Despite a dazzling home debut from A.J. Cole, the Senators dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to the Reading Fightin Phils in 12 innings. In front of contingency of family and friends, Cole was masterful striking out ten over seven innings. The Senators’ struggling offense exploded for three runs in the seventh inning, but closer Aaron Barrett failed to hold the lead as Reading plated two to send the game to extra frames. The Senators couldn’t take advantage of several scoring opportunities and lost on an Albert Cartwright sacrifice fly.
* Manager Matt LeCroy on the defeat, “This to me is probably one of the most disappointing losses of the season…We had chances there at the end, but really poor at-bats with runners in scoring position. Situations where we bunted and failed to bunt and get it done. They (Reading) executed and we didn’t and that’s why we got beat. It’s going to be hard down the stretch if you don’t execute the small things and play unselfishly…We had chances. It’s just frustrating because I know the guys are better than what they’re producing. It’s on them to dig deep and get it going.”
* Pitching coach Paul Menhart on Cole’s success, “He made a nice adjustment with his breaking ball. It’s become quite a viable option to say the least. He’s getting strikeouts with it now, where in his first outing it was more of a ‘strike one’ pitch. He’s getting pretty good depth to it where he can get swings and misses. That was what he was lacking coming up here.”
* LeCroy on the struggles of Jason Martinson and Destin Hood who were a combined 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts and 12 men left on base, “The game speeds up. They swing at balls. Really not much of an approach. And I’ve been there when I haven’t felt good. Your heart starts beating. But you have to figure out a way to put the ball in play. Choke up, show everybody that you’re trying to get this guy in (to score) no matter what.”
* LeCroy on the pressure in late-game situations, “We had chances tonight to tie it up and chances to win and we just couldn’t get it done. It was part of the game that separates the men from the boys. You’re playing for something, to see who can take the pressure. You can’t imagine what it feels like to play in the big leagues. This is nowhere near the pressure and anxiety and all that stuff that you get when you play in the big leagues. That’s part of being a baseball player.”
* LeCroy on the failed execution in late-game situations, “If you can’t do those things, you’re not going to play in the big leagues. I can’t recommend anybody and Doug can’t recommend anybody if you can’t do those little things that will allow you help a big league team out. That’s unfortunate because the guys have talent, but this is a performance-based business. You have to perform and execute in order to get up there.”