Where to start. Well, the game sucked. Good night, everybody! That’s the short version. The C’s just looked flat in this one despite a sold-out crowd at Nat Bailey Stadium on a beautiful Monday night, losing to Everett 10-0.
After taking two of three in Spokane to begin the regular season, a couple of new recruits joined the C’s in time for last night’s game. Second-round pick J.B. Woodman and fifth-rounder Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, landed in Vancouver and were in the starting lineup.
Woodman had a very memorable first at-bat as he hit one down the right field line and was motoring around the bases. After he rounded second, he just kept going and looked to have scored on an inside-the-park home run. However, the umps were slow to call Woodman’s a hit a ground-rule double. That was as far as Woodman got as his two-out double was stranded after a Christian Williams strikeout.
Biggio had an interesting night with the glove in the second inning. He was in perfect position to field a ground ball at second in the second inning but the ball hit by David Greer took a funny hop and bounced over his head for a base hit that led to the first two runs of the game. On the next play, Biggio dove to his right to snare a liner and rob Nick Zammarelli of a base hit.
Patrick Murphy did his best to keep the C’s within striking distance. The Blue Jays third-round pick in 2013 went six solid innings, giving up one earned run out of three on six hits and a walk while whiffing two. He did touch 97 miles per hour on the radar gun but was around 91-94. His offspeed stuff clocked in at 78, 79, 84 and 88 MPH at various points. The righthander did a nice job of erasing a leadoff single but inducing a 6-4-3 double play and getting Mariners 2016 first round pick Kyle Lewis to ground out to end the first.
A leadoff walk was Murphy’s downfall in the second and it was compounded by errors from Bryan Lizardo at third base and by Juan Tejada in right field on Greer’s bad-hop base hit. Murphy settled down nicely in the middle innings, retiring 11 in a row at one point but he may have been tiring in the sixth when the AquaSox lined a couple of singles and a sacrifice fly to produce one more run to make it 3-0. Still, it was an encouraging outing for Murphy, who has had a tough time staying healthy since turning pro.
Stuart Holmes could not keep Everett down in the seventh and got just one out, giving up four runs on two singles, a double, a triple and a hit by pitch. His one out was a liner to left so the lefty wasn’t fooling anyone on this night. Griffin Glaude did a nice job in relief, pitching 1-2/3 scoreless innings and striking out two to offset two walks. Both K’s registered at 91 MPH. Matthew Smoral was slapped around for three runs in the ninth in his return to Vancouver. A leadoff walk, a double, a hit by pitch and another walk all figured into the carnage. At least Smoral is back on the mound after taking one in the face last season in Bluefield.
The C’s bats were dreadful as Everett starter Ljay Newsome threw seven innings of shutout ball on two hits, striking out six and walking nobody. He never threw a 90 MPH pitch all night. Joselito Cano, second cousin of Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, hit three batters but still preserved the shutout over the last two innings. Jacob Anderson had a hit and a walk and was the only C’s hitter to get on base twice. Vancouver were held to three hits, a walk and three hit by pitches.
The two sides are back at it again Tuesday and Wednesday. The press notes say Luis Sanchez and Justin Maese are the probable starters for the C’s.
The beauty of baseball is there’s always tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t get any uglier than it did in this one.