FDCS: Game 2 suspended to Friday
Why Thursday’s game was even (partially) played is beyond me. I get the fact that the start of it was delayed – the tarp came out on the field about a half-hour before the 7:05 start. Barnstormers’ officials figured there was a rain system on its way, and maybe after it passed through then things could get underway. But no one can predict the weather, and the storm system that was supposed come stalled. After an hour and 33-minute delay to the start of the game (with no rain), first pitch was thrown at 8:38.
Still, a storm system was still expected to pass through at some point. And parts could bring heavy rain. And wouldn’t you know that two minutes into the game something started falling from the sky. The light rain lasted to the top of the second inning and let up for about 20 minutes before starting up again in the top of the third. Light rain persisted until it started coming down harder around the fourth inning. Finally the umpires called for a rain delay after the completion of the fourth inning. Shortly after the game was suspended. League rules dictate that any suspended playoff game must pick up where it left off. As a result, Game Two will pick back up on Friday night in Lancaster at the top of the fifth inning with the Barnstormers leading, 3-1.
The remainder of the playoff schedule will be pushed back a day, which means Game Three of the series in York will be played Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. Game Four, if necessary) will be played in York on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. Game Five, if necessary, will be played in York on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
“It was a huge storm that was coming. It just stalled,” Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren said afterwards. “No one asked me but the way it looked I thought it was gonna pour. And in the playoffs we didn’t want to lose our two starters. I think (Lancaster manager) Butch (Hobson) and I both told (Barnstormers’ CEO) Jon Danos that if there’s a chance of rain we don’t want to lose our starting pitchers. That first storm that was coming looked like it couldn’t miss us. So, that’s where we’re at. We’ll make the best of it.”
Decision: I get the decision to put the tarp on the field and delay the start of the game. But one look at the radar and you could see the storm system wasn’t going to arrive in Lancaster a good hour after the original 7:05 p.m. start time. And what happens if it the storm hangs around for a little while? Would we really want a playoff game to start around 9 p.m.? But even if the game started at 7:05 p.m., what’s the point of going that route if a storm would’ve came mid-way through the game and the contest had to be delayed anyway? So, the game finally got underway after an hour and 33-minute delay (with no rain) when we all knew rain was going to come at some point. With hindsight, this game shouldn’t have even started.
I wouldn’t so much care about the whole fiasco if rain didn’t play a role in the game. There is the whole other aspect that the Revolution front office has only had a couple weeks to sell playoff tickets for Game 3 on Friday. Fans who bought tickets to that game will have to work around their schedule. And the Revs’ front office will have to work hard to let everyone know what’s going with the schedule this weekend. But, you know what? That’s what comes with the territory when working in a baseball front office.
Game: But again, the rain played a factor in the game, and that’s what is more important. One can only imagine what that does for pitchers who have to throw a wet baseball. Or outfielders who have to field fly balls with rain pelting them in the face.
Somehow, though, starting pitchers Corey Thurman and John Halama didn’t seem phased for the most part. York took its first lead of the series when designated hitter Michael Hernandez hit a line-drive homer just over the wall in right-center in the second inning off of Halama. But the Revs’ offense went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position through the first four innings.
Lancaster’s Gilberto Mejia broke up Thurman’s no hit-bid when he reached on a single to start the fourth inning. That’s where things went awry for Thurman and the Revs’ defense. Two batters later Thurman surrendered a two-run homer to right-center to Blake Gailen (who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in Game One on Wednesday), giving Lancaster a 2-1 advantage. After Tommy Everidge popped out to first for the second out, York allowed two runners to reach on errors. First, Lancaster’s Fehlandt Lentini grounded to short stop Joe Thurston, who made a high but catchable throw to first baseman Johan Limonta. The ball skipped over the top of Limonta’s glove. Lancaster’s Ryan Harvey then popped up to third baseman Chris Nowak, who dropped the ball in the infield. Barnstormers’ third baseman Travis Denker (two homers in Game One) then drove in Lentini with a bloop-single to left-center to extend Lancaster’s lead to two runs.
“The weather could have been a part of it,” Etchebarren said of the errors. “I don’t think that had anything to do with the throw to Limonta. I think he misjudged it. I think that played into (umpire crew chief Mark) Facto stopping the game, too. I think he didn’t want the game determined by weather. So, I don’t disagree with stopping the game”
Notable plays: York center-fielder Scott Grimes saved a run in the second inning when Everidge hit a deep fly ball to right-center. Grimes made a jumping catch into the wall for the second out. Grimes said afterwards that he wasn’t sure if the ball would’ve been out of the park, but he said right-fielder Jeff Fiorentino told him the ball looked like it was going out had Grimes not caught it.
That same inning, Limonta ran into the 3-foot-high cement wall on the first-base side stands when trying to chase down a foul ball off the bat of Lentini. The ball went into the stands but Limonta went down for a moment after colliding with the wall. He stayed in the game and appeared to be OK since he doubled to left-center in his next at-bat in the top of the third inning.
Friday’s plans: Friday’s Game Two will pick back up in the top of the fifth inning with Lancaster up 3-1. Etch’ said he’ll start reliever Wade Korpi. Hobson said he’s going with either starter Mark Brackman or just use his bullpen.
Korpi went 4-0 with a 2.26 ERA in 18 games for York in the regular season. Three of those were spot starts in which he allowed a combined two earned runs in 9.1 innings of work (an impressive 1.93 ERA), allowing eight hits and three walks while striking out 12. The left-hander faced Lancaster three times out of the bullpen this season, allowing a combined two earned runs in 4.2 innings (3.86 ERA), surrendering four hits and five walks while striking out three. It’ll be interesting to see if he has any rust, though, considering he hasn’t seen any action since Sept. 13 and has only pitched twice this month.
Oddly enough, Brackman has the same ERA against York as Korpi does against Lancaster (3.86). The right-hander made two starts and one relief appearances against the Revs in the regular season. In his first start June 22, he held York scoreless in seven innings of work. In his next start July 28, he gave up five earned runs in two innings. In a relief appearance Aug. 8 he didn’t allow an earned run in 2.2 innings. Collectively, he allowed five earned runs in 11.2 innings, surrendering 10 hits and four walks while striking out 12. Overall this season he went 9-10 with a 4.29 ERA in 24 starts and five relief appearances for Lancaster.
On the bright side, since we won’t be playing any baseball in York on Friday night, we’ll avoid the traffic and possible parking woes caused by the York High football game and Bike Night in downtown York.
Also, Etch’ said starter Ryan Feierabend would be more of a possibility for the Revs in this series should it go four or five games. It’s likely Thurman would see some action in Game Five (Monday) considering he only pitched four innings on Thursday night.
And in case you’re wondering, there’s a 20 percent chance of rain around 7 p.m. in Lancaster on Friday night. There’s only a 10 percent chance of rain (as of now) in York from Saturday through Monday.
Greenberg getting one more chance: On a lighter note, check out this story about former big leaguer and Atlantic Leaguer Adam Greenberg getting one more chance for an at-bat in the bigs with the Miami Marlins. In his first and only major league at-bat with the Chicago Cubs in 2005, Greenberg got drilled in the head on the first pitch he saw. This seven-minute Youtube clip with Greenberg recently on The Today Show explains it all. This is just a great story. Greenberg played in a combined 354 games with the Bridgeport Bluefish from 2008 to 2011.