happen, especially at home when we’re playing good. I guess we kind of took it easy, and we can’t afford to do that with a team like Bowling Green.”
Nor can they afford to do it with a team like Lake County, against which they’ve won four of five games this season. The Captains don’t hit well (.231-15th out of 16 teams, 12 HR – T-15th) and don’t run well (27 SB – 15th), nor do they pitch particularly well (4.31 ERA – 13th). The TinCaps seem to have an edge just about everywhere against the Captains right now, and hopefully the final results show that.
Tonight we’re on the air at 6:10 with pre-game coverage from Classic Park, and John Nolan will chat with Matthew Shepherd. First pitch is at 6:30 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, and we hope you’ll join us.
Listen to John Nolan chat with TinCaps reliever Michael Kelly prior to yesterday’s game. Kelly just re-joined the team on May 14, having been a member of the 2012 TinCaps Opening Day roster before being sent to extended spring training in May last year.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
Here at the Captains’ Classic Park, one of the smaller venues in the league with the foul poles measuring just 320 feet down both lines, there is a wall in right field dedicated for former Lake County players who have seen big league time. One of those is shown below:
While it’s a nice tribute to Mr. Head, it’s also incorrect, as his name is spelled J-e-r-a-d, and not Jared, although it is pronounced like Jared. Consider this my protest to his plaque in right field.
While in the lobby of our hotel this morning, I snagged a copy of the local newspaper, The News-Herald, which featured this piece on the front page:
This, again, was on the FRONT PAGE. Was the a dearth of things to talk about in the area?
Here are recent headlines from The Onion, the internet’s satirical newspaper, which rival this one above:
-Call From Daycare Can’t Be Good
-Nation Supposes It’s Outraged by White House Scandals
-Woman Sets Google Alert For Kevin Costner
I’m convinced the real headline fits in equally well with all of those.
Lastly, when I went to get lunch today, here’s what I saw in line in front of me at the sandwich shop:
Yup, they still love LeBron in Cleveland.
Foo Fighters…take it away!