The Curve didn't show up ready to play Wednesday morning, and manager P.J. Forbes had no problem calling his players out for it after losing a doubleheader to Bowie.
"I didn't like the effort today," Forbes said. "I thought we came out flat and were flat the rest of the first game and the whole second game. You've got to find a way to bring energy and show up every day, and we didn't do it."
The Curve offense managed only one run in 13 innings Wednesday, losing the completion of Tuesday's suspended game, 7-4, before falling in the regularly scheduled contest, 4-1.
Mirror photo by J.D.?Cavrich
It was a long day for Altoona Curve manager P.J. Forbes, who was ejected by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus for arguing balls and strikes during the team’s 7-4 loss in game one.
The suspended game, which resumed at 10:30 a.m., had been tied at 4 in the top of the fourth inning, and Bowie won it with a run in the fifth and two more in the seventh. Altoona scored a run in the first inning of game two, only to see the offense go down quietly after that.
The frustration was clear in Forbes' face and words after the sweep, which dropped the Curve back to five games below .500. He also showed his frustration in the first game when he was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
"I thought we've competed to this point, maybe one other game when we didn't," Forbes said. "It's the competing every day [aspect] that disappointed me today. And I think if you go through that clubhouse and asked them to a man if they thought we showed up how we're capable of showing up, they'd say the same thing."
Tonight: Altoona at Erie
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP Phil Irwin (first Double-A start) vs. SeaWolves RHP Zack Segovia (3-2, 3.89)
Shortstop Brock Holt did just that.
"Obviously it was pretty visual if you watched the game," he said. "Just one of those days we came not ready to play."
One disappointing thing for Forbes is that the lackluster effort came after his club had been playing its best ball of the season recently. The Curve, who had gone 5-2 this month and had just won three out of four against Richmond, had a chance to move within a game of .500 by beating a Bowie team that came to town in last place with a 12-18 record.
However, the Curve, not the Baysox, looked like the worst team in the Western Division during the two-game head-to-head matchup.
"I thought we took a step forward against Richmond with some mature play, mature at-bats, the way we got after it," Forbes said. "Two steps back today, unfortunately."
Tim Alderson (1-1), who took the mound to open the completion of the suspended game, struggled for the first time with Altoona this season. He allowed three runs on five hits in three innings to suffer the loss.
Chris Petrini (1-0) won in relief for Bowie, while Pat Egan threw three shutout innings for his first save.
Curve starter Mike Colla (0-4) breezed through the first three innings of game two, not allowing a hit, only to get tagged for four runs in the fourth. Steven Bumbry opened the fourth with a homer, and L.J. Hoes hit a two-run shot off Colla.
"That's kind of been Michael's Achilles heel is one bad inning," Forbes said.
The Curve's lone run of the day came in the first as Robbie Grossman led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Jeremy Farrell's single. Bowie starter Bobby Bundy (2-5) regrouped with five shutout innings after that, and Greg Burke pitched the seventh for his sixth save.
"When you're as offensively inept as we were today with our approach - we just didn't get it done - that puts a lot of pressure on your pitching staff," Forbes said.
Holt, who went 2-for-3, said the 10:30 a.m. start is "not an excuse that we can use."
"We'd had a day off before, we'd only played three innings, there's no excuses," Forbes said. "You're a professional, this is your job, you have fun with it. Morning games like this, you've got to bring your own energy."
SUBHD: Doubleheader recap
Key player: Bowie 3B Carlos Rojas went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run in the first game, and RHP Bobby Bundy held the Curve to one run in six innings in game two.
Key play: Rojas' RBI double gave the Baysox the lead for good in the fifth inning of game one, and L.J. Hoes put Bowie on top with a two-run homer in the fourth inning of game two.
Key stat: The Curve scored only one run in 13 innings Wednesday.
SUBHD: How they scored
Top 1st: Schoop doubled, scored on Johnson wild pitch (0-1); Waring doubled, Machado walked, both scored on Joseph double (0-3).
Top 3rd: Hoes walked, scored on Machado double (0-4).
Bottom 3rd: Norman singled, scored on Brown sacrifice fly (1-4); Latimore singled, Grossman walked, Gonzalez walked, all three scored on Sanchez double (4-4).
Top 5th: Machado doubled, scored on Rojas double (4-5).
Top 7th: Welty solo homer (4-6); Rojas singled, scored on Wheeler single (4-7).
Bottom 1st: Grossman walked, scored on Farrell single (1-0).
Top 4th: Bumbry solo homer (1-1); Wheeler walked, scored on Hoes two-run homer (1-3); Waring doubled, scored on Widlansky singly (1-4).