Friday, March 21, 2014

Panther's Home Debut

My Traverse City Panthers are 2-4, we lost our series on the road to the King Road Kings. Giancarlo Stanton set a league record of four games in a row, with a least a HR. In the first game of the season, Yu Darvish had no control as walked 11 batters in 5.1 innings (he recorded the loss in that game).

Harrison was on the mark for the Panthers in Game 1

Game 1

Matt Harrison will get the starting nod with a 2.25 ERA (no decisions yet) against Holland's Lance Lynn, who is 1-0, with 2.35 ERA in his first outing against Sacramento.

Bottom of the 1st
Alejandro De Aza legs out a infield single, as Hosmer gets no help from the pitcher at first. De Aza steals second, as a strike is called on Austin Jackson. Lynn comes to the plate, Jackson grounds it to Jemile Weeks at second, no play at 3rd as De Aza advances, play at first for the easy out. Brandon Belt hits it to left, records a sac fly, as De Aza tags up & scores. Lynn strikes out Giancarlo Stanton for 3rd out.
Traverse City 1, Holland 0

Bottom of the 2nd
Lead-off single for Yonder Alonso. Lynn strikes out Chris Johnson for the 1st out. Geovanny Soto delivers a double into the left field corner, Alonso decides to stay at 3rd. Runners on 2nd & 3rd, 1 out, for Amarista. Amarista pops out behind first, two outs, runners hold. Prado chases down a liner into the gap by Descalso, for the third out. Holland escapes unscathed.

Top of the 3rd
Jemile Weeks draws a two-out from Harrison. Weeks steals on Soto's weak arm, for his first stolen base of the season. Alicides Escobar comes up, and Harrison loses him, another walk. 1st & 2nd, two outs, the righty Martin Prado takes advantage of southpaw Harrison, by delivering the ball to left, Stanton is after it, Weeks around third, going for home, Stanton throws it to the plate, and Weeks is in standing, as Escobar makes it third, runners on the corners & the game is tied! That was the Hitchhikers' first hit of the game. The young phenom Bryce Harper flies to left to end the inning. It's all knotted up at one a piece.

Bottom of the 5th
Giancarlo Stanton connects on his 5th HR in 6 games, as this one carried over the left field wall. Alonso picks up his second safety with a base hit to left, no outs. Chris Johnson hits a hard bouncer to second, Weeks boots it, and it's into the outfield, runners on the corners, E-4. Soto grounds it to Hosmer, Hosmer tags first, a run will score & Johnson moves up to second. Amarista grounds a slow roller to Escobar at short, Escobar fires it across the diamond, gets his man, as Johnson advances to third. Two outs, as Danny Descalso draws a the first walk issued by Lynn, runners on the corners now for the lead-off man Alejandro De Aza. Lynn with the offering, De Aza lunges at, badly fooled, side retired. Traverse City 3, Holland 1

Stanton connects for 5th HR in 6 games!

Bottom of the 6th
One-out double for Brandon Belt that drops in between Prado & Harper in right-center. Lynn plays it safe with Giancarlo Stanton & ends up walking him, setting up a possible double play.Lefty Yonder Alonso (who already has two hits) is fanned by Lynn, big K! Two away, as Lynn delivers to Chris Johnson, Johnson hits it to Escobar, Escobar flips to Weeks for the force at second, side retired. Holland is still hanging around in this one, with their one hit to T.C.'s 6 hits.

Top of the 7th
Eduardo Nunez (pinch-hitting for Hosmer to counter the southpaw Harrison) hits a one-out double. Nunez is off & stealing third, the throw from defensive replacement Hector Sanchez, the throw is high, as Nunez steals it safely. He's now stealing home, the pitch is a strike, as Sanchez gets nailed at the plate, but Sanchez held onto the ball -- OUT! Two away, gutsy. J.D. Martinez flies out to right.

Bottom of the 7th
Nunez moves over to center, as Prado will take over at first for Holland. Lynn, still in for Holland, gets the Panthers to go down in order.

Top of the 8th
Kelvin Herrera comes in from the pen to relieve Matt Harrison, who was excellent through 7.1 innings, allowing only 2 hits & a run. Herrera is in to counter righty Alcides Escobar, Escobar goes down looking, two outs. Prado hits a single that splits the middle infielders, 2nd hit of the game for Mr. Prado, bringing up the dangerous Bryce Harper. Panthers go to the pen for southpaw Johnny Venters to get the lefty Harper out. Venters gets Harper to check-swing, call from the up first base ump, strike out! Side retired.

Top of the 9th
Luke Gregerson comes in to close this one out, he enters with a 2.06 ERA, no saves -- We'll likely see him get a fair share of saves, with the majority of them going to Tyler Clippard. The Panthers' manager feels a little more comfortable in this close game situation with division rival Holland hanging in there, the first batter he will face will be Ryan Ludwick (.182). Ludwick hits this one to right, it might have the distance, bounces off the carom, Jackson is up with it in right-center, Ludwick makes it to second -- bringing up the vet Chipper Jones. Jones flies to center for out number one, Ludwick stays. Gregerson deals, and Wilin Rosario is caught looking, two down. It's all up to Abraham Nunez, he smacks a single to left, runner moves up to third. J.D. Martinez heads back towards the bench, Holland is calling on a pinch-hitter, it will be Josh Reddick (the lefty) to battle the right-handed Gregerson. The pitch comes to the plate, Reddick turns the bat loose, and comes up empty. Panthers win their home opener in a close one.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 3, Holland 1

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