Matt Klinker had a solid seven-inning start and the Carolina Mudcats ended their road series with the Tennessee Smokies on a good note, rolling to a 10-3 win Sunday.
Mike Costanzo homered and singled for the Mudcats, while Sean Henry added three hits including a double for two RBI and Devin Mesoraco a double and two singles.
Alberto Cabrera (0-4) took the loss.
The Mudcats return to Five County Stadium tomorrow night against the Jacksonville Suns.
RICHMOND, VA—There are only certain conditions under which all of a soccer ball crossing all of a white line painted on a patch of green grass has any significance whatsoever. But Frank Lampard and England had every right to believe that the ball he struck from about 20 yards out over German keeper's Manuel Neuer's head met all of the relevant conditions:
A competitive soccer match was under way, the ball was in play, no foul was committed, no one was offside and the ball hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing at least a yard behind the line. Under the laws of the game, that is supposed to be a goal. But the laws of the game also say that it can't be a goal unless the referee gives this. And as both the referee and the assistant referee were badly out of position, neither saw the play clearly, and play was allowed to continue.
The significance of the blown call in this match was, to put it lightly, large. England had been thoroughly outplayed by Germany over the first half hour, lucky to be trailing only 2-0. But Matthew Upson's headed goal produced an adrenaline rush, and if Lampard's goal had been properly given, England would not only have leveled the score but would have an enjoyed nine or 10 minutes of fevered momentum going into halftime, in which they possibly could have grabbed a third. At a minimum, they would have gone into halftime on a high and feeling good about themselves, not aggrieved.
World Cups Won All Time: Germany (W. Germany) 3, England 1
Head to Head Results at Knockout Stage: Germany 2 wins (1970, 1990), England 1 win (1966)
At the start of the match, the RailHawks still appeared to be combating a funk contracted after their early, disappointing ouster from the U.S. Open Cup tournament at Charleston last Tuesday. On the other side, Montreal was intent on righting the wrongs that led to their 2-0 loss to Carolina on May 30.
Which is to say that it was Military Appreciation Night at the DBAP, and the Bulls did their best to remind everyone that the best defense is a good offense. Every man in the lineup had a hit, the team belted three home runs, and they scored in six of their eight at-bats, getting at least one run off of every pitcher they faced, a lefty and three right-handers. Brian Baker, who no-hit Indianapolis for five innings in a spot-start earlier this week, tossed four hitless frames to open last night's game, for a two-game no-hitter of sorts; he left with five more scoreless, two-hit innings under his belt (he needed only 63 pitches to do it), and earned his sixth win of the year, against zero losses. It's startling to see that this Double-A placeholder is now tied for second on the team in wins. Soft-spoken and modest, with a fastball that hovers only around 87-88 mph, he's been the indispensable long man and emergency starter on a team that really doesn't have another candidate for either role—although that could change soon (more on that later).
Military Appreciation Night (or M.A.N.) was represented mostly by Sgt. Slaughter, a Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment persona inhabited by a guy named Robert Remus, who resides in Charlotte. He participated in a pregame skit with a vaguely "Blame Canada"-influenced script, and then later on led the crowd in a seventh-inning-stretch version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." It was fun to note that the Sarge is a pretty good singer.
I must stop, having heard the song live last night, to note something that has long bothered me about the lyrics to that song—or rather, about our corruption of them. "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks" is incorrect. There is no such thing as Cracker Jacks. There is, however, a popcorn-based snack candy called "Cracker Jack." The guy on the box cover is a sailor, and presumably he is there to represent "Jack"—your everyday hale-fellow-well-met. "Cracker" used to be slang for "super-duper!" (The product dates to the late 19th century, by the way.) "That's cracker, jack!" = ""Super, pal!" Hey, this popcorn snack is cracking good—it's downright cracker! Say, fella, let's head to the Polo Grounds and see McGraw's nine take on the Redstockings! Etc.
(Also, the flavor-sealing pouch inside the box was originally called the "Eckstein Triple Proof Package." The pleasant payoff here is that Cracker Jack, i.e. the guy on the box, looks not entirely unlike big-league shortstop David Eckstein, who would make a great candy-bar endorser, if you ask me. You can also ask these guys about him.)
It's a similar corruption to the one that leads a lot of people to enjoy another candy bar that they call "Reesies," as though each peanut butter cup was something known as a "Reesie" and thus to buy the product was to purchase and consume a pair of "Reesies." In fact, the candy was the creation of a guy named H. B. Reese. Thus "Reese's," as in, "by a fella named Reese." Ask for it by name.
There. Glad we have that all cleared up.
That apparent digression, by the way, isn't one. Corruption and sugar-coating were on my mind after the ballgame. So grab a Zero, a Zagnut or a Clark Bar and make the jump, with the FDA warning that a bit of what follows is difficult to digest, and includes some ingredients that contain no actual baseball.
