It rains in Boise?
What a weird ball game at Memorial Stadium tonight, as for the second-straight evening, the Hawks bullpen allowed a staggering 11 runs – watching a 5-1 lead turn into a 12-7 loss, dropping the club to 0-2 – joining Eugene as the only team in the loop without a win.
First off – Robert Hernandez was stellar in his season debut. In reading many blogs about Extended Spring Training, Hernandez was a guy who most thought would end up in Peoria – but found his way to the Treasure Valley and allowed just four hits and one run in five innings.
Josh Lansford allowed a pair of runs, but after he settled down in his first appearance as a pitcher (he tossed last year in Tennessee in a mop up role), showed a live fastball.
However, it went downhill fast in the eighth, just as a rain squall moved over Memorial Stadium. Yes, not a typical Boise summer thunderstorm, but literal rain. When I moved to the area in 2001, my boss at The College of Idaho, Marty Holly, told me it never rains in Idaho – and it really is true, since normally from May to September, the only rain we receive are in pop-up thunderstorms. Not last night, as an off-and-on downpour started in the fifth inning, with the bulk of the precipitation falling in the eighth – just as Mike Perconte made his 2009 Hawks debut. You could tell he could not get a good grip for his slider, which is his out pitch – with a couple hits, a pair of wild pitches, a hit batter, and a walk allowing Tri-City to close within 5-4. Enter Yohan Gonzalez, who threw seven of his first eight pitches for balls, walking in the tying run, then allowing a Jeremiah Sammy seeing-eye two-run single to give the visitors the lead for good.
Lost in the loss was solid performances from both Cliff Anderson and George Matheus, who each had three hits – although you could definitely tell Anderson is still hobbled by a hamstring injury that landed him on the DL in Peoria.
NOTES – In eight innings this year, Boise starting pitchers have allowed just two runs, while in ten innings, the bullpen has allowed 22…four different players (Hak-Ju Lee, Logan Watkins, Matt Cerda, Jose Valdez) each have two errors through the first two games…tonight’s crowd of 2,618 was one of the bigger early season Sunday crowds in recent memory…as part of the 20th-year history of Memorial Stadium, Tri-City pitching coach Darryl Scott returns to the scene of where he began his pro career, as a member of the 1990 Boise Hawks – where his battery mate was catcher Troy Percival…
THE BACON – Following Monday’s game, the Hawks will hit the road for a five-game road swing to Salem-Keizer, with the club leaving town via charter bus immediately after the game…look for insight in the roadtrip here throughout the week – with hopefully some video or photos to bring you close to the action.