Game Notes & Quotes – 5/27

Harrisburg Senators Memorial Day
Senators 3, Fightin Phils 1

• Jeff Howell slipped on the Superman cape as he crushed a Juan Sosa offering over the leftfield boardwalk to give the Senators a two-run advantage in the bottom of the eighth inning and send the Senators to a series win. “It’s hard to play off the bench, I’ve done it,” manager Matt LeCroy said about the backup catcher’s 3 for 3 day at the plate, “Having to hit against 97-98 miles per hour that’s a pretty tough thing to do and that was a big, big, big hit.”

• Caleb Clay was masterful for 6.1 innings allowing a lone run on five hits and two walks. Clay struck out a career-high nine on the way to a no-decision as his curveball was almost unhittable. “The best it’s been all year, ” pitching coach Paul Menhart commented, “He has been so concerned with the shape of it. He hasn’t had the ability or the trust that throwing it in the same slot as his fastball and other pitches, that the shape is still the same…He was clearing his head to do that and making it very recognizable early on. Today, you could not see that thing coming until it was too late. And even if it was recognizable, it had such good break and good spin that it’s very difficult for most big league hitters to hit that type of curveball.”

• Nate Karns got the call from the Nationals and he’ll make his MLB debut as the starter in Tuesday night’s game. Karns has been a little inconsistent in his nine starts for the Senators this season as he’s 4-2 with a 4.60 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and opponents are batting .241 off of him. Likely at an advantage for the call because of his presence already on Washington’s 40-man roster, Karns will face off against the Baltimore Orioles. “Pretty emotional. He was fired up,” LeCroy on Karns’ reaction, “Hopefully, he’ll go up there and give them a chance to win a ballgame.”

• The two teams came as close to a bench-clearing as we’ve seen at Metro Bank Park in a while as a collision at first between Brian Goodwin and Reading’s Hector Neris was not looked upon favorably by either team. Sandy Leon was one of the many Senators to rush from the home dugout in defense of Goodwin as some relievers also skipped out of the bullpen. In the end, just a lot of jawing back and forth with nothing substantial coming to fruition.

• Prior to the game, reliever Michael Broadway was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse. Broadway had compiled a 2.70 ERA in twelve appearances since signing as a free agent in late March/early April after getting released from the Padres organization.

• Anthony Rendon will likely miss tomorrow’s game against Akron as he’s been eating a little bit more, but not enough to regain his strength. LeCroy is just hopeful he’ll be able to work out tomorrow after playing a little catch and running some today.

• For the first time in 27 home games this season, a kid caught all four pop-ups in the Flyball Frenzy

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