Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
This was a special BASEBALL day! Cousin Mike and his posse, coming through town on the final stop of their baseball tour this summer, were kind enough to invite me to join them. It was an honor to share this experience with them, getting a ‘preview’ of what my own experience with Mark on our own tour later this month will be like.
We started off with a quick trip to the newly-renovated Slugger Museum (Bummer! The ‘on field’ replica is GONE!), then off to Slugger Field to see the Bats (still 6 games ahead in first place of their IL division) take on the visiting Charlotte Knights, a White Sox farm team.
Of course, Mike is a White Sox fan – it was too bad to see the Bats drop this one, but joyful that the team Mike and his nephew came to see got the W today. Mike’s brother is a Cubs fan like me, so we were just enjoying baseball!
I giggled with glee as I realized that the Knights’ manager is none other than baseball legend Chris Chambliss…he was also their 3rd base coach for the night! As we sat on the 3rd base side, it was kool to see him signing away…he tossed a few foul balls into the lower deck stands, some of those kids should have had HIM sign their souvenirs!
THE Chris Chambliss!!
Some other familiar faces playing for the Knights: Daryle Ward (a former Cub), Josh Fields, Wilson Betemit and Michael Restovich (naturally). Fields saw some MLB work this season, all 3 figured prominently in several spring training games I watched (and scored) this year. Restovich, BTW, played for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in NPB last year…I didn’t know that until I saw the note on their roster.
This was Josh Fields' 1st MiLB appearance, having only recently been bumped back down to AAA. Here he is at the plate...
Former White Sox Corky Miller caught for the Bats.
KNIGHTS 3 10 0
BATS 2 8 0
With Justin Lehr called up to the Reds, the Bats turned to their current ace Matt Maloney. Maloney dropped his last outing against the Knights, against the same pitcher (Carlos Torres). Both have miniscule ERAs, the big difference being that the Knights are a few games behind in their division. I’m kind of wondering how the Bats will fare from this point on, with Lehr called up and having lost some great prospects to trade deadline moves.
Maloney pitched well, with some expected offensive support from Kevin Barker (2-4, HR in the 4th) and Chris Valaika (2-4, RBI single in the 5th)…however, the Knights proved more formidable, with Torres’ 4 hits and 6 K in 6 innings pitched, and Restovich and Fields both hitting solo jacks. A most impressive defensive play on the Bats’ behalf erupted in the 5th, when Chris Heisey (Bats LF) stole a homer from Tyler Flowers (Knights C) – it should have been a PO, but Heisey sno-coned the ball at the top of the wall, allowing Flowers to get away with a double instead.
The Knights’ 8th inning was mayhemic, lotsa scratching and erasing on my scorecard but here’s how it worked out:
1. Hopper singles on liner to CF Stubbs – 0 out
2. Ginter out on a ‘SAC bunt’ 3B Eymann to 1B Barker, Hopper to 3rd – 1 out
3. Kroeger reaches on FC, 2B Boliver to C Miller, Hopper out at home – 2 out
4. Pitching Change: Ondrusek replaces Maloney
5. Restovich walks, Kroeger to 2nd – 2 out
6. Fields singles on grounder to 2B Boliver, Kroeger out at home, 2B Boliