Monday, October 19, 2009

Short-handed Muckrakers nipped again

CONCORD -- Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9 ...

Aficionados of the Beatles’ White Album know that if you play the above passage backwards -- and good luck doing that on your iPod -- you get something along the lines of “turn me on, dead man .... ”

Well, your local neighborhood rock stars, otherwise known as the Muckrakers, weren’t terribly enamored of the number 9 on Oct. 8 in an eventual 22-16 loss to Super Crew. No, they were not turned on by the fateful digit, because it meant going with a three-man outfield instead of the usual four-man alignment. Against a good-hitting ballclub like Super Crew, the short-handidness proved fatal -- turn me on dead man, indeed.

Not that the spunky Rakers didn’t make a good go of it. In fact, it was all “Good Day Sunshine” in the first inning as the Mucksters pushed across 10 runs in their initial at-bat, sending 13 to the plate and eventually forcing head statistician Kelly Phillips to use the blank back side of the scoresheet.

It was a promising start indeed but Super Crew said “Hello Goodbye” and kept the runs coming early and often, finding the empty gaps in the ‘Rakers outfield. Chris Wagnon, Chace Bryson and Matt Knauff had to be tired puppies afterward after having to cover so much ground in the outfield.

Yet Wagnon mustered the energy to deliver a career-high four RBI, Bryson added two runs, two hits and two RBI, and Brian Kroll and Dave Alcorn also added a pair of hits.

And this game marked the happy reappearance of The Iron Chef, otherwise known as Mat Petersen. Who knew Petersen would show on the same night as the Sharks’ home opener, but the Muckrakers were happy to see the veteran stalwart back manning first base. Petersen showed few signs of rust, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Shortstop Randy Striegel also enjoyed a 3-for-5 evening.

After enjoying a bye week, the Muckrakers have hopefully used the extra time to muster more than 9 for Thursday’s tilt against the Warriors. Quit spinning the White Album backwards, all you Muckrakers, and head out to the ballpark.

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