Monday, August 31, 2009

BIL Tour 2009: End of Tour Stats ADDENDUM

Not like anyone is going to ask, but just in case:

Total Pitches: 1582
Total Strikes: 967
Total Balls: 615

Most pitches in one 9 inning game: Nationals @ Cubs (313)
Fewest pitches in one 9 inning game: Astros @ Cardinals (219)

Worst pitch/strike ratio, 5 innings minimum: 1.75 Randy Wells, Chicago Cubs (6.1 IP, 110-63)
Best pitch/strike ratio, 5 innings minimum: 1.3 Hayden Penn, New Orleans Zephyrs (7 IP, 91-70)

Worst pitch/strike ratio, less than 5 innings pitched: 3.18 Jonathan Gonzalez, Quad Cities River Bandits (2 IP, 35-11)
Best pitch/strike ratio, less than 5 innings pitched: 1.18 John Bale, KC Royals (1 IP, 13-11)

Foul / fly balls caught: 0
Hot dogs from hot dog cannon caught: 1 (Mark)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

8/30/09 New York Mets 4, Chicago Cubs 1

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

I’m not even sure why I’m posting this one, a ho-hum performance from the Cubs. Nelson Figueroa, take 2 gold stars out of petty cash, nice job (7IP, ER, 2BB, 10K).

NYM 4 12 0
CHC 1 7 1

This was another ‘early’ scorecard template experiment, for scoring games on the radio (note batting order # instead of player jersey #).

BIL Tour 2009: End of Tour Stats

Games: 6
Cities: 6
Parks: 6
Teams: 12

Runs: 56
Hits: 92
Errors: 6
Left on Base: 65
Innings played: 50.5
At-Bats: 391

Home Runs: 13
Doubles: 19
Triples: 2
Total Xtra Base Hits: 34
Fielder's Choice plays: 13
RBIs: 52
Walks: 40
Stolen Bases: 5
Hit Batters: 5
Sacrifice Plays: 7 (all Bunts, no Flys)
Put-outs: 301
Flyouts: 102
Groundouts: 98
Strikeouts: 69
Force Outs: 32
Caught Stealing: 6
Double Plays: 10 (all GIDP)
BLS (Broken Bats): 3

Total Pitchers Faced: 38
Total Batters Faced: 427
Earned Runs: 52
Wild Pitches: 5
Passed Balls: 1

Total Attendance: 129,902
Total Time of Baseball: 15 hours, 47 minutes

Games played in a dome: 1
MLB games: 4
MiLB games: 2
Managers Ejected: 0
Extra-Inning Games: 0
Balks: 0
Rain delays / rain outs: 0
Home team wins / Home team losses: 3-3

Miles traveled: about 1500
Time needed to recuperate: none, I'm scoring the Mets @ Cubs game now, ready to do this again today!!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BIL Tour: 8/28/09 Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Milwaukee Brewers 8

The last visit and game of our it really almost over?

I haven't been to Milwaukee since I was a kid, didn't really see much as we approached Miller was ALL we could see from several miles back!

Miller Park is HUGE, no question about it. The dome and its supporting mechanical features lend greatly to the impression of its size. The dome was open when we arrived; both Mark and I noted that Dallas could play their games here while they move their video display board.

These guys know how to TAILGATE...probably because its Friday, but maybe because we are in Wisconsin!

Robin Yount statue in front of the Home Plate gate (there is also a statue of Hank Aaron)

Our seats were just fine, one section closer to the plate would have been ideal. We were in the Loge outfield box, on the 3rd base side. Great vantage point for infield and outfield plays, and a great POV to enjoy the barrage of homers we watched this evening. Milwaukee fans are definitely another breed; the folks around us got up to pee and/or drink at least once per inning - I don't think the group directly in front of us could have told you what the final score was!

Unlike St. Louis, I wore a Cubs hat and shirt to the game - I had to, as a gesture to show my support for my team and to stare in the face of our defeat the day before. The Brewers are further behind in the NL Central and Wild Card race this year than the Cubs are...I suppose that hurts for a few Brewers fans, but is baseball.

