Metro Minute

Toledo Day 2

By Bob Totterer
Friday, July 31st, 2015

Pool Play, Game Three:  Dodgers - 10, Hawks - 0

I went to bed last night thinking about that stinker of a game the Dodgers played against the Crocodiles on Thursday.  The scoreboard read like the national debt - one crooked number after another.  But in spite of all the bitter memories, the team was in a cheery mood when they boarded the bus bound for Bowman Park and a 9:00 AM game with the Toledo Hawks.  After only one inning was completed it became apparent that the Dodgers players had left their evil twins back at the hotel.  Thank the baseball gods.  This was the Dodgers team that had earned a trip to Toledo.

Jake Patzner started for the men in blue and pitched a complete game shutout, striking out eight.  He worked out of trouble in about half of those innings, stranding three in the sixth.  Meanwhile, his teammates muscled up on offense.  Leftfielder Dashawn Lindsay had a four-hit day and started the game-ending rally.  Both second baseman Keith Grieshaber and D.H. Matt Brown went 3 for 4.  Together, this trio stymied the Hawks' pitching staff.  Grieshaber also made two, very fine plays on defense.  One was a full extension dive into short centerfield to snag a looping fly ball and the other was a diving catch on a sinking infield liner, which he turned into an unassisted double play at second base.

The Dodgers were running on all cylinders in a must-win game to decide who stays in Toledo and who goes home.  As it turns out, we will be staying .. at least for one more day.  Next up is the quarterfinal round, wherein the Dodgers are paired against the Long Island Astros.  The first pitch will be thrown at noon on Saturday.

This is precisely the spot in the tournament where we were sent home last year - not by losing a game, but because the mayor of the City of Toledo shut the entire city down.  He did so because toxic algae in Lake Erie had tainted the city's water supply.  It was a bitter pill for us to swallow.  Though both the Dodgers and the Bandits had advanced to the quarterfinals, neither team would throw a single pitch.  In my first installment of this World Series Diary, I jokingly quipped that the water is fine this year.  Oh, yeah?  Imagine my surprise when I opened the USA Today early this morning to find a headline which read, "Toxic Algae Threatens Lake Erie Water Again."  Uh-oh.  Could this be, in the words of Yogi Berra, "Déjà Vu all over again"?  let's hope not.

From this point forward, this World Series will be a single-elimination tournament - loser goes home.  Should we win our quarterfinal game, we will play the semifinal game immediately thereafter against either the Crystal Lake Cardinals or the Long Island Gamecocks (the team we beat yesterday).  The winner of that pairing will advance to the Championship Game, which will play at 11:00 Sunday morning.

How much mojo does this Dodgers team have left?  Will the pitching hold up going down the stretch?  We shall see.  But once again, don't bet against this team.  Even when they're down, they're rarely down and out.