Monday, July 7, 2008

Bunting Babies; GCL Twins down GCL Reds

GCL Twins

GCL Reds 2 at GCL Twins 4

W: A. Lobanov (2-0, 1.93); L: M. Bohana (0-2, 4.76); SV: K. Mota (4)
HR: None.

In a moment of revelation, or, perhaps complete madness, while I was pumping quarters into the dryer at the laundryman, it occurred to me that in fact, Jake Mauer played for the Fort Myers Miracle under field manager Jose Marzan.

Which explained the very odd attempt at a suicide squeeze play that he tried in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Danny Ortiz It might even have worked...except that J.J. missed the bunt and Jakub, who had started running long before it became evident that J.J. was going to miss the bunt, found himself in between home plate and 3rd and the catcher had the ball.

So today's lesson is, if you're going to try for a suicide squeeze play, you should first make sure that the guy you are telling to bunt has had some success with it in the past.

So Jakub was our second out and Jake finally stopped called for bunts (yeah!) and J.J. hit a triple that drove in Jon Goncalves and the GCL Twins topped the GCL Reds, 4-2.

The game was marked by some great pitching on both sides. Martire Garcia took the start for the GCL Twins and struck out the first two batters he faced. He'd not let a man on base until Theodis Bowe singled in the top of the 4th.

Juan Rafael was equally as good for the Reds, working seven innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk while fanning 3.

The Twins got on the board first, when Danny Ortiz singled and moved to 2nd on Tyler Ladendorf's ground out. Reggie Williams then sent a ground ball to center and the Ortiz blazed a trail to the plate. There would be a fight at the plate as Red's catcher Todd Waller got the ball, then lost it, and Ortiz had to scramble his way around to find the plate and touch it, but in the end, Ortiz slapped his hand on the plate and the ball rolled free. The Reds didn't like it, but there was not much they could do about it.

The Reds answered back though with Bowe's grounder to left getting him on base. He'd then steal 2nd. Huberto Sosa singled to drive in Bowe and would advance to 2nd on Juan Sanchez's throwing error, but that's as far as he'd go as Garcia got Conner to fly out to end the inning.

Cody Puckett took a walk off Garcia in the top of the sixth with two outs on the board. He'd then steal 2nd. Frank Pfister would reach on a throwing error by Ladendorf, which also put Puckett on 3d. Sosa's line drive to left plated Puckett to put the Reds on top.

That would finish it for Garcia, who left the game after allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits and walk while fanning 8 over six innings. It was an absolutely stellar performance by the Twins Dominican lefty.

Mike Gonzales The Twins tied the game up in the bottom of the seventh. With one out up, Sanchez doubled and Herbert Lara's line drive to center drove him in.

Mike Bohana replaced Rafael for the bottom of the eighth. Landendorf found a single (his batting average has now dipped to .196) before Williams went down on strikes (Mauer kept calling for a bunt). We got a bit of luck as Puckett got Jakub Hajtmar's hit to second, but he miss threw the ball to the bag, allowing Hajtmar to reach and sending Landendorf to 3rd. Mauer then opted to put Mike Gonzalez in as a pinch hitter for Hyun-wook Choi, who left the game 1-for-3. Gonzalez is so strong that if he gets some wood on the ball it's almost a guaranteed single and that would be the case this time, as he belted one up the first base line that Sosa couldn't handle, sending it out into right field to drive Landendorf home.

That's when they tried to pull the sacrifice squeeze play. With Hajtmar on 3rd, Mauer called for a bunt, but catcher Jae-Hyung Jang missed, causing Hajtmar to be stuck between 3rd and home. Mauer then send Jon Goncalves in to run for Gonzalez and let J.J. hit. The South Korean ripped a triple out to center to bring in Goncalves for the insurance run.

Andrey Lovanov worked two innings of relief, fanning 3, and Kelvin Mota came in allowing a single to Conner with 2 outs on the board, but he then got Efrain Contreras to pop out to end the contest.

The unofficial game time was 2 hours, 15 minutes and we were able to clear out of the Sportsplex before the afternoon rain showers showed up.

The GSL Twins take on the GCL Red Sox at the City of Palms Complex on Monday for a noon game. They then take Tuesday off. Before returning home on Wednesday to face the GCL Pirates.

Herald Tribune

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