Scrappers extend historic streak, fall to Vermont 5-1
NILES,OH- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers extended their own record-breaking losing streak on Sunday night with a 5-1 loss against the Vermont Lake Monsters.
The Scrappers losing streak is now at twelve games, tying the franchise record of their parent club, the Cleveland Indians.
With a loss tomorrow night, the Scrappers will have gone without a win on their six-game homestand, and will embark on the road to the “City That Never Sleeps” to face the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees.
The Scrappers have gone to extensive lengths to end this nightmare, including a “bat sacrifice”. According to Scrappers left fielder Josh McAdams, the Scrappers “burned probably five bats.”
“We took them out in the parking lot and lit them on fire.” explained McAdams. “We tried to get something going, you know, to have everybody cheer up.”
While the Scrappers tried to invoke their inner voodoo, a la Jobu in Major League, the results weren’t much better offensively.
The bat-burning experiment, ironically, may have done more good for the Scrappers pitching staff than for the Scrappers offense.
Mahoning Valley starter Rob Whitenack was at his best on Sunday afternoon, but suffered a bad break to keep him from a win.
In five innings and 82 pitches, Whitenack allowed five hits, three walks, and two runs, while striking out three. After allowing a run in the top of the third, Whitenack pitched a perfect fourth and had an out in the fifth when the unfortunate situation occurred.
With one out and a man on first, Lake Monsters DH Todd Marincov blooped one over the head of third baseman Robel Garcia for a base hit. Left fielder Josh McAdams cautiously came in to field the ball, but it was of no use. The ball bounced off of the dirt on the warning track in left field, hit off of the wood railing in front of the seats and skidded past McAdams. The run scored from first base, and the Monsters took a 2-1 lead, thanks to the bizarre blooper from Marincov.
That 2-1 lead was preserved for four more innings thanks to the dominant work of Lake Monsters reliever Jared Grundy.
Grundy, the University of Kentucky party, allowed only two hits and one walk in four innings. No runner reached second base, and twice he flew threw the Scrappers in order, three up-three down.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Scrappers used a bit of small-ball to try to get things going.
Back to back walks were followed by a brilliant bunt from Brian Ruiz that moved both runners over with only one out. Unfortunately, a strikeout from Cody Ferrell and a groundout from Paul Hendrix ended the rally.
After pitching two scoreless innings, Alexis Paredes imploded in the top of the eighth.
Vermont DH Ryan Huck, for the second straight evening, smashed a solo home run that extended the Vermont lead to 3-1. The towering drive snuck inside of the foul-pole, struck the top of the back wall behind the bullpen, and sent the Vermont bullpen into a cartwheel-filled frenzy.
Luis Baez followed suit and smacked a bomb of his own, this time a two-run shot that cleared the back wall and sent the Vermont bullpen into an even larger frenzy. After all, the bullpen had reason to rejoice as the score stood at 5-1 in their favor.
Paredes left the game with three runs allowed, all of which came via the long-ball.
The Scrappers weren’t able to make it interesting in the final two frames, and continued the horrendous losing-tear.
Tomorrow night, McAdams believes the Scrappers will turn to their superstitious ways to end the new streak.
“All I can say is, tomorrow is a new day,” beamed McAdams. “Maybe we’ll even have to burn some more bats, you never know. We’re going to do whatever we have to do to get this win and move on from there. We’ve still got a lot of games left.”
The Scrappers will send Defiance, Ohio native and former Louisville Cardinal Dace Kime (0-0 2.25) to face Slippery Rock University alumnus, Lou Trivino (0-1, 3.86).
First pitch from Eastwood Field is set for 7:05 pm.