The 2012 Louisville Bats are officially the worst in modern franchise history. The Bats fell to the Indianapolis Indians 2-0 in a rain-shortened Labor Day affair. It was the Bats’ 93rd loss of the season, setting a new franchise record for the most losses in a season. 8,185 were in attendance at Louisville Slugger Field for the final game of the 2012 season.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto made his second rehab appearance with the Bats and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. In two games with the Bats, Votto went 1-for-6 with a homer and four strikeouts.
The Indians took a 1-0 advantage in the first when Chase d’Arnaud, who singled to start the game, scored when Matt Hague grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. It was the 94th time in 144 games the Bats surrendered the first run of the game.
It was the only run Bats starter Tim Gustafson surrendered in his four innings of work. Gustafson, who was pitching on just two days’ rest, took advantage of three double plays turned by the Bats to avoid major damage. Gustafson walked two and struck out two in his final start of 2012.
A bizarre yet embarrassing moment for the Bats came in the eighth inning when Indians pitcher Juan Diaz, who had moved to second base, stepped to the plate. Diaz, in his second career at bat, reached and advanced to second on an error by Votto. Later, the 318-pound Diaz stole third and scored on a d’Arnaud single to make it 2-0.
Minutes later, the tarp was pulled and the game called, sending the Bats into the record books.
The cancellation cost the Indians’ Jeff Larish a chance at playing all nine positions. Larish, who started the game in left field, played every position but catcher. Larish was the pitcher of record for the final out of the seventh, the eighth and final position he played. Larish was credited with a save.
For the Bats, it was a soggy ending to a dismal season. After winning four straight Aug. 4-7 and appearing to have turned the corner, the Bats dropped 22 of their final 26 games to finish 51-93. The loss broke a tie with the 1991 Redbirds for losses in a season. It was also the first losing season for the Bats since 2005
Opening Day at Louisville Slugger Field for the 2013 season is set for April 4.