Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

WOW! Was THAT Ugly!
June 22, 2009, 20:43
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s so bizarre…you can look at last night’s box score on and not have a clue about the insanity that broke out at Hi Corbett Field last night.  Oh sure, there’s a brief reference to a “20 minute delay,” but a fan who missed the game might think that meant Mother Nature broke out a monsoonal blast, instead of the total breakdown of baseball professionalism that we saw actually occur.  And I use “saw” in the metaphorical sense, since I was listening to the game on the radio at home rather than actually witnessing it from in my perfect seat (ha!) in the stands.  Given the mess on the field, that might have been the preferred location to “see” the game:  I’m sure it was difficult for fans at the game to make sense of the activity on the field (and certainly the broadcasters were baffled…but at least had the benefit of announcements from the official scorer to assist in their explaining the calls).  In any case, here’s the story as best I can piece it together… 

Lorenzo Barcelo started for the Toros last night and for the second consecutive outing, didn’t show his best stuff to the visiting Yuma Scorpions.  Through his eight innings of work, Lorenzo surrendered 10 hits and three runs (only two earned).  Credit him with allowing no walks – and striking out a cool seven – even though he took his second loss for the season.  He’s still a formidable force on the mound for our Toros.  Yuma scored first, in the third inning, but Tucson answered immediately with a solo homer – his first for the Toros – by new SS Ryan Priddy in the bottom of the same inning.  The Scorpions put up an additional two runs in the top of the 5th inning which Tucson could not immediately answer.  Well, they tried to…but all hell broke loose in the bottom of that inning and there’s no telling whether Tucson was cheated of the potential for more runs.  The call in B/5 went something like this:  newest new guy, 3B Bryan Bass (not an exceptional debut, but let’s be patient:  he hasn’t played ball in at least a year!) walked to 1B…Luis Apodaca got a base hit…Priddy bunted the pair over a base each to bring 2B Skip Adams to the plate.  From here the radio guys called this:  Skip’s ball to OF was not caught…and Bass was tagged out at Home.  And then the umpires lost control of the game!  The Scorpions left the field, apparently convinced that they had turned a triple play:  caught Skip’s fly ball, tagged Bass at home, AND gotten a force out at 2B on Priddy.  Although not the original call from the umps, the Scorpions seemed to convince them that the triple play had occurred.  Tucson responded in kind:  getting in the face of the officials (GM Sean Smock and owner Jay Zucker even took the field) while cops and security monitored the crowd and players for further signs of disruption.  Twenty minutes of total confusion later and the officials had decided that Skip’s ball was an out…that Bass was out at Home…that Priddy was safe.  The Yuma pitcher then came close to provoking an international incident (the Yuma Scorpions are an affiliate of the Colombian Professional Baseball League) when he plunked the very next Tucson batter to come up to the plate, Lyndon Poole.  That was it for that Scorpion pitcher (their starter).  Unfortunately, the next guy to the mound got Dustin Yount to ground out and the insane inning had, finally, come to an end.  No runs for the Toros…and a lot of people losing hair from scratching their heads too hard!

Lorenzo held the Scorpions for the rest of his outing…and Tucson put up another run in the 7th (RBI to my man – back in his usual position as catcher – Luis Apodaca), scored by Bass following his first hit as a Toro (given his night – he was charged with two of our three on-field errors – that was a real nice surprise and a relief for him, I’m sure!).  But, to be honest with you, the Toros really couldn’t get much on any of the latter Yuma pitchers.  Reid Price closed for the Toros:  he allowed a hit and had two Ks in the final inning, but didn’t allow a run (took him 22 pitches to get there, though). 

Aside from the crazy 5th, it was actually just a pretty closely played game (and series) which the Toros eventually lost.  In fact, the Scorpions – for all their bottom-of-the-Division stats – are a surprisingly good team.  It’s a pity the focus of last night’s game was the fracas with the umpires:  it would’ve otherwise been a very nice match.  

BottomlineYuma, 3; Tucson, 2.  Series to the Scorpions. 

Transaction and Schedule Notes.  The Toros put brand new pitcher, Rene Garcia, on the inactive list to make room for Bass on the roster.  The decision was made easier by the fact that Rene’s passport has not yet arrived and the Toros’ next stop is Calgary, Canada (series starts there on Friday, Jun 26th).  But first, the Toros will sit through another “No Tijuana” break here at home.  There will be an interesting exhibition game mixing baseball and pro wrestling this Thursday at Hi Corbett…hey, it’s silly fun AND Thirsty Thursday!  How can you think of missing it? 

(Disclaimer – this posting not reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Toros, the Reno Aces, Diamondbacks, PCL, MiLB, MLB, Golden Baseball League, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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