Tonight the reigning champions from Philadelphia came to Camden to play our beloved Lobsters. The Lobsters had started off the season in fine fashion, sweeping Minnesota, and taking two out of three from hapless Washington before the Massacre in Milwawkee, where the hometown nine were trounced in three out of four games. Thus the Lobsters were barely over .500 as the proud Philadelphians swaggered into town.
Starting for the visitors was right hander Cam Cambert, winner of 15 games last year, and already 2-0. The locals countered with Rocket Rodriguez. Rodriguez was pummeled in the top of the first, Snapper Collins drawing a one out walk, his first of three, and Hot Dog Dobbins absolutely crushing a hanging slider out over the plate to put the champs up 2-0. The spiders responded with a strange inning, sending eight men to the plate, but plating only Manny Lopez, who drew a one out walk, and leaving the bases loaded when Rocket struck out.
In the top of the second, Dumbo Carbo lead off with a double, and after Santana struck out, Bambi Barlow singled, and Cam Cambert K'ed, Smiley Parlance tripled them home into the gap. Snapper Collins drew his second walk, and things looked grim for the Lobsters, but Catcher Steady Eddie Tanner caught Collins leaning the wrong way on a pitch out, and the inning was over.
In the bottom of the second, after Gecko Itagaki struck out - the first of three Ks for the rookie, who doesn't seem to know which end of the bat to hold - Cam Cambert suddenly could not find the plate, walking Big Roy James, Manny Lopez, and Walter Martinez with one out, bringing swaggering cleanup hitter Frankie "The Fixer" Rodriguez to the plate. and the Fixer didn't disappoint. He fixed the next pitch from Cambert into the right field stands for a grand salami, dancing around the basepaths to the tumultuous cheers of the crowd, sucking in every grandstanding moment. Lobsters took the lead 5-4.
Cambert and Rocket seemed to settle down after the second, and the next two innings went by quickly. Leading off the fifth, though, Rocket was rocked by Smiley Parlance, who took the Rocket downtown to tie the game at 5 all. That was enough for crusty Lobster manager Gaffer Kazakian, who yanked the rocket for rookie left-hander Chief Powell, who took up right where Rodriguez left off, walking Snapper Collins for the third time tonight, and grooving a double to Hot Dog Dobbins, with Collins chugging towards the plate full out. Lopez let off a rope from left field to the plate, nailing Collins for the first out. A good thing too, as Lobo Maquita, the Phil's third baseman, lashed a single to left right afterward, with Dobbins stopping at third, wary of Lopez' arm. Steady Eddie talked some sense into the boy, though, and the Chief K'ed Hunter and Carbo to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, with Swede Svensen in to pitch for Cambert, The Fixer smashed another towering fly, this one into the bleachers to give the Lobsters a one run lead, 6-5. That was all they would need as Chief Powell finished the game, pitching five innings with no runs, five hits, and 6 Ks for his first win.
We were lucky, though. Cam Cambert pitched a much better game than the score would indicate. The control problems in the second inning were entirely smoothed out as the game went on. Rocket, on the other hand, looked very hittable. It's still way too early to panic, though, and a W is a W. See you there tomorrow at the Lobster Pot!