Image Source: Brian Kersey/Getty Images North America

August 19, 2011: Cubs beat Cardinals with walk-off in 10th

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings on this date in 2011. Yadier Molina and David Freese each homered. The Cardinals led this game 4-2 heading into the seventh inning, but the bullpen could not hold the lead. The Cubs got a run in the seventh and another in the eighth to tie it. In the bottom of the 10th, Tyler Colvin got an RBI single to win the game. The Cardinals dropped to 66-59 and were now fading in the playoff races. They were 7.5 games behind both the Milwaukee Brewers for the division lead and the Atlanta Braves for the Wild Card spot.

A Season of Walk-Offs

As I was writing up all these posts and looking over the results of this season, it seemed like the Cardinals lost a ton of games like this one in a walk-0ff. I looked back at the 10 seasons from 2005 to 2015, and my hunch was somewhat correct. The Cardinals had 13 walk-off losses in 2011, against only seven walk-off wins. They also had 13 walk-off losses in 2008, but that year they had 11 walk-off wins. The only other time they had 20 different games end in a walk-off was 2006 when they went 10-10 in such games. So the walk-off was pretty harsh to the Cardinals in 2011, at least in the regular season. Does playing in so many tight games help a team prepare for the playoffs? Who knows. Fortunately, this game was the Cardinals’ last walk-off loss of the season.

Video highlights:

Molina’s two-run homer

Theriot and Furcal fake a double play to fool Campana and allow Jay to turn two

Tyler Colvin’s tenth inning walk-off hit

CBS St. Louis / AP – Cubs Top Cards Before Largest Crowd at Wrigley Since 1978

CHICAGO (AP) — Tyler Colvin’s RBI single in the 10th inning off Octavio Dotel lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Geovany Soto led off the 10th with a single off Dotel (0-2), advanced to second on Marlon Byrd’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Colvin’s hit to center field just hours after the Cubs fired general manager Jim Hendry.

Soto also had a game-tying RBI double in the eighth inning. Darwin Barney homered and tripled, and Starlin Castro added two hits for the Cubs. Sean Marshall (6-5) pitched a perfect 10th to earn the win.

Castro, who leads the NL with 162 hits, has 301 in his career. He is the fifth Cubs player to pass 300 in his first two seasons.

Chicago beat the rival Cardinals for just the third time in 10 games this season, delighting a home crowd of 42,343 — the largest at Wrigley Field since the home opener in 1978.

LumberKings 5, River Bandits 2

The River Bandits lost to the Clinton LumberKings on this date 5-2 at Alliant Energy Field in Clinton. The Bandits’ only runs came in the fourth inning on hits by Geoffrey Klein and Packy Elkins. LumberKings pitcher Anthony Fernandez had ten strikeouts over five innings to earn the win. Kalien Sams homered, doubled and drove in two runs for the LumberKings. Oscar Taveras went hitless in five at bats to drop his batting average to .361. The loss dropped the Bandits to 70-52 on the season.

 

lessons-learned1

Benchwarmer Baseball Lessons Learned

This season has been maddening. Just when I think one of my teams is finally in a position to put together some wins, they go on an extended losing streak. Then at other times my teams put together a nice stretch with a lot of wins for no apparent reason. Here is what I’m talking about:

East Village Howlers (49-59, 12GB)

This team recently went through a horrendous 1-9 stretch. Then they recovered and went 7-2 in their next 9 games. I knew this team was not going to contend this year, so I was a seller. I traded closer Seung Hwan Oh for Pirates prospect Austin Meadows. I was also able to extend Carlos Correa’s contract though 2018. This team is a work in progress. The goal is to add players around Correa’s age so that they have a nice core group to build around. Besides Meadows the players that could be part of this core are Luke Weaver,  Mike Foltynewicz, J.P. Crawford, and Alex Bregman. I’ve also hung onto Alex Cobb. He will be cheap as he tries to come back from Tommy John surgery next season.

