April 17, 2011 — Tides 8, Knights 3
After a seven-month offseason, nine days of the Tides’ being on the road, and a game postponed because of threatening severe weather, I finally made it to Harbor Park for the first time since September 3 of last season. It’s always exciting to go to a first game of a new season, even if the home team hasn’t provided much room for optimism (a 1-8 start, fueled by an offense that produced 18 runs and a pitching/defense that allowed 44. Based on their runs scored and allowed, the Tides’ record was exactly what it should have been.
The game featured A LOT of strikeouts. Of the twenty-seven outs recorded by the Tides, fifteen were strikeouts, including seven of the last nine. And of the twenty-four outs recorded by the Knights, ten were strikeouts, including nine of the last thirteen. It wasn’t a very good day for Knights starter Freddy Dolsi, who missed out on the strikeout extravaganza with only one strikeout, was battered by the Tides batters who collected ten hits and seven runs off him in only 3 2/3 innings, and betrayed by his defense, as Knight third baseman Dallas McPherson had difficulty getting his throws to first base. Jim Gallagher, the first baseman, saved him twice by coming off the bag and still retiring the batter-runner; but the Tides’ five-run fourth was started when McPherson made a too-wild throw that Gallagher couldn’t convert into an out. Brandon Snyder hit a run-scoring double to give the Tides a 4-1 lead; then the Tides broke it open with back-to-back home runs (neither of which needed the wind) by Nick Green and Brendan Harris.
Pitcher Dolsi also figured in a play that I don’t remember ever seeing before. With a runner on third base in the third inning, the Knights brought the infield in. Craig Tatum slapped a grounder to the right side of the infield, Gallagher broke for the ball, but it was second baseman Gookie Dawkins who fielded it. Dolsi, apparently daydreaming, failed to break for first, so it became a race between Dawkins and the slow-moving Tatum to get to first. All the while watching the runner on third, Dawkins hustled to the base and recorded the out. That goes on my scoresheet as a 4/G (second baseman, unassisted).