OTTAWA (ODB) — O.K. This is getting serious.
The Ottawa Avnet Gargoyles continued their stumble out of the 2009 OCSL season gate with another anemic performance at the plate, resulting in a predictable fifth straight loss.
The Gargs 9-0 defeat at the hands of the Wings Tuesday night at Hampton Yards left them with an 0-5 record and their worst start to any season going way back to the lean 1996 campaign.
“We better start playing like we’re in B division,” said Todd Duckworth(L, 0-2) after a few bevvies, following a game in which he kept the Gargs close enough to catch up and to overtake their opponents; only they didn’t come close to achieving that feat. “We look a little casual — like a C team,” said Duckworth. “We’re too complacent.”
The Gargs managed only six hits on the night and unless this scribe missed something while taking a whiz in the whoods, only once did they advance a runner past second. Todd allowed a dozen hits, including a pair of two-run shots, the final blow being the proverbial walk-off dinger as it pushed the Wings’ margin to nine runs, eliciting the mercy rule. It was the second straight game in which the Gargs have been mercied and the second consecutive game in which they were unable to register a single run.
The Men in Black have scored but once in their last three games and have amassed a total of 19 runs the entire season.
Sure, they didn’t have two of their toughest hitters Tuesday night, with Bruce Turcotte (sore shoulder) and Matthew Stephenson (work) both scratched from the lineup. That left the Gargs with an unusual formation: Glen McGregor at shortstop; Kevin Emmerson at first; Mark Brennae at rover and Brian McGregor in centre.
The non-conventional defence wasn’t (stop me if you’ve heard this before) the difference, though. Despite committing three errors, including a Bill Bucknerish faux-pas by Emmerson in the first, the D was fine. It was the offence that took the night off (hell, the offence has taken the month off, but I digress), failing to bunch any hits or to assemble anything resembling a rally.
As was the case with Emerson and Ken Wong before him, Duckworth deserved better Tuesday night. But until this team starts hitting the ball, he’s not likely going to see it.
Gargs Largs: Kevin continues to look like an excellent pickup by the Gargs. Following the unfortunate Billy Buck play, he made several good catches and looked solid at first . . . Rick made a couple of terrific throws in from left, including one that nailed a runner at second on a fine tag from Karl Bélanger . . . Zach Schowalter was thrown out attempting to steal second in the first. Someone made the comment that it appeared the fine third baseman was carrying a piano on his back as he lumbered to the bag. Zach has never stolen a base in OCSL play, but he stole what would have been a base hit, perhaps more than a single, corralling a smash in the fourth that ended in a 5-3 out . . . The Gargs hit into two double plays Tuesday night and have hit into four in the last three games . . . Following the game, which was played in a swift time of a buck-14, a Gargs contingent of nine hit their usual watering hole and discussed among other topics, holding some sort of slump-busting ritual. Among the suggestions: bringing back Gary the Garg (the inflatable one, not the big rugged one that sits in Mark’s basement and is a bugger to carry around); sacrificing a chicken…The Gargs will try to get into the winner’s circle Sunday night when they visit the Cards (7 p.m., Hampton Yards).
Glen McGregor 1-3
Karl Bélanger 0-2 BB
Zach Schowalter 1-3
Kevin Emmerson 0-2
Brian McGregor 0-2
Ken Wong 1-2 2B
Mathieu Gauthier 1-2
Rick Devereux 0-2
Todd Duckworth 0-2
Mark Brennae 2-2
Todd Duckworth (L, 0-2), 5.1IP 9runs (5earned) 12H 4BB 2K
Gargs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
Wings 4 1 1 0 1 2 9 11 2
Att: 4 and two dogs.