On an 83 degree day that felt more like late July, the Long Island Ducks were just as hot, taking the rubber match from their rival Bridgeport Bluefish.
Another quality performance from right hander Dennis O’Grady set the stage for a game that stayed close at one to nothing in favor of the Bluefish, until the sixth inning. O’Grady worked the strike zone with outstanding command and control. Using the entire plate and mixing his selection of pitches enough to keep the fish guessing. His curve and slider had very good breaking action, especially when used on the middle to outside part of the plate to righties. The only run off of him came in the fifth inning. After a one out triple to Bluefish right fielder lefty Andrew Lambo, a ball that was misjudged, turning a double into a triple. The run (unearned) came in on a wild pitch that Duck’s catcher Jordon Pacheco could of made a better effort blocking.
Today baseball is played differently from fifteen to twenty years ago, in that you would have never seen a starter taken out in the sixth inning with a one run lead. Bluefish manager Luis Rodriguez saw fit to bring in Long Island native and former Yankee righty Danny Burawa in relief of lefty starter Chris Rearick, who had given up only three hits in five innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Burawa who has had control and command issues throughout his career, proceeded to walk the only three batters the would face, a hat trick that set the stage for a take-out order of “Duck Delight.”
With the table set for the hungry men in orange Duck uniforms today, Pacheco and Elmer Reyes delivered singles to right, plating three runs. That was followed by a two RBI Mark Krauss double. And just like that, the “Flock” had a five run inning. It was the most runs scored by the Ducks in a single inning this season.
The Bluefish ended up using a total of six pitchers With their last being righty Manny Delcarmen, who allowed a monster blast to center field by Angelo Songco, his eleventh of the year. Then after a walk to Pacheco, Krauss blasted a shot to right center for his third and forth RBI’s of the game.
I have to mention the fact that the Duck’s fans, were treated to some of the best defensive play you will see at any level from their middle infield. The combination of Dan Lyons at shortstop and Elmer Reyes at second, is well worth the price of admission to this fan and family friendly ballpark. They turned in two double plays today that would be number one on any highlight video today.
Also, don’t be surprised if O’Grady follows righty Tim Melville soon to a major league club. There were scouts at the game who left after he finished his stellar performance. Melville had his contract purchased yesterday, by the Minnesota Twins of the American League and will report to AAA Rochester, N.Y.
Today the Ducks cast their net over the Bluefish, packed them in ice and sent them back across the sound.