The Brantford Red Sox kicked off their playoff matchup Thursday, August 9th at home against Kitchener.
Brantford faced them in what was the de facto game one because the previous night’s game one in Kitchener was cancelled due to rain.
If you thought that Brantford may have lucked their way into home-field advantage, and you’ve seen their record at home (4-14), you would know that may actually serve as a disadvantage.
News to note: Brantford’s David Mendham is playing his last game of the season since he’s going to the States to play college ball. He’s playing at Connors State, according to Pointstreak’s Chad Pomerleau. He turned 19 this year.
According to Pomerleau, he’s leaving a few hours after the game to make the trek down south. The Red Sox wish him well on the field and on his seventeen hour drive.
As per usual at home, Euclides Leyer was getting the start for Brantford. Leyer has been on a roll as of late. His last month has been All-Star quality, but the issue is run support. Leyer can pitch perfect quality, but he can’t win if Brantford doesn’t score any runs.
Leyer has allowed less than two runs in his last four starts and yet Brantford has only given him enough runs to win one of those games. In those outings, he has struck out six, seven, eight, and nine batters. With those numbers, it’s a wonder he’s not 4-0, yet he’s just 1-2.
Leyer (below, spinning a curveball; picture via Crystal Young Photography) needs his team to score if he’s going to be victorious.
Getting to the game, in the second inning, Brian Burton smashed a solo homerun to break the ice in the series.
Meanwhile Brantford continued its hitting struggles at home, as hurler for Kitchener, Noelvis Entenza, was flirting with a no hitter for far too long.
Nic Burdett had a good night in the field, particularly in that same second inning where he had a hand in each of the three outs.
Leftfielder Ricky Murray also had a good game in the field, with a sparkling seventh inning. But again, great fielding (and such great fielding didn’t happen in every inning for Brantford as a team) and solid pitching (which did happen throughout) can only do so much.
Leyer’s line tonight: seven innings pitched, just four hits, two runs, and six strikeouts. A very quality start.
Pitching can’t win games when you don’t score runs. And this game Brantford had just two players with hits. That’s not gonna win many games, when those hits don’t result in any runs. There were many such looks of exasperation as below (picture via Crystal Young Photography).
I caught up with Leyer after the game. Notably deflated, Leyer managed to say he as disappointed.
“It’s too bad,” he said.
The good news was in his finale, Mendham was the player who got two of Brantford’s hits, while Murray got the other, but Brantford needed far more hits from more players than just two to get runs and wins.
Brantford got smothered again in Game 2 in Kitchener, but they did score atleast one run– busting the goose-egg of zero.
They’re going to have to do better than that Sunday in Kitchener or else the Panthers will sweep away the Red Sox from the playoffs and Brantford will not see another Sox game at Arnold Anderson Stadium this year. Cockshutt Park needs more than just minor baseball and Ribfest.
If the Sox pull up their socks and get a win, they will host Game 4 of the best-of-five series Monday night.