The park staff and most fans were courteous, but as I was warned by several folks, Cubs gear in Miller Park isn't kool according to some. We almost made it through the entire game, when during the 8th inning a sobriety challenged fan walking up the stairs wanted to know what we were doing there, and I told him...we're here to see a game. He then let us know in so many pleasantries how we would never win, and returned his sentiment politely. SAME TO YOU, BUDDY. A lady behind me reached over for some 'fan chat' right after this (probably due to her embarrassment for Brewers fans), I told her I thought it was odd how there seemed to be many Robin Yount T-shirts, but no Paul Molitor shirts! I probably would have bought one...

I wanted a Sausage Race hat, but we only found ONE in the gift shop and I didn't like the hat style or the price that much, so...maybe some other time!

Winner of the Sausage Race, my favorite CHORIZO ("by a casing")!!! (The picture is a bit blurry, but I was a bit excited!)

PIRATES 6 10 0
BREWERS 8 12 1

A dual-edged offensive strike by both teams, the Brewers had the edge with 3 homers during the game (Fielder, Bourgeois, and Braun). The big obvious difference was the Pirates left more runners stranded than the Brewers, almost 2:1.

Mike Cameron and Alcides Escobar also hit well. Manny Parra had a couple of rough innings, but the Pirates' Zack Duke was much rougher, facing 10 batters in a 5-run, 7-hit 1st inning (that included Fielder's 3 run HR). Chris Bootcheck allowed only one run after Duke's 3 innings of work. Andrew McCutchen belted a big HR in the 6th, but the Pirates were unable to reverse the early inning stomping they received.

As I had hoped, since the Brewers were up, we got to experience "TREVOR TIME" in Miller Park, kind of exciting!

Trevor threw 21 pitches, that's the most I've ever see him handle. Garret Jones reached first base on an unusual error by Hoffman (he outran Jones to 1st on a softly hit ground ball but dropped the ball as he hit the bag after the relay), and the next batter Andy LaRoche worked Hoffman a little before swinging to sundown. 4 up, 3 down on K (2 swinging, one called).

The dome was open at the start of the game, but was closed by the time we noticed it was so during the 7th inning. In case you were wondering, Todd Coffey's time from the pen to the mound was 13.24 (his record this season is 11.61).

Official Scorecard - I also scanned one of the inside panels, featuring a very nicely done 'How to Score' section, one of the best I've ever seen. The intro paragraph is some of the best 'buy in' prose at this level ever.

Official GAMEDAY mag - instead of a xeroxed one-sheet with lineup and stats, this was given away free and is a nice magazine for both scorers and spectators in general.

This great 2-page article appeared in the Gameday mag, a nice writeup about Brewers' Official Scorer Tim O'Driscoll.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BIL Tour: 8/27/09 Washington Nationals 5, Chicago Cubs 4

Rain seriously threatened today; I remained optimistic for sure - our Terrace seats would keep us from getting drenched during the game.

We headed for the train in the morning to catch the day game at Wrigley. We've seen a lot of parks (and Milwaukee yet to come!) but there really is no place like Wrigley. The energy level is almost overwhelming.

By the Ernie Banks statue...Let's Play TWO!!

My "LV" seats weren't as bad as I had feared, but with the low attendance Mark and I easily 'upgraded' with ease. LV means limited view, that's a 'lesson learned' for this trip. More on that some other time, ha ha...

Gale Sayers throws out the first pitch!! Folks from Milwaukee sitting next to us: "Who's Gale Sayers?" then after I told them, one lady said "he looked so SMALL in that movie, not big like other football players..."

The series with the Nationals being even, I was very hopeful for a W - and also excited to see Randy Wells pitching live at a game for the very first time!!

