from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at www.gsohoppers.com….Interesting read and the Hoppers’ James Wooster thought he scored the phantom run and I did too, I already had it down the in Andy Durham Graham Sporting Goods scorebook….
All streaks must come to an end
Baseball is a sport where no team wins them all.
And so the Hoppers’ 16-game winning streak at home came to an end Saturday night when Lakewood got the best of them, 4-3. It was Greensboro’s first loss in NewBridge Bank Park since April 10, also at the hands of the BlueClaws. The team stands 20-3 at home this season.
The Hoppers’ overall record dropped to 30-11, but they maintained a six-game lead over Hagerstown in the Northern Division because the Suns were drubbed by Delmarva, 9-1.
A long time ago, back when the Greensboro Hornets were in the process of winning a staggering 98 games in a season, they had a long winning streak snapped when they were beaten 8-0.
“Now that’s the way to end a winning streak,” I remember manager Bob Schaefer saying. “Eight to nothing and their guy pitches a hell of a game.”
His point was that there was nothing to second guess, no lingering “what ifs” in that scenario. The other team just came out and played better.
Saturday, there were some “what ifs” for Hoppers, leading manager David Berg to lament “too many mistakes.” Two errors in the fourth inning led to four unearned runs against pitcher Jose Urena. But Urena contributed to the damage by walking in a run with the bases loaded and then failing to back up catcher Wilfredo Gimenez on a play at home plate.
Carlos Perdomo’s single drove in two Lakewood runs and a third scored when center fielder Rand Smith’s throw was high and went over the head of Gimenez. If the pitcher had properly backed up the play, the third run likely wouldn’t have scored.
In the bottom of the fourth, after Josh Adams hit a solo homer, James Wooster hit a one-out double and Terrence Dayleg was hit by a pitch. Smith singled and Wooster crossed the plate but Dayleg was thrown out at third base. The home plate umpire waved off the run, indicating the out at third had been made before Wooster scored.
“I didn’t know what happened,” Wooster said. “I thought I was across the plate (before the play at third base). It’s unfortunate that it happened, but that’s part of the game.””
Berg said the play was so close he wasn’t sure. He tried to hold up Dayleg at second base but the runner may have thought the BlueClaws were going to throw home instead of to third.
So it was a 4-1 game instead of 4-2 and the lost run proved costly. Wooster cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to cut the deficit to one run. Dayleg followed with a single, but Gimenez grounded into a double play to end the game.
Austin Brice, the second part of the piggyback tandem with Urena, pitched his best four innings of the year, allowing one hit and striking out eight.
The Hoppers conclude this home stand with a 4 p.m. game against the BlueClaws Sunday. Adam Conley (4-0) will pitch for Greensboro and try to start another win streak. Berg wasn’t sure if Brent Keys, who sat out Saturday’s game with a hamstring issue, would be available Sunday. He’s the team’s hottest hitter, going 15-for-25 in his last six games.