Dave Gassner had a miserable outing. Lasting only 4 innings, he allowed 9 hits and 7 runs. Wings continued to fight back in the 7th and 8th, finally tying the game again, this time 7-7.
Earlier in the season it would have been at this point that Pat Neshek would be getting the call. I have stated before that the player most missed on the Red Wings is Neshek. If the Wings should miss the playoffs it will be because they no longer have a reliable closer. With Pat on the mound, the Wings were nearly unbeatable late in the game. Instead the Wings now have to go with a very inconsistent Bobby Korecky and tonite they called on equally as raw Lavale Speigner. Neither of those guys strike fear in the hearts of the opposition the way Neshek did.
So tonight Speigner came in the game in the 8th and coughed up the lead run to the Chiefs. But the Wings battled back for the THIRD time to tie 8-8. To the bottom of the 9th and Syracuse went right to work against Speigner. After recording the 1st out, a walk and 2 consecutive singles ended the most frustrating evening for the Red Wings. For Speigner, it was a forgettable two innings in which he ruined the Wings comebacks. I continue to marvel, when I see all these kids get chewed up by being called ‘closer', just how fortunate we were to have Pat Neshek for the few months we had him in Rochester. It can be noted that Neshek has pitched 21 innings so far for the Twins and he has only allowed 6 hits, and 2 runs...both solo HR'S.
The Red Wings never led in tonites game but the 3 comebacks were encouraging as they prepare for their 2 game showdown with Scranton tomorrow and Sunday. Red Barons lost tonite so Wings will remain 1 game behind. Buffalo also won, as did Toledo. When we wake up tomorrow, we will see that the Wings will lead both Buffalo and Indianapolis by 4 games for the wild card. By virtue of their win tonite, Toledo displaces Indy in first place, pushing the Indians back into the Wild Card race.
Quninton McCracken had another 3 hit night, including his first Red Wing home run.
Ah, but this one was so close, but for a reliable closer who can come in and get outs instead of giving up runs. Dave Gassner didn't have it tonight. He was in trouble in every inning, and saw his ERA balloon to 5.54. Speigner suffers his first Red Wing loss. He faced 10 batters tonight and 6 reached base. His ERA with Rochester stands at a very unsatisfactory 5.14.