CUBS 4 6 0

EGADS. OK, offensively, Cubbies are showing some FIRE instead of smoke and mirrors. My boys Theriot and Fukudome were hitless, and Jake Fox only appeared as a PH, struck out...but Lee and Ramirez both launched rockets - only Cubs that hit safely today, but their hits counted with 2 RBIs apiece. Very disappointed in the tears that Randy Wells brought with him today; he pulled a 'Big Z' and blew chunks in the first inning, walking Nyjer Morgan (I told Mark 'he better not walk this guy'), who scored on Christian Guzman's double, and then Ryan Zimmerman sent a big 2 RBI jack to left-centerfield. After walking Dunn next, Wells knocked out the final 3 batters 1-2-3...however, those 3 runs on the board kept the Nats in top for the rest of the game. One more homer in the 3rd by Dunn sealed the deal. The Cubs started to come back (thanks to Lee and Ramirez) but a slow-boiling rally in the 9th was extinguished by an embattled Milton Bradley. BUT Bradley didn't blow this one, Randy Wells question about it.

Bill Welke let a play at home (Lee stealing) go to pot when Nats catcher Jason Bard caught the flip from Burnett on a 'wild pitch' (that's how I scored it) and tagged Lee out with his glove, while the ball sat in his other hand!

Fukudome swings...

It was GREAT to be at Wrigley again, but this loss was such a bummer...we were so miffed we forgot to get our obligatory shot of the final on the scoreboard.

Official Scorecard MAGAZINE (the scorecard is inside, the mag is 'too big' for typical scanner beds...the front of the card itself is the same as the one I posted on my 7/7/09 game synopsis, only the team stats and info inside are updated)

BIL Tour: 8/26/09 Quad Cities River Bandits 3, Peoria Chiefs 7

Macht spass!! Mark and I spent the day at my parents' house, and primed ourselves for 'Wacky Wednesday' at O'Brien Field with a beer and some chips n salsa. Mom and Pop came with us to the game. As we rolled into the main gate, we had some happy snaps near the statue of Pete Vonachen (Peoria's "Mr Baseball").

Mark and I were approached by a young girl with a clipboard with the buy-in opening statement: "You guys look like fun people..."

Yup, you guessed it...Mark and I were hand-picked to play a game on the field between innings. Fortune favors the bold, we were picked for the "sack race." Hey, how could we refuse?

We loaded up on some hot dogs and peanuts ("Wacky Wednesday" means they are FREE, limit 2 dogs and 2 cups of peanuts per person per transaction), then found our seats. Pop said "great job" on the seats, they were very nice. Rain threatened earlier, but it wasn't that sunny, cooled off only slightly and the weather stayed great throughout the game.

O'Brien field was nice, but showing some 'frayed edges' over the years. Especially the poor Jumbotron...the pixels on the display screen shifted erratically, several lights were out and mixed on the scoreboard, and the colors were way off. If you're looking for a good cause, maybe you should start a 'save the Jumbotron' campaign for the Chiefs.

At O'Brien field you can 'party on' in the Sandberg Suite...

Save the JUMBOTRON!!

The game got started (the Quad Cities River Bandits are a St. Louis Cardinals low-A affilliate) and our sack race was scheduled between halves in the first inning. Pop covered for me scoring while Mark and I prepared for our 30 seconds of fame.

Mark and I competed against each other; we went out to the first base line as they set down burlap sacks and a cone. When the whistle blows, you pick up your bag, jump in, head for the cone, go around it, and come back to the finish line. Mark and I were pretty much neck-and-neck until the turn at the cone; I went around too wide, Mark got the jump on me, and then 6 pounds of chips, salsa, hot dogs, and peanuts started to take their toll on me. Mark got the "W" and I got the sack!! A great, 'special' event to add to our BIL Tour on-field game!!

We didn't get any photos of the race, but (lucky me) my mother is getting us a video-tape. Oh boy!!

The lineup sheet had several promising names; we could have seen Brett Jackson (1st round draft pick) or Michael Brenly (son of Bob) play, but didn't. D.J. LeMahieu (2nd round draft pick this year) did start at second base; Chis Archer started for the Chiefs. One of the 'pep crew' at the field told us that Archer has great stuff, when he's on...but when he's not on he's not on, kinda like another Cubs pitcher I know.

