For the first time in club history, the York Revolution were shut out in their season opener when the Bridgeport Bluefish won 1-0 Thursday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
Click here to read the full game story.
Click here to read a feature on how retired manager Andy Etchebarren is spending his time.
Click here to read a feature from York Dispatch reporter Eyana McMillan on the fans’ reaction to the new season.
Click here to check out all of the photos from Thursday night’s action.
Click here to check out video of the pre-game ceremony retiring the numbers of Andy Etchebarren, Brooks, Robinson and Jackie Robinson. There’s also a video of the Revs’ mascot, Downtown, skydiving out of an airplane and landing in the outfield to deliver the game ball.
The Revs mustered just three hits and had a runner in scoring position in three of the nine innings. Right-hander Corey Thurman (0-1) took the loss despite giving up just one run on on four hits in five innings of work. His eight strikeouts were the most by a Revolution starter in Opening Day history.
Thurman, who hadn’t faced live hitting at all during spring training, was unavailable for comment because he had already left the stadium just minutes after the game ended. But here’s what York Revolution manager Mark Mason had to say on the outing:
“Considering that’s the first time he was ever on the field he was able to make his pitches when he was behind in the count,” Mason said. “I like the way he was able to work both sides of the plate more than he’s ever done in this ballpark. That’s something we really stressed with him. I stressed it with him last year a lot but today he went inside more than what he normally does here. I think that’s why he was real successful. And he changed speeds great. (Catcher Salvador) Paniagua called a great game.”
Making a club record fourth straight-start on York’s Opening Day, Thurman threw first-pitch strikes to 13 of 20 batters.
Even more impressive than Thurman was Bridgeport starter Mike Parisi, who gave up just two hits in four innings of work, striking out four with no walks. The right-hander threw 42 of 67 pitches for strikes. It’s a wonder why Parisi is even in the Atlantic League. Two years ago, he posted a 6-4 record and 3.50 ERA in 13 starts for the Long Island Ducks before getting picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers and assigned to Class AAA Albuquerque.
He had a 5.20 ERA at Albuquerque in nine starts there in 2011 and then posted a 2.72 ERA there last year in nine starts before being shut down early due to a shoulder injury. Parisi, 30, is trying to make it back to the big leagues since only pitching 12 games there in 2008 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Revs’ bullpen: York’s bullpen was equally impressive Thursday night. Right-handers Stephen Penney and Josh Judy were both throwing in the low 90s. Each worked 1.1 innings. Relievers Joe Torres and Yunior Novoa each tossed 0.2 scoreless.
Fio’ note: Revs’ outfielder Jeff Fiorentino was replaced by Johan Limonta in the sixth inning. Afterwards, Mason said Fiorentino left the game because of stiffness in the back of his left leg.
“Fio’ just came in to me and said he had a little bit of tightness,” Mason said. “It was something behind his knee but they said he should be fine.”
Also worth note here is that outfielder Jason Repko had a fantastic game defensively playing balls off the left-field wall, which is even more impressive considering it’s the first time he’s played in York.
Umpiring, league changes: As noted in the game story, players are adjusting to the high strike, something umpires are being encouraged to call in an effort to speed up games. When chatting at the stadium before Thursday’s game, Atlantic League president Peter Kirk said the high strike has always been in the Atlantic League rulebook, it just hasn’t been enforced until now.
Kirk also confirmed that pace-of-game rules of 12 seconds between pitches and 90 seconds between half innings are also being enforced. And he said there is no limit on mound visits. Kirk said he and Atlantic League executive director Joe Klein met with umpires in York on Tuesday to discuss the changes. He said the league will be sending out a press release sometime soon detailing the pace-of-game rules.
Also worth note is the fact that Kirk, a chairman of the league, was voted into being the league president at the league’s board of directors meeting last fall. The board also voted in Patrick Day to be Southern Maryland’s general manager. Kirk also said Matt O’Brien is no longer the Sugar Land Skeeters’ general manager.
Day comes to Southern Maryland after being the general manager for the Lansing (MI) Lugnuts, the Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Lansing ranked 46th in attendance (per game average) in all of minor league baseball last year. That’s important to keep in mind considering Etchebarren said Tuesday he’s working with Lansing and the Crabs to increase the club’s attendance, which ranked second-to-worst in the Atlantic League last season with an average of 3,294 fans a game.
New website: The Atlantic League launched its new website on Thursday evening. Atlantic League founder and CEO Frank Boulton told me last week that the new website is being managed by Maroon PR, a sports marketing and public relations agency.Read More