The Harrisburg Senators lost their 2006 home finale to the Altoona Curve 4-2 this afternoon on City Island. The Senators just couldn't get their offense going the entire game, and Altoona's 3-run rally in the 6th inning off of losing pitcher Garrett Mock proved to be the difference. The game was scoreless until the 3rd inning, when the Curve scraped together a run off of Mock to take a 1-0 lead. It remained that way until the pivotal 6th inning, when Altoona used 3 singles, a triple, and a stolen base to put post a 3-spot and take a 4-0 lead. The hosts mounted their own rally in the bottom of the frame, using a Trey Webb single (in his first game in a Harrisburg Senators uniform since his call-up from Potomac), a Kory Casto HBP, and a Prentice Redman infield single to load the bases with nobody out. Frank Diaz then hit would appeared to be a double-play ball to the Altoona 3rd baseman, but he fell before he threw to 2nd base. He recovered and managed to throw from his knees and still get the force out at 2nd, but the play plated Webb and kept runners at the corners with 1 out while making the score 4-1. Unfortunately, Cristian Guerrero and Rich Lane struck out in succession to end the threat. That was the Senators' best threat of the game, and the visitors pretty much coasted to victory from there. Harrisburg scored their 2nd run on their only hit in the last 3 innings, a home run by Guerrero to straightaway LF with 1 out in the 9th inning that made the game 4-2. However, Lane and Russ Cleveland were easily retired to end the game.
General game notes:
- There was a light rain throughout much of the game, which grew steadier in the middle innings, but the game was not delayed, either at the start or during the game.
- The 3rd base umpire appeared to make (what appeared from my angle above the Senators' dugout on the 1st base side) a poor call on a ball hit by Russ Cleveland that looked like it went right over the 3rd base bag and would have been an easy double. Instead, the man in blue ruled the ball a foul ball, and Cleveland promptly struck out, one of 3 strikeouts for the poor-hitting catcher.
- Despite the loss, the Senators had a good season record-wise in games I attended on City Island this year, going 16-10 in 24 appearances (including 2 doubleheaders). I also saw them lose a game at Binghamton.
Individual player notes:
Kory Casto - had a quiet 0 for 3 game at the plate with a hit-by-pitch. His August slump has lowered his batting average to .279 and his OPS to about .870, down from the .900+ OPS level he's been at most of the season. In the field, he played the entire game at 3rd base and made 2 noteworthy plays. First, he made a spectacular stop on a ball just inside the foul line and made a strong and very accurate throw to 1st base to rob Altoona of a hit. Then, he made a very fine play on a high chopper towards shortstop, cutting the ball off and starting a 5-4-3 double play. Quite honestly, it's a shame Casto is blocked by Ryan Zimmerman at 3rd base, because Casto IMO can be a good, defensive major league 3rd baseman (though not as good as the rarely comparable Zimmerman).
Frank Diaz - went 0 for 4 at the plate with a strikeout. His average fell to .258 and his OBP/SLG numbers (especially the former) remain poor. In the field he was once again solid, making a couple of decent plays in CF.
Prentice Redman - had a 1 for 3 game with a single and a walk. His batting average is now at .283 and his OPS is around the .835 mark, down from earlier in the year due to a late season slump (a common situation on the Senators). He played in LF and made no real plays of note.
Garrett Mock - fell to 0-4 with the Senators as he gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 8 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 4 men. He was reasonably effective (i.e. he wasn't overpowering but he also wasn't shaky) until he gave up 3 runs in the 6th inning. His ERA with Harrisburg fell by over 2 runs to 10.26.
Dan Foli - pitched 1 scoreless inning, giving up a walk while also striking out 1 batter. His ERA fell to 5.09.MILB.com box score
This will be my last Harrisburg Senators game report for the 2006 season. I hope you enjoyed them.