On Wednesday, a terrible crime took place at
Memorial Stadium in Garden City; the Boise Hawks were brutally murdered by the
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in an 11-0 drubbing in front of a nearly-sold-out crowd.
Luckily, no fans were drowned in the bloodbath last night.
Slightly resembling a Hitchcock thriller, the Boise
Hawks completely lost control of a feasible win against their rivals, the
Volcanoes. Despite his 8.22 ERA at nights end, John Mincone pitched four
quality innings for the club, giving up three “earned” runs while fanning three
Volcanoes hitters and only walking one.
In the fourth inning, Mincone suffered his first so-called
earned run after Daniel Brock of the Volcanoes singled to Hawks center fielder,
Runey Davis, who, instead of attempting a throw to home to catch the rounding
Jose Medina, double pumped and proceeded to lob the ball into the awaiting
cut-off. This was just the first of many lackluster plays by the home team.
Don’t be mistaken, the Volcanoes crushed the ball
all evening, but it was the lack of concern by the defense that made this game inexcusable.
In his fifth inning, Mincone was given a wild pitch, after Boise catcher, Jeff
Vigurs once again couldn’t squeeze the pitch, allowing Carlos Quintana of the
Volcanoes to score. On the next batter, with a runner on third, Mincone forced
Salem-Keizer second baseman, Raynor Campbell to hit a sharp grounder to Brandon
May at third base. Instead of attempting the double play – there was also a runner
on first who was close to the base to begin with because of Mincone’s strong
pick-off move – or gunning out the runner at home, May went for the easy play
at first base, leading to Mincone’s removal from the game.
Earlier in the season, manager, Jody Davis, told me
that the main goal for them was to “train players to get to Chicago” and “if we’re
winning past the sixth inning we try to win the game.” But when a pitcher has
such a positive outing, only to be ruined by complacent fielding, shouldn’t
there be some disciplinary action even at such a low level of professional
After Mincone’s removal, the flood gates opened
wide. Salem-Keizer scored two runs in the fifth inning, followed by six in the
sixth and two in the seventh, to improve their already sizeable lead to 11-0.
The Volcanoes had 18 hits on the night to match Boise’s tow. Surprisingly,
though, the Hawks only committed two errors in their worst lost of the season.
The small error total is most likely due to Davis’
decision to remove starting shortstop, Arismendy Alcantara from the lineup – he
has made four of the team’s 11 errors in 2010 – while sliding George Mathues
over from his third base position, and putting Brandon May at third.
An interesting side not, to start the game, it appeared
that Davis wasn’t looking for run support for his starting pitcher, Mincone
(0-2), after multiple Hawks hitters were either looking for the walk with timid
approaches, or attempting to bunt for an infield hit.
Whatever the outcome of last night’s game, there’s
always another one waiting tomorrow – the beauty of short season baseball. The
Hawks will play Salem-Keizer in the fourth game of their five game series in which
Boise looks to get their second win at home in 2010.