Curve’s rally comes up short
Curve manager Carlos Garcia calls it the big hit. Drew Maggi calls it the timely hit.
Either way, the Curve didn’t get that hit.
The Curve stranded seven and went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position as they dropped their third in four games, falling to Bowie, 3-2, before 3,241 at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
“That happened again tonight,” Garcia said of not getting the big hit. “We just keep them coming, leaving guys in scoring position, and we just can’t come up with the big hit. Definitely, I can see the fight. I can see the battle in the last three games.”
With the Curve trailing 3-2 in the ninth inning, Justin Howard got a lead-off single, and after Andy Vasquez came into pinch run for Howard, Vasquez reached third on a single by Carlos Paulino.
With one out, Maggi hit a grounder to third base, and the Baysox turned a game-ending double play. Maggi said he recognized he had a chance to drive in the tying.
“I had a chance to tie up the game,” Maggi said. “I just didn’t get it done. Sometimes it happens that way.”
The inning before that – despite the Curve scoring a run – Alex Dickerson was stranded at second base after Jarek Cunningham grounded out to end the inning.
“This is the situation where it’s all mentality,” Garcia said. “It’s nothing to do with hitting mechanics. It’s understanding what the pitcher is going to do and try to make him throw a pitch to you over the strike zone.”
With runners in scoring position, the Curve have hit .265 this year. The ironic thing about Tuesday’s final inning, the team leader with runners in scoring position is Maggi.
He’s hit .357. Only two players have more RBIs than with runners on second and third than Maggi. Maggi had 30, Paulino has 31 and Dickerson leads the team with 33.
“We aren’t getting that timely hit right now,” Maggi said. “It’s going to come. You have just got to give it time. It’s tough. It’s hard to do.”
While Garcia said that the ability to hit in the clutch is something that can’t be truly taught, he said a lot has to do with plate discipline.
Garcia said he teaches that players have to not chase the first pitches and wait. He said even if it is a strike, the players still have two chances to get a good swing at the ball.
“For the most part, it’s staying yourself,” Garcia said. “Trust your tools and your ability to put the ball in play.”
Something that Garcia does like is the fact his team is putting up runs late. While Eliecer Navarro – who got the loss -gave up three runs in the third, the Curve posted two runs late, largely thanks to Dickerson, who went 3-for-4, driving in one and scoring the other.
“It makes feel good but you know what it is telling me, this is young team who makes mistakes early in the game,” Garcia said of the fight from his team. “In the later part, that is the difference. “
Key player: RF Alex Dickerson went 3-for-4, driving in a run and scoring another.
Key play: Bowie LF Caleb Joseph tripled, scoring Trayvon Robinson for the Baysox’s third run.
Key stat: The Curve went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.
How they scored
Top 3rd: Rosa doubled, scored on Pettit single (1-0); Pettit singled, scored on Romero sacrifice fly (2-0); Robinson walked, scored on Joseph triple (3-0).
Bottom 7th: Dickerson singled, scored on Paulino ground (3-1).
Bottom 8th: Polanco walked, scored on Dickerson double (3-2).