Monday, July 5, 2010

Grizzlies grounded

The Cheyenne Grizzlies experienced a post-holiday hangover Monday afternoon at Pioneer Park. Uncharacteristically, the Cheyenne Grizzlies’ offense failed to produce for the second consecutive game, and the pitching was ineffective, resulting in a 13-3 loss to the Fort Collins Foxes.

“We weren’t focused in all aspects of the game, and it showed,” head coach Aaron Holley said.

Grizzlies’ starter, Josh Boyer, who threw a nine-pitch 1-2-3 first inning, gave up a leadoff walk to begin the second.

Four bloop hits, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly later, and the Foxes (18-6) had run out to an early 4-0 lead.

Cheyenne (17-7) came back in the bottom half of the inning, though, with a two-run shot by left fielder K.C. Judge. The home run was his second of the season and the first by a Grizzlies player at home.

That would be the majority of Cheyenne’s offense, however, as it had just five hits over the next seven innings.

“Offensively, again, we’re just not having great approaches at the plate, bottom line,” Holley said. “With the exception of maybe K.C. Judge, everybody else just isn’t having good approaches.”

In the third inning, Boyer surrendered another leadoff walk, which led to another Fort Collins run. Boyer was limited to just four innings after being pulled one batter into the fifth. In his final four innings of work, he let the leadoff man reach through bases on balls each time, with each one coming around to score.

“We had a good first inning, but we started the next four innings with leadoff walks,” Holley said. “Statistics say that if you let that guy on, more than likely you’re gonna give up a run, and that’s exactly what happened.”

While Boyer was not hit hard (all five of the hits allowed were soft bloop singles that found grass), he did allow eight runs on four walks and two balks.

“They got some bloop hits and stuff like that,” Holley said. “You can look at that however you want, but that’s the game, and you can live with that. If you give them extra stuff, like the walks, then those bloop hits kill you.”

The second called balk resulted in Holley’s ejection.

“I was trying to talk to (the umpire) calmly, wanting him to explain to me what happened,” Holley said. “He said that (Boyer) came set twice. This is Josh’s seventh start and they haven’t called that all year and today they’re going to decide to call it twice. The umpire wouldn’t say anything, and when I asked him again, he ejected me.”

Immediately after being ejected, the other field umpire ran over to Holley and bumped him.

Holley then went back to the dugout where he proceeded to throw nearby buckets and bats onto the field. His antics led to a postgame ejection, which forces him to sit out of the next game.

“When I got bumped I lost my temper and let it get the best of me,” Holley said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

After being pulled from the game, Boyer was also ejected.

Ryan Schwenn relieved Boyer, allowing four runs on six hits over two innings. The Foxes scored at least one run in each inning from the second through seventh innings. The bright spot of the day was the performances of Taylor Fallon, Nick Colbert and Kyle Green, who each worked an inning and combined for just one earned run allowed on four hits.

Cheyenne got its third run in the ninth inning when James McCaleb brought home Mike Wido with a sacrifice fly.

The Grizzlies has now lost two games in a row for the first time this season, the latter being the largest deficit of the year. In the three-game set against Fort Collins over the weekend, the Grizzlies combined for just seven runs and lost a full game in the MCBL standings. They now sit in second place, one game behind Fort Collins at the All-Star break.

Select Grizzly players will compete in Monday’s Home Run Derby and Tuesday’s All-Star Game, both being played at Pioneer Park in Cheyenne. Their next regular-season game is set for Thursday in Cheyenne against Greeley.

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