Avoiding the Record Books & My Ultimate Weekend
Although we’re still checking the Fort Wayne record books, we believe yesterday was the first time in the 21-year history of the Wizards or TinCaps that the team was shut out in both games of a doubleheader. The TinCaps were swept for the first time in a twin bill since June 14, 2011, against the Dayton Dragons. (Oddly enough, I was here at Parkview Field for that game when I was working for the Dragons. My boss at the time, Tom Nichols, who is still the voice of the Dragons, was the first-ever broadcaster for the Fort Wayne Wizards.)
Yesterday Fort Wayne lost game one of a doubleheader to South Bend, 5-0, and in game two they lost, 1-0. If you thought Jose Valentin wasn’t happy after Wednesday’s game, where he said his team looked like a bunch of high school players, that didn’t fizzle at all after Thursday’s game.
“Even worse,” Valentin said of his team’s Thursday performance, which came on the heels of a 4-2 loss Wednesday night in which the team went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
“Guys don’t know what we’re playing for. We’re playing for the opportunity to be in first place,” Valentin said. The third-place TinCaps trail the Silver Hawks by two games in the standings, and are 3.5 games behind first-place Bowling Green. “Today we only faced, what, three pitchers? Three pitchers, no adjustment at all. Just going up there and swinging at everything.”
South Bend’s Brad Allen, who was signed out of independent baseball during the offseason–he pitched for the Florence (KY) Freedom last season, allowed four hits in seven innings in game one. In game two, starter Rob Coe, also signed out of independent baseball after playing at Division-III University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, gave up only two hits in six innings, before league-leading closer R.J. Hively notched his 11th save.
“Same team every day. Working, working, working, early hitting, early hitting. We’re wasting our time. Completely wasting our time. Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully it’s better. We’ll see what happens,” Valentin said.
Today will be about winning, but also about staying out of the record books. A TinCaps team has never been swept in a four-game series at Parkview Field. (It should be said that due to the addition of two new teams to the league in 2010, that four-game series are much more rare than they used to be.) The last time it happened was August 10-13, 2006, at Memorial Stadium against the Beloit Snappers. But, hey, the losing pitchers in two of those four games made it to the majors, as Steve Delabar broke in with the Mariners and Wade LeBlanc, now with the Marlins, made it big with the Padres. If anything, maybe Fort Wayne’s successive run totals in those games (3-2-1-0) were just a countdown to the six-game winning streak that followed. Glass half-full, people.
Make sure you catch tonight’s broadcast either on XFINITY 81 with me and Kent Hormann, or on the radio with John Nolan and Mike Maahs on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.
It is Prom Night tonight at the ballpark, and since I shared my terrible prom photo earlier in the week, I’ll share Kent’s picture from the 1996 Wizards Souvenir Program:
MY ULTIMATE WEEKEND
I will be away from the team this weekend as they head down to Bowling Green, Kentucky, which will be the first time I’ve missed a game now in my two years with the team. Although it’s tough to be away from the group, I have an exciting venture that’s taking me to Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend.
I’ll be doing play-by-play for the College National Championships of Men’s and Women’s Ultimate, or as you might commonly hear it said, Ultimate Frisbee. Along with Evan Lepler (oddly enough, the voice of Minor League Baseball’s Salem (VA) Red Sox), I’ll be calling the semi-finals on Sunday and the finals on Monday. They’ll air originally on Watch ESPN (watchespn.com or the Watch ESPN app) and then the finals will re-air Wednesday on ESPNU.
Since I know you won’t be busy Memorial Day weekend, I fully expect you to tune in.
Fear not both on the air and in the blogosphere, as the trusty John Nolan will have you covered.
REALLY COOL NON-BASEBALL-RELATED VIDEO
I found this video of a giant ship being thrashed around by huge waves on the giant sea, and it’s in slow motion. If you have 90 seconds (and it’s Friday, I know you do) check it out:
My Morning Jacket…take it away!