The Rochester Red Wings lost to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Tuesday, 12-5.
The defeat puts the Red Wings at 47-47 on the year, five games back in the International League East race. It’s the first time the Wings have been at .500 since they were 9-9 after their game on April 24. Rochester has not been below .500 since they started the season 0-1 with an opening day loss.
The game started a bit late because of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for longtime Democrat and Chronicle Red Wings beat writer Jim Mandelaro and Twins-era great Justin Morneau.
The ceremonies included a special appearance by Phil Roof, who managed the Red Wings during Morneau’s time in Rochester. Roof proved to be a major topic of Morneau’s speech, as he credited his old skipper with helping him make the final step to the big leagues and remembered the moment Roof told him he would be promoted to the Twins. Morneau also took some time after the ceremony to take a quick picture with Red Wings manager Matthew LeCroy, a teammate of his during his early years in Minnesota.
Once the game began, Red Wings starter Franklyn Kilome ran into some trouble, as a walk, a single, and a successful double-steal put two men in scoring position with no outs. Kilome was able to buckle down, however, and get the next three men out without a run scoring, striking out two in the process. Kilome would have less success in the second and third, however, as the RailRiders jumped ahead to a 4-0 lead, including home runs in the third by Scranton’s Oswald Peraza and Ben Rortvedt.
VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM JOE TERRITO HERE.
The Red Wings found themselves facing left-hander Ken Waldichuk, the Yankees’ number five prospect on MLB.com. Waldichuk, coming off an appearance in the Futures Game. After two fairly uneventful innings at the plate, the Wings began to chip away at the Scranton lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Josh Palacios singled before getting knocked home by Joey Meneses‘ 20th home run of the season to make it 4-2.
Palacios’ single in the third extended his hit streak to 15 games, and his on-base streak to 28 games. Both are the longest active in the International League.
The 4-2 score wouldn’t hold for long, however. Scranton’s bats exploded for six runs in a six-hit fourth inning, as they batted around on Carson Teel to make it 10-2.
Despite the best efforts of the Red Wings, the game never again became truly competitive, although they had their chances. The most notable came in the fourth inning, as Scranton reliever Emmanuel Ramirez lost his pitch-control and had three wild pitches while his third baseman Armando Alvarez had an error. The Red Wings would score two, but an attempt to make it a truly big inning ended, however, when Scranton’s Estevan Florial ran down a well-hit bases-loaded drive into center field by David Dahl to end the inning.
“We didn’t pitch well enough to win,” said LeCroy. “Our at-bats were good, but the hole was just too deep to dig out of.”
The Red Wings will return to play on Wednesday, continuing their series against Scranton at 6:05 p.m. Top Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli is expected to make his first start of the second half against Scranton’s J.P. Sears.
LeCroy says that the team is looking for Cavalli to continue the improvement he’s had this season.
“I’m hoping he throws it over with a good mix, no free passes, and gives us a good chance to win.”
After Wednesday, the two teams will continue to play their series through the weekend.
Let the excuses fly! Anyone care to posit a guess as to why this team has totally fallen apart after being 16 over .500 and leading the IL East?
OK–there has been a lot of movement back and forth between the Wings and their woeful parent team. But that isn’t totally unusual for any team in AAA. With maybe one exception, the ‘core’ hitters have been pretty much the same throughout. The pitching has been consistently inconsistent, sometimes downright awful.
But, bottom line is this team has forgotten how to win those games they used to win in April and May. The excitement, the energy…has all disappeared. Its hard to fathom how a team can lose when outhitting the opponent 14-6..except when you learn the pitchers walked 10 and hit 2. No command at all in the ugly 10th inning. THEN, the next day they face EIGHT pitchers and lose 1-0.
Last nights game was simply ugly. There is nothing there right now.
Why? If this keeps up it may be the biggest collapse in a season in decades of Red Wings baseball. I am not a fan of the Washington Nats, and never have been since they replaced the Expos. So I do have an irrational bias! But in truth, the Nats are a total mess. That isn’t helping.
But as a fan of the Red Wings, this has been very discouraging. Unless somehow, someone can figure out why this team has completely flopped, it will go from the best in the IL to possibly one of the worst by season’s end. Fans are returning to Frontier again, and its a shame that yet again, they are being treated to lousy baseball. It has been said often, that people go to games, not for the baseball anymore. But I can attest that early in the season, when we were winning, the fans were really into the games. The score mattered just as much as the promotions. I won’t go so far as to say the team is an embarrassment now…but maybe……..
Anyway, winning is always more fun than losing. So this is definitely not fun anymore. individual stats are meaningless when you aren’t winning. Look at what is happening in Baltimore. Every night, a new hero…a supercharged dugout and a rejuvenated fanbase. Winning is fun. Losing just breeds excuses.
Anyone who reads these stores care to weigh in???