The Red Wings had Saturday off because of the all day rain. They TOOK Sunday off against the Scranton Red Barons. Jeremy Cummings, a pitcher who had yet to go past 7 innings in any of his previous starts, threw a 137 pitch 9 inning no-hitter against the ‘didn’t show up’ Red Wings in front of a hugely disappointing Fan Appreciation Night crowd of just over 6,400. The weather has been pretty awful all weekend, but this crowd was unexpectedly small. Those who did come saw what happens when one pitcher has decent, but not overpowering stuff faces a team that was going thru the motions from the very first batter.
Not to take anything away from Cummings, because throwing 9 inning no-hitters are rare indeed, but the Wings never showed up for the game. They drew 4 walks, and the only thing close to a hit was McCracken’s fly ball to the warning track in the 7th. Luis Maza, completing an incredibly disappointing season, struck out all 3 times.
Meanwhile Glen Perkins, making his 1st AAA start, pitched fairly well. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing 6 hits but only 1 run. He did walk 5 however. The score of the game was 1-0 going to the 7th when Gassner and Ford each allowed 2 runs to blow the game open. The Red Barons were relentless, banging out 16 hits and receiving another 7 walks. They left 16 men on base, but they hardly looked like a team playing out the string. The Red Wings on the other hand, did look like a team that was disinterested in playing the game. Maybe they are decoying the Red Barons into thinking that they will be patsy’s when the playoffs start on Wednesday. If so, I don’t like the strategy. The team better come out guns blazing tomorrow afternoon as it is always dangerous to go into the playoffs playing bad ball.
What was left of the crowd began pulling for Cummings in the 9th when it became obvious that the Wings weren’t likely to get anything close to a hit. The final out came on a strike out and the entire Red Barons team rushed out to mob the happy pitcher. The 9 inning no-hitter was the first in Scranton history, the first ever at Frontier Field and the first no-hitter of this season. I don’t have the records, but I would imagine 137 pitches is the most thrown by a starting pitcher in the league this year.
In other news, Louisville won their game but got eliminated from post season play when Toledo won their game. So the Mud Hens hold a 1 game lead over Indianapolis going into the final game of the season. If Indy wins tomorrow and Toledo loses, the teams would be tied and I believe that they would play a one game playoff on Tuesday to decide who goes to post season.
The Red Wings need to win tomorrow to reach 80 wins. They also need to win tomorrow to rid their mouths of the foul taste left behind from Sunday’s poor effort. It’s never good when two teams play a meaningless game, but one team gives it a good effort and the other doesn’t. No excuses fellas—you didn’t come to play today. Crank it up tomorrow.