FDCS: Barnstormers take Game One over Revs
The Lancaster Barnstormers used a six-run fifth inning to down the York Revolution by a final score of 10-4 to take Game One of the Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
To read the full game story, click here. Check out all the photos from the game here. Below is a compilation of some highlights and observations from Game One, including quotes from Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren and Lancaster’s Blake Gailen, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Barnies on Wednesday.
Before we get to that, though, just wanted to point out a few noteworthy Revs-related/Atlantic League-related things (if you don’t feel like reading those, feel free to scroll down):
–Hill gets call-up: Former Revs’ starting pitcher Shawn Hill got a call-up to the majors by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week (thanks to YDR Revs’ beat writer Jim Seip for the heads-up on this Wednesday). Here’s a story about it from a news outlet in Canada. Hill had apparently been pitching for Team Canada recently over in Germany to help his country qualify for the World Baseball Classic next spring. He tossed 5.2 innings last Thursday for Team Canada. Hill got picked up by the Blue Jays in June after compiling a 2.42 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances for York. The Blue Jays assigned him to Class AAA Las Vegas, where he went 9-2 with a 4.52 ERA. The Blue Jays, eliminated from playoff contention, have just four regular season games remaining – all against the New York Yankees. Hill, who has 44 big league starts under his belt already, last pitched in the majors in 2010, when he made four starts for the Blue Jays.
–Friendly wager: York City Mayor Kim Bracey and Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray have placed a friendly wager on the Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series. The winning mayor will receive a rose of the appropriate color (white for York and red for Lancaster) from the losing mayor delivered personally to their office. Mayor Gray has also bet a can of Hammonds pretzels to Bracey’s basket of Sunrise Soap Company products. Bracey will welcome Gray to York on Friday during the Bike Night Parade. Gary will meet Bracey in Continental Square and they will ride the rest of the parade route together on Gray’s motorcyle wearing their respective team jerseys (Yes, Gray has his own motorcycle. I’ve chatted with the guy a few times going back the last handful of years and he is quite an interesting character. Sure, he can be seen walking around downtown Lancaster wearing a bow-tie, but he loves his motorcycles).
–Deadspin: Forgot to mention this in the news section of the weekly Atlantic League news, transactions post. Two Atlantic League-related articles were featured on Deadspin last week. Freelancer Craig Fehrman, who wrote about the Bridgeport Bluefish for Deadspin earlier this season, wrote another fantastic piece. This one focuses on Bluefish catcher Luis Rodriguez. It is really worth checking out if you’re a baseball fan. Another comes from Alan Siegel, who writes about how Somerset Patriots’ skipper Sparky Lyle played a role in warm-up music for pitchers.
–Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: The Long Island Ducks won Game One of the Atlantic League Liberty Division Championship Series over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 4-3. The Ducks took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning before Southern Maryland tied it with a pair of runs in the fifth. Long Island took the lead back with two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Southern Maryland tried to rally in the bottom half but only managed one run. Here’s the full box score if you’re interested in further details.
GAME ONE: Lancaster 10, York 4
–Comeback: York trailed 2-0 and came within 2-1 on Chris Nowak’s solo homer in the second ining over the left-field wall. Lancaster went up 3-1 but York tied it on sac-fly from Michael Hernandez and RBI single from Andres Perez in the third inning. The Barnstormers went back up 4-3 but the Revs tied on Johan Limonta’s two-out RBI single to right that scored a sliding Andres Perez in the fifth inning on a close call at the plate (more on that later). It’s a good sign for York’s offense in a playoff time that it kept battling no matter the deficit.
–Revs in the playoffs: Special thanks to Revs’ play-by-play Darrell Henry on putting out these numbers in the game notes. The Revs are in the postseason for the fourth time in club history (fourth time in five years) and third consecutive year. It is the first tiem York opened the playoffs on the road. York is now 3-3 all-time in playoff series openers (0-2 road), 2-2 in the divisional round. The Revs had won 10 of their last 13 postseason games before Wednesday. York has won its last seven home playoff contests. Skipper Andy Etchebarren is now 12-6 in the playoffs with the Revs.
–Atmosphere: I know the Barnstormers had three months to sell playoff tickets, but it’s still nice to see an announced attendance of 5,844 fans at Wednesday’s game. The crowd also seemed more pumped than last year’s Barnstormers’ fans in the playoffs….There was a group sitting down behind home plate holding up letters that spelled out “FORK YORK” with another fan holding giant cardboard cutout fork wrapped in tin foil…The video board at The Clip had the wrong pictures representing Revs’ players, maybe that’ll be fixed for Game Two, but it’s actually kind of entertaining.
–Starters: The starting pitchers on both sides Wednesday night had surprising nights on the mound considering what each did in the regular season. Lancaster starter Dwayne Pollok gave up four runs on nine hits in five innings of work, striking out seven and walking two. York lefty Ryan Feierabend was tagged for 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings. He was chased in the fifth inning after giving up six runs that frame, the final being a solo homer to Travis Denker to right field Revs’ skipper Andy Etchebarren said both pitchers were leaving a lot of their pitches up all night. Feierabend surrendered four homers on the night. It’s far off the 2.37 ERA he had in three starts against Lancaster earlier this season. But Lancaster’s Blake Gailen said those came under different circumstances.
