Game 85: Ducks at Bluefish
Thanks to a much-needed offensive outburst, the Ducks salvaged a series split with the York Revolution on Thursday night at Bethpage Ballpark. The Flock used 13 team hits to earn a 5-2 win. Every Ducks starter except one had at least one hit in the victory, bringing Long Island to 7-7 in the second half. The team now goes into a big weekend series with the first-place Bridgeport Bluefish.
For the only time in the series, the Ducks were the first team to get on the scoreboard on Thursday, putting up a pair of runs in the third and fourth frames off of York starter Logan Williamson. Jon Griffin’s team-leading 12th homer of the season put the Ducks up 2-0 in the third. Griffin is now tied for the league lead in home runs once again with Kevin Rivers (Lancaster) and Chris Wallace (Sugar Land). Delta Cleary, Jr., who had a big day at the plate to break out of a slump, bounced a two-run single into center field one inning later to make it a 4-0 Long Island lead. Brandon Boggs’ two-run homer for the Revs in the fifth cut the Long Island lead to 4-2. It was his sixth homer of the year. However, Ducks starter Ian Marshall pushed forward and did not allow another run through his six innings of work. Randy Ruiz added an insurance run in the eighth on a RBI double, but Long Island’s pitching already had all the support it needed to complete the win.
Once again, the Ducks’ bullpen was lights out. J.C. Romero, Amalio Diaz, and Ryan Kussmaul combined to allow one hit over the final three innings of the win with four strikeouts. Kussmaul also earned his league-leading 24th save of the season, striking out the side after allowing a leadoff single. Cleary, Jr. finished with three hits including a double, two RBI, one run, and a walk. Griffin picked up a pair of hits including the homer, two RBI, one run, and two walks. Marshall improved to 4-5 with the win, allowing two runs in seven innings. He walked four and struck out five, bringing his ERA to 3.51. Diaz dropped his ERA to 1.35. Williamson fell to 4-7 after he was roughed up for four runs on 11 hits in five innings while walking four.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the series finale
CLICK HERE to view postgame interviews with Ian Marshall, Delta Cleary, Jr., and Jon Griffin
CLICK HERE to view Thursday’s box score
The Ducks will now open a three-game set with the Bluefish at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Darin Downs will take the mound for Long Island in Friday night’s series opener. The southpaw enters at 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA through two starts. He has pitched eight innings across his two appearances, allowing two runs on five hits while walking six and striking out seven. After tossing three shutout innings in Lancaster on July 14, Downs took the loss against the Somerset Patriots in Central Islip on July 19. He allowed two runs on four hits in five innings while walking and striking out four. The Ducks fell 2-1 in Downs’ second start. Bruce Kern has relieved Downs in both of his starts thus far, and could potentially do the same on Friday night. Kern has been outstanding in that role so far.
The Bluefish, who finished in last place in the Liberty Division at 26-44 in the first half of the 2015 season, are now in first place with a 10-4 record in the second half. They will counter with D.J. Mitchell. The righty is currently 4-7 with a 2.95 ERA through 15 starts. He has given up 37 runs (29 earned) on 86 hits in 88 and one-third innings. Mitchell has walked 39 and struck out 66, as the Bluefish have lost in nine of the last 10 games he has started. In each of the losses, Bridgeport has provided Mitchell with no more than four runs of support. The team has scored a total of 14 runs in the nine losses. His last outing came on July 19 at home against Sugar Land, a 4-2 loss to the Skeeters. In five innings, the 28-year-old surrendered three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out two.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 300th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. The Ducks currently lead the series 150-149, but the Bluefish hold an 82-66 advantage in Bridgeport. It is also the 15th of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks lead the series eight to six and have won each of the last seven meetings. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.
Home Cooking: Thursday’s victory improved the Ducks’ home record this season to 31-11. Their .738 home winning percentage is currently the best in the Atlantic League. Somerset ranks second at .682 (30-14). As a team, the Ducks have a .301 batting average and 3.15 ERA at home. Comparatively, they have a .264 batting average and a 3.28 ERA away from Bethpage Ballpark.
Griffin Goes Yard: Jon Griffin’s two-run homer in the third inning on Thursday was his team-leading 12th of the season. In addition, it tied him with Sugar Land’s Chris Wallace and Lancaster’s Kevin Rivers for the most in the Atlantic League. Three of his 12 longballs have come against the York Revolution, and he has gone deep three times in his last eight games after going 12 games without one.
I Can See Cleary Now: With three hits in Thursday’s game, Delta Cleary, Jr. earned his seventh three-hit game of 2015. That ties him with Reegie Corona for the most on the Ducks this season. The outfielder has now amassed 16 multi-hit games overall. His stolen base of second in the third inning was his 18th of the season in 21 attempts. He ranks third in the Atlantic League in stolen bases.
Oh, What a Relief They Are: Amalio Diaz worked another scoreless eighth inning on Thursday. The right-hander has now allowed just two runs over his last 21 appearances, posting a 0.79 ERA in that span. He has given up just 12 hits and one walk over 23 innings in those games while striking out 28 batters. J.C. Romero tossed a scoreless inning in the seventh. The former big leaguer has now made five straight scoreless appearances out of the bullpen. He has given up only two runs in nine and one-third innings since joining the Flock (1.92 ERA).
Walk This Way: The Ducks tied a season-high by drawing a total of eight walks in Thursday’s win. It was the first time Long Island walked eight times since May 20, when they did so at York. The Ducks have now drawn 256 walks this season, which ranks second in the Atlantic League behind Somerset (258).
On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also be available online by CLICKING HERE. Chris Buckley 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:
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#27 Prentice Redman – LF
#11 Blake Davis – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#23 Darin Downs – LHP
#12 Josh Prince – CF
#6 Bryant Nelson – 2B
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#25 Wilson Batista – 3B
#17 Jobduan Morales – DH
#32 Andres Rodriguez – 1B
#16 Brandon Jones – LF
#9 Luis Rodriguez – C
#24 Matt Wessinger – SS
#18 D.J. Mitchell – RHP
Keep it here for updates all game long from The Ballpark at Harbor Yard as the Ducks and Bluefish kick off their three-game series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (7:43): MID 1: Game one of three is underway in Bridgeport!
UPDATE (7:47): BOT 1: Bridgeport leads 1-0 on a run-scoring wild pitch.
UPDATE (8:21): MID 4: Ducks take a 2-1 lead! A throwing error from BPT and a RBI double from Jon Griffin brings home the two runs!
UPDATE (9:00): BOT 6: Bridgeport ties the game at two on a Welington Dotel RBI single.
UPDATE (9:10): BOT 6: Bluefish take a 4-2 lead on a two-run single from Andres Rodriguez.
UPDATE (9:18): BOT 7: Welington Dotel’s second RBI single makes it 5-2 Bridgeport.
UPDATE (9:45): FINAL: Ducks scratch out one run in the ninth but fall 5-3 in game one.
Posted on July 24, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Baseball, Bridgeport Bluefish, Darin Downs, Delta Cleary, Jon Griffin, Jr., Long Island Ducks, Randy Ruiz, York Revolution. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.