Well, at least the fireworks were exciting, because the baseball game wasn’t. There are many components of a poorly played game. The Red Wings had them all tonite in an ugly, uninspired 7-3 loss to the Ottawa Lynx.
How does one dissect a bad game? It starts by blowing an early lead, something the Wings have done far too many times in recent games. Next the starting pitcher can’t get the third out of what started out as a fairly uneventful 3rd inning. Then the manager leaves the starter in way too long when it was obvious he had completely lost it. Then the Wings could not get a key hit despite getting many chances to get back in it. Toss in some shoddy defense for good measure and you effective silence one of the biggest crowds of the year. I was absolutely astounded at how quiet a packed stadium can be when there is nothing to cheer about. And even when there was, the crowd was eerily silent. It was plain and simple a very discouraging night at Frontier Field.
The game started on a high note. With none out and a runner at third, Eddie Garibito hit a sinking liner to Alex Romero in left. Alex snared it and fired a one-hop strike to Chris Heintz, nailing a speedy Ed Rogers at the plate for the double play.
When the Wings put 3 hits and a steal together in the bottom of the 2nd to score 2 quick runs things looked very promising on a night where the rain threatened from the very first inning.
But then came the 3rd. Jason Miller, coming off the finest game of his career walked the leadoff hitter Todd Donovan..But Jason Bowers struck out and then Donovan was thrown out trying to steal. Two outs and nobody on. Its hard to believe what followed. Double, Home Run, Double, Double, Double, Double—6 runs after two were out. Miller just totally unraveled. All hits were line shots. Manager Cliburn left Jason in far too long in one of his rare managerial miscues. For all intents and purposes the game was over. The crowd was stunned and the rest of game resembled a study hall at the school library.
The Wings bullpen was excellent, allowing only one run over 6 1/3 innings, but it was too late. While all 7 Lynx runs scored after 2 were out, the Wings couldn’t buy a clutch hit They left 9 men on base, many of them in scoring position. Garrett Jones had a miserable game. He was called out on strikes...looking at 3 pitches. He killed a rally in the 5th with 2 on and one out by grounding weakly into a double play. He capped off his forgettable game by mishandling a grounder in the 9th for his 9th error of the season. If there was any bright side to this game, Josh Rabe had 2 more hits and drove in the Wings final run.
Wings Notes:Scranton won again to move to a season high 3 games ahead of the Wings. Fortunately, Indianapolis lost so the Wings remain 3 ahead in the Wild Card race. Toledo won to move into first place in the IL West. Everybody has 10 games to play.Real simple, right? The IL playoff tie-breakers...a bunch of lawyers must have devised this scheme.So here goes:(1) In the event there is a 3 way tie for first place in the West, there will be a double-header to be played in the city that gets seeded first by virtue of best head-to-head records against the other two. These games will be played on Tuesday Sept 5th. The 2nd and 3rd seeds play..and the winner goes on to play the 1st seed.
(2) If Rochester and Scranton tie for 1st, there will be a 1 game playoff only if the loser would not qualify for the wild card. If both the Wings and Barons tie for 1st, and both qualify for the post season, then a series of tie-breakers go into play to determine the division champ and the wild card. First tiebreaker is record head-to-head. We already know that would be 8-8. Another tiebreaker would be needed–record within the division. Believe it or not, that would also result in a tie. (Trust me, I have figured it out) The next tiebreaker is record against the other two division champions. If the teams are still tied after that, they flip a coin.
(3) If there were a 3 way tie in the West and after the double-header was played one of the losers somehow was tied for the WC with either Rochester or Scranton, I don’t have a clue what they would do because they only have one day to resolve all of this.
(4) If two teams tie for the wild card, without the 3 way tie nonsense, there would be a one game playoff to decide who gets to go to post-season.
Simple huh?Tomorrow’s game between Rochester and Pawtucket to be played at Fenway Park starting at 6 pm will be shown free on MLB.com as well as on local cable in Rochester.