“The first time we faced him earlier in the season it was a rainout. He threw one or two innings and then we got rained out,” Gailen said. “He started two days later and shut us down. I don’t know how he felt tonight. That’s something you’d have to ask him. I’ve seen him before. I thought he was pretty good tonight still despite giving up a lot of runs.”
–Righty on righty: Etch’ opted to start catcher Salomon Manriquez, a right-handed batter, over Travis Scott, a left-handed batter, even though York faced a right-hander in Pollok. Etch’ had been platooning the catchers for most of the year – Scott against righties and Manriquez against lefties. But he went with Manriquez on Wednesday because he had been swinging a hot bat as of late. He also things Manriquez works well with Feierabend. Manriquez finished the year batting .387 over his last 18 starts. However, he went 0-for-3 batting in the No. 8 hole Wednesday. Outside of a sac-bunt in the fourth inning, Manriquez went 0-for-3 with a runner in scoring position, lining to third and striking out twice. Etch’ said he plans on starting Scott on Thursday night, when Lancaster will send lefty John Halama to the mound.
–Denker: Lancaster third baseman Travis Denker had two solo homers to right field off of Feierabend. He became the first Barnstormers’ player to homer twice in a playoff game. He turned down an interview after the game because he didn’t want to jinx his performance or the team into bad luck. Denker has been a solid pickup for Lancaster since joining the club in August. He had 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 48 games. So, if you figure he does that in a full Atlantic League season, he’d probably have over 20 homers.
“I think half the guys on the team knew him and half the guys didn’t,” Gailen said of Denker joining the club. “We’re big on chemistry. He fits in very well. Talent-wise he’s really helping us out. For him to be batting seventh for us, he could be batting three or four for anybody other team in this league.”
–Close calls: As much as Atlantic League umpiring gets a bad wrap, sometimes from me and sometimes from others, they actually did a good job Wednesday night. Heck, even Etch’ said so. And that comes after quite a few close calls in the game. Let’s recap:
1. In the bottom of the third inning, the Revs tried turning a 3-6-3 double-play when Gailen grounded to first. Barnstormers’ base-runner Adam Godwin appeared to run through the second base bag into short stop Joe Thurston as Thurston tried making a throw back to first. The throw came late and Gailen was safe. Etch’ came out to argue the call to no avail. Gailen then stole second and came around to score on an RBI single from Tommy Everidge.
Etch: “He could’ve stopped in front of the bag and put your head down and get hit with the ball and it’s not interference because you don’t leave the line. But we had did is he ran through the bag. I thought he interfered going through the bag. But (the umpire) said that didn’t have anything to do with it.”
2. In the top of the fifth inning, York started a two-out rally with three straight singles. The last came off the bat of Johan Limonta to right field. Right fielder Fehlandt Lentini made a throw home in time to catcher Emerson Frostad, but Frostad didn’t get the tag down in time before Andres Perez’s foot touched home plate.
Etch: “Perez, he was safe. That was a tough call. The ball beat him (Perez) but he (Frostad) missed the tag.”
3. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lancaster loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles, the last two coming on bunts down the first-base line. The first bunt stopped on the chalk on the line, which is a fair ball. The second bunt was scooped up by Limonta, who missed a tag on Gailen as Gailen swerved out of the way.
Etch: (On the bunt that stopped on the chalk) “We shouldn’t even let that ball roll towards the line. All we have to do is pick up the ball and throw it to first base and it’s an out.” (On Limonta’s missed tag) “The guy can go as far out as he wants to avoid the tag at first base. He can go in the dugout if he wants. I’m surprised when he (Limonta) missed him he didn’t turn around and throw it to first base.”
4. Lentini hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning off of Feierabend down the left-field line. The ball hit a cinder block just above the left-field corner and bounced back into the field of play. Third base ump Mark Facto signaled for the homer.
Etch: “When they (the umpires) explained the home run down the line, it was a home run. There’s a metal piece right there and it’s outside the ballpark. If it bounces and hits it, it’s a ground-rule double. On a fly ball it’s a home run. That’s where he (the umpire) told me it hit.”
Still, Etch’ said it wasn’t the umpires who lost the game for York: “You can’t be giving them four and five outs an inning, they’re going to get to you. So, even though we didn’t make any physical errors we made some mental errors in the game.”
GAME TWO: Thursday, 7:05 p.m. at Lancaster
York right-hander Corey Thurman will face Lancaster lefty John Halama in Game Two. Thurman went 14-3 and 3.82 in the regular season while Halama had a 13-9 record and 3.15 ERA. Thurman hasn’t fared so well against Lancaster this season, giving up a combined 20 earned runs over four starts, which comes out to a 7.61 ERA. Halama, meanwhile, had a 5.40 ERA in four starts against York. However, those numbers are inflated from one bad start when he gave up eight earned runs in 5.1 innings. In two other starts, he held York to three runs in seven innings a piece. In his first start against the Revs he tossed a complete-game, holding York to three runs on seven hits.