Senators Notes: Offense sputtering, Fedde’s walk to Walding, and more
The Harrisburg Senators’ homestand ended the same way it began with the offense mired in a week-long slump as the Reading Fightin’ Phils won 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Despite seven hits and two walks, the Senators struggled to cobble sustained rallies together. The Senators put the leadoff batter on base in six of the nine innings but two double plays and poor at-bats contributed to only scoring once off those opportunities.
Harrisburg was hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position and the two runs they scored were a product of the two extra-base hits they had on the evening: a triple by Andrew Stevenson and a solo home run by Drew Ward.
“Running that lineup through we get guys in scoring position but it seems like it’s with two outs,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “The at-bats lately have been quick and early. A lot of early outs. It’s looking like they’re trying to not to strike out, instead of competing and battling.”
In the five games at FNB Field against the Baysox and Phillies, the Senators scored only 10 runs and collectively batted .191 while striking out 48 times.
“It’s just been a tough time offensively scoring runs,” LeCroy said.
Erick Fedde took the hill for his fourth start this season and although the righthander scattered only four hits in seven innings the Washington Nationals’ top pitching prospect collared the loss.
The big blow happened in the fifth inning when Fedde grooved a fastball to opposing pitcher Tom Eshelman who crushed it for a three-run home run. But both manager and pitching coach Chris Michalak pointed to another at-bat earlier in the frame when Fedde walked Mitch Walding as the key to the sequence of fateful events.
“It might not have been the pitch to the pitcher that got him trouble, but it was three hitters before with the walk,” Michalak said. “They always come back to bite you.”
“I thought what got him was when he pitched around the guy that was hitting a buck fifty,” LeCroy said with a slight exaggeration of Walding’s numbers so far this season.
ICYMI — Last Night’s Roll Call
Drew Ward popped his second home run of the season…Wander Suero and RC Orlan each threw a scoreless inning of relief…Ozzie Abreu was removed from the game after the bottom of the second inning for failing to run hard out of the box on a play he was thrown out at second base.
The entire Eastern League has a day off on Thursday before resuming play the next day. The Senators turn to starter Mark Blackmar when they take on the Curve at 6 PM in Altoona at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Friday night.