CHIEFS 7 11 1

The game was exciting, the River Bandits opened up with a big 1st with 2 hits, 2 walks and a run scored. The Chiefs came up with their own brutal inning in the 2nd, with a sweet 3-run homer by Drew Rundle. The Chiefs had a great night offensively, with Rundle (2-3), Ryan Flaherty (1-4), Rebel Ridling (1-4), LeMahieu (1-3), and Nelson Perez (2-4) all driving in runs. Archer's start wasn't necessarily 'quality'...he struck out 5 and walked 5 during his 4 innings of work, allowing only 3 runs (all earned) and beaning a batter. His latter innings were much better than his initial outing, but reliever Alberto Cabrera earned the W, allowing only 2 hits, 3 BB and 3 K.

DJ LeMahieu at bat!

Drew Rundle prepares to blast off...

The River Bandits' pitching duo of Jorge Rondon and Jonathan Gonzalez were fun to watch; especially Rondon with his very aggressive delivery style. The offense was led by D'Marcus Ingram (1-2, SAC bunt, 2BB, 2R) and Frederick Parejo (2-4); runs were driven in by Jarred Bogany (2 RBI, 1-3) and Xavier Scruggs (1-5).

With plenty of baserunning highs and lows, and Rundle's storybook homer (his 3rd of the season) you couldn't ask for better baseball action - along with free hot dogs and peanuts!! The scorecard was FREE at this game, but the pencil cost a buck. So much fun having my parents along for this one...for the record, I haven't been to a baseball game with my folks since we saw Thurman Munson's last game at Comiskey Park on 8/1/79.


Official Scorecard (it was FREE, but the pencil cost $1)...I included the back as well, for the remarkable 'scoring the game' details...I found out later this graphic was designed by Patrick McGovern himself, he of The Baseball Scorecard fame.

Gameday lineup and info

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BIL Tour: 8/25/09 Houston Astros 0, St Louis Cardinals 1

On our way to St. Louis from Kansas City, we stopped by for lunch at a bistro/winery near Columbia...Mark's suggestion, a spot he'd been to before (and one of my sister's favorites spots), and a great idea. Excellent view of the Missouri River, and a tasty burger. Mark tried to get me to get my picture taken with a large group of Red Hat Ladies, and I should've done it...but I didn't.

We arrived in STL in the very early afternoon, the weather was great as we strolled around the Waterfront Park and visited the Arch. We didn't take the tram up but we did wander through the museum, there was a very kool exhibit on the history of St. Louis baseball...since the Arch is a 'Westward Expansion' memorial, there was a lot of focus on how the St. Louis area served as the 'gateway' for the baseball world in that respect.

As game time approached we headed for the stadium, stopping by Mike Shannon's for a polish (as we were advised to do so by my friend Don). Mike Shannon's has an outdoor pub where the grill was located. Great stuff, excellent recommendation!!

2 beers + 2 brats = NO PROBLEMS

We arrived at Busch Stadium (right across the street from Mike Shannon's) just as the gates were opening and BP was underway!

Busch Stadium is beautiful; very little rememberance of the old field was evident and even though the sun was out in full strength, walking through the main level concourse was very comfortable. I promised our game-ticket benefactor I would dress neutral, hence my Hanshin Tigers gear. Given the present set of circumstances in the NL Central, I would have loved to see the Cubs and Cards a bit closer in the race but the Cards are playing well, the Cubs aren't, and regardless...the Astros have had the Cards' number lately...

What wasn't very beautiful was the PRICES of food and drink. I left the Big K in KC thinking their high prices was reflected by the cost of a newly renovated stadium...Busch has been open in its present form for a few years, so why $8.50 beers?!?

We made our way to the 'special' escalator to the REDBIRD CLUB, the bonus seating we were so generously gifted by our game-friend Gary!