Las Vega$ Chickabooms (54-54, 3GB)

This is my one team that is still in contention, which is inexplicable, other than the fact they are in a pretty weak division. This is an orphan team I took over halfway through last season when they were awful. They went 59-91 last year. I knew they would be a challenge to rebuild, which would be fun. I don’t consider them “rebuilt” by any means. They are just in a very weak division. I was actually a seller with this team as well again this season. I traded closer Kenley Janson for Yankees slugging prospect Greg Bird and young Brewers pitching prospect Luis Ortiz. Bird may be able to help next season and Ortiz maybe the season after that.

Like East Village, this team had a horrible stretch before rebounding. They recently lost seven in a row, then recovered and went 9-2 in their next 11 games to claw back into contention.

St. Louis Prefectos (52-56, 8GB)

This team had a six game winning streak followed by a seven game losing steak. Since then they’ve won three of four games. They are in the Experts League, and the division they are in is really hard. Their 52-56 record is good for last place. This team had a large amount of money to spend, and so I extended the contracts of eight players. They also have Greg Bird and Corey Spangenburg waiting in the wings, along with Marco Gonzalez and a few other decent prospects. The hope is that the young players combined with the eight with contract extensions will leave enough money to be able to re-sign Paul Goldschmidt and Max Scherzer, and still have enough left over to add a piece or two to the starting rotation. This team isn’t that far from being very good, especially if any of the other teams in the division mercifully take a step back next season.

California Whip (51-57, 10GB)

This is a team that went 88-62 last season and won their division by 11 games. The main reason for their decline is the fact that Dallas Keuchel and Jose Abreu went from star players last season to average players this season. They also have Max Scherzer. The declines in Abreu and Keuchel’s salaries should help me be able to re-sign Scherzer. This team is not that far from turning it around. If Abreu and Keuchel can rebound at all and become above average players again, and then if I can get good contributions form young players like Aledmys Diaz, Vincent Velasquez, Mike Foltynewicz,  Luke Weaver and others, they could rebound next season. This team also had the recent seven game losing streak, which seems standard for my teams.

Pelee Island Pintails (53-55, 16GB)

A few weeks ago when I wrote about whether I was going to buy or sell with my various teams, I knew I should sell with this team. At the time, they were 41-31 and had the best record of any of my teams, but they were still seven games back in their division. Since then they’ve gone a horrendous 12-24. The bulk of the damage was done during a 12 game losing streak. Ouch.

Back when they were 41-31, I looked at this team’s hitting and pitching and I knew their record was largely due to luck and expected a drop off. I tried selling closers Brad Zeigler and Steve Cishek but could not find a buyer for them. Still, this team has a nice core to build around. I was able to extend the contracts of Rougned Odor and Mark Trumbo who are both having big seasons. Other nice pieces include Addison Russell, Aledmys Diaz, Michael Conforto, Vincent Velasquez, Mike Foltynewicz,  Luke Weaver and Kyle Schwarber.

This team has been hurt by injuries, too. Brett Lawrie, Michael Pelfrey, Colby Lewis, Prince Fielder, Schwarber, among others. Some of these players are missed more than others obviously, but all of the injuries have resulted in this team getting stuck with a number of Benchwarmer subs. Read about how bad that is here.

Davenport Blue Sox (55-53, 9GB)

This is a team that I felt could take a step forward. I felt their record didn’t indicate how good they were. Back when I previously wrote about them they were 38-34 and 6GB. I was a buyer with this team, trading Michael Conforto, Brad Zeigler and Jurisckon Profar for Chris Sale and a handful of throw-in prospects. Starting pitching has been this team’s problem all season, like most of my teams. I was hoping Sale would solidify the rotation and give this team an ace, since Keuchel is not pitching like an ace this season. Unfortunately, this team has continued to flounder around .500. I should not have a huge problem re-signing Chris Sale for next season with this team. They too have a nice core group to work with – Christian Yelich, Rougned Odor, Addison Russell, Vincent Velasquez, Mike Foltynewicz, David Dahl, and Lewis Brinson.

What would I do differently?

