‘Nessy’s Boner’ leads to Lugnuts loss — after Lansing ‘won’

If you’re a serious baseball fan, chances are you’ve heard of “Merkle’s Boner,” the infamous 1908 play in which Giants rookie Fred Merkle failed to advance to second base on a force play that would’ve scored the winning run.

Serious fan or not, chances are you haven’t seen a play like that in person. If you were at Cooley Law School Stadium for the end of Monday’s Loons-Lugnuts game, however, you probably did.

MiLB.com’s Jake Seiner did a great job describing what happened, so I suggest you read his entire account here. Nonetheless, here is the gist of it:

In a play reminiscent of a 1908 game between the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs, umpires overruled an apparent walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning and dragged the Lansing Lugnuts out of their clubhouse to play extra innings Monday. Dodgers affiliate Great Lakes scored the winning run on Leo Rodriguez’s single in the top of the 10th to escape with a 5-4 victory.

The drama began in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, 4-4, when Blue Jays affiliate Lansing loaded the bases with two outs.

Chris Hawkins worked a 3-2 count before drilling a ground-ball single into center field. Dwight Smith came around to score from third, and the Lugnuts began celebrating the so-called walk-off hit. They weren’t alone as (Loons manager Razor) Shines and the umpires also began filing off the field.

But Great Lakes center fielder James Baldwin turned the tide. The 21-year-old noticed the runner at first base, Santiago Nessy, had turned to join his teammates at home plate without ever stepping on second base. Indeed, the Lansing catcher had stopped about two-thirds of the way to second and cut back into the infield.

Baldwin stepped on second base with the ball, and immediately explained the situation to Shines.

Only time will tell whether this goes down in the Midwest League annals as “Nessy’s Boner.”

Lugnuts catcher Santiago Nessy in the Lansing bullpen before last Wednesday's game.

Lugnuts catcher Santiago Nessy in the Lansing bullpen before last Wednesday’s game.

Twins’ Pelfrey rehabs in Cedar Rapids

Minnesota Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey made a rehab start for the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Monday. The sinkerballer gave up two runs on two hits and a hit batsman, and at one point he retired 13 consecutive batters during his six-inning stint.

The Kernels won the game 6-3 to extend their winning streak to 11 games. They are undefeated in the second half.

In other rehab news, San Diego Padres SS Everth Cabrera will play with the Fort Wayne TinCaps tonight. According to TinCaps broadcaster Mike Couzens, the only other major-leaguer to rehab with the TinCaps is David Eckstein, in 2010. Eckstein went 3-for-9 with two walks and three RBI in three games.

Toronto Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie is scheduled to rehab with the Lansing Lugnuts on Thursday. He made one other rehab appearance with the Lugnuts, during last year’s playoffs. He went 3-for-4 and drew an intentional walk; in the field, he made a couple great plays and committed two errors. (I was at that game.)

Lawrie also played in the Midwest League when he was a minor-leaguer. As a Milwaukee Brewers prospect, he batted .274 with 13 HR, 65 RBI and 19 SB in 105 games with the 2009 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Brett Lawrie batting for the Lansing Lugnuts during the 2012 Midwest League playoffs.

Brett Lawrie batting for the Lansing Lugnuts during the 2012 Midwest League playoffs.

Guerrieri extends scoreless streak

Bowling Green Hot Rods SP Taylor Guerrieri pitched well again Monday, posting six scoreless frames to extend his scoreless streak to 22 innings, a franchise best.

The Tampa Bay Rays prospect gave up six hits and no walks, struck out three and hit two batters. His streak remains intact heading into his next start.

Bowling Green Hot Rods RHP Taylor Guerrieri

Bowling Green Hot Rods RHP Taylor Guerrieri

MWL players of the week

Minor League Baseball announced its players of the week for the seven-day period ending June 30. West Michigan Whitecaps 1B Jeff Holm was named the Midwest League’s offensive player of the week; Great Lakes Loons RP Scott Griggs was named MWL pitcher of the week.

This entry was posted in 2012 Playoffs, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Great Lakes Loons, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Bookmark the permalink.

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