SYRACUSE | Ahhh, April baseball in upstate New York.
Thanks to the cold and rain, the Syracuse Chiefs trail the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees in a suspended game, 2-0 that will be finished at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Chiefs and Yankees will play a seven inning game with the Yankees being the home team afterward.
Dewayne Wise and Brandon Laired scored the two unearned Yankee runs in the second inning after Corey Brown lost a ball in the rain drops in left field. The runs were scored on a Colin Curtis SAC fly and a Doug Bernier base hit.
Nationals headline of the day: Michael Morse (1B-OF) is out indefinitely for Washington
Next Game: at Lehigh Valley, April 11, 7:05 p.m. (SYR Tanner Roark vs. LHV Austin Hyatt)
Line of the Day: Mitch Atkins, P – 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R (both unearned), 4 BB, 2 K
Atkins has gone nine full innings over his two starts (albeit abbreviated tonight) and given up just six hits thus far (.188 opp. batting average) and struck out eight total. He has yielded three runs, but they are all unearned.
Originally from North Carolina, with a stop in Norfolk last season, and his major league debut as a starter for Baltimore in Texas, Upstate New York has been mean to Atkins thus far. Both of his starts have come on 40-degree windswept days.
“It is pretty tough, especially when the rain is coming down pretty cold,” Atkins said. “It is mostly the cold that gets to you more than the rain.”
Atkins, the Chiefs' Opening Day starter, has walked nine in his two starts thus far.
“I think we are going to be all right, but I think I just have too many walks,” Atkins said. “I go out there and try and keep the game close. If it is a close game, we have some big sticks in the line-up. As long as it is close, we have a chance to win.”
Harper-watch: It was an abbreviated day for Haper with only a pair of at-bats the first ending with a flyout to left in the second inning. The second was a grounder to the pitcher in the fourth where Harper might have chased on the first pitch.
He was visibly upset with himself down the first base line after the second at-bat.
The Chiefs go on the road for the first time this season for a three-game set at Lehigh before returning home. It will be the first time that Harperpalooza will be on the road this Triple-A season
“We can’t focus on it. We can’t play all of out games at home,” Chiefs manager Tony Beasley said with a smile. “He is going to just try to have a normal day when it comes to routine. That is our concern. He just has to play the game.”
So far the offense has been feast or famine for Syracuse. The Chiefs were one-hit two days ago before scoring six runs in just two innings yesterday. Beasley has kept the top five spots in the batting order (Brown-Bynum-Paul-Moore-Harper) the same in all six games this season.
“We have no clue what the fans have in store for us,” Beasley said about Harper and the Chiefs’ first road trip. “Whatever it is, players learn to deal with that. Everybody does their work we just have a different time slot.”