Game 8: Bridgeport @ Somerset

10:15 PM — Spoke to Ryan Freel, Tom Mastny and Pete LaForest…stay tuned for a post-game blog post later tonight.

9:55 PM — Somerset wins, 11-3.  Post-game reaction and so on coming in a bit…

9:50 PM — Some six-finger fastball action…

9:43 PM — Antonio Alfonseca now in for Bridgeport.  Wow.  Just getting guys innings I guess…but, wow.

9:38 PM — Arreola re-loads the bases with a walk to Tike Redman, and that will be all for him.  Henderson coming in.

9:36 PM — Danny Putnam with an RBI groundout…it’s now 11-3.  Starting to look a bit like an NFL score.

9:34 PM — And on his first pitch to Adam Greenberg, he gives up a two-run double to the left center field gap.  It’s now 11-2…no outs, top 8.  Brian Henderson’s up in the bullpen for Somerset.  Probably not what the Patriots were hoping to have to do.

9:33 PM — And Arreola has loaded the bases with no outs.  It’s still an 11-0 game and all, but I think everyone would like to head home sometime soon…

9:27 PM — Daryl Arreola in to pitch the 8th for Somerset…

9:26 PM — Jorge Julio, the photo…

9:25 PM — Hey, kids!  It’s former MLB closer Jorge Julio!

9:18 PM — Jorge Julio coming into an 11-run game here for the Bluefish.  Must be great for the ego.

9:10 PM — David Housel making his season debut, pinch hitting for Matt Hagen…but he popped out to short center.  Mercifully, this game has entered the seventh inning.  The sixth was the first frame where Somerset didn’t put up a crooked number.  It’s 11-0, Somerset, going into top 7.

9:03 PM — Ryan Freel with his second hit of the game…he didn’t do a backflip or anything, no worries.  Pinch hitting for Noah Hall is Elliott Ayala.  11-0 game in the bottom of the sixth.  Not exactly an instant classic here…

9:01 PM — 57 pitches for Mastny, by the way…

8:55 PM — Cahill’s in for the sixth.  Tom “Mr. Nasty” Mastny is out after five…he gave up just two hits and struck out three innings.  Another encouraging outing from a Somerset starter.  It’s an 11-0 game in the top of the sixth…Iggy Suarez has replaced Jeff Nettles at third base.

8:50 PM — Casey Cahill getting loose in the Somerset bullpen…

8:48 PM — Pete LaForest with a long, no-doubter home run to right field off of Perez.  It’s now 11-0.  Hope Perez is hungry, because it looks like he’ll be eating some innings…

8:34 PM — Nettles with a double down the left field line…that plates Hall…it’s now 9-0.

8:33 PM — And Hall shoves it back in their collective faces with a double down the left field line…it’s now 8-0, Patriots, bottom 4.

8:32 PM — Well, the series of events that followed that are hardly shocking.  Freel got hit in the ribs with a pitch, then one went flying over Noah Hall’s head.  Hall is claiming it hit him, and Sparky Lyle is out to argue.  It’s getting interesting here…

8:30 PM — Lydon with an RBI groundout…5-0.

8:27 PM — Yikes.  All right…well, Jorge Perez is warming up on the mound after a rather unnecessarily lengthy delay.  It’s 4-0, Patriots, B4…bases still loaded, this time for Wayne Lydon.

8:24 PM — Or that he won’t get ejected and need to be physically restrained from the umpire by his catcher, Luis Rodriguez.

8:23 PM — Or that he won’t walk Burke on four pitches…

8:22 PM — Doesn’t mean he isn’t going to walk Raines to load the bases for Joe Burke, though…

8:20 PM — Former big leaguer Denny Stark now pitching for the Bluefish…guy was with Seattle just last year.  Went 11-4 with the Rockies in 2002.

8:18 PM — That will be all for Mr. Shuckerow.  He leaves in the fourth inning with one out on the scoreboard…runners on second and third and Tim Raines, Jr. at the plate.

8:09 PM — Mastny, if the Pointstreak numbers are to be believed, is at 40 pitches through four…27 strikes.

7:56 PM — Very odd play right there…Ryan Freel drives home Lydon with a single up the middle, but raises his fist for a good two seconds while running to first base.  I know it’s his first Atlantic League hit and all…but it’s a 3-0 game now in the third inning.  Found it odd.

7:55 PM — Wayne Lydon and I had a brief chat just before the game about setting the tone…well, he just led the bottom of the third off with a stand-up triple to right field.

7:51 PM — But he makes a nice play on a similar shot by Adam Greenberg…Mastny got his glove down just in time and stopped the ball from going up the middle, and easily threw the former Cub out at first base.

7:48 PM — Mastny gives up his first hit of the game, a one-out single back up the box off the bat of Brandon Chaves in the top of the third…

7:42 PM — Tim Raines, Jr. with a line single to left…Patriots up 2-0, through two.

7:40 PM — Some photos…

Joe Burke after a great defensive play in the first…

Ryan Freel

Pete LaForest

Wayne Lydon

Tom Mastny

Head groundskeeper Ray Cipperly and Sparky Lyle chat just prior to the game…

7:37 PM — Matt Hagen leads off with a single up the middle.  He advances to second on a Shuckerow wild pitch, and moves to third on Pete LaForest’s groundout.  One out, B2, Tim Raines, Jr. up.

7:30 PM — We’re through one inning here…Jeff Nettles doubled home Noah Hall in the bottom of the first, Somerset’s up 1-0.

Tom Mastny in the bullpen

Mastny’s first pitch

Ryan Freel

5:30 PM — Mastny will be on a 60-65 pitch count…

5:25 PM — Spoke to Matt Reilly in the clubhouse before the game…stay tuned for that in the next few days.

5:20 PM — Lineups are in…

BRIDGEPORT

Adam Greenberg, CF
Danny Putnam, RF
Tike Redman, LF
Josh Phelps, 1B
Luis Rodriguez, C
Steve Moss, DH
Joe Jiannetti, 3B
Brandon Chaves, SS
Tim Johnson, 2B
Riley Shuckerow, P

SOMERSET

Wayne Lydon, CF
Ryan Freel, SS
Noah Hall, RF
Jeff Nettles, 3B
Josh Pressley, DH
Pete LaForest, C
Matt Hagen, 2B
Tim Raines, Jr., LF
Joe Burke, 1B
Tom Mastny, P

3:30 PM — Coming at you live from the I’ve Spent About Half Of My Career Here Press Box in Somerset, where the Bluefish and Patriots are about three and a half hours away from the second game of this three-game series.

Both Somerset starter Tom Mastny and Bluefish starter Riley Shuckerow are making their season debuts tonight.  Sounds like Kevin Mannix will take the ball for the Bluefish tomorrow, opposed by Jesse Darcy for the Patriots.

I’ll have lineups and any news for you in the coming hours…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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