Well if Josh Rabe was disappointed at being send down to the Red Wings, he sure didn’t show it. Given a chance to stay in Baltimore with the Twins and exercise his right to wait 72 hours before reporting to his minor league assignment, Rabe told the Twins early Thursday morning to book a flight ASAP and by noon he was back in Rochester. Within hours, he was leading the Wings to a much needed 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Lynx.
Rabe’s presence gave the entire team a lift. He was smiling and high-fiving teammates.He looked genuinely happy to be back with his old teammates.
”Every player in the room lit up when they saw him,” Manager Stan Cliburn said. “It shows what a class act he is.”
Class act indeed. All Rabe did when the game began was put on a hitting clinic, going 3-4 with a 2 run home-run to deep left field and four RBI. He was the show. Rabe must remain with the Wings at least 10 days, and hopefully that will be enough to help get this team into the post season. Some players sulk and pout and go through the motions when told they are being sent down. Others, like Josh Rabe, are true professionals, and the game of baseball is better for guys like him.
Dave Gassner was the other story for the Wings last night. Rebounding well after a poor start against Syracuse where he allowed 7 runs in 4 innings against the last place Chiefs, he pitched into the 7th inning last night, allowing only a 2 run single by ex-Wing Howie Clark. Gassner allowed 5 hits in all and struck out 4 in picking up his second win of the year with the Wings.
Wings Notes:A surprisingly small crowd of 6,434 watched the game. The Wings have been averaging 9,000 per game over the last 12 contests. A huge crowd is expected tonight for the series finale but rain is in the forecast. That would not be good as there is no room in the schedule for any makeups.The victory was only the 2nd of the year over Ottawa at Frontier field. Scranton also won so they remain 2 games ahead of the Wings for 1st place in the IL North. As for the wild card, the race becomes more interesting with Toledo’s win over Indianapolis. Those 2 teams are now tied for 1st in the IL West, and they trail the Wings by 3 games. One team will advance by winning the division while the other will battle it out for the Wild Card. The Wings hope just one of them get hot. Everyone has 11 games to play. Ottawa, Buffalo and Louisville are still in it but would be considered longshots now.There have been some whispers of Francisco Liriano making a rehab start for the Red Wings during post-season, if the Wings do advance and if Liriano can pitch with no pain. Officials say he has played catch on 2 consecutive days and his arm feels good. While Liriano wants to pitch again as soon as possible, if he shows any discomfort at all he will likely be shut down for the rest of the season. Liriano’s presence in the post season would guarantee a huge crowd at Frontier. We can all dream.Wings and Pawtucket play tomorrow at Fenway Park. Pete Munro will get the start for Rochester.