This was a VERY nice area, large enclosed air-conditioned concourse, with rows of barstool seating against big picture windows, access to the broadcast booth (with proper credentials) and a variety of food and fare that was decisively a notch or so above offerings on the main level. We passed through our comfy padded stadium chairs and enjoyed BP in progress, with the shadows of the west creeping in...

As you can see, our view was totally shabby...he he...

The game itself was a very exciting pitchers' duel, the first of its kind on our trip and really the most intense battle of this sort I've ever witnessed since the Astros @ Padres game I enjoyed in San Diego a few years ago.

ASTROS 0 3 0

Both pitchers served their skill dramatically, Adam Wainright against Wandy Rodriguez. Both carried on through late innings, allowing only a few hits each. Pujols' RBI double in the very first inning was St. Louis' only scoring opportunity. Rodriguez struck out 6, walked one; Wainwright struck out 4, walked none.

"old skool" Hunter Pence (left-hand glove, high n tight stockings) AB in the first inning

Yadier Molina rapid-fouls his way to a swinging strikeout in the 7th

No big ball tonight, although there were a few warning-track close calls on both sides of the fence.

Great game, mega-fun amongst a sea of Cardinal red. After spending a considerable slice of eternity getting out of the parking garage, we are off to see the mighty Peoria Chiefs!!!


Official Scorecard

Official Souvenir 'program'

Gameday lineup and info

BIL Tour: 8/24/09 Cleveland Indians 10, Kansas City Royals 6

Another fantastic day for baseball!! Still recovering from our FANTASTIC dinner at Don's (thanks again, bro!), we started off our day upgrading Mark's BB (a little biznis, no problemo)...our planned visit to the Negro League Baseball Museum ended up bust as the museum is closed on Mondays. :(

We arrived at Kauffman stadium a bit early, so we ended up having a catch in the A lot. A fellow named Matt with a Boston cap joined us; a very special 'baseball tour' kind of tailgate activity!!

The new K is GORGEOUS; once again we had some very fantastic seats on the first base side (behind the home dugout), enjoying a little bit of BP and field workouts as we wandered the amazing concourse at the K. Don joined us and we walked through the Royals Hall of Fame (we missed the movie). We saw the Pine Tar bat, a room of George Brett memorabilia (including the home plate he kissed during his final home game), and Mark designed a ball park at the interactive kiosk.

The icing on the cake...the LARGEST stadium screen I have ever seen, you can't even call it a Jumbotron. It makes the big board at Churchill Downs look like a tube TV, and it also shoots fireworks once in a while.

Stevo-sama and GEORGE BRETT statue!

3 guys at the game. GO ROYALS!!!

Lots of great food and sure you get a Brett Beer at the PINE TAR PUB! (Nobody's going to run out and try to rip your head off if an excess of 18 inches from the handle is called...)

No foul balls at the game (we DID try), but lucky Mark caught a hot dog from the cannon. Nice going bro! I ended up eating it, the cannon didn't really make it warm...

Now, on to the game...

INDIANS 10 14 0
ROYALS 6 9 0

A very exciting matchup, I completely underestimated the firepower of the Indians, for sure. Not really a pitcher's duel; the once-great Gil Meche has been in a mini-slump lately, and as for Jeremy Sowers - he's a basketcase and showed his meltdown during the Royals' 4-run 5th inning.

Not holding Teahen...

Mark Teahen had a great game, hitting 2-4 with an RBI. A near rally in the 9th was put down as quickly as it started...the Indians were the beneficiaries of some fantastic offensive moves, notably 2 seperate 3-run HR blasts in the 4th inning (Travis Hafner) and the 8th inning (Luis Valbuena) respectively...Hafner went 3-5 with a whopping 4 RBI.

Disappointing to experience the loss (we are 0-2 on home team wins for the trip so far), but it was a VERY exciting game to watch, one of the best live baseball games I've seen to date!


Official Scorecard (hey, look at the's LOU!!!)

Official Souvenir 'program'

Gameday lineup and info
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