Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
April 7, 2007: Toledo Mud Hens 14, Louisville Bats 2
Well, yesterday was not a good day for me, and this game sure didn't make it any better. The Hens got revenge for the two previous losses, and in a big way. The announcers wondered if Toledo would set a run-scoring record - then remembered that no, last year they thrashed the Clippers 20-2.
But at least in that Clippers game, Bubba had a good night. Plus, it featured the oddity of seeing third baseman Caonabo Cosme on the mound (the Clippers were desperate, since so many of their arms had been called up by the Yanks for that five-game, two-doubleheader series against the Sox).
Last night's game was just ugly. The Hens scored three runs in the first inning, and never looked back. Bubba did not have a good night at the plate, pushing his average below the Mendoza line. It wasn't his most stellar night in the field, either.
Bubba's first at-bat was in 2nd. One out, none on. He looked at three balls. The fourth pitch was ruled a strike, but the announcers thought it was clearly a ball. He should have gotten the BB. But the umpire disagreed, and Bubba swung at the next pitch, flying out to left field.
Bubba came to the plate in the 5th inning, again with one out, none on. Ball, foul, then a lineout to CF. It was sharply hit, but Perez made a nice running catch.
The sixth inning was the closest the Bats came to mounting a rally. An error, a couple of walks, and a couple of singles put two runs on the board. Bubba came up with the bases loaded, two outs. He put up a fight - ball, called strike, called strike, ball, ball - but went down swinging.
Bubba did finally get on base in the 8th inning. Two on, one out. He swung and missed at the first pitch, then got four straight balls and a walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, Herr, up next, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
So Bubba's line for the night: 0 for 3 with a walk. He's hitting .182 / .308 / .545 / .853. Ouch. But it is of course a very small sample size. He's making contact, so I'm sure he'll turn it around.
The 3 through 6 batters were hitless in this game. Just a bad day for the heart of the order, I guess, since they've hit okay in other games. (Except cleanup hitter Snyder, who is still hitless for the season.)
Bubba played right field pretty well (and was kept pretty busy, as you might guess from the score). There was one bad play in the 6th. The Hens had already scored six runs. With a man on 1B and two outs, a ball dropped between Bubba and CFer Dewayne Wise. Giving Toledo a 7-run inning. It was ruled a double, but the announcers thought someone should have gotten an error. They said either Crosby or Wise could have caught the ball; neither did. Dunno who's to blame. The scorer called it a fly ball to CF. I'll blame Wise. He's the CFer, he should take charge. ;-)
And wait, I change my mind. There was one good thing about this game. The Bats announcers mentioned Val the Bubba Crosby groupie again. She's a former Bats intern, now with the Rays, known for being a "Bubba fanatic." They recently visited her in Tampa, and saw her office. There's only one item of Reds memorabilia in her workspace: a Reds batting helmet, autographed by Bubba. Nice to know she finally got the autograph she wanted. Maybe when the Reds played the Rays during spring training?
The last game of this four-game series is tonight at 6:15pm. Much-touted prospect Homer Bailey will be starting for the Bats.
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