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Six run lead? Safe? don't count on it. that's good news out west, not so good closer to home.

The Lansing Lugnuts came into Thursday's game down 1-0 in the three game playoff series and in a must win situation. they had to feel pretty good with Justin Nicolino on the mound. Nicolino did his part early, cruising through the first four innings, after walking the lead-off hitter in the game.

Meanwhile, Lansing's offense gave him a comfortable cushion. In the bottom of the third Chris Schaffer led off with a double and Brett lawrie reached by way of an error. With two on and one out light-hitting Chris Hawkins drilled a homer to right to give the 'Nuts a three run lead.

In the bottom of the 4th a lead-off single was doubled home by Gus Pierre, who came around to score three batters later when Shane Opitz grounded into a force out. After a pitching change Lawrie tripled to score Opitz and move the score to 6-0 Lansing.

In the fifth, Ft. Wayne had two baserunners for the first time after a lead-off single and a walk. Another single loaded the bases with one out and  a ground ball out forced the first Tin Caps run across. On the next batter a Brett Lawrie error allowed a second run to score.

Nicolino exited after five having done his job, charged with a single earned run. Ian kadish held the Ft. Wayne squad scoreless in the sixth but things began to unravel in the 7th inning. A Lead off homer followed by walks issued to two of the next three batters ended his night. Kramer Champlin came on to try and put out the fire. Another Lawrie error loaded the bases, then Champln walked in the Tin Cap's 4th run of the evening. A ground out and a single each plated another run before the inning ended and the score was tied.

A lead off double in the 8th, followed by a sac bunt and eventually singled home would give Ft. Wayne the lead for good. With two outs in the ninth, Ajay Meyer hit a batter, the next batter reached on a KC Hobson error and Ft. Wayne's Lee Orr (who was unstoppable on the night with two doubles and a homer in five trips) doubled home the two runners for insurance.

Statistically, Brett Lawrie (who will presumably move on to Toronto now) was 3 for 4, but did have those two errors. Hawkins, Nick Bailgod and Chris Schaeffer each registered two hits and Scheaffer also doubled.

Final Score Lansing 6, Ft. Wayne 9


The flip-side of "no lead is safe" worked to the benefit of the resilient Vancouver Canadians as they went up 1-0 in the NWL Championship series. The Canadians have been riding the road alternate black uni's for luck for some time now and the pattern held on this night.

Like Lansing, the Canadians had to feel good about their starter tonight but alas, it was not Javiar Avendano's night. in his last 9 appearances, totalling 47 innings of work, he'd allowed a mere 4 earned runs (while striking out 56) - in his four (official) innings against Boise he matched that total. Two line drive singles and a ground out manufactured a second inning run, which was answered by Vancouver in the bottom half when Art Charles collected a lead-off walk and later scored on a Carlos Ramirez double.
 A single, an error and a double plated another opposition in the third to give the Bosie squad a 2-1 lead as the teams headed to the 5th inning.

In the top of the fifth, the first three batters reached on a walk, a single, and another walk and that was it for Avendano. Colton turner came on and promptly walked in a run, and allowed an RBI single (LF Matt Newman gunned down a second runner trying to score). another ground out scored a third run and pushed the Boise lead to 5-1.

More damage in the top of the sixth as Tucker Donahue took over and walked the first two batters of the inning, and was replaced by Eric Brown. A wild pitch and a SB moved up the runners, and a single scored both. 7-1 Boise.

the Vancouver offense began to warm up in the bottom of the sixth. Christian Lopes led off with a single and Carlos Ramirez drew a walk and after Dwight Smith struck out, fan-favorite Jorge Flores doubled in both runners. but the real noise broke out in the seventh.

Balbino Fuenmayor led off with a line drive single and Art Charles followed with a big fly to CF and the Boise lead was down to two. Newman struck out, Lopes reached error, and Ramirez grounded into a force out which erased lopes but then stole 2nd. Tucker Frawley delivered a two-out single to score Ramirez, the pitcher was changed and Flores immediately walked to continue the rally. DJ Davis reached via an error and the bases were loaded. Kellen Sweeney drew a walk and another run scored, then
after a pitching change (again) Balbino Fuenmayor singled home two runs and a wild pitch led to the seventh Vancouver run of the inning before it mercifully (for Boise) ended.

