|Scott Arthurs (W)||7.0||5||2||2||0||5||0||3.16|
|Chris Tibbles (L)||7.0||7||3||2||1||8||0||3.26|
Arthurs Gets Win with Mudcats in AttendanceUpdated Sunday May 27, 2018 by Justin Biggs.
On Friday night the Mudcats took on the Expos with much anticipation of a potential pitchers duel between Scott Arthurs of the Mudcats and Chris Tibbles of the Expos. The marquee match-up brought many Mudcats players to the park to watch the game. Replying on intuition, manager Chris Smith decided to only dress Arthurs for the Mudcats this game.
The stands were full with Mudcat players sporting the team's retro black jersey's with red lettering and white trim. Despite being the visiting team, the large contingent of Mudcats in the stands gave Arthurs a home field advantage as he single handedly took on the Expos. The Mudcats and their belligerent reputation where quick to get under the skin of Expos starting pitcher Chris Tibbles allowing Arthurs to have an early 1-0 lead after the second inning after a pick-off at first allowed a run to score.
Arthurs appeared to pitch stronger as the game went on drawing energy from the Mudcats who were tailgating in the stands. However, Arthurs ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning when he allowed a two run homerun to Russell Smithson. After the game Arthurs commented that he simply missed his spot inside the empty bucket behind homeplate that he was pitching into.
Later, in the bottom of the sixth, controversy stuck when the Mudcats were accused of an illegal defense. Craig Valach was accused of running down a Chris Tibbles line drive at the left field fence in full stride, which would constitute an illegal defense as Arthurs was the only Mudcats roster player. However, between the umpires, Expos, and Mudcats, no-one actually saw the play including Valach himself. The umpires convened and determined that they only saw Valach sauntering around the fence nonchalantly and threrefore there was insufficient evidence for an illegal defence and Tibbles was called out.
In the top of the seventh inning, Arthurs came up to bat with two outs and ghost runners on first and second. Arthurs proceeded to lace an opposite field line drive over the left fielder's head to score both runners and give himself a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Arthurs then retired the Expos in order to secure the win in front of the raucous Mudcats players who charged the field in jubilation.
Manager Chris Smith's decision to only play Scott Arthurs appears to have payed off in the early stages as the rest of the Mudcats players should be well rested heading into back to back games against the Twins on Sunday and BlueJays on Monday.