Game 12: Ducks at Bluefish

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The Ferry Cup Series did not start off the way the Ducks were hoping for. After a good pitcher’s duel highlighted the majority of the game once again, Bridgeport’s bats broke the game open with seven runs over the final two innings to give the Bluefish a resounding 10-2 victory in the series opener. The ‘Fish came into the game as the Atlantic League leader in batting average and runs scored, and although it took them awhile to show why on Tuesday, they did in a big way in the seventh and eighth innings.

Ducks starter Mickey Jannis did not have his best stuff on Tuesday, but he found a way to keep the Flock in the game. He walked three batters and allowed two runs to score on a wild pitch and a passed ball in the first inning, but bounced back to allow just one baserunner over the next three innings. Jannis kept the score at 2-1, after Jon Griffin’s second inning homer, all the way until the fifth. A leadoff walk eventually led to a run-scoring single by Nick Van Stratten that increased the lead to 3-1.

Long Island again cut the deficit to one in the seventh thanks to a two-out RBI single by Erik Komatsu that scored Dan Lyons and ended the night for Bluefish starter D.J. Mitchell. However, Prentice Redman popped out to short to end the threat, and Bridgeport’s offense took over. Tommy Organ came on to pitch the seventh inning and allowed a leadoff single and a bunt in which Jose Morales tried the throw out the runner at second but could not. After getting the force out at third on a bunt from Ildemaro Vargas, Van Stratten reached on an infield single to load the bases. That set the stage for Sean Burroughs, who launched a three-run double to the right field corner that ballooned Bridgeport’s lead to 6-2.

Carmine Giardina would come in to pitch the eighth, and the results were not much better. After retiring the first batter, the southpaw allowed a long home run to center field by Welington Dotel, the first run Giardina’s allowed all year. The Bluefish followed with a pair of singles, a wild pitch, a two-run double and a RBI single, and before you knew it, the score was 10-2. Long Island’s bullpen has now allowed seven runs in back-to-back games after a dominant start to the 2015 season. It’s only two games early in the season, but the struggles of Long Island’s relievers will surely create some concern for Manager Kevin Baez and Pitching Coach Marty Janzen.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Tuesday’s series opener
CLICK HERE to view Tuesday’s box score

In a game after you use five relievers to get through four innings of work, you often rely on your starting pitcher to go deep into the game and eat up innings. Fortunately for the Ducks, they will have their ace, John Brownell, on the mound Wednesday night. The right-hander pitched seven innings on Opening Day and eight more in the home opener, and he has yet to allow a single run. In those two starts, he has combined to give up just six hits and three walks while striking out nine. Check out the notes below to see his outstanding career numbers against the Bluefish and at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. As a preview, he was 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA and two complete games in six starts last year against the Bluefish.

Bridgeport will counter with left-hander Mike Antonini, who will be making his third start of the year. He enters with a record of 0-1 with a 3.17 ERA. The southpaw was very good in his last start, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out two over six and one-third scoreless innings against the Somerset Patriots last Thursday. However, he took a no-decision after the Pats won the game 4-2. In his first start, Antonini allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings and suffered the loss by a 5-3 count to Camden. This is his second Atlantic League season after pitching in 13 games (one start) for the Riversharks in 2013. That year, he was 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA, allowing 18 runs in 20 and two-thirds innings. Against the Ducks, he allowed a run on three hits in two innings of relief.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 287th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish, the most for the Ducks against any other Atlantic League opponent. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a slim 144-142 margin and has a 79-63 advantage at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Tonight is also the second of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks won the 2014 series 11-9 and were 7-3 in Bridgeport. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

Rotation Domination: Despite taking the loss, Mickey Jannis continued the dominance for the Ducks’ starting rotation on Tuesday. In 11 games thus far, Ducks starters have given up 12 runs (10 earned) in 59.2 innings of work, good for a 1.51 ERA. In that span, the starters have allowed just 40 hits and 16 walks while striking out 43 batters. Long Island has allowed three runs or less in eight of their 11 games and has a 6-0 record when holding opponents to two runs or less.

Going Streaking: Bryan Sabatella is currently on a six-game on-base streak. During the stretch, he has compiled nine hits in 24 at-bats (.375 AVG) with three doubles, one homer, four RBI, five runs and five walks…Lew Ford has reached base safely in his last five games. During the stretch, Ford has eight hits in 19 at-bats (.421 AVG) with three doubles, three RBI, two runs and three walks.

Spring Success Stories: Long Island’s three pitchers who were Spring Training invitees all threw scoreless relief appearances on Tuesday. Bruce Kern, Frank DeJiulio, Jr. and Matt Soren combined to throw two hitless innings and struck out three batters in the game. This year, the three have combined to allow four runs in nine and two-thirds innings of work, good for a 3.72 ERA.

Frying the Fish: Tonight’s starter, John Brownell, has made 10 career starts against the Bluefish as a member of the Ducks (four in 2013 and six in 2014). He has a combined record of 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA and six complete games against Bridgeport. In his 10 starts, the righty has allowed 28 runs (21 earned) on 62 hits and 16 walks while striking out 50 batters in 72 innings. Brownell has a 4-0 record with a miniscule 1.93 ERA in five starts at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, yielding just eight earned runs on 29 hits and eight walks while striking out 28 batters.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast is the “Ducks Game of the Week” and can be heard on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also be available online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play. Fans can also follow a pitch-by-pitch account of the game via Pointstreak’s GameLive application by CLICKING HERE.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#28 Prentice Redman – DH
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#29 Evan Crawford – LF
#11  Reegie Corona – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Bluefish
#5   Nick Van Stratten – CF
#22 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#7   James Simmons – LF
#32 Andres Rodriguez – 1B
#26 John Alonso – DH
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#12 Ryan Babineau – C
#6   Luis Rodriguez – 2B
#2   Ildemaro Vargas – SS

#33 Mike Antonini – LHP

We’ll have updates throughout the game here as the Ducks try to even up the Ferry Cup Series. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:06): We are underway at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard as Mike Antonini faces Bryan Sabatella!

UPDATE (7:19): END 1: After allowing a leadoff triple to Van Stratten, Brownell strands him at third by inducing a popout, a strikeout and a groundout!

UPDATE (7:42): BOT 2: Bluefish score three runs on a RBI single by Luis Rodriguez, a double play grounder and a throwing error by Puckett.

UPDATE (8:02): BOT 3: A two-run home run to left field by John Alonso has extended the lead to 5-0.

UPDATE (8:37): BOT 5: Back-to-back doubles by Alonso and Dotel give the Bluefish a sixth run in the ballgame.

UPDATE (9:00): BOT 6: James Simmons lifts a sacrifice fly to right to increase Bridgeport’s lead to seven.

UPDATE (9:15): BOT 7: Ryan Babineau picks up a run-scoring infield single to extend the lead to 8-0.

UPDATE (9:38): BOT 8: A RBI groundout off the bat of Simmons ups the lead to nine after eight.

UPDATE (9:45): FINAL: Bluefish take the game 9-0 over the Ducks. Series finale will be Thursday night at 7:05.

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Posted on May 6, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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