A colleague called it, a "freak-show" kind of game. It was that Saturday. Why? Well the game featured eight pitchers; 15 combined runs on 21 hits and five errors; one side batting-around in the eighth; the other side batting-around in the ninth; a wild bottom of the ninth comeback rally from the Travs when they looked for sure to be out of it; and an equally wild play to end it when a kid, who flew all day to get there, was thrown out at the plate on what would have been the sixth and tying run in the frame. Even a guy in the dizzy-bat-race got knocked cold when he crashed in to his fellow-contestant and lay on the field for some time before being assisted off.
In the end the Travelers lost another one-run game 8-7 to Northwest Arkansas, its seventhstraight loss and 14th of the past 18. It also marked the first Double-A loss for the Angels' #4 left-handed prospect, Trevor Reckling (3-1), who turned twenty Friday.
Reckling had only thrown 49 pitches with no runs through the first four innings, but in the fifth alone he threw 30 pitches and allowed three runs on a double, two singles, two walks ,and a balk. He faced the first two batters in the sixth, who reached on an error and a single, before he was removed.
His counter-part, #2 Royals' prospect Daniel Cortes although giving up six walks, which the Travs never cashed in, left after five without allowing a hit on 98 pitches with 2 K's.
Ironically it was Cortes (2-4) and Reckling who matched up back in April during Trevor's Double-A debut at Dickey-Stephens, which Reckling won.
Despite the loss center fielder Peter Bourjos stretched his consecutive hit-streak to 16 games.
He entered the game hitting a team-leading .322 and was 2-for-6 for the day. One of those hits with two outs in the bottom of the ninth brought home one run run and nearly another.
And who is this guy, #17? That's twenty two-year-old, 5' 9" 155 pound switch-hitting Ivan Contreras, who flew all day to get to the park for the game and got a hit his first time up, and then contributed to the ninth inning rally with another single before being tagged out at the plate on the play that ended the game after Bourjos lined his hit to deep right-center.
Contreras, a Dominican native, was called-up from extended spring training to replace second baseman Ryan Mount, who sprained his right wrist fouling off a pitch Friday night. Mount has been placed on the 7-day disabled list.
In case you've been wondering, and I know I have, the reason Hank Conger (#24 above and below) isn't playing is because he has a hurt right wrist also. He hasn't played since last Monday on the road, and as far as I could tell no other source has reported on his absence, so I asked him. He has not been placed on the DL and wasn't sure when he would see action. He called it minor, so maybe he'll see action tomorrow (Sunday.)
There was a surprise in the Travelers' lockers Friday when the team arrived at the park for the start of the four-game home stand against Northwest Arkansas. New alternate, red jerseys that look great but didn't help as the team gave up a lead late and lost to the Naturals 4-3 in ten. Left fielder #5 Nate Sutton (above) had a very nice Friday night at the plate going four-for-four with a triple, a double, and two singles.
General Manager Pete Laven said the team really didn't have an alternate jersey besides the batting practice jerseys and said these were designed to be especially cool during the hot-humid days approaching.
Happy Memorial Day everyone and God bless our troops.
-- Lonesome Traveler