Matt Fairel even helped his own cause with a two-run homer, but the bullpen squandered a three-run lead as the Carolina Mudcats lost to the host Tennessee Smokies 7-6 on Saturday night.
N.C. State alumnus Jake Muyco (3-2) was the winning pitcher while Jerry Gil (3-3) took the loss.
Matthew Spencer knocked in the tying and winning runs with a two-run homer in the eighth.
Dave Sappelt added a homer and a single for two RBI for Carolina, while Kris Negron chipped in two hits.
The Mudcats play once more at Tennessee on Sunday, then return home to begin a six-game series with Jacksonville on Monday night.
(On a side note, I was in Philadelphia Thursday and Friday, and was impressed by the bar at 30th Street station which had a printed poster announcing it would show all games in the "2010 World Soccer Tournament" to avoid having to pay some kind of fee to FIFA to use the term "World Cup.")
On top of that sight, plus a Bulls victory, it was announced that Montoyo has been invited, for the second straight year, to the Futures game during the All-Star break in Anaheim, where he'll join player invitees Jeremy Hellickson (who got the win last night, his league-leading 10th) and Desmond Jennings. Montoyo is also managing the International League in the Triple-A All-Star game, so he'll be working straight through the hiatus without getting a respite. Well, faith doesn't either.
Last night's game had some wings in it, too, and not just because it recovered from a slow first inning and flew to a 2:31 finish. We were treated to something that we haven't seen much of this year: a pitcher's duel. In fact, it was an even better one than the score indicates. Had a couple of lightly-hit balls bounced or flared differently, and had one of them been fielded as it should have been, the game could easily have been scoreless through nine innings. As it was, we got to see a pair of pitchers fully control the evening anyway, and for real baseball fans it was an entertaining and instructive night. Montoyo himself offered the opinion that the Lehigh Valley starter, Nate Bump (with a name like that, he should be a detective with his own sitcom), was "fun to watch." That was easy for him to say—the Bulls touched him for two runs in the first inning via a couple of bloop hits and a hit-and-run grounder, then hung on to win—but great to hear an opposing manager praise good baseball, wherever it came from.
Singing some of those praises after the jump.
First Martin Rennie, then Greg Shields and Paul Ritchie. Could a fourth Scottish brogue be joining the RailHawks this summer?
All signs are pointing to a mid-July debut of Allan Russell, the 2008 player of the year in the Scottish second division. Today, BBC published an item in which Russell said, "I officially sign on 14 July and I'll hit the ground running because it's mid-season over there."
The RailHawks declined to confirm the report, but this is only the latest in a series of published reports saying that he will indeed become a RailHawk. (It's on his Wikipedia page, too.)
Russell is currently out of contract. His most productive season was his single season with second-division Airdrie United, when he scored 19 goals in 32 appearances in 2007-08.
He most recently played for Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock, making 25 appearances in two seasons and netting four goals. His time there was apparently marred by injury, and his contract expired at the end of the 2009-2010 season.
Brazil versus Portugal stirs up a Luso-world of geographic, historical, and cultural associations. In 1808, the Portuguese court fled Napoleon’s marauding army, bringing the entire imperial apparatus to Rio de Janeiro. Brazil was the only colony to have ruled over its metropole. It’s pointless to point out all of the connections, but interesting to note that the Portuguese flag hangs in abundance in Rio de Janeiro.
There isn’t too much riding on this game, other than a strategic positioning for the second round. I would be shocked and amazed to see anything but a draw here. The first place in Group G will cross with the second place in Group H, which is very much up in the air, could be Chile or Spain. Portugal will qualify in second place with one point, and Brazil will qualify regardless, so it would be an act of fratricide for Brazil to win.
It's not going to happen. 1-1.
Dunga will get to experiment with some other players and rest a few stars in the middle of the second half (Robinho, Maicon, Luis Fabiano). If an equalizer doesn’t happen “naturally,” look for the referee to balance the scales.
Dunga will replace the suspended Kaká with Julio Batista. Yesterday’s headline in the OGlobo sports section: “The beast in the place of the crack: someone who Dunga trusts, Julio Baptista is the only bachelor on the team but has a wedding planned with a Spanish model after the World Cup.”
Nothing but high quality reporting here.
The coverage of the World Cup in OGlobo and on OGlobo networks has been horrible. There is a total überload of information, none of which actually says anything that provides deeper insight into what is going on. To the contrary, in the lead-up to the Ivory Coast match, OGlobo continued to publish photos that were very explicit in their portrayal of Africans. I have included the photos and captions with translations. I am not sure what to say about them but wow, the animalization, Orientalization, generalization and blatant classism combine to make a powerful broth of racism that you can sip one day at time. Delicious!
I do hope you foreign correspondents out there will publish similar things about Brazil four years from now. Some indigenous folk with bows and arrows, lip discs, painted faces, headdresses, the symbiotic nature-culture-Avatar thing will be a good start.
Photos with my translated captions below.