Another difficult night for the Dust Devils.
The third inning in particular, when an error by outfielder Chad Lembeck and a wild pitch by Brad McAtee helped lead to two Boise runs in a 4-2 Hawks win.
That makes seven losses in a row for the Dusties, tying the second-longest losing streak in club history. The longest losing skein was nine in 2004.
It’s amazing how the little things can add up, though.
When Salem-Keizer came through in late June and the Dust Devils took 3-of-5 games, the Volcanoes committed 13 errors in the five-game series.
I asked S-K manager Tom Trebelhorn about those errors and he gave them an even stronger perspective.
Errors — in all forms: mental and physical — have a cumulative effect. And it’s not just errors late in the game that hurt you.
Lets say your team commits an error in the second inning. No runs score. No big deal, right?
Even one error early in the game can affect the game innings later. Here’s why: For one thing, it adds to the pitch count. If a pitcher is scheduled to throw 70 pitches, one batter could account for as many as 10 pitches.
That one error early in the game could mean the difference between leaving a starter in and having to bring in a new pitcher.
Or there’s this scenario: One error means bringing another batter to the plate, which could mean the difference between facing a No. 9 hitter batting .190 or a leadoff hitter with a .400 on-base percentage. Which would you rather face?
One of the main reasons for the Dust Devils current streak has been the cumulative effect of errors, wild pitches, passed balls, etc...
So far, Tri-City has committed 43 errors — 33 by the infield — through 31 games.
If Tri-City can’t cut down on these errors, they’ll seal their own fate in what could be a long season.
But things could be getting a little better with the addition of 2B Erik Wetzel and 3B Ryan Peisel.
Between Patrick Rose, Chris Vasami and the Dust Devils had committed 12 errors at third base through the first 23 games. But Peisel — a 12th-rounder out of Georgia — has not committed any errors at third in his first seven starts.
Tri-City has made 10 errors at second through 31 games. But Wetzel — a 13th-rounder out of Fresno State — will add some stability there. He committed just 13 errors in 413 chances and helped turn 59 double plays in 76 games for the NCAA champion Bulldogs in 2007.
And let’s hope Jordan Pacheco can keep improving behind the plate. So far he hasn’t proven very effective in blocking pitches in the dirt, or even catching balls outside the zone.
But Pacheco is a good worker, and he has gained the favor of the pitching and coaching staff with his positive attitude. But his head was hanging Friday night after three wild pitches (two of which could have been scored passed balls).