April baseball is rarely pretty. Cold weather and brutal winds make it difficult for a pitcher to get a feel for their pitches. That in turn leads to long pitch counts in each at-bat which gets players standing around in their defensive position affected by the brunt of the dropping temperature even more. Batters get ahead in the counts and can tee off on the “just get me over” fastballs.
Teams can routinely chalk up a big crooked number in the runs column and commit errors left and right in the early going of the regular season. Take opening night in the Eastern League as an example: Three teams scored nine or more runs and eight teams were charged with at least one error. The Portland Sea Dogs had it the worst as the Trenton Thunder slugged their way to 13 runs against them while their defense committed a whopping five errors.
And let’s be honest, the fans that come to the ballpark feel the same way about the weather. How many out of the announced paid attendance of 2,539 on Friday night were still left at Metro Bank Park when the Senators scored four runs in the ninth inning to turn a laugher of a game into a giggler?
Nothing about the Senators’ 15-7 loss to the Baysox was pretty. In fact, you could probably even say it was downright ugly. Ugly enough to forget it even happened as they look to rebound Saturday night against the Orioles #2 prospect Kevin Gausman and hope for warmer weather.
Player of the Game: Aaron Barrett (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R – AA debut)
From the Windup
• First baseman Matt Skole left the game in the 8th inning when Ty Kelly clipped his glove and arm as an errant throw drew Skole up the baseline. The Nationals #4 prospect immediately went down in considerable pain holding his wrist/hand. After the game, manager Matt LeCroy said that Skole possibly hyperextended his elbow and had tingling in the nerves running from the wrist down. Skole will be evaluated either later tonight or early tomorrow to determine the extent of an injury, if any.
• After a clean slate in yesterday’s opening game, the Senators committed three errors (two by Ricky Hague and one by reliever Neil Holland) in a sloppy, let’s just get outta here kind of game.
• Xavier Avery collected the first five-hit game by a Baysox player since Buck Britton pulled off the feat almost a year ago on April 12th, 2012 against the Erie SeaWolves.
• Not quite sure why starter Jake Pettit didn’t get promoted after going 11-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games with Bowie last season. The southpaw’s last three regular season starts have all come against the Senators and he is a combined 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 24 strikeouts in those games.
• Mark these as two facts you find in the game notes during a 15-7 blowout: Justin Bloxom’s greatest achievement in youth baseball is that he blew the biggest bubble and Anthony Rendon’s favorite movie is “The Lion King”.