As the season has progressed, these are a few strategic changes I plan to make for next season:

  1. Be more aggressive earlier in the season about cutting underperforming players. I had talked about this in previous posts. Early in the season, there are usually free agents available that no one has signed but who are starting to have a good season. Once you get to a certain point in the season, those players are gone. I waited too long to cut some of my underperforming players and missed out on be able to replace them with these kind of players. I kept hoping my players would rebound, but they never did.
  2. Use my minor league slots more for fill-in players. I have been carrying too many players who take too long to get to the majors. Sometimes it makes sense to carry a player for a couple seasons while they develop in the minors, if they are expected to be a star. It probably makes sense to carry 5 or 6 players that are pure prospects. You can carry up to 12 players though in the “minors” as long as they have a salary below 250. I need to use more of these slots on players who have graduated to the majors, even if they aren’t that great of a player. It will give me more depth. A few of my teams losing streaks coincided with injuries, and I got stuck with too many Benchwarmer subs.
  3. Have more cash on hand if at all possible. I kind of alluded to this in this previous post about contract extensions, but I suspect doing more than 5 or 6 contract extensions in a lot of cases is overkill. I signed 8 players to extensions with one of my teams but that was because they had so much money on hand ($12 million). I could have maybe cut that back to 7 extensions and still been OK. Regardless, I think having $3 million to $5 million cash on hand during the season, if you can pull it off, can be a big advantage.
a-rod-appleton-foxes

A Brief Look Back At When A-Rod Played In The Midwest League

One weekend in April 1994 I was home from college for the weekend with one of my college friends. My dad took us to opening day at John O’Donnell Stadium to see the Appleton Foxes play the Quad Cities River Bandits.

Everyone even then was aware of the hype surrounding Alex Rodriguez. He made his professional debut with the Foxes that day. We watched all his at bats. We got to see his first pro hit, which I believe was a simple ground ball that found a hole.

A-Rod ended up playing 65 games for the Foxes and put up a .984 OPS before moving up. Impressive for an 18 year old in the Midwest League. In Appleton A-Rod was teammates with Raul Ibanez, who was overshadowed despite being four years older than him.

The picture above is from this article, which is a flashback article from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (formerly the Apppleton Foxes). Go read it, it’s an excellent article. Here is a part of it:

The Appleton Foxes are taking batting practice during a chilly, overcast afternoon at Goodland Field.

Alex Rodriguez is at shortstop when a sharply hit ball glances off the top of his glove and bounces into left field.

The error delights coaches Delwyn Young and Juan Eichelberger.

“Hey, Bootsie!” Young yells.

“We got him that time!” Eichelberger adds, standing on the mound.

Rodriguez grins.

Whatever complications he finds off the field, baseball is still just a game. A game he enjoys.

“I think I am still a kid and that’s what makes it fun for me,” Rodriguez said. “Baseball’s just coming out and having a good time for three hours and at the same time having a chance to entertain people.”

But the three hours open to public view are only part of the picture of Rodriguez’s life.

He just plain stands out.

The Seattle Mariners assigned the 18-year-old Rodriguez to the Class A Foxes in his first full pro season for several reasons, according to Jim Beattie, the Mariners’ director of player development.

One of the, Beattie said, is that “Appleton is a nice, cozy town. It’s easy to get around. We think he will find it comfortable there.”

Cozy.

In other words, quiet, slow, out of the limelight.

But trying to tuck the top pick in the 1993 June free-agent draft away – in Appleton or anywhere else – is like a circus keeping the elephant in a field down the road. Everybody still knows it’s there.

Basically, a media circus has been following A-Rod everywhere he went since he was about 17 years old. I can only speculate what impact that can have on someone’s personality. Some players handle it better than others. It’s a lot to ask of such a young person.

A number of things he did over the years were disappointing, the steroids being the worst. He brought a lot of the media scrutiny on himself. At least when it came to his professional life, the place he seemed most comfortable by far was on the field.

 

Teoscar Hernandez (1)

Teoscar Hernandez Homers In Astros Debut

Teoscar Hernandez completed a 4 1/2 year journey from rookie ball at age 18 to the Majors at age 23 by homering in his MLB debut. In all, he went 2 for 5 with a walk as the Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 in Toronto.

When the underperforming Carloz Gomez was designated for assignment this week, it opened up an outfield slot. Hernandez earned the callup by putting up a .865 OPS in 38 games at AAA Fresno this season.

