Saturday, May 08, 2010

Floundering Muckrakers Drop Fourth In a Row

CONCORD -- Try telling the Muckrakers that change is good. The team mixed up as much as it could but the result was distressingly familiar, this time a 12-2 loss to Hard Knocks on Field 2 on Thursday.

The 'Rakers tried dominating the parking lot before, as well as after the game; they used a random lineup -- although how random is it really when the pitcher always bats leadoff? -- and, at least in one case, donned yoga pants -- YOGA!! YOGA !! YOGA!! -- but none of it helped all that much as Yer 'Rakers remained 0-for-2010.

Hard Knocks even tried to help out, having a player ejected by the power-mad umpires in the second inning.

Try as they might, the Muck-in-ators couldn't banish the offensive malaise that has dogged them all year. They scored 12 runs in their opener and haven't achieved double figures since. They have scored progressively fewer runs in each contest they've played in Summer League.

Some change was good. The Muckrakers welcomed Steve Breslin into the fold, and he delivered a 2 for 3 game in his debut, had the team's lone extra base hit -- a double in the sixth -- and drove in half the team's runs. Given the fact he makes his own beer, this reporter would say Mr. Breslin is pretty much the complete ballplayer.

Ah, yes, back to the yoga pants. Those were sported by Brian Kroll, to fine effect. Whether or not he was visualizing the Lotus Position or not, Kroll went 1 for 2 to maintain his lusty and vibrant .500 batting average.

Also making his season debut was Chace Bryson, the recently un-BANGed outfielder. Bryson stomped on home twice, the only two runs the Rucksters could manage on this night.

Bryson scored his first run in the fourth inning, coming home on Luke Abbott's sharp single to right. In the sixth, with the Muckrakers striving to come back, Abbott ripped a vicious liner to short, which was turned into a double play. And that's the kind of night it was. Long on good intentions, long on effort, long on change, but short on results. Someday, the long-sought proper formula will be found. Count on it.

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