Mirror photo of Patrick Waksmunski Andy Buckley, who plays David Wallace on the TV show ‘The Office’ prepares to throw out the first pitch before Altoona Curve’s game with Reading at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Thursday night.

Next stop

Tonight: Reading at Altoona, 6 p.m.

Pitchers: Curve RHP Carmen Mlodzinski vs. Phils RHP Andrew Painter

File: 36-29

By Matt Michelone

For the mirror

Everything that could go wrong did Curve on Thursday night in Round 4.

They allowed five runs on four hits while walking two as they were pounded by Reading, 9-0, in front of 3,745 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

“It was hard” Curve director Kieran Mattison said. “We got off to a good start and we just didn’t get a break.”

The loss officially knocked the Curve out of the Eastern League playoffs for the third consecutive year.

What happened?

Reading’s outburst was fueled by a Wendell Rijo single down the left field line to score three runs. This ultimately put the game aside.

Meanwhile, Bowie beat Akron, 10-1, which reduced the curve’s elimination count to zero. A loss paired with a Baysox or Erie win would have ultimately eliminated them from the competition.

This is the second season that the first and second half championship winners of the Northeast and Southwest Divisions have advanced to the playoffs as the primary method.

It’s the first time the Curve have missed the playoffs in three or more consecutive seasons since going four years without qualifying between 2011 and 2014.

hard night

The Pirates’ first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Quinn Priester, had a sour outing on his birthday as he went 3ª innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out five.

That’s the most runs — and tied for the most hits he’s allowed — in a single game this season. He finishes 2022 with a 4-4 record and a 2.87 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP.

“That fourth inning once he got two out, things kind of spat on him,” Mattison said. “He just tried to do more. With Quinn right there, we tried to let her know ‘You don’t have to do more, you just have to do introductions.’

A lesson learned

The 2022 edition of the Curve has raised high expectations after much of that same core won a High-A championship with Greensboro.

Even though there won’t be any champagne celebrations this year, it’s still a great lesson learned for their future.

“I feel like we’ve grown a ton,” Mattison said. “When you are tested in combat, you are going to benefit from it. These guys are first-class young men overall, and they’re really, really talented baseball players. They have a strong bond; they go out and compete together and they get it.

Buckley in town

Fans of the hit NBC TV show “Office” was lucky enough to meet Andy Buckley after a pair of early schedule changes.

Buckley played David Wallace who was the CFO and later CEO of paper company Dunder Mifflin. He’s been busy lately, including a show on HBO that’s a sci-fi comedy as well as projects with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This break proved huge in launching his acting career as he worked with Merrill Lynch at the time as a stockbroker.

“I had stopped playing, it was not going well” he said. “I got my lucky break and was excited to do a few scenes. They slowly started using me more over the seasons.

Buckley also enjoys interactions with his fans and those he is a fan of.

He threw out the first pitch and signed autographs for fans and enjoyed his delayed trip to central Pennsylvania on Thursday night, which included a stop at Penn State.

“I’ve never been to Pittsburgh or Altoona, or western AP,” he said. “What a beautiful drive through the mountains.”

The last

Thursday was the last game the Curves wore their Mountain City uniforms as a tribute to an original pro baseball club in the city.

The jerseys were auctioned off online and the proceeds from the jerseys were donated to the American Rescue Mission in Hollidaysburg.

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