The same disposition that carried the Wingnuts to an 11-game winning streak will likely be a key to their 5-1 loss to Sioux City on Monday night not escalating into a more serious skid.
The Wingnuts were certainly aware of the streak, which set a record for the fifth-year franchise, but they were hardly focused on it. As fatigued as it appeared at times in being victimized by Explorers starter Jason Jarvis, Wichita is approaching Mondays loss the same way it did the streak by thinking about tomorrow.
"Youd think the guys would talk a lot about the streak and be cocky," Wingnuts second baseman Jake Kahaulelio said. "But were all level-headed. This is a sport, it happens. Sometimes a pitcher has his night and sometimes hitters dont."
The Wingnuts made few offensive adjusments against Jarvis, who was 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA through his first three starts, so Jarvis didnt have to alter his plan of attack. The right-handed Jarvis gained strength throughout his outing, recording five of his seven strikeouts during the final three innings.
The ninth inning was perhaps Jarvis best. He retired the Wingnuts in order four times, but in the ninth, approaching 100 pitches he exploited the outside corner to notch called strikeouts against Wichita cleanup hitter Juan Richardson and Mitch Einertson.
Wichita managed five hits against Jarvis and an unearned run in the second inning. The Wingnuts had two hits after the second and only one Kahaulelios two-out double in the eighth that left the infield.
After a pedestrian start to his season, Jarvis rose to the challenge of pitching against the American Associations hottest team. The Wingnuts narrowly avoided their first shutout of the season.
"(Wichitas winning streak) actually did kind of motivate me, because I wanted to show what I have," Jarvis said.
Following the run in the second, Wichitas opportunities to score against Jarvis were scarce but not non-existent. Sioux City took a 2-1 lead in the third, but a major reason for the Wingnuts winning streak their ability to answer runs quickly failed to materialize on Monday.
The Wingnuts had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth and Kahaulelio, a .391 hitter, at the plate. Kahaulelio worked the count to 2-0 before grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Kahauelios double three innings later accounted for the only time after the fifth that a Wichita baserunner reached scoring position.
"We werent ready to hit tonight like we usually are," Wingnuts manager Kevin Hooper said. "A lot of guys taking first pitches right in the zone that usually well handle pretty well. We let him off the hook quite a few times, too."
Wichita starter Ben Graham minimized damage against him, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Sioux City left eight runners on base during Grahams outing but he left when the Wingnuts were one swing from tying it.
Sioux City added three unearned runs in the eighth, aided by two Wichita errors. Catcher Taylor Freeman threw wide to first on a third strike in the dirt, and the Explorers followed by scoring on a walk, an infield single and another error. The Wingnuts still own the leagues best record at 13-4 and are confident Mondays loss can turn into just a blip.
"Maybe its just a little fatigue in general with whats been going on," Hooper said. "With the streak and everything, everybodys been getting hyped up and theres a lot of energy out there. Were allowed to play bad some nights were going to play bad some nights. Tonight was one of those nights, but well find out what were all about (tonight) with the way we bounce back from this."
|Newton cf||4||0||0||1||Khoury ss||2||0||1||0|
|Inoguchi lf, rf||5||3||5||1||Kahaulelio 2b||4||0||1||0|
|Backman 3b||5||0||2||2||Rodriguez dh||4||0||0||0|
|Sanchez 1b||4||0||0||0||Richardson 3b||4||0||0||0|
|Serrano dh||4||1||1||0||Einertson cf||4||1||1||0|
|Goodro c||5||0||2||0||Ziegler 1b||4||0||1||0|
|Priddy ss||5||0||0||0||Peralta rf||3||0||0||1|
|Murphy 2b, ph||3||0||2||0||Freeman c||3||0||1||0|
|Bistagne 2b, lf||4||1||0||0||Conroy lf||2||0||0||0|
|Sioux City||101||000||030||||5 12 1|
|Wichita||010||000||000||||1 5 2|
EPriddy (7), Khoury (1), Freeman (3). LOBSioux City 11, Wichita 5. DP Sioux City 1. 2BInoguchi (2), Backman (4), Serrano (8),, Goodro (3), Kahaulelio (5). 3BInoguchi (1). HBPLang (1), Khoury (4). SConroy. SBBackman (2).
|Jarvis W, 1-2||9||5||1||0||1||7|
|Graham L, 1-2||6 1/3||8||2||2||1||2|
PBFreeman. HBPKhoury by Jarvis (2), Lang by Graham (2).
Umpires home, Mike Riggers; 1st, Dan Hoffman; 3rd, Joe Stegner. T 2:20. A 2,906.