Game 130: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

The Long Island Ducks returned to action at Bethpage Ballpark last night for the first time in over a week. Unfortunately, the Flock’s migration back to the Northeast did not end their losing streak, which has now hit four games. The Ducks dropped the final three games of the seven-game series over the weekend to the Sugar Land Skeeters, before dropping last night’s series opener against the Sugar Land Skeeters 10-1. With the loss, coupled by an idle night for the Somerset Patriots and losses by both the Skeeters and the Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island remains two back in the wild card and now sits three back for the Liberty Division lead. CLICK HERE for more information on the current playoff scenarios.

Bobby Blevins toed the rubber for the Ducks last night, carrying 12 consecutive quality starts into the evening. That streak ended, despite beginning the ballgame with five strong innings, allowing just one unearned run over that span. Blevins ran into trouble in the sixth, albeit without a lot of help from the defense behind him. With the game knotted at one entering the inning, the Blue Crabs would plate seven runs (three earned), all with two outs, to take an 8-1 lead. Blevins was chased from the game after five and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) to end his quality-start streak.

Offensively, the Ducks were stymied by a combination of Gaby Hernandez, Sean Keeler and Justin Berg. The lone run for Long Island came on a C.J. Retherford sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Both Lew Ford and Joash Brodin each recorded two hits in the contest to lead the Ducks. Long Island totaled seven hits on the evening, but were never able to organize a rally to form a comeback.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Tuesday’s game, complete with a pregame interview with former Met and Yankee great Dwight Gooden, audio highlights from the game and postgame comments Kevin Baez and Retherford.

Looking to end their four-game losing skid, the Ducks will send Shaun Garceau to the mound tonight for his 26th appearance (25th start) of the season. So far, the second-year Duck is 13-3 with a 4.79 earned run average and 98 strikeouts against 47 walks in 148 and one-thirds innings of work. Garceau has won five of his last six starts, and is currently tied with teammate John Brownell and Chris Schwinden (Lancaster) for the league lead in wins. The 2014 Atlantic League All-Star has an opportunity to become the league’s first 14 game-winner tonight against a team that he has had considerable success against this year. In three starts against the Blue Crabs, Garceau is 3-0, having allowed five runs over 19 innings (2.37 ERA) with 25 strikeouts against three walks.

His opposition tonight is Blue Crabs righty Ian Marshall, who will be making his 25th start of the year. The second-year Crab is 9-9 this season with a 4.12 ERA over 137 and one-third innings with 73 strikeouts against 40 walks. Marshall has won just once in his last five starts, but had previously enjoyed a stretch earlier this season in which he won five-straight decisions over six starts (6/24 – 7/24). In three starts against the Flock, Marshall is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 16th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and sixth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 11-4 and have a 4-1 lead at home. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 132 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 71-61 lead. However, the series is tied at 34 on Long Island.

Harris is Heating Up: Despite seeing his hitting streak end at 21 consecutive games, Brendan Harris drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 24 games. The hitting streak is tied for the longest by a Duck this season (Fehlandt Lentini, 6/6-6/27 and 6/29-7/22). Cody Puckett has the longest on-base streak by a Duck this year (29, 5/6-6/6). During the 24-game on-base streak, Harris is batting .362 (34-for-94) with six doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI, 22 runs and 17 walks.

Multi-Hit Nights: With two hits on Tuesday, Lew Ford earned his team-leading 52nd multi-hit game of the year. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in nine of his last 13 contests. During that span, Ford is batting .408 (22-for-54) with four doubles, one home run, eight RBI and 11 runs. Joash Brodin recorded two hits on Tuesday to earn his 31st multi-hit game of the year. The second-year Duck also stole his 23rd base of the season, which is second-most on the team (Fehlandt Lentini, 45). The Ducks have now stolen 111 bases on the season, which ranks second in the Atlantic League (York, 175).

Hot Start: With a single on Tuesday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in seven of his eight games with the Flock. The infielder has 10 hits in his first 29 at-bats (.345 AVG) with four RBI, five runs and four walks. Three of his first eight games have been multi-hit contests.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: With a scoreless inning of relief on Tuesday, Josh Lansford has now tossed five consecutive scoreless innings. In that span, he has alowed three hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings. Lansford has allowed just two earned runs over his last 13 outings.

Go Go Garceau: Ducks starter Shaun Garceau has earned a win in five of his last six starts entering tonight’s outing. In that span, he has compiled a 2.84 ERA, allowing 12 earned runs over 38 innings of work. The right-hander has given up 37 hits and 10 walks while striking out 23 over those six starts. Garceau has won five consecutive starts twice this season (6/4-6/26 and 8/6-8/30).

On the Air: Tonight’s ballgame with be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups.

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Blue Crabs
#4   Bobby Stevens – SS
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#12 Steve Moss – DH
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#23 Mike Schwartz – LF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8   James Skelton – C

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to get back to their winning ways!

UPDATE (6:50): TOP 1: The Blue Crabs grab a 2-0 lead on a Jake Opitz sacrifice fly and a run-scoring double steal.

UPDATE (7:13): BOT 1: TIE GAME! RBI singles from Lew Ford and Cody Puckett even up the ballgame at two!

UPDATE (7:39): TOP 3: The Blue Crabs regain the lead on a two-run double from Steve Moss. Southern Maryland on top 4-2

UPDATE (8:12): BOT 4: DUCKS LEAD! Two-out rally, highlighted by a run-scoring hit-batsman and a two-run single from Adam Bailey puts the Flock on top 5-4!

UPDATE (8:39): TOP 6: Southern Maryland evens the ballgame at five on a RBI single from Angel Chavez

UPDATE (9:16):TOP 7: The Blue Crabs plate three runs on a RBI single from Steve Moss and a fielding along with a RBI double from C.J. Ziegler. 8-5 Crabs

UPDATE (9:48): BOT 8: Two-out RBI singles from Adam Bailey and C.J. Retherford bring the Ducks within a run! Score now 8-7, Blue Crabs

UPDATE (9:58): TOP 9: Southern Maryland adds a Mike Schwartz sacrifice fly to increase its lead to 9-7. Last licks for the Ducks!

UPDATE (10:06): FINAL: Justin Berg converts the save the Blue Crabs take the ballgame 9-7. Recap to follow shortly


Posted on September 10, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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