Monday, April 23, 2007

Dinger x4

Had another Bats game Sunday afternoon. Beautiful blue skies, slight breeze...perfect. Unfortunately the Bats' bats have gone quiet lately. Nothing quite as exciting as this:

But why does Joe Morgan suck so hard?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Much better

It was still a little brisk Tuesday night, but compared to last week it was darn-near tropical. And you may think you can beat dollar hot dogs and dollar sodas, but you'd be so so wrong, my friends.

Actually turned out to be a very entertaining, well-played game. Two strong performances from the starting pitchers. Here's the box score, if you are so inclined.

Three items of note from Tuesday's game:

1. The Columbus closer is Chris Booker, a former Bat. Always had decent stuff. I didn't have high hopes for a comeback once he rumbled to the mound in the 9th. (He's still a big dude).

2. The number of strikeouts (17 between the 2 teams in a 9 inning game), especially on called strikes. The ump had a large strike zone - he called it the same all night - and there were 8 backwards K's posted in my book. Maybe it's a sign that this is still the minor leagues, because I'd think big league hitters would have adjusted over the course of the game. Eventually you gotta swing at that low and away pitch, son!

3. The sad saga of Earl Snyder. Went into the game 0-for-16. Left the game 0-for-19 (batting cleanup, mind you). Put up another donut last night from the 7-hole and is now 0-for-23. How do you keep that out of your head when you're standing at the plate? Especially with the bright new video board at Slugger Field that shows a big ol' .000? Maybe hitting a baseball really is the hardest thing in sports.

The Bats leave for their first road trip today - no games for me until next weekend. But this weekend has significant blog possibilities, so stay tuned. If, you know, you've got nothing better to do. Which I suspect is the case for most of you if you've made it this far.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Take Me Out To The...Damn It's Cold!!!

As some of you may know I have a part-time gig in the spring and summer - I keep score for the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A farm club for the Cincinnati Reds. There are a few of us who rotate so I don't do every game - usually once or twice a week. Last night, as I'm sure you saw all over the national news, was Opening Day at beautiful Slugger Field.

Basically I keep score the way many of us learned as a kid, but much more detailed. What happens on every pitch, where every ball that's put in play ends up, etc. Since I have to see every pitch, I have to pee really fast and I can't leave early. Which on a balmy summer evening is not a problem. But when it's early April and the wind chill at 10 PM is 31 degrees, well, that's less pleasant. (Of course, the game went 10 innings as well. I should have known it was going to be one of those nights when the pre-game skydiver MISSED THE ENTIRE FIELD. Wind, shmind, a baseball diamond is a really big target!)

Other than the toe-numbing cold it was actually a pretty good game. Bats pulled it out in the bottom of the 10th. Ran into a buddy who I hadn't seen in a while, although why he would stay for 9 innings and THEN leave seemed odd. You're already cold, man! Go the distance! Ease his pain! Do it for Moonlight Graham!

It's always fun to see who's back in the minors, or which former Bats have ended up elsewhere. Biggest surprise was that Mark Bellhorn, former Red Sox big leaguer, is the Bats' starting second baseman. Maybe it's the fact that he hit .190 for the Padres last year...hard to say.

Got there too late to check out the food this year - that's never been a strong point for Slugger Field. I get a great seat behind the plate, but sometimes the fried-bologna sandwich aroma is a bit overpowering. And a frosty cold one didn't really sound all that tempting last night. So at least I didn't spend the money I earned on concessions.

My next game is in a few days and the forecast looks promising. Go Bats!