Near-perfection in West Michigan

Lake County Captains RHP Louis Head warms up in the visitors bullpen.

I almost saw my second no-hitter Thursday, but alas, it was not to be.

The West Michigan Whitecaps were two outs away from throwing a perfect game against the Lake County Captains, but that bid ended when Captains DH Leonardo Castillo hit a ground ball that took a bad hop and hit Whitecaps 3B Jason King in the face. The official scorekeeper initially gave King a tough error on the play, obviously so the no-hitter would stay intact. Whitecaps RP Daniel Bennett struck out the next batter, Yhoxian Medina, but gave up a single to Jose Ramirez with two outs in the 9th inning. Francisco Lindor then singled to load the bases, but Bennett got Luigi Rodriguez to ground out to preserve West Michigan’s 6-0 shutout.

After the game, Castillo’s ground ball that struck King in the face was changed to a hit — which was the right thing to do.

Whitecaps SP Jeff Ferrell (4-4, 4.42 ERA) was perfect in his 7 innings of work, striking out 6 batters while not allowing a single baserunner. I assume he was taken out of the game because of his pitch count (85). RP Jade Todd added another perfect inning before Bennett came in for the 9th inning.

Unfortunately, the lighting conditions weren’t optimal for photos, so this is the best shot I was able to get of Ferrell:

West Michigan Whitecaps SP Jeff Ferrell

The offensive highlight of the game came off the bat of Whitecaps 2B Brandon Loy, who hit a bases-clearing double with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning. Whitecaps RF Jeff McVaney went 3-for-4 with an RBI double in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Whitecaps RF Jeff McVaney hits a pitch from Captains RP Kyle Petter.

I’ll be back at Fifth Third Ballpark for “Tiger Friday with Howard Johnson.” Johnson, who played 14 years in the major leagues with the Tigers, the Mets, the Rockies and the Cubs, will be onhand to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs during the game. Also, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive Johnson bobbleheads.

Additionally, the Whitecaps will have a unique promotion called “Aces in the Outfield,” which you can read about here.

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