Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Game Report: Reno at St. George (May 28, 2008)

Another night and another loss for the Reno Silver Sox. Boy, I am getting tired of writing that.

It looked like their fortunes were going to change when Reno got on the board first going up 3-0 and even turned a triple play during this game. But, in yet another frustrating pitching outing, Shawn Ravenscraft only made it 4-1/3 innings before getting pulled. He started out well going two innings without allowing a run. Then things went downhill quickly. In the third inning , after back to back walks followed by a throwing error by our pitcher, a series of hits led to him leaving the inning down 4-3.

The Sox would tie it at 4 in the bottom of the third but Ravenscraft was already done as he gave up a three run homerun. During the next inning, he got an out but then hit two consecutive batters. Jeff Leonard had seen enough and pulled his #5 starter in favor of Jesse Hall. Hall got out of the inning without further damage but 2-2/3 innings, 2 runs, and 4 hits later, he was lifted for Paul Wilson who was able to get Hall out of the inning. Of course, in similar fashion, Wilson gives up his obligatory runs (two in this case in 1-1/3 innings) , garnering his second loss on the season, and dropping the Sox to 0-5 where they now gain sole possession of last place in the GBL South Division.

Control was an issue all night as 5 Roadrunners were hit by pitches…3 by Ravenscraft, 1 by Hall, and 1 by Wilson. Errors, hit batsmen, passed balls and walks are killing our team. And that, along with the pitchers just not getting outs, cancels out anything the offense can do. The Sox have 38 runs in 5 games. With a team averaging almost 8 runs a game, it is pretty ridiculous that they cannot get a win. Let just hope that Marc Kaiser can right the ship tomorrow since the entire rotation is anchored by him. Kaiser (AAA) is by far the most experienced pitcher with Steve Russell as the only other guy with affiliated ball experience, albeit at the Class A level. Our other three pitchers have only pitched in independent ball.

Jeff Leonard is giving pitchers the hook a lot faster than he has during this short season. I am sure no one is as frustrated as he is. I think he showed that tonight when Wilson coughed up the lead for the last time and he got tossed for yelling at the umpire.

His guys just have not been able to get outs or go deep into the game. 6, 5, 4.1, 3 and 4.2 innings are not going to do it. With a smaller roster than the MLB (22 vs. 25), and a bullpen of just 5 guys with one of the best pitchers (Scott Schneider) on the inactive list, trotting those guys out every night and expecting them to pitch 2-3 innings a night is going to make for a long season.
And before you know it, the Sox will be out of first half contention. There are only 44 games in each half so if the Sox can’t fix things in the next two weeks or so, the first half will be lost. And that isn’t going to motivate anyone to play any harder.

On the offensive side of the ball, most of the players are doing pretty well but Carlos Madrid (.182, 0 HR, 5 RBI) and Juan Senreiso (.100, 0 HR, 2RBI) have yet to find their groove. Of course, we know what those guys can do and Jeff Leonard must see it too since he continues to let them hit in the second and fourth spots respectively. I'm hoping to see that confidence in them pay off real soon and that we see the Madrid and Senreiso of last year who destroyed GBL pitching. Meanwhile, new addition Andre Alvarado is red hot, batting .500 in 5 games with a .857 slugging percentage.

Finally, yesterday I mentioned that Ben Deach no longer broadcasts the road trips. What that also means is that there are no game updates either e-mailed to fans or put on the website. It is a little frustrating because we aren’t getting interviews with the players or Leonard while they are on the road. So where we would know why Jeff was tossed if Ben were there, now we have to guess. And the website basically goes dormant as, again, there are no game/team updates when the team goes on the road. Hopefully this is something that get changed as the season progresses.

Alright, don't forget to root on the team as they work to erase their slow start. You can listen to game on the St. George Roadrunner's site starting at 5:45PM (Reno time) with the pre-game.

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