Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Rakers are laggers vs. Dirtbaggers

CONCORD -- The Muckrakers showed a decidedly new look last Thursday against the Dirtbaggers -- and we're not even talking about Tony Hicks' bared upper torso, although we could and probably will.

No, this look involved the 'Rakers outfield, where, for one of the few times of late, four defenders patrolled the pasture. Usually, the manpower-challenged 'Rakers have been lucky to have as many as three outfielders available, with a lot of space to cover.

Alas, having 10 players didn't quite get them over the hump as the Muckrakers went to 0-2 for the Summer League campaign after a 16-8 beating at the hands of the Dirtbaggers.

The Men of Muck scored eight runs over the first three innings but came up dry over the last four stanzas. Meanwhile, the defense came out of the blocks a tad shaky, and the Dirtbaggers took advantage to pile up a considerable lead.

At least Yer 'Rakers manned up with double figures in the personnel department. They welcomed the debut of Rick Browning, part of the Pig & Whistle/Muckraker love connection thing that appears to be in full flower. Welcome, all you Pig & Whistlers -- and this reporter wishes he was quaffing Big Daddies with the regulars at the Geary St. establishment this very moment.

And of course there was the above-mentioned Hicks, a returning 'Raker also making his '10 debut. He made it a memorable curtain-raiser, as is his wont, singling and scoring in his first two at-bats, then later baring almost all for all of D League to see, although somehow the umpires missed the display of flesh because a yellow hat was hanging on the dugout fence. I guess you had to be there, and you weren't. So be it.

Leadoff man Mike Yurkis returned to the fold and delivered a two-hit outing. And other regulars made their presence known. Third baseman Dave Alcorn had perhaps the biggest blast of the game, tripling with the bases loaded as the centerpiece of the five-run third inning, plating Matt Knauff, Browning and Luke Abbott.

It was a gritty effort that fell short on this evening, but the overall look portends good things for the continued rollout of Summer League.

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