Hernandez joins former teammates Carlos Correa, Tony Kemp, Vincent Velasquez, Lance McCullers, and Chris Devenski as players that have all graduated to the Major Leagues from the 2013 Quad Cities River Bandits team that won the Midwest League title. He was a big contributor to that River bandits team. He batted leadoff most of the season and scored 97 runs in 123 games, and had a .763 OPS.

Players like Correa and McCullers justifiably got most of the attention back then, but players like Hernandez and Velasquez were also excellent. In the minors, players like that are the difference between an average roster and a deep, good roster.

Hernandez also has speed which helps him on the basepaths and in the field. He stole 151 bases in the minors and was caught stealing 47 times. He is projected to be a slightly above average fielder and baserunner.

Hernandez’s challenge will be in keeping his strikeout numbers down, while keeping his hard contact up. He succeeded in doing that at Fresno this season, when he had only a 15.6% strikeout rate with a slugging percentage of .500. However he has struggled with this at times. Last season at AA Corpus Christi the rate was 24.5% and back in 2013 with the Bandits it was 23.9%. Fangraphs projects him to have a 23.4% strikeout rate in the Majors.

Fangrahs had this to say about him prior to this season:

Hernandez isn’t far away from being a five-tool outfielder, with pitch recognition and plate discipline representing the only areas of improvement needed to get him there. Granted, those are very difficult skills to improve, especially as you face continuously better competition climbing the minor league ladder. He managed to cut his strikeouts in Double-A last season. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of his quality of contact, a tradeoff that was too much to put up decent numbers.

He will most likely find a happy medium between the two to keep his strikeouts somewhat in check while maintaining his ability to drive the ball. However, that puts him more in the platoon/below-average starter range, especially with his defense being fringy for full-time center-field duty.

Here is a link to video of yesterday’s home run.

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

August 12, 2011: Cardinals win 6-1, Bandits fall 5-2

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on this date in 2011. Kyle Lohse pitched well, going six and one-third innings and only allowing one run. Jason Motte and Kyle McClellan held the Rockies scoreless the rest of the way.

Most of the offense was provided in the sixth inning. The first six batters all reached base, on four singles, a double and an intentional walk. David Freese drove in three runs in the game and Lance Berkman reached base four times, on a double and three walks. The win improved the Cardinals’ record to 64-55. They were four games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the division lead, and six games behind the Braves for the National League Wild Card lead.

CBS Sports – Pujols, Freese powers Cardinals past Rockies

ST. LOUIS — Kyle Lohse responded to getting bumped in the rotation with a strong outing. He wasn’t about to criticize manager Tony La Russa’s decision.

“I’ve felt fine physically,” Lohse said after working into the seventh inning in a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. “Tony’s going to set the matchups the way he wants, and I’m ready whenever he wants me to be ready.”

Albert Pujols followed up a 4-for-4 game with two hits and the go-ahead RBI, and David Freese had two hits and three RBI, two of them in a five-run sixth that chased Aaron Cook (2-7). Matt Holliday returned after missing two games with a lower back injury and had an RBI double, while Lohse contributed his first Busch Stadium RBI in nearly two seasons.

Burlington Bees 5, River Bandits 2

The Burlington Bees beat the Quad Cities River Bandits 5-2 on this date in 2011. The Bees spoiled a great start by Bandits’ pitcher Boone Whiting. He struck out 10 batters and walked none over seven innings, and allowed two runs on four hits. The Bandits’ bullpen allowed three runs in the top of the eighth, which was the difference in the game.

Michael Swinson and Kolten Wong sat out this game with an injuries. They were both placed on the disabled list the next day. Wong had been on a torrid streak as described in the article below. Their roster spots were replaced Edgar Lara and Joey Bergman. Oscar Taveras went one for two with a double and two walks. The Bandits’ dropped to 68-48 on the season.

Quad City Times – Bees’ rally stings Bandits

Two Quad-Cities lineup regulars were placed on the disabled list Friday, but it was an eighth-inning rally by Burlington that stung the River Bandits the most.

“It was a tough one, but I have confidence in our pen. I have confidence that they’ll figure it out, and we’ve showed over the last six days that we can score runs,” Quad-Cities pitcher Boone Whiting said after the 5-2 Midwest League loss at Modern Woodmen Park.

