When it was all said and done and the 10th inning implosion had doomed the RiverDogs, James Reeves stood by himself in the dugout and gazed out at nothing in particular.
After tossing an effortless ninth with no issues, the local lefty pitcher had come back out for the 10th with the game tied at two and the RiverDogs on the hunt for their fourth walkoff of the year before it all went amuck.
As the 10th opened, Reeves struck out the first three batters of the frame, but the final strike against the second batter he faced was a wild pitch. That put a baserunner on first. Moments later, the exact same thing happened after his fourth strikeout, which put runners on first and second.
The lefty then walked the next batter to load the bases, and when Andrew Schwaab entered in relief, he gave up back-to-back hits, which the GreenJackets turned into four runs.
The RiverDogs couldn’t rally in their portion of the inning, and fell 6-2 after the bizarre tenth wrapped up.
“I think by (catcher Radley Haddad) not blocking the ball, I think it got in (Reeves’) head a little bit. Got him out of concentration and he started to start being a little bit cautious,” said RiverDogs manager Luis Dorante. “He didn’t want to walk anybody, but he ended up walking the guy ... and it cost him.”
Dorante was frustrated with the 10th as a whole, not just on the pitching and catching fronts, but with the fielding, too, after the two base hits. The RiverDogs also picked up an error on the first hit of the inning.
“We’ve just got to talk about it. Stuff like that can’t happen. If you want to play at a high level, you’ve got to clean it up a little bit,” he said. “You’ve got to hit the cutoff man, you’ve got to be able to keep the ball down and not get lost in all the things that happen ... You gotta turn the page right there.”
The RiverDogs continue their four-game set with the GreenJackets on Friday, featuring a postgame fireworks show.
Domingo Acevedo gets the ball for the RiverDogs on Friday, looking for his second win of the season. The Yankees’ No. 25 prospect, Acevedo is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA. Grant Watson will take the mound for the GreenJackets. Watson, a lefty, is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA.