BRIDGEPORT — Manager Tommy John sat behind his desk in his office Wednesday night looking for the right adjectives to describe the performance of the first-place Bridgeport Bluefish. Each one that ran through his mind was less flattering than the one before it.
John didn't hesitate in labeling a 14-2 loss to the Camden Riversharks before 2,397 at Harbor Yard the worst game the Bluefish have played this season. Left-handers Ryan DiPietro and Charlie Hesseltine combined to surrender 13 runs and 16 of the 18 hits generated by the Riversharks. And John was not enamored by some suspect plays defensively.
"It was a bad game," John said. "Of the first hundred pitches, I think we threw like 70 fastballs and this is a good fastball hitting team. And we just didn't throw strikes, and then you got behind and then you threw fastballs and they just hit the ball. We didn't field balls. We didn't get good jumps on balls in the outfield."
The Bluefish (24-21) again trail the Riversharks (24-20) by a half game in the standings. The teams will meet for the final time in the first half tonight, with the Bluefish leading the season series 5-4.
DiPietro (1-1) allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings in his first start this season. Hesseltine allowed eight runs and nine hits in four-plus innings before leaving in the ninth with a groin injury.
Both pitchers had not been playing when the Bluefish signed them in a pinch May 31 in the wake of a hamstring injury to Tim Drew.
"I just didn't have some good stuff," DiPietro said. "I didn't feel comfortable. I fell behind and they took some good swings on like 2-and-0 counts."
The game was tied 2-2 in the fourth, but the Riversharks scored three runs on four hits off of DiPietro to take the lead. They then ripped the game open by scoring six more on six hits in the fifth off of Hesseltine.
Brett Bonvechio (2-for-5, two runs) hit a two-run home run in the latter inning. Gary Cates (3-for-5, three RBIs, two runs) added an RBI single and Josh Rabe (four RBIs) capped the rally with a three-run double.
Nic Jackson also had two hits and three RBIs for the Riversharks.
"We're looking for (starting pitching)," John said. "We have some options out there, but we've got to get a starting pitcher some place."
Alex Prieto (RBI) and Travis Ezi (run) each had two hits for the Bluefish. Bobby Darula tripled and scored a run.