|Posted February 22, 2008|
Bullpen implosion leads to Pack's loss
You can have the best starting pitching in the world, but it won't mean a lick unless your closer could back it all up. It's a concept that Pack coach Stan Sanchez is beginning to ponder all too much lately.
For the second time this season, the Pack saw a game go down the tubes thanks to a bullpen implosion in the bottom of the ninth inning, as New Mexico Highlands put up four in the ninth to take a 7-6 win from the ThunderWolves.
The rough ninth unravelled another strong effort by Friday night guy, Juan Gomez. Gomez pitched eight innings of effective baseball, allowing only eight hits and three earned runs while striking out six.
But it was closer Jesus Hernandez who let the game get out of hand. Entering the ninth with a 6-3 lead, Hernandez who saw a win evaporate away into thin air.
After starting the inning fairly dominantly, allowing a leadoff walk then striking out the next two batters, things seemed to be in control for Hernandez, who has been effective for most of the season.
Hernandez allowed a wild pitch and three straight hits, including a game-ending triple that cleared the bases and scored the final three runs the Cowboys would need to rip away a win for the ThunderWolves' clutches. It marks the second blown save by Hernandez and only the second loss of the Pack's season.
The win drops the Pack to 5-2 while Highlands owns the title of top in the RMAC for the time being, at least according to overall record, with a 7-1 start.