Game 81: Ducks vs Bluefish

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2014 has certainly been the epitome of a roller coaster season for the Long Island Ducks. The Flock have enjoyed plenty of ups, including three walk-off victories, franchise milestones in wins and attendance, and a season-high seven-game winning streak. But with the ups often come the downs, and that is where the Ducks currently find themselves. The current nine-game losing streak is the longest of the year, and just one off the franchise high, set back in 2003.

The Ducks were looking to turn a new leaf yesterday with an 11:05 a.m. first pitch against the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish. In the first of two Camp Days at Bethpage Ballpark, the Flock fell to the ‘Fish 7-3. 2014 All-Star Shaun Garceau made the start for Long Island against former big leaguer Tomo Ohka, and it was the Kyoto, Japan native who got the best of the matchup. Garceau allowed four runs on nine hits over five innings to give Bridgeport a 4-0 lead.

Long Island refused to go down quietly, with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, but failed to convert capitalize later in the inning when Bill Hall struck out with two outs and the bases loaded. After the Bluefish added two runs in the top of the sixth, the Flock responded with a pair in bottom half of the frame on two-out RBI hits from Jan Vazquez and Fehlandt Lentini to trim the deficit to three. That was as close as the Ducks would get, as the Bridgeport bullpen worked three scoreless innings to close out the ballgame.

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the highlights and watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Jan Vazquez.

Tonight, the Ducks send Mitch Talbot to the mound for his first start of the season. The right-hander spent three years in the Major Leagues (2008, 2010-11) with the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians. In 2010, Talbot started 28 games for the Indians and went 10-13 with a 4.41 earned run average and one complete game. Overall, the 30-year old appeared in 43 games (41 starts) in the majors. With the Flock in 2014, Talbot is 1-0, and has made two relief appearances, allowing three runs in three innings of work.

His counterpart tonight is Bridgeport southpaw Matt Iannazzo. In his first year with the Bluefish, Iannazzo has appeared in 20 games (seven starts), posting a 2-3 record with a 2.70 ERA and 31 strikeouts against nine walks in 53 and one-third innings pitched. Since becoming a full-time starter on June 14, the 24 year-old is 2-2 and has worked six innings just twice. Iannazzo has appeared against Long Island twice in 2014 – once as a reliever on May 14 – and the other as a starter on June 30. In that start, allowed two runs on nine hits scattered over five innings en route to his second win of the year.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Today marks the 12th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and ninth of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series six to five. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 276 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a slim 139-137 advantage. However, the Ducks lead 79-63 at Bethpage Ballpark. Both teams have played for the Ferry Cup since 2009, with the Ducks winning it in three of its five seasons (2009, 2011, 2013).

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Monday and has now hit safely 41 of his last 42 games, including 20 straight. It’s the second time this season he has had a hitting streak of at least 20 games after he put together a 21-game hit streak from June 6 to 27. In the 42 games, he is batting .344 (63-for-183), and in his 20-game hitting streak, he’s hitting .311 (28-for-90). In addition, Lentini stole another base, leads the Atlantic League with 34 steals on the year, and is a perfect 34-for-34 in stolen base attempts this season.The first-year Duck also leads the Atlantic League in hits (111), doubles (27) and at-bats (344) while ranking third in runs (56) and fourth in batting average (.323).

On-Base Machine: Lew Ford has now reached base in eight straight games and in 16 of his last 17 games after adding a hit on Monday. The former big leaguer has earned multiple hits in eight of those games. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in hits (111) and games played (80) while ranking second in batting average (.358), RBI (60), runs (60), total bases (165) and on-base percentage (.430).

Streaks Continue: Brendan Harris drew two walks on Monday to extend his on-base streak to 14 consecutive games. During the streak, the former big leaguer is hitting .318 (14-for-44). Jon Myers picked up a double on Monday and has now hit safely in his last six games started and in 15 of his last 16 starts. In his last six starts, Myers is batting .320 (8-for-25) with four doubles, three RBI and two runs.

Heating Up: Joash Brodin earned another hit on Monday, his fourth straight game with a hit. After picking up just one hit in 16 at-bats at Lancaster, Brodin has totaled eight hits in his last 16 at-bats, good for a .500 batting average. The third-year Duck has raised his average from .240 to .254 in that span.

Back in the Rotation: Mitch Talbot will make his first start as a Long Island Duck tonight after appearing twice out of the bullpen. The righty has started 41 of his 43 career games in the Major Leagues and 201 of his 211 career games in the minor leagues. Talbot is 83-60 with a 3.83 ERA in the minors.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – SS
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#14  Brandon Bantz – C
#15 Jon Myers – DH
#30 Sergio Miranda – SS

#32 Mitch Talbot – RHP

Bluefish
#7   James Simmons – CF
#27 Prentice Redman – RF
#15 Ramon Castro – 3B
#17 Casper Wells – LF
#19 Luis Lopez – 1B
#34 Austin Gallagher – DH
#5   Juan Martinez – 2B
#2   Mike Richard – SS
#35 Billy Gonzalez – C

#10 Matt Iannazzo – LHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to extend their lead in the 2014 Ferry Cup series!

UPDATE (7:36): TOP 2: Bridgeport takes a 2-0 lead on a RBI double from Luis Lopez and an RBI infield single from Mike Richard.

UPDATE (9:26): BOT 7: Ducks get on the scoreboard on a RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini! Still trail the Bluefish 3-1.

UPDATE (10:03): FINAL: Bridgeport defeats Long Island 3-1. The Ducks wrap up their six-game homestand tomorrow night at the Duck Pond. Recap to follow.

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Posted on July 22, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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