Lowly Memphis Pounds Staff Ace
Over the duration of a five-month, 144-game baseball schedule, there are bound to be unexplainable nights like this. Statistics and trends be damned.
On the list of forgettable outings this season for the Albuquerque Isotopes, this one was near the top as the 25-games-under-.500 Memphis Redbirds thrashed the 15-games-over-.500 Isotopes 11-4 on Tuesday night at Isotopes Park.
“That wasn’t very good,” Albuquerque manager Lorenzo Bundy said.
|Tuesday Memphis 11, Albuquerque 4 Today
Memphis at Albuquerque, 7:05 p.m. Radio: KNML-AM (610)
There were numerous numerical oddities contained within this result.
Albuquerque staff ace John Ely was not only outpitched, which is a rarity, but he also had his worst outing since Opening Day. The fourth-leading scoring offense in the Pacific Coast League was outpunched by the team with the league’s worst batting average, no less. And the second-winningest home team in the league was soundly beaten by the league’s third-worst road team.
To dispatch with the good news – of which there was precious little Tuesday – here are the two nuggets the locals could extract from an otherwise forgettable July evening:
First, center fielder Elian Herrera extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a fourth-inning single to left. That ties the franchise record, last accomplished by Jamie Hoffmann in 2010.
Second … well, there was no second, unless you count Josh Fields’ two-RBI effort or Brian Cavazos-Galvez’s cosmetic two-run homer in the ninth.
On the whole, the between-innings promotions elicited more stirring from the announced crowd of 7,926 than most anything that occurred between the lines.
Ely carried a 3.22 ERA into this start, but yielded six earned runs in five innings. This was Ely’s 19th start of the year, and easily his most rugged outing since surrendering seven earned runs in three innings at Iowa in the season opener. He hadn’t given up more than four earned runs in the 17 starts between Opening Day and Tuesday.
“We can’t ask anymore from him,” Bundy said of Ely. “He’s been our best guy, by far. (It) just wasn’t his night.”
Ely’s counterpart, John Gast – Memphis’ ace and now a solid 8-2 – scattered seven hits in seven highly effective innings.
The hit count produced another oddity; Albuquerque outhit Memphis 13-12.
“Their lefty did a nice job,” Bundy. “We kind of had a little game plan of taking him up the middle and the other way, but we didn’t execute it. Or he didn’t let us execute it.”
There was a certain symmetry to Memphis’ four-hit, four-run, fourth inning. Matt Adams smashed a two-run, opposite-field home run in the fifth, just to the left of the 428-foot sign in left-center, for a 6-0 bulge. Memphis scored the game’s first seven.
Coming into Tuesday, Albuquerque’s 33 home victories were second only to Omaha’s 36. And only one team in the PCL, Tucson, had won fewer road games (15 entering Tuesday) than Memphis’ 18.
NOTE: One of the more unusual aspects of this series is that it is being officiated by a four-man crew. Normally, PCL series employ three umpires, but Angel Campos, a Major League fill-in, is the fourth member.