Errors end pitchers duel
After eight and a half innings of scoreless baseball, two huge Bisons throwing errors cost the Herd two-runs in the ninth-inning as they dropped Friday’s game, 2-0, to Lehigh Valley at Coca-Cola Field.
After Michael O’Conner retired Lehigh Valley in order in the eighth-inning he walked the leadoff batter in the ninth-inning. Ryota Igarashi entered the game and attempted to pick Pete Orr off first base, but Valentino lost the throw and it sailed down the right-field line allowing Orr to scramble to third.
“In Irgarashi’s case he’s got a base-stealer on first and one that warrants a throw, and that’s part of his assignment,” manager Tim Teufel said. “This one got away from him a bit got to the inside and I think hit-off Pasucci and went off into the outfield.”
Irgarashi got the next batter to line-out to Luis Hernandez and then walked Tagg Bozied to set up the double-play ball. But Delwyn Young smacked a ground ball just under Pascucci’s glove and rolled into right-field scoring the first run of the game.
Lehigh Valley added a second run after Raul Chavez let a pick-off throw to first base sail wide of the bag and into right-field. Young moved from first to third and Bozied scored to give the IronPigs a, 2-0, lead in the ninth-inning.
“We didn’t execute at the right time,” Teufel said. “A leadoff walk always hurts, and especially late in the game, and then you compound that with a bad pick-off at first and you put the defense and everybody else in a bad position.”
Michael Schwimer closed out the last two-innings for the IronPigs, giving them the win and a series split with the Bisons.
Chris Schwinden showed why he is a 2011 International League All-Star selection, getting IronPigs to swing at breaking balls in the dirt and whiff on high fastballs cruising bye at the letters. Schwinden retired the first ten-batters in order before giving up a ground-rule double in the third inning.
“I tell you what, Schwinden continues to look good, he did his job and really pitched a great game and had good stuff, had a lot of swing and misses can’t say enough about the job he did,” Teufel said.
Schwinden escaped a bases loaded jam in the fifth-inning after giving up two-singles to leadoff the inning. After giving up a third-single to load the bases Schwinden retired the next two-batters on a strike out and fly-out.
“Me and Chavez were working well together, cutter was working well, curveball, getting them off-speed with the change-up and curveball so that really helped us out a bit today,” said Schwinden.
After escaping the fifth-inning Schwinden retired the next six-IronPigs to face him. He got three consecutive batters on strikes, and two of the three on called third strikes.
Schwinden worked seven-innings, gave up four-hits, and posted eight-strike-outs while giving up no-runs, and got a no-decision for his effort. The eight-strike-outs are the second highest mark Schwinden has reached in 2011. He totaled nine-strike-outs in his first start of the year on April, 14 against Pawtucket.
Schwinden’s counterpart Lehigh Valley starter Brian Bass matched Schwinden’s effort using a heavy sinker to retire 13 of the first 16 batters he faced with ground-ball outs. Not until the final out of the sixth-inning did Bass get a fly-ball out.
The Herd threatened Bass in the first-inning but couldn’t put a run across after getting two-runners on. Statistically Bass has the most trouble in the first-inning, entering Friday’s game with a 8.40 ERA in the first frame.
Game Notes: Chris Schwinden was selected to the 2011 International League All-Star game…Just a day after going, 0-4, and breaking his 19-game hit Nick Evans went, 2-3, with a walk…Since giving up a first-inning homerun on June 26 he has pitched 12 straight scoreless innings.