From the desk of: GROWLING IN BROOKLYN
NEWARK BEARS: Brockton Provides A Rude Return To Riverfront Stadium For Bears.
After a rather successful road trip to Massachusetts and an off day Thursday, the Bears' return home to The Den wasn't quite what Newark had in mind. There were no jars of honey waiting on the dinner table; nor puppy-like creatures happy to see master again. Instead, Brockton showed up at Riverfront Stadium's door armed with bats and a complete lack of respect for being in some one's else's house. You know how Friday night party crashers can be.
The Newark fans were supposed to greet their team with cheers upon them returning from their first ever CanAm visit to Massachusetts in triumph, having been victorious in two consecutive series wins. And after a 2-1 first inning lead, they did just that; cheer. But jeers quickly found their seats and settled in to watch as Brockton pounded the Bears early; often; and late; once they began play after a two and half hour rain delay.
Brockton scored one in the first and three more in the third inning. Then, The Den's roof just caved in under the weight of eleven more Brockton runs. That seven run fifth inning seemed like too much for Newark to recover from.
With the score 15-5 by the seventh inning, hibernation would have been an acceptable option at this point. More torrential rain would have been OK too.
Now, either the Bears are starting to face better pitching with most teams having played 20 games or so, or the Newark hitters, like Raines Jr; Alvino; and even Santiesteban are starting to come down to earth a bit. Tim Raines Jr. has cooled off considerably in his last three games or so after maintaining a torrid streak that kept his batting average above .400 for a spell.
Then while I was putting this together, other Bears stepped up and started to radically change the complexion of this game. They scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Daryle Ward smashed his ninth home run of the season; a solo shot. With one out, Burt Reynolds jacked another solo home run; his seventh. Gossage was hit by a pitch and Matera singled setting up Brandon Watson's single for another Bears' run. Then, shortstop Juan Martinez tripled, scoring Watson and Matera making it a 15-11 game with two more innings to go in the game.
Continuing to claw back, the Bears gamely picked up one more run in the eighth inning making it a
15-12 game now.
But in the top of the ninth and final frame, Brockton had about a much as they cared to put up with tonight. They came to Newark intent on busting up the Bears and retaliated for Newark's little show of resiliency by scoring two more runs in their top half for good measure. And it's a good thing for them they did. Because the Bears showed still yet a little more fight in them by taking those two runs back. But they still ended up three runs short by the time this 17-14 contest was finally over.
Newark's starter; Jesse Estrada, suffered and allowed the brunt of the damage incurred by the Bears tonight. In 4.2 innings pitched, he relinquished twelve hits and eleven runs.
Tonight's result aside, so far, this is shaping up into a marvelous rivalry.
Quebec has won 9 out of their last ten games and continue to sport the Leagues best record. Newark's record after Friday night's loss drops to 13-8, which is still second best in the League, but four games behind the Capitales.
Game two of this three game series with Brockton is tomorrow; Saturday - 6:35pm.