For some reason, even after Tuesday's 17-inning marathon, the Miners hadn't had enough of their stay at All Pro Freight Stadium. Seth Granger, meanwhile, was tired of hosting them. He sent them packing with a walk-off, RBI single to left-center field. The walk-off gave the Crushers a 3-2 victory, pulling them to within a game of third place in the East, behind the very Miners team they just took two of three from.
39 combined runners were left on base. That’s the key number from Tuesday night turned Wednesday morning’s game between the Crushers and Miners. Both teams blew numerous chances to score, before the Crushers finally took advantage in the bottom of the 17th inning to win 5-4.
The first half of the season saw the Crushers achieve a record of 25-25, which isn’t a bad mark considering they were as many as six games under .500 in the month of June. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara gets us set for the second half of the Crushers season.
After Greys starting pitcher Joe Zeller struck out Craig Hertler for the first out of the game, Greys catcher Chris Kay was so excited that he accidentally spiked the ball into the ground in front of him trying to throw down to third. It was bad, just like the Greys now 18-32 record. But the Crushers did exactly what has to be done when playing against last place teams. They beat the Greys 4-1 behind a dominant starting pitching performance from Matt Rein.
The Crushers quest to reach the .500-mark before the All-Star break will have to be completed another day. After winning on Wednesday afternoon to improve to 23-23 on the season, the Crushers lost to Wild Things 3-1 on Thursday night, dropping to 23-24. Matt Smith was hung with the loss, but he pitched a quality start. He completed six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and striking outs six batters. The loss dropped him to 2-3 on the year.
Craig Hertler drew a leadoff walk in the first and third innings and came around to score both times as the Crushers went on to beat the Wild Things 6-4. The Crushers have now won two in a row have reached an even 23-23 on the season. The loss was Washington’s seventh in eight games.
The Crushers quest to hurdle to the top of the standings continued on Tuesday night, and Craig Hertler supplied the gas in the 4-2 victory over the Washington Wild Things. The Crushers improved to 22-23 with the win, and moved ahead of Washington into fifth place in the East. Washington dropped to 22-24.
It’s hard to be upset with a 4-2 week, but the Crushers have to be disappointed that they lost their weekend series with the Aviators after starting the week by sweeping the ThunderBolts. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara recaps the week that was and more for the Lake Erie Crushers.
On this July fourth, the Windy City ThunderBolts would like to declare their independence from Avon, Oh. The Crushers beat the Bolts 5-1, clinching the series sweep behind a third straight brilliant performance from the starting pitching. Dave Middendorf pitched eight innings, giving up just one run on four hits, striking out three. He earned the win to improve to 6-3 on the season. The Crushers are now 20-21.
Alex Kaminsky threw seven shutout innings against the ThunderBolts en route to a 3-0 Crushers win. Kaminsky improves to 3-4 on the season after allowing just three hits, one walk, and one hit batsman. The Crushers are now 19-21.
Tuesday night’s magic number was two. Two, as in the second complete game shutout Crushers starter Matt Rein has thrown in his last three starts. Two, as in just two hits allowed by the Crushers dominant southpaw. Two, as in this game was essentially over in the second inning, as the Crushers beat the ThunderBolts 11-0. Rein picked up his fourth win as the Crushers improved to 18-21.
Mickey Jannis was just getting ready to eat a sandwich before the game, when he was interrupted by a reporter looking to do a feature piece on him and his return to the Crushers. Without complaint or hesitation, he politely agreed and walked outside to chat. It was ironic that the Crushers’ opponent that day was the Normal CornBelters. It was a nice, normal day, a perfect time to interview the Crushers most normal pitcher.
The second game of the series was completed on Thursday evening, after being suspended due to rain with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Wednesday night. The Crushers were trailing 2-1 when the game was called on Wednesday, but came back to win a bizarre, 10-inning affair 3-2 on a walk-off walk from Kevin Berard.
By sweeping the Normal CornBelters to start the week, and taking two of three from the Schuamberg Boomers, the Crushers recorded their best week long record of the season, going 5-1. They also won a season high five straight games, beginning with the final game against the Rockford Aviators on June 16th.
Twenty-eight batters. That’s all Matt Rein had to get through as he delivered what was without question the best performance out of a Crushers starting pitcher this season. Rein carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning as he went on to pitch a one-hit, complete game shutout and never even broke a sweat in the Crushers' easy 5-0 defeat of the CornBelters.
As the Crushers hitters continue to gain more confidence, they’re starting to get a sense that no matter the score, they’re never out of a game. That’s something that couldn’t be said just a week ago, as the offense was still stuck in its early season funk, but it was certainly true today. The Crushers trailed 3-0 in entering the bottom of the seventh, but fought their way back to win 4-3 in ten innings behind catcher Emmanuel Quiles.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!