Will Browning and Andrew Sikula pitched a scoreless inning of relief to close it out.

Lopes was 3 for 5 on the night, Fuenmayor had two, both in the big 7th inning, and the XBH you know about.

Final Score: Vancouver 10, Boise 7

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Gerry - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#263145) #
Lansing were eliminated and neither Aaron Sanchez or Anthony DeSclafani pitched.   One of them would have been due to start game 3 but the other one could have/should have been used in relief.
bpoz - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#263146) #
I don't mean to sell Jorge Flores short but he may not crack the top 30 prospects list.

I hope he is rewarded by getting MVP, All Star recognition or something. I also hope that he gets consideration for a spot in Lansing next year.
Actually looking at his numbers, they are not WOW. So it must be that he impressed me relative to his peers.
bpoz - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#263147) #
I agree with you Gerry.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#263149) #

I asked about that last night Gerry.  Basically they didn't want to take Sanchez out of a starting routine.  Had they won last night, it sounds like Sanchez would have gone the first three and DeSclafani would have gone five in relief.  They just didn't want to play around with changing roles, at least Sanchez's, in this situation.

I do agree though, they went down saving two guns for a day that won't come until April which is tomorrow.

greenfrog - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#263150) #
Could the Lawrie errors be karma for adding a ringer to the lineup during the playoffs?
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#263151) #
Thanks, LF.  It says something that the club didn't want Sanchez to go more than 3 innings in the playoffs.  He has only thrown 90 innings this year. 

That being the case, I don't know why they wouldn't have put Sanchez in relief late in the season (as he had been earlier) and make the second game a Nicolino/Sanchez game, with DeScialfini on to start for game 3. 

92-93 - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#263155) #
Reminds me of Canada & Ernie Whitt holding Scott Richmond back in the WBC for a game that never happened.
ayjackson - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#263156) #
Lawrie could have just as easily booted the game away with Sanchez on the mound.  I guess he just wanted to get back to the bigs quickly.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#263157) #

Well, in fairness he didn't boot two.  He dropped one on the transfer trying to turn a double play when he honestly probably should have just gone to first.  The second one was a ball that he took his eye off the ball and lifted his glove too early and the ball scooted underneath it, so I guess one boot, one mental as well as physical blunder.

greenfrog - Friday, September 07 2012 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#263158) #
Speaking of Lawrie, there was an interesting discussion during last night's O's - Yankees broadcast about Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games streak (2,632). The commentators speculated that his record might never be broken. Which made me wonder: how many consecutive games would Ripken have managed had he played on the lovely artificial surfaces in Toronto (Exhibition Stadium or the Skydome/RC)?

My guess is he might have lasted a few seasons before sustaining a turf-related injury necessitating some bench or DL time. No way he gets to 1500 consecutive games, and he probably doesn't reach 1000.

Tony Fernandez had a couple of full seasons in a row. Alomar never had consecutive full seasons. Delgado had two consecutive full seasons in 2000-01. Bell had five consecutive seasons of 156-159 games. Upshaw had a couple of 160-game seasons in a row. Bautista, Hill, Devo, Moseby, Barfield, Gruber, McGriff: nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

I guess it's pretty obvious where I stand when it comes to the merits of field turf.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 08 2012 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#263181) #
Roberto Osuna is bringing his A game tonight- a 2 hit shutout with 7 Ks through 4 innings. 
damos - Saturday, September 08 2012 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#263183) #
And now 9 strikeouts through 5.  Jeez.  Kids got some stuff.  That's a pretty strong Boise lineup he's facing.
Gerry - Sunday, September 09 2012 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#263193) #
Vancouver had a tough loss last night. They took a lead to the bottom of the seventh and lost it. They took a lead to the bottom of the eighth and lost it. They took a tie to the bottom of the ninth and lost it. The bullpen gave up runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Deciding game is today.
Gerry - Sunday, September 09 2012 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#263224) #
It's a doozy in Boise tonight.

Vancouver took a 2-0 lead in the first
Boise scored four off Taylor Cole to go up 4-2.
Tucker Frawley hit a 2 run HR to tie it at 4
DJ Davis, who is 2-2, singled and scored on a Jorge Flores single.

Vancouver lead 5-4 in the middle of the fourth.
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