Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dianda Plaza pesters Muckrakers

CONCORD -- Randy Striegel: Going, going, gone!

We refer, of course, to the Muckraker shortstop’s prestigious clout over the left fielder’s head for a two-run home run in the fourth inning last Thursday against Dianda Plaza.

What’s that, you say? Randy no longer works at the Contra Costa Times? Well, shave my head and call me Chapstick. Why is it that we at Muckrakers headquarters are always the last to know?

Regardless of Striegel’s employment status, there’s no doubt he always has a place among the Muckrakers. Shortstops with golden gloves and silver bats are as rare as country hoochies who haven’t cozied up to Roger Clemens.

Despite Regal Striegel’s majestic accomplishments, the Muckrakers sustained their second defeat in a row on Thursday , falling to the Plaza kids 16-7.

Some disturbing early season trends have reared their ugly heads in the youthful summer campaign, ruts the ‘Rakers are looking to shake like skeeterbugs on a Florida swamp.

For the second week in a row, ‘Raker foes put up a funky number in the first inning. April 24, it was the eight-spot embedded by the Blockheads; May 1, Dianda Plaza threw down five before the Muckies had a chance to clear their throats.

Also, ’Rakers run production is declining (22-14-7) while the runs-allowed count is rising (5-10-16).

But you know what? The sun comes up in the morning and the schedule plays out like the grand tapestry that it is. It’s still the early going; the tenacious ’Rakers still have their eye on the ball and their eye on the prize, as well; no easy feat, that.

But there’s no doubt the Men of Muck will need to give their offense a serious re-boot. Against Dianda Plaza, the ’Rakers didn’t impact the scoreboard until the third, when skipper Chris Wagnon singled in a run. In the fourth, Striegel ripped his round-tripper, scoring Dave Alcorn in the process. The Muckies came up with one safety in the fifth as Chace Bryson singled and later scored. And in the seventh, the ’Rakers made the final outcome more respectable with three more runs as the industrious Striegel singled, then scored on Kevin Schuler’s well-placed triple. Rich Hurd, Luke Abbott and Dave Taxier all singled in the uprising.

It wasn’t quite enough to avoid the first losing streak of the season, but the Muckrakers stare adversity in the eye and knee it in the groin. This team can rev it up at a moment’s notice; you just watch.

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