The Bees broke a 2-2 tie with three unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning after Quad-Cities turned the bullpen after Whiting struck out 10 and did not walk a batter while scattering four hits over a seven-inning start.

Jose Crisotomo drove home the deciding run, slicing a single up the middle to score Nino Leyja, who had reached on a one-out error by shortstop Ronny Gil.

The River Bandits played without second baseman Kolten Wong and outfielder Michael Swinson on Friday.

Wong, the Cardinals’ first-round selection in the 2011 draft, will miss anywhere from 10 days to two weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered while sliding after hitting an eighth-inning single in Thursday’s game against the Bees.

“Nothing is pulled, but there is some tightness and we will be cautious with it,” River Bandits manager Johnny Rodriguez said.

Wong regularly filled the leadoff spot on the River Bandits’ lineup card and a .415 over his last 10 games raised his batting average .327 through 40 games with Quad-Cities.

 

Photo Source: Darren Hauck/Getty Images

August 2, 2011: Cardinals-Brewers rivalry escalates

This was a key game in the National League Central Division race.  It also exemplifies the kind of battle the Cardinals and Brewers were having in this division race. The Brewers came into this game 3.5 games up on the Cardinals. After this game they would either be 2.5 games ahead or 4.5 games ahead. Tensions were high. The night before, Tony La Russa had filed an official complaint accusing the Brewers of changing the ribbon board lighting inside Miller Park, making it brighter for Brewers hitters and dimmer for Cardinals hitters. This caused some angst among Brewers fans and, well, journalists and everyone else that doesn’t like La Russa or the Cardinals. They would have more to dislike after this game.

The Cardinals went 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the first, the first two Brewers batters got a single and a double. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder drove them in with an RBI ground out and a sacrifice fly to put the Brewers up 2-0.

Matt Holliday homered to lead off the top of the second to make it 2-1. The Brewers got that run back in the bottom of the second on a single, a sacrifice bunt and another single.

The score stayed 2-1 until the top of the fourth. Albert Pujols and Holliday led off with a single and a walk. They advanced to second and third on a deep fly ball to right field by Lance Berkman. Skip Schumaker singled in Pujols and Holliday advanced to third. Daniel Descalso then singled in Holliday. Jaime Garcia came to the plate with Descalso and Schumaker on base and jacked a three-run home run. It was his first career home run.

The Brewers came back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Three of those runs came on a home run by Yuniesky Betancourt. The Brewers now led 7-6.

AP Photo/Morry Gash

AP Photo/Morry Gash

The seventh inning is where the controversy began. Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay each singled to start the inning. Then Pujols came up and was hit by a pitch. Matt Holliday grounded into a double play but Furcal came in to score and tie the game 7-7. In the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals retaliated for Pujols being hit by drilling Ryan Braun with a pitch. La Russa later denied it was intentional, saying they were only trying to pitch inside to Braun, if you believe that.

The next bit of controversy happened in the 10th inning. Yadier Molina was called out on strikes on a pitch was pretty clearly inside. He went ballistic, bumping home plate umpire Rob Drake. It was an ugly tirade and there was some question about whether Molina spit on Drake. Molina claimed it was sweat. It looked more like unintentional spit coming out from him yelling in the umpire’s face. This article has video of the incident. Molina was later suspended five games for the incident.

Lost amid the controversy was how good a job the Cardinals’ bullpen was doing. Combined, Cardinals relievers went six innings, allowed zero runs and only three hits. The Brewers’ bullpen matched them zero for zero until the 11th inning, when Holliday hit a two-out single, then improbably stole second base. Lance Berkman drove him in with a single and the Cardinals went on to win 8-7. The Cardinals stood 2.5 games back and improved to 58-52.

Video highlights:

Holliday’s solo shot

Berkman’s RBI single in the 11th

Schukmaker slides in safe at home

Dotel gets strikeout to end the game

In The Minors: Bandits 3, Kernels 2

Kolten Wong led the River Bandits to victory with three hits including a double to lead off the game. He failed to score in the first but he drove in the game’s first run in the top of the third inning on a single. Colin Walsh doubled that inning to put the Bandits up 2-0. Walsh also doubled in a run in the top of the eighth inning for the Bandits’ third run. Ryan Copeland had a very strong start for the Bandits. He went seven innings, allowed one run, seven hits, no walks and had six strikeouts. Randal Grichuk played in this game for the Kernels and went one for four. Here is a link to the box score. The win moved the Bandits to 20 games over .500 at 63-43.

