TinCaps manager Jose Valentin had little emotion after his team gave up a six-run lead and six innings of shutout ball against Bowling Green on Thursday.
It was, he said, just one of those days.
Fort Wayne (23-15) caught breaks in the first few innings, including two errors that led to four unearned runs. The TinCaps had a 6-0 lead, and a gem of an outing from starter Justin Hancock. He gave up three hits, no runs and only allowed one extra base hit.
Then, the Hot Rods (25-13) caught fire, and Fort Wayne folded. And two of Valentin's go-to pitchers, Leonel Campos and Roman Madrid, had uncharacteristic outings.
So did Matthew Chabot, who Valentin said had a good spring training. It was Chabot's first game with the TinCaps.
The clubhouse as a whole relaxed its approach, Valentin said. And he hope his players learned they can't do that and expect to win.
"We score six, and we felt like we got the game easy," Valentin said. "We didn't keep our intensity all game around."
Even with a big lead, especially against a club as good as Bowling Green, the TinCaps can't afford to let up. The team committed two errors after the third, including one by catcher Rodney Daal that would have ended the seventh inning and prevented a run that proved decisive.
"Hopefully, we take this one today as an example," Valentin said. "You got to play nine innings hard because this game, anything can happen."