Game recap from the TinCaps:
TinCaps drop playoff opener at West Michigan, 5-2
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (September 9, 2015) – The TinCaps lost their playoff opener to the West Michigan Whitecaps, 5-2, at Fifth Third Ballpark on Wednesday night. Game 2 in the best-of-three series is set for 7:05 pm Thursday at Parkview Field.
The Whitecaps, who won the Eastern Division’s second half wild card, raced out to a 5-0 lead through the first four innings against TinCaps starter Dinelson Lamet. During the regular season, the right-hander led Fort Wayne in strikeouts (120) and had the highest strikeout per nine inning ratio (10.2) in the Midwest League among pitchers with 100-plus innings. He struck out at least one batter in all 26 of his regular appearances. But on Wednesday, he didn’t record a strikeout while allowing four hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings and 81 pitches.
West Michigan put up an unearned run in the first, two runs in the second, and another two in the third (one earned). The Whitecaps did damage despite their three-five hitters going a combined 0-for-12.
The TinCaps, who won the Eastern Division’s second half title, got a run back in the top of the fifth inning. Designated hitter Franchy Cordero hit a two-out, opposite-field double to the left-field corner that scored second baseman Luis Urias from second base. Urias had singled up the middle with one out and advanced to second on a groundout.
Cordero also had doubled in the third inning but wound up stranded at third. The visitors went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.
Fort Wayne trimmed its deficit to three, 5-2, when first baseman Trae Santos led off the sixth with a solo home run off Spencer Turnbull. That was as close as the TinCaps would get, though.
Turnbull struck out seven over six innings and 100 pitches.
Both bullpens were phenomenal. Bryan Verbitsky (2 2/3 IP, 4 K) and Taylor Cox (1 2/3 IP) blanked West Michigan to keep Fort Wayne in the game. But Trey Teakell (2 IP) and Joe Jimenez (1 IP) were just as sharp.
The Whitecaps also made several impressive defensive plays, including this catch by second baseman David Gonzalez in the sixth inning.
The good news for the TinCaps is that they return to Parkview Field on Thursday, where they had the Midwest League’s best home record during the regular season (46-25).
Righty Ernesto Montas, who threw seven one-run innings against West Michigan last Friday, will take the ball for Fort Wayne in Game 2 against another righty in A.J. Ladwig.
Game 2 of the Eastern Division Semifinals can be heard on ESPN Radio 1380, Box Score, and the TuneIn Radio app, and seen on Comcast Network 81.
Just like during the regular season, Thirsty Thursday drink prices will be offered. Tickets for Thursday’s playoff game at Parkview Field remain available at TinCapsTickets.com and the Parkview Field Ticket Office, or by calling 260-482-6400.