This is why the Ducks baseball team exists, to give players the chance to dive in the game winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. Garrett Moore did just that Monday night, as the Ducks evened their record at 1-1 with a dramatic, come from behind 4-3 victory over the Eagles. The win was TC Jones’ his first as Ducks Manager.
The Game was tied at three going into the bottom of the seventh; after a ground out and a strike out, pinch hitter Andrew McCray, playing with a torn ligament in his knee was hit in the leg by a pitch, then Nick worked a full count and hit a ground ball deep in the hole which the Eagles’ short stop bobbled, allowing him to reach safely. Then Moore hit a line drive to right field, and McCray, hobbled around third and beat the throw from rightfield.
Ducks starter Mark Guthrie pitched 5 strong innings allowing 3 runs (1 earned) and worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth to keep the score tied at three. Nick (1-0), the new pitcher whose last name I don’t know, threw two scoreless, hitless innings in relief to record the win.
The Ducks didn’t take the lead until the last pitch of the game. I forget how the Eagles scored their first run, but the second two came in the third inning, on a bases loaded dribbler to the right side that got under Gurthrie’s glove and was in effect a perfect swinging bunt. Mark had trouble picking up the ball, and the guy on second rounded third and headed home, Mark recovered to get the ball to me in time, but I couldn’t handle the throw. I blocked the plate well enough that I think I picked up the ball and tagged him out, but the ump said he saw the guy hit the plate. I’m glad my drop there didn’t cost us the game. The next inning we had a sweet strike ’em out throw ’em out double play to end the inning. I suppose that made up for it.
We trailed 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. Eric Lee lead off with a broken bat infield single and stole second. Brett drew a walk. I was up, and after they both advanced on a passed ball, I hit a chopper to the left side, and I don’t know if the guy booted it or if it was an infield hit, but Eric scored and Brett wound up on third with no outs.
I stole second on the next pitch, then our cleanup hitter walked. A strikeout bought up Tom Pusateri with one out and the bases loaded. Tom hit a gound ball up the middle, which the shortstop fielded and flipped to second for the force, I rounded third and saw the throw pull the firstbaseman off the base, the ump (who editorialized all his calls instead of using phrases like, “safe” and “out” or “ball” and “strike”) said something unintelligible, but the firstbaseman was laying down, so I ran home. The Eagles started walking off the field. there was some argument, Tom took second, but the ump( who made similar calls) told Tom to go back to first, even though if he was safe he should have been able to take second, and it was the Eagles’ fault for leaving the field .
The Eagles tried to say I shouldn’t have scored, if Tom wasn’t allowed to take second. However, both runs counted (as they should have) and we tied it at three on that play. The next batter made an out, and that was the end of the fourth. It was a huge inning, and we didn’t even hit the ball out of the infield. As was the case on the ball Nick hit in the seventh, it was the Ducks hustle that kept the inning alive, and lead to the victory.
The Eagles probably have a legitimate argument against the so-so umpiring.
The field umpire didn’t show, which is something I thought we no longer had to deal with after going with a local umpire association instead of half drunk league players on their team’s off nights, so the guy had a tough job. He was animated and amusing and for the most part accurate. Also, while there were a couple close plays that went against us and we didn’t berate the guy over it.
The Eagles were vocal in their displeasure, and from the point that they really started crying, the umpire didn’t give them another close call.
play of the game
Garrett’s hit, or Tom’s two RBI fielders choice to tie the game.
- Guthrie pitched a great game, the Eagles were off balance all night.
- Nick throws gas. I was happy just to be able to hold onto the ball.
- How about that umpire?
- had the Eagles left fielder not been playing between the shortstop and second base, Eric and Brett both would have had doubles tonight.
- I hit the ball hard twice and was out, the dribbler I hit in the 4th, which I hustled out to beat the throw, got me an RBI and I scored later in the inning.
- Hustle, by everyone, won us this game. Hustle and…
- Garrett Moore.
- The pitching was phenomenal, and the defense was much improved.
- We started last year 0-6, we’re already off to a much better start especially after the 15-1 aberration that was the Blacksox game. Clearly, it was critical we put that one behind us.
- We miss Roth’s bat in the middle of the lineup.
We play the Rakers, Saturday at 3pm at Pie Traynor Field. This is a new team, I know nothing about them. I do know, Saturday at 3 its gonna be bad news for the Rakers.
The Ducks haven’t been at .500 since we started 2-2 in 2006.