Hot Rods Game Notes
About Last Night... West Michigan evened the series with a walk-off win on Tuesday night, pulling off a 4-3 victory in the ninth. Matthew Liberatore made his second start of the season for Bowling Green, and the lefty pitched well. He allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit with eight strikeouts, but issued five walks to Whitecaps hitters in the game. Bowling Green scored two in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, with WM getting a run back in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead in half. The Hot Rods plated another run in the fourth to extend their lead to two runs at 3-1, but an inning later the Whitecaps plated on of their own before tying the game in the sixth. Neither team plated a run from the seventh on until the bottom of the ninth. With Chris Muller on the mound, two outs, and runners at first and second, Daniel Reyes grounded a ball back up the middle that kicked off the second-base bag and into center field. The single allowed Wenceel Perez to score and walk off the Hot Rods 4-3 in the ninth.
Crowning the K-ing... The Hot Rods added 13 more strikeouts to their total on Tuesday, extending their lead in the MWL with 478 strikeouts this season as a staff. The team leads all of A-ball and are 14 K's better than the Charleston RiverDogs (SAL, NYY) who are in second. They're ranked fourth in all of minor league baseball behind the following A+ teams: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League (527), Fayetteville Woodpeckers of the Carolina League (511), and the Modesto Nuts in the California League (509). They also have more strikeouts than nearly all MLB teams with the exception of the Boston Red Sox who have 479.
Walked all over... Tuesday marks the first time since May of 2017 that the Hot Rods have been on the losing side of three walk-offs in one road trip. It's also the fourth time in franchise history there's been a run like this. The Hot Rods have bounced back to win the following game in each of the previous two walk-off losses on this road trip.
About the Opponent... Wednesday's game against the Whitecaps marks the 127th time West Michigan and Bowling Green meet up in the regular season. The Hot Rods own the all-time series advantage with a record of 66-60, but haven't faired as well on the road. When facing the Whitecaps in Comstock Park, MI , West Michigan has the upper hand with the Hot Rods posting a 29-35 record. BG won the season series in 2018, going 10-3 during the season which is a reverse of how the 2017 series ended up after West Michigan defeated the Hot Rods 10 times. 2018 also included the shortest game the two teams ever played, with a 1:46 minute contest on April 18 that went eight innings. The longest game ever played between the two teams took 4:32 back in 2012. The Whitecaps have defeated BG by 11 runs twice in the all-time series, the largest loss against WM with the last coming in August of 2017 while the Hot Rods largest margin of victory was 15 runs in a 15-0 game in May of 2014.
Yesterday's Notes... Liberatore tied career highs in innings pitched (5.0, five times) and strikeouts (eight)... Johnson hit fifth in the order for the first time this season... He also extended his hitting streak to four games... Hollis extended his hitting streak to four games... Pena has a seven-game hit streak... It's the third Hot Rods hit streak that's reached at least seven games... Brundage has hit safely in three-straight games... Muller has taken a loss in each of his last three appearances... Proctor extended his hitting streak to four games... He had his eighth two-hit game and 10th multi-hit game of the season... BG is 11-10 in the month of May... They're 8-6 in one-run games... The Hot Rods are 16-8 when they score first... They're also 20-6 when out-hitting their opponent...
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