By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Miami continues its skid in ACC play having dropped its third in their last four resulting from an unsettled starting rotation, a struggling offense and miscues from the defense. Gino summarized it after the game that “we got to do a better Job in ALL phases”. Not having lost a series to Boston since 2013, the Eagles were clearly the better team where 2 of our three starters could not get passed the 3rd inning and all three of their starters went beyond 6. Their hitting was far more consistent in tying their hits together to score runs. When it appeared that Miami was making a run to get back into the game having scored 5 in the 3rd and looking at BL in the 4th with one outs,poor base running changed the course of events for the entire game. Mix in with 2 misplayed balls by the Brothers culminates in the Perfect Storm for Boston capturing the series.
We are down to our final 3 series and Gino is at a loss as not only to the starting lineup, but more importantly to the starting rotation. When the starting rotation can not get beyond the first couple of innings and the bats are so inconsistent where you only have one person batting over 300 something is wrong with this picture and we are looking at a team in turmoil. Today, same faces but in a different order. Lala moved to batting 9th after going 0-7 in the first two games with 5 strikeouts. The importance of getting the lead off batter on base is reason for Gino to move Vilar from batting 2nd to leading off. CDC, being the hottest hitter on the team and the only one over 300 is moved up to bat 2nd. Dominic whose bat has been alive than most of the others moved up to bat 7th after Gil. Carlos Perez stays in the lineup behind the plate batting 8th. DC will stay in RF making Gabe odd man out. Jake Garland on the mound. Last week he was our only starter to give us 6 innings and Gino was hoping more of the same.
Numbers don’t reflect the miscues in the OF but it starts off with Boston’s lead off batter in the 1st which should have been ruled a double and E8 on DC bobbling the ball trying to retrieve it had a runner on 3rd ruled a triple. He would go on to scored two batters later on a single up the middle giving Boston a 1-0 lead.
The second inning saw the collapse of our Sunday starter with 3 straight singles to load the bases to open the inning. Jake would see the end of the second inning from the dugout. Six runs on six hits follow culminating with the last 3 runs brought about after DC lost the ball in RF which brought in 2 runs and a follow-up single for the final run before Jake Smith is brought in for the final out. Miami once again put themselves into an impossible situation of 7-0, end of two.
When things seemed darkest, Carlos Perez leading off the 3rd brought the spark that was so urgently needed to turn the course of a 7 run deficit into a manageable game. Takes the first pitch and sends it over the LF fence for his first HR as a Cane. It provided a burst of energy that appeared to wake up that Sleeping Giant. Lala follows with a walk with back to back single by Vilar and CDC to load the bases. Yoyo gets the third consecutive hit for two additional run. Runners on 2nd and 3d two outs follow without a change in status of the runners. Raymond Gil Changes the playing field with a two run double bringing the 7 run deficit to a manageable 2.
Jake burns the spark brighter in the bottom of the 3rd striking out the side and you could definitely feel the momentum changing. Perez who lit the fuse in the 3rd led off the 4th with a K. Lala and Vilar walk bringing CDC to the plate. Christian executes the perfect SAC down the 3rd base line which would have loaded the bases except for one glaring mistake. Lala is tagged out 2-5 trying to recover getting back to 3rd. The spark burning so bright :PUFF to extinguish.
That miscue marked the the end of any chance to rekindle that spark. It was if life went out of the team. Matters only made worse with a 2 run homer by Luke Gold in the bottom half of the inning to stretch the lead to 4. Miami managed to reclaim a run back in the 6th with a Perez opening triple, but the fire never could get the fuel needed to make a second run at the Eagles. The Eagles answered in the bottom half of the 6th when Bodanza gives up his first hit of the season replaced by Andrew Walters coming in relief delivering a triple to Luke Gold (misplayed by DC) who got called out at the plate trying for an inside the park HR 8-6-2. BAck to a 4 run lead Boston adds an insurance run in the 8th with an RBI double.
Miami never recovered from Lala’s overrunning 3rd back in the 4th when everything was changing favorably for Miami. Miami put on their best display of hits for the 3 game series with 11 but Boston’s 15 were better placed. Miami was only able to get 3 hits (5th,6th,8th) after the 4th. 4 Players with multiple hits: Vilar 2-4; CDC 2-4; Gil 2-4 (2b,2RBIs); Perez 2-4(3b,HR,RBI). Miami batters should wear on their backs “Inconsistency is our Consistency”.
Defense too many mental errors in the OF all by the brothers (2DC,1CDC) and the base running of Lala.
Pitching, what more can to said of our starting rotation. Might see a complete reshuffling next weekend against Appalachian State. With no mid week game. , it is anyone’s guess on who it might be. Just might see the return of Daniel Federman alongside Alex McFarlane and as far fetched as it might seem Carson Palmquest. If our starters can’t get past the 5th or 6th why have a closer? With the Tournament a month away and maybe postseason things don’t look bright in Mudville tonight for the Mighty Canes have once again Struck Out.