Legends On Deck

Syracuse Chiefs Weekend Review – April 7th to April 9th

Photo by Gabe Rodriguez – LOD

It wasn’t the type of start the Syracuse Chiefs wanted to open the 2017 season, but even after being swept by the Rochester Red Wings, One thing is for certain.  Baseball is back!

Mother Nature apparently wasn’t ready for baseball yet in upstate New York, as she forced her strong hand and had rain postpone the first two games of the season.  Knowing full well she wasn’t going to be able to hold it back much more, the series opened up Saturday with these two team finally locking horns and getting things underway.


Rochester Red Wings starter Jose Berrios, was not a gracious guest as he shut down the Chiefs, while looking in mid-season form, in the opener.  Berrios was outstanding on the mound and went six solid innings enroute to his first win of the season.  He silenced Syracuse bats allowing just three runs and a walk, while striking out seven.  I, along with site photographer Gabe Rodriguez, were fortunate enough to be on hand covering the game for Legends on Deck.  Red Wings took this one 10-0.

Chief’s starter  Joe Ross was no match for the Red Wings or Berrios as he struggled through his first outing of the season.  Ross lasted just 2.2 innings giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits, while surrendering three walks.  You can read the full recap of the game from my standpoint HERE.

Syracuse couldn’t get anything going, and it seemed that once they started to possibly make a move, there would be two outs, or Berrios would invoke a ground ball out or strikeout just to remind everyone who was in charge.

On the relatively chilly April afternoon, fans were still treated to baseball, even if the team they have aligned themselves with didn’t get the job done for them this time.

Let’s Play TWO!

Photo by Gabe Rodriguez – LOD

The aforementioned rain forced the teams to lock horn twice on Sunday to salvage at least three of the four games scheduled.  Unfortunately for the Chiefs the results were the same.  Rochester swept the two games 6-2 and 10-4 respectively, starting their season with a nice 3-0 record.  You hear it said all the time that the season can’t be won in April, but you can certainly fall behind making it harder in the end.

In the first game it looked like Syracuse would come out on top holding a 2-1 lead up until the top of the sixth.  Jacob Turner started the first of the twin bill for the Chiefs and looked pretty good.  He allowed just one run in 3.2 innings and kept Syracuse in the game.  The floor fell out in the sixth as Rochester put four on the board and one for good measure in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Photo by Gabe Rodriguez – LOD

Chief’s reliever duo of Matt Grace and Rafael Martin were on the hook for the late-inning barrage with Grace picking up the loss and Martin picking up the blown save.

In baseball you have to have a short-term memory because you have to get back out there and try it again.

Taylor Hill was on the bump to start the second game of the double-header and got himself roughed up in the later innings as well.  With the score a manageable 2-1 in favor of Rochester in the fifth, Hill and eventually Neal Cotts got tagged for the remaining eight runs the Red Wings had left in their bats to take the second game 10-4.

The Chiefs would make a late push scoring three runs in the last inning, but it was enough as they fall to 0-3 on the season.

Hit the Road!

Syracuse packs up and heads out of a 7-game road trip starting Monday in Pawtucket.  They have four scheduled there before a trip to Rochester for three.  They return home on Tuesday April 18th to face the Toldeo Mudhens.


Monday – Austin Voth 0-0, 0.00
Tuesday – A.J. Cole 0-0. 0.00
Wednesday – TBD


John has recently graduated from the University at Albany with a B.A. in History and is currently finishing his Master's Degree there as well in secondary education. After being away from school for over two decades he decided to go back and work towards his dream of becoming a social studies teacher.

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