Some nights the line drives and grounders find holes and some nights they find gloves. Tonight, the Bristol White Sox defense had them find their gloves while the Johnson City defense could only watch and see them hit the holes. Johnson City (8-6) was shutout and lost a 3-game series (0-2 this series) for the first time in 2009.
Johnson City allowed single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th innings and allowed 2 unearned runs on three errors however, their biggest problem was scoring runs. Edgar Lara had a 2-out seeing-eye single in the 2nd but was stranded at 1st. Hector Alvarez had a 1-out double in the 3rd but was left stranded at third after a wild pitch. The 4th seemed to be the Cardinals best scoring opportunity as Rich Racobaldo and Matt Adams led off with back-to-back singles however Robert Stock hit into a 1-6-3 broken-bat double play to end the threat. A Matt Rigoli single in the 5th left yet another runner stranded.
The Cardinals again put the first two hitters on base in the 6th. A Michael Swinson single followed by a Rich Racobaldo single and one-base fielding error on the Bristol RF put runners on second and third with nobody out but a Matt Adams line drive to the second baseman had Rich Racobaldo moving the wrong direction and the rally was again halted with a double play.
New Bristol pitchers in the 7th and 8th sat down the Cardinals in 1-2-3 fashion. A 2-out single by Robert Stock in the 9th was all the offense Johnson City could muster. The Cardinals finished with 8 hits (7 singles and 1 double). The most amazing stat of the night was that exactly none of the 33 Cardinal hitters were able to get to a 3-ball count and only 6 were able to hit with a 2-ball count (1-for-6, 3 K, 1 GIDP).
Bristol was able to make the most of three Cardinal “nobody-out” errors. SS Hector Alvarez threw high over 1B Matt Rigoli’s head on a routine grounder in the 3rd and the White Sox plated their first run on no hits. A 2B Luis Mateo fielding error (bad short-hop) and a P Anthony Ferrara wild pick-off throw in the 7th led to another unearned run.
Anthony Ferrara (#2 web gem) made a very athletic leaping play on a high chopper destined for CF against his first hitter in the 6th. RF Edgar Lara (#1 web gem) recorded his third outfield assist of the year on a bases-loaded double play in the 7th. Lara unloaded an accurate 1-hop throw to C Robert Stock who applied a nice tag to get Ferrara out of the two error jam discussed earlier. Michael Swinson had a chance at an outfield assist from right center field to third base in the 4th but 3B Rich Racobaldo pulled his glove down to apply the tag before he got the ball secured in his glove.
Michael Thompson: 56 pitches (42 strikes, 14 balls), 11-for-18 first-pitch-strikes
Jose Rada: 17 pitches (9 strikes, 8 balls), 1-for-4 first-pitch-strikes
Anthony Ferrara: 48 pitches (33 strikes, 15 balls), 9-for-12 first-pitch-strikes
Aaron Terry: 14 pitches (10 strikes, 4 balls), 1-for-3 first-pitch-strikes
The last game of the 3-game series is tomorrow night. The tandem starters should be LHP John Durham followed by RHP Randy Santos. I plan to be there for the action! Hope you will be too…