Curve manager gets tossed in loss
June 24, 2009


ERIE - Matt Walbeck knew Cale Iorg would be called safe at second before a play was even made.

He just didn't agree with it.

The Curve manager raced out of the dugout in the sixth inning and gestured his displeasure with John Conrad's call on the attempted steal by making a safe signal with his arms.

That was it for Walbeck, and not much longer that would be it for the Curve, who spoiled the debuts of Pedro Alvarez and reliever Dustin Molleken with a 6-2 loss to Erie at Jerry Uht Park on Tuesday.

"That was odd," Walbeck quipped, "considering I don't get thrown out of too many games."

That would be an understatement, as it was just Walbeck's second ejection of the season. Ironically enough, it came on the night of the SeaWolves' 15th anniversary, an occasion that saw their former skipper honored during the game as the franchise's manager on its all-time team.

After being tossed by the third base umpire, Walbeck had the unenviable task of walking back to his dugout to assign end-of-game duties before jotting back out on the field and making a beeline to his team's abnormally placed clubhouse.

He disappeared into the left-field wall, and shortly thereafter a 2-2 game vanished into another Curve deficit.

Andy Dirks drove Iorg home with a single two batters later. The SeaWolves then gave Molleken (0-1) a rude welcome to Double-A ball, tallying three more runs in the seventh to close the deal.

The Curve mustered eight hits off Erie starter Thad Weber (1-0) in six innings but had only two runs to show for their efforts.

Brian Friday sat out his second straight game at short because of a bum ankle. He watched Angel Gonzalez hit a leadoff double in the fifth that turned into the first Curve run, but also witnessed Gonzalez commit yet another error, his third in two games at short. This one placed Iorg on with one out in the sixth.

Iorg then stole second, much to the dismay of Walbeck, who was forced to listen to the ensuing three innings alone in the clubhouse.

"It's spur of the moment," Walbeck said. "I don't have time to think this is the time to light a fire, but I thought the guy was out and I thought it was a great throw by [Steve] Lerud and at the time I felt I had to step up and definitely say that I thought he was out."

Game recap

Key player: Iorg went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI.

Key play: Curve starter Kyle Bloom left the game after walking DH Deik Scram to start the fourth. Bloom had mild cramping and mild dehydration.

Key stat: Molleken gave up four runs (three earned) in just an inning and a third of relief work in his debut with the Curve.


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