Games 86/87: Ducks at Bluefish

(Photo courtesy of Christine Zichittella-Heeren)

The monkey is finally off the Ducks’ back! After a stretch of 13 consecutive games that ended with the Ducks on the losing end, Long Island put an end to the streak with a 10-5 rout of the Camden Riversharks to wrap up the first leg of a 10-game road trip. It was the performance the Ducks were looking for from their offense and their bullpen together in the same game for quite some time. It wasn’t that the Ducks played all that poorly during their 13-game skid. It just so happened that everything was unable to come together in a timely fashion to lead to a victory. On Saturday in Camden, that puzzle finally was put together, and it happened in front of dozens of the “Faithful Flock” who made the road trip down to Campbell’s Field. Here’s a shot of them outside of Campbell’s Field before yesterday’s game (photo courtesy of Tom Stryjewski):


The biggest key from Saturday’s game was the offense. After scoring more than five runs just once during the losing streak, the Ducks broke out for 10 runs and 12 hits for the win. Another big issue was multi-run innings during the skid. The Ducks showed how key those are on Saturday by scoring two runs in three separate innings as well as three runs in the eighth. Those crooked numbers were a huge lift for the offense. Situational hitting was also a problem, but the Ducks came through in a big way on Saturday. Brendan Harris delivered a key two-run single following a sacrifice bunt in the fourth. He later picked up a big two-out RBI double in the sixth. Then in the eighth, Lew Ford, Bill Hall and Cody Puckett all earned two-out RBI singles. For a team that had been struggling to get those clutch hits and in successive fashion, Saturday’s performance had to feel pretty good.

Then, there was the pitching. Saturday’s series finale looked bleak after Shaun Garceau turned in his fifth consecutive start allowing four runs or more and lasted just four innings. While that has to be a little bit concerning to the Ducks coaching staff, the bullpen certainly rebounded from back-to-back tough performances on Thursday and Friday. The group of Josh Lansford, Brett Lorin, Eric Niesen and David Kopp combined to toss five shutout innings on Saturday, allowing just three hits and one walk. Niesen came on in a tie game with the go-ahead run at third but got slugger Jose Julio-Ruiz to fly out to center and end the threat. The Ducks went on to score three runs in the eighth after the big lift from the lefty. Then, Kopp recorded the final six outs for his first save of the year, surrendering just a single and a walk over his two innings. It’s too early to say any bullpen troubles are over, but Saturday was certainly a welcome performance.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Saturday’s victory, complete with audio highlights.

Sunday opens a four-game series in Bridgeport against the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish as the 2014 Ferry Cup Series continues. Today will be a day/night doubleheader, featuring a seven inning game that begins at 1:00 and a nine inning game that gets underway at 6:05. The Ducks will go with righty Mitch Talbot in game one, as he makes his second start of the season. He took the loss against Bridgeport in his first start back on Tuesday, tossing four innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Bob Zimmermann will take the ball in game two as he also make his second start of 2014. His first also came against Bridgeport on June 30, and the righty allowed three runs on two hits and four walks with three strikeouts over three innings. Both will look to rebound on Sunday.

Bridgeport will hand the ball to lefty Matt Iannazzo in game one. He is 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 21 games (eight starts) so far this season. He earned the win his last time out, allowed just one run on eight hits and one walk over six and one-third innings against the Ducks on Tuesday. So far this year, he is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA against the Ducks in three games (two starts). The Bluefish will then give the ball to Julio Rodriguez in game two. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.17 ERA in five games (four starts) this year and was signed in May by the Chicago Cubs where he pitched for Double-A Tennessee. Rodriguez took the loss in his first start since coming back, tossing five and one-third innings, allowing three runs on five hits and six walks while striking out four against the Somerset Patriots on July 19. This will be his first time facing the Ducks this season.

On the Air: Game one of today’s day/night doubleheader will be broadcast on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9 FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also be available online by CLICKING HERE. Game two can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube Channel and Live streaming audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are the lineups for game one of the doubleheader:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – DH
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#6   Bill Hall – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#32 Mitch Talbot – RHP

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

#10 Matt Iannazzo – LHP

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day and night for both games of today’s doubleheader as the Ducks look to re-gain the lead in the Ferry Cup Series.

UPDATE (12:24): The tarp has come on the field in Bridgeport. They are not expecting a long storm as of now. Keep it here for updates as we get them.

UPDATE (12:42): The tarp is coming off the field now. Not much rain, if any, ended up falling. We expect to start on time at 1:05!

UPDATE (1:23): No score after one inning in Bridgeport. Each side retired in order to start the game.

UPDATE (1:51): We remain scoreless after three innings in Bridgeport. Mitch Talbot has retired all nine Bluefish batters he has faced thus far!

UPDATE (2:11): TOP 4: The Ducks explode for five runs!! RBI single by Cody Puckett, sac fly for Joash Brodin and a three-run homer for Brandon Bantz!

UPDATE (2:20): BOT 4: Bluefish answer with three in the fourth on a RBI double by Ramon Castro and a two-run homer by Fred Lewis. 5-3 Ducks lead.

UPDATE (2:39): TOP 5: Another blast from the Flock! This time, Puckett launches a grand slam over the wall in left. 9-3 Long Island! Puckett is 3-for-3 with 5 RBI and 2 runs on the day!

UPDATE (3:05): TOP 6: Solo homer by Dan Lyons, a two-run blast for Bill Hall, and the Ducks have hit for the homer cycle today! They lead 12-3!

UPDATE (3:38): FINAL: Jon Meloan tosses a scoreless seventh inning, and the Ducks make it two wins in a row with a 12-3 rout of the Bluefish!

UPDATE (4:48): Here is the Ducks starting lineup for game two:

#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#6    Bill Hall – DH
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#14 Brandon Bantz – 1B
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#30 Sergio Miranda – SS

#43 Bob Zimmermann – RHP

UPDATE (5:25): Here is the Bluefish starting lineup for game two:

#7   James Simmons – DH
#27 Prentice Redman – RF
#15 Ramon Castro – 3B
#17 Casper Wells – CF
#36 Fred Lewis – LF
#19 Luis Lopez – 1B
#9   Luis Rodriguez – C
#5   Juan Martinez – 2B
#2   Mike Richard – SS

#31 Julio Rodriguez – RHP

UPDATE (6:16): TOP 1: Great start for the Ducks as Cody Puckett continues a fantastic day. Leadoff solo homer to left makes it 1-0 Long Island!

UPDATE (6:29): TOP 2: The homer party continues! Brandon Bantz launches a solo homer to left-center, his second longball of the day! 2-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (6:39): BOT 2: A two-out RBI single to left by Luis Rodriguez has trimmed the Ducks lead to 2-1.

UPDATE (7:20): BOT 4: A tremendous throw from Jon Myers in left field gets Casper Wells at home plate trying to score and keeps the Ducks ahead 2-1!

UPDATE (8:03): Bob Zimmermann tosses a 1-2-3 sixth inning and has allowed just one run on five hits through six! Still a 2-1 Ducks advantage!

UPDATE (8:47): BOT 8: Bridgeport pulls even on a leadoff solo homer to left by Prentice Redman. Tied at two as we head to the ninth.

UPDATE (9:03): Brett Lorin tosses a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and we will have bonus baseball in Bridgeport.

UPDATE (10:05): Neither side has been able to push across a run, and we remain tied at two in the 13th inning.

UPDATE (10:18): BOT 13: A walk and two singles with two out, including a RBI single by Juan Martinez, gives Bridgeport the 3-2 win and a split of the DH.


Posted on July 27, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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