Things officially got ugly at Skeldon Stadium yesterday.
The Hens struggled in every phase of the game in losing for the fifth straight time, dropping a 9-0 decision to Buffalo.
And an exasperated Hens manager Bruce Fields thinks that losing streak - as well as the Hens' 19-32 record, second-worst in the International League - has started to affect the team's performance.
“Now it looks mental,” he said of yesterday's loss. “We're going into a game expecting bad things to happen instead of confidently looking for good things to happen.
“We've had several talks in the last few days about where we stand, what we (coaches) see and what needs to change. Obviously that hasn't sunk in.”
Where do you begin to chronicle the Hens' problems last night, as well as during a five-game streak in which the Hens have been outscored 30-2?
How about the pitching, where Adam Bernero was a late replacement for scheduled starter Mark Johnson after Johnson complained of stomach discomfort?
Bernero lasted just five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks. Kris Keller came on and promptly gave up four runs in the sixth inning, thanks to four hits. Things got so bad that, after Mike Miller retired Buffalo in the eighth, shortstop Giomar Guevara came on to pitch the ninth.
In total the Hen pitching staff gave up 15 hits yesterday after the Bisons pounded out 17 in an 8-1 win Monday.
But Hen pitchers weren't entirely to blame; the fielders behind them committed a season-high four errors, including a pair in Buffalo's three-run first inning and two more in a four-run sixth.
Only three of Buffalo's nine runs were earned.
“Our pitching has been good overall but we struggled tonight,” Fields said. “We made some bad pitches here and there, but the defense compounded our problems. You won't win consistently giving a team four or five outs.”
The same can't be said for the Toledo offense, which continued its recent struggles. The Hens have just two runs and 27 hits in those five losses.
It didn't even help that the Bisons were forced to start lefty Jamie Walker, who had worked exclusively as a reliever this season, after scheduled starter Jake Westbrook was called up by the parent Indians before the game.
Last night Toledo managed just four hits and didn't even advance a runner to second until Randall Simon reached second with two outs in the seventh.
NOTES: Danny Peoples was the hitting star for the Bisons, rapping two doubles and a single in five at-bats and driving in six runs. ... Travis Fryman kept his hitting streak alive when he doubled off Guevara with two outs in the ninth. Fryman, with the Bisons on a rehab assignment from Cleveland, now has at least one hit in all seven games in which he has played. ... Lyle Mouton joined the Hens last night and had a single and a walk in four plate appearances. Mouton was signed as a free agent after being waived by Florida. The slugging outfielder had one hit in 17 at-bats with the Marlins.
NORFOLK, Va. - Steve Trachsel, who struggled all season with the New York Mets, pitched a no-hitter last night in his second start with Norfolk.
In a seven-inning opener of a double-header against Ottawa, Trachsel walked three and struck out five in the 3-0 victory. He retired 14 of the first 16 batters, allowing only a second-inning walk to Fernando Seguignol and a groundball in the fourth by Peter Bergeron which was misplayed by shortstop Jorge Velandia for an error. Both were erased on double-play grounders.
He was optioned to Norfolk by the Mets on May 20 to work on his mechanics and control.
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