Funny pitching matchup in game 1. Frank Castillo for the Hogs, at 0-5 with an 11.07 ERA on the year, and Jim Parque for the Wheelers, 1-5 with a 13.95 ERA on the year. And you know what? It was a pitcher’s duel. Going into the bottom of the 8th, the score was 2-1 Hogs. David Oriz had hit his 2nd RBI single of the day in the 5th to push the Hogs to that 2-1 lead. The Wheelers manager decided to leave Parque in just a hair too long, into that 8th inning, though. He gave up 3 singles and a HBP before being lifted. It was still 3-1 at the time, but his replacement, Henry, allowed a sac fly and a 2-run pinch triple by Valentin. At the end of the storm, it was 6-1 Hogs, and they thought it was over. Not so fast. New Mexico got 3 runs back in the 9th, and had Sosa at the plate as the tying run, but he K’ed to thwart the threat and give Karren a 6-4 win.
Game 2 was title “The Revenge of Barcelo”. Inflamed by Ockey’s comments earlier in the week after his tough outing against Bay Area, he pitched like a man possessed to solidify his spot in the Cy Young arms race. He allowed only 5 hits, 0 walks, and 1 run in 7.2 innings for the easy win. He and Woody are now 1-2 in the league in Winning Percentage, Batting average, OBP, SLG, and WHIP. He’s the first pitcher to 5-0 on the year now. He had some serious help, too, in this one. The Hogs crushed Radke, who came into the game with the league’s 5th best ERA. The Hogs tagged him for 5 homers, and finished with 7 in the game – 2 each by Hansen and Hundley. McGwire and Sheff also homered. These 4 guys each have .300+/.400+/.600+ numbers. I appreciate that. On a bizarre note, I’d recently noticed that my SS, Valentin, had a great fielding percentage for me this year even though his card is horrible on that count. Well, in tonight’s game he had THREE errors. A PTP record you never want to have? Hogs win 10-1.