Quad City Times – River Bandits hold off Kernels

Quad-Cities starter Ryan Copeland surrendered seven hits in seven innings, but all of them were singles and none led to a run as the River Bandits eked out a 3-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Copeland struck out six and gave up one unearned run to earn his fourth win of the season. He worked into trouble early in the game by giving up four hits in the first two innings, but escaped unscathed each time.

Kolten Wong and Colin Walsh both had three hits and an RBI for the River Bandits. Walsh’s RBI came on an eighth-inning double that scored Jonathan Rodriguez and put the game out of reach for the Kernels.

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

July 30, 2011: Cards Beat Cubs 13-5 Amid Controversy

This was another typical wild game between the Cubs and Cardinals. The Cubs took advantage of an error and two walks to score five runs in the top of the first inning. The big blows were a three-run double by Geovany Soto and a two-run home run by Alfonso Soriano. The Cardinals got two runs back in the bottom of the first on a home run by Albert Pujols, a double by Matt Holliday who was driven in on a single by Skip Schumaker.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cubs’ starter Rodrigo Lopez unraveled. Kyle Lohse grounded out to start the inning. Then the Cardinals got a single, double and then an intentional walk to Pujols. Holliday then got a bases loaded walk and Lopez was replaced by Jeff Samardzija. The Cardinals got three more walks (one was intentional) with a single and a double mixed in. In all the Cardinals scored eight runs in the inning to take a 10-5 lead. The Cardinals would add three more runs, two of which came on a David Freese home run.

There was some controversy in the fifth inning during that eight run rally. According to this article this is what happened:

Reliever Jeff Samardzija entered and Freese hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to shortstop Starlin Castro to start a double play. However, a hard slide by Holliday took out Castro as Jay scored. As he was lying on the infield, Pujols scooted home to tie it at 5.

Cubs manager Mike Quade come out to argue and was ejected by second base umpire Derryl Cousins.

“There’s not much to talk about,” Quade said. “I disagreed with Derry’s assessment that is was a clean play. I think that’s why they have the rule in place. There wasn’t an attempt at the bag and he got a pretty good piece of Castro as well.

“That was a huge play obviously in the game, too. It gets us out of there with a 5-3 lead.”

The win put the Cardinals at 57-50 on the season, 1.5 games back of the Brewers.

Here are a couple video highlights:

Holliday’s Bases Loaded Walk

Freese’s Two Run Homer

Cougars 5, River Bandits 4

In the Midwest League the River Bandits lost 5-4 to the Kane County Cougars. The Cougars got all five of their runs in the top of the first inning. Orlando Calixte dealt the big blow with a grand slam. The River Bandits chipped away at the lead and got it to within 5-4 after the bottom of the fifth innning. Niether team scored after the fifth inning, as the bullpens combined to throw eight shutout innings and only allowed four hits. Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras each went one for five in this game. The Bandits’ record dropped to 60-43 with the loss.

Quad City Times – Bandits’ rally falls short

Michael Swinson provided Quad-Cities with a couple of late-inning opportunities Saturday, but the River Bandits could not complete the comeback.

Kane County grabbed a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and held on for a 5-4 Midwest League victory in a matchup of Western Division leaders at Modern Woodmen Park.

A grand slam by the Cougars’ Orlando Calixte proved to be too much for Quad-Cities to overcome, although the River Bandits had chances to extend a four-game winning streak.

Swinson provided the River Bandits with both of those chances.

After a two-run double by Chris Edmondson and an RBI single by Victor Sanchez had pulled Quad-Cities to within a run after five innings, Swinson tripled to open the bottom of the sixth.

Two innings later, he doubled with two outs, and in both instances the Bandits were unable to score Swinson with the tying run.

“Good teams do the little things well. We didn’t do the little things well all night,” Quad-Cities manager Johnny Rodriguez said. “After the first inning, our pitchers gave us a chance, but we could not get anything done. We could not move the runners, have good at-bats. Our offensive execution was sickening.”