For the second day in a row, I got an autograph from a member of the 1986 World Series Champion Mets in Newark. Gary Carter’s Long Island Ducks are in town to play the Bears this week.
But as nice as it was to see Gary Carter, the story of the night was what may have been Keith Foulke’s final pitching performance for the Newark Bears. Foulke may still be a baseball hero to Red Sox Nation, but he’d worn out his welcome with most of the Newark fans a while ago.
He never misses a chance to bash the league in the press (“I don’t enjoy pitching in this league, and I want to use it to help me get out,” Foulke said in a recent article on AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com — possibly the nicest thing he’s said about pitching in Newark.) And he’s generally unpleasant when he’s forced to interact with fans.
So I have to admit it… I enjoyed watching Ray Navarette hit a home run off of Foulke in the first inning. Johnny Hernandez added another with a home run in the second, and Lew Ford drove in a third run with an RBI groundout. In the fourth, Navarette and Victor Rodriguez both had RBI singles. In the sixth, Jose Hererra added another RBI single and George Lombard hit an RBI double.
In total, the Ducks scored 8 runs off Foulke on 13 hits and 2 walks over 5 plus innings. At the start of the day, Foulke’s ERA was a fairly mediocre 4.02. If this truly is his final appearance for the Bears, he will have an ERA of 5.19 for his 2009 stat line. Somewhat unfortunately, he will also have a 5-4 record since the Bears managed to outscore the Ducks anyway.
Charlton Jimerson hit a leadoff homer off of B.J. LaMura. He retired the next two batters, but LaMura gave up an infield single to Carl Everett. Rob Mackwiak hit a line drive up the middle that went off LaMura’s hand and into center field for another hit. The Long Island pitcher couldn’t continue, so Ron Flores came out of the bullpen and promptly gave up a three-run homer to Sandy Madera. In the second inning, which seemed to drag on forever, the Bears scored five more runs. They added one more in the fifth on Tike Redman’s sacrifice fly.
Armando Benitez came on to pitch the ninth to record the save, and the Bears won the 10-8 slugfest.
- According to Ducks manager Gary Carter, Preston Wilson is injured again and will likely miss the rest of the season. This is a shame, because he seemed like a good guy and I wanted to see him play some more.
- The Newark Bears released LHP Matt Smith on Sunday, which made me a bit sad. Smith, a local guy who always had time for the fans and did whatever his manager asked, was one of the few holdovers from the 2008 Bears team. LHP Cory Willey is now the last player left who was a Bear before the start of the 2009 season.
- Long Island coming to town is almost like Bears old-timers day. Jose Herrera, Victor Rodriguez and John Pachot were all stars for the Bears. Pitcher Josue Matos also played in Newark.
- The people who invented & figured out how to market Dippin’ Dots are geniuses. They figured out a way to sell less ice cream for more money. I finally sampled the concoction last night, and I can definitely get by without ever repeating the experience.
I’m back at the ballpark tonight. Depending on Wednesday’s weather, this might be my last game for the homestand.