Or should that be Cy?
The Columbus Clippers' hitters must feel as though they're going up against legends when they stand in against Toledo pitching.
After dropping a 1-0 decision last night at Fifth Third Field, the Clippers can claim no runs and just 12 hits in the past 20 innings against Mud Hen pitching.
"It's not often you get back-to-back shutouts," said Hens manager Larry Parrish, whose team beat the Clippers 6-0 on Friday night in Columbus.
True enough. The last time Toledo accomplished the feat was June 3-4, 1997.
It should be noted that the Clippers haven't exactly been pounding opposing pitchers. Since the start of May, Columbus is hitting just .232. Last night was the fourth time the Clippers have been shut out in the last 21 games.
"Scary," Columbus manager Bucky Dent said, referring to his team's offense. "I actually thought we were swinging a little better, but we just can't put anything together. I've seen teams struggle before, but not for a whole month."
The Hens also have been economical in their recent run production and would finish with just three hits last night, so it wasn't surprising Parrish played small ball to manufacture the game's only run in the third inning.
Byron Gettis started it by drilling a double to the base of the wall in right-center. Kevin Hooper bunted Gettis to third, and Curtis Granderson delivered the run with a sacrifice fly to center.
That left it up to the Toledo pitchers and, again, they were nothing short of magnificent.
Jason Grilli tossed a complete-game shutout for the Hens on Friday and last night Kenny Baugh bumped his record to 4-3 by striking out eight and allowing just four hits in six innings.
"Jason gave the bullpen a night off, so I knew I'd have plenty of help tonight," Baugh said. "The starters always know we've got guys behind us who can shut it down."
John Ennis, Vic Darensbourg, and Jason Karnuth (10th save) combined to work the last three innings, allowing just two hits.
Third baseman Mike Hessman handled two hot grounders in the ninth, the second to start a game-ending double play.
The Hens scored eight runs in Baugh's last start, but had scored three or fewer runs in four of his five starts prior to that.
Baugh said there's a positive to low run support: "It keeps you locked in and focused. You have to pitch."
NOTES: Jack Hannahan's hot bat was not in the Hens' lineup for the second straight night. He has been suffering back spasms. ... The two-game home series against Columbus concludes tonight at 6 with Sean Douglas (6-1, 2.82 ERA) slated to go for the Hens against Brad Voyles (5-2, 2.72).
Contact Dave Hackenberg at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6398.
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