Lack of bats no laughing matter as Scrappers fall on Comic Book Night
By Steve Ruman
On Comic Book Night at Eastwood Field, every super hero from Superman to Batman to Wonder Woman could be seen parading throughout the stadium.
Unfortunately, none of them found their way onto the playing field and into the batter’s box when it was the Scrappers’ turn at-bat.
The Scrappers surely could have used some outside help in their 4-0 loss to Brooklyn in front of 5,242 fans.
The setback slows down the Scrappers’ run at the wildcard spot in the New York-Penn League. They are now five games behind the Cyclones in the race.
As has been the case in recent days, the Scrappers’ offense was never able to get on track. Their lone hits in the game came in the form of leadoff singles by Francisco Mejia and Greg Allen in the second sixth innings, respectively.
Three Brooklyn pitchers combined to record 12 strikeouts. Starter Martires Arias (1-0) picked up his first professional win, working six innings and giving up just the two hits while striking out six.
“This has happened all year, how many times have we gone into the fifth or sixth inning with one hit,” said Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak. “The offense has been streaky.
“Overall, we’ve been playing better as of late. All we can look to do is improve these guys as the season goes on, and I believe they have improved. It just didn’t show tonight, certainly not at the plate.”
Scrappers starter Julian Merryweather (1-2) worked four innings, surrendering three hits and one run to suffer the loss. Merryweather’s lone blemish came in the fourth when Brooklyn left fielder Michael Conforto led off with a double, then scored on a Jhoan Urena single.
David Speer entered the game in the fifth to relieve Merryweather and pitched a solid three innings. Speer retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, striking out six in the process.
However, in the eighth, Speer was touched up for three runs on four hits before exiting the game with just one out in the inning.
Though he was a starter in college, the 31/3 innings was Speer’s longest outing with the Scrappers (23-30).
“For three innings I felt like could throw any of my pitches for strikes and any of them for put-away pitches,” Speer said. “I was getting swings and misses on sliders, and they were taking my fastball for called third strikes.
“I made a mistake to the first batter in the eighth and things kind of went downhill from there. In the end I was disappointed with the results, but pretty happy with the way I threw the ball.”
The Scrappers and Cyclones conclude their three-game series at 7:05 tonight.
The Scrappers saw a roster shakeup during their recent seven-day road trip to Tri-City and Vermont. Right-handed pitcher Luis DeJesus was promoted to Carolina. The Scrappers received outfielder David Armendariz from the Arizona Indians. Armendariz was a 23rd-round pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft out of Cal Poly.
Outfielder Josh McAdams injured his left hand diving into first base while trying to avoid a double play. McAdams has been out of the lineup and will be re-evaluated in Cleveland. Outfielder Bradley Zimmer, the Indians’ 2014 top draft pick, injured his head when he ran into the outfield wall while making a game-ending catch at Tri-City. He will also be re-evaluated in Cleveland.