Scrappers lose franchise record 11th straight game, 6-3
By Hayden Grove
July 14, 2013
NILES, OH- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers made history on Saturday night, as they lost their franchise record eleventh-straight game to the Vermont Lake Monsters by a final score of 6-3.
In 2001, the Scrappers went on a ten game losing streak that ended on July 21st of the same year. The 2013 Scrappers bested that with consecutive loss number 11 on Saturday night.
During the streak, the Scrappers have been swept three times and have been outscored by a combined mark of 71-33.
While the players may not be aware of the significance of the streak, Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak and the coaching staff seemed to be pretty upset with yet another loss.
“I’m not sure how much they take it to heart like we do in here,” said Kubiak. “They’re doing the best they can, I guess is what I can say. They’re in a learning process. Going through this is a big learning process, besides all the other stuff they’re trying to get through and figure out.”
Kubiak, however, doesn’t seem to have the answers for the glaring problems that face the defeated Scrappers.
“The problem with the young guys is, they can do it when you’re there and pushing them and forcing them to do it,” explained Kubiak. “When they’re left on their own, they can resort to what they were doing in the past. They can’t make that change, they can’t make that adjustment, and they can’t seem to get a feel for it. I’ve tried to figure out what that is and I have no clue.”
“I’ve tried to figure out the answer to that and I can’t. Over the years, I can’t come up with anything.”
As for whether or not this was a turning point, Kubiak interrupted, “that should have been a week ago, not now.”
Robel Garica seemed to be the only one who knew the tragic-circumstances and took it into his own hands to avoid history.
Garcia was 2-4 on the night, including his second home run of the season in the bottom of the second inning. WithJames Roberts on first base, Garcia put a charge into one that left the yard deep over the wall in left-centerfield. The Scrappers took a 2-1 lead on the two-run bomb, but couldn’t hold the lead thanks to a terrible fifth inning from Scrappers starter Caleb Hamrick.
Hamrick fought through four innings of one run work, but the levees finally broke and the Lake Monsters took the lead.
After walking Boog Powell- no relation to the legendary Baltimore Oriole of the same name- Hamrick allowed left fielder BJ Boyd to hit a rope deep over the wall in right-center field, giving the Lake Monsters a 3-2 lead. Designated hitter Ryan Huck followed with a bomb of his own, a solo shot that gave Vermont a 4-2 edge.
Hamrick got out of the inning, but pitched him and his team right out of a win. In five innings, Hamrick allowed four runs on eight hits, struck out three, and walked two, while throwing two wild pitches.
The Scrappers would add a run in the sixth on an RBI single from Cleveland-native Brian Ruiz, bringing them to within a run.
Vermont responded, however, adding two of their own in the top of the eighth, thanks to an errant throw from catcherRyan Battaglia and an inexcusable lapse from pitcher Holmbert, in which he failed to cover first base on a slow grounder to the first baseman.
Down 6-3 in the eighth, the Scrappers had the wind taken out of their sails and went down without a much of a fight, completing the historic evening.
The Scrappers will try, again, to end this slide Sunday night against the Lake Monsters, as they start Rob Whitenack (1-3, 4.24) against Gregory Paulino (2-2, 2.42) on Princess Night from Eastwood Field.
First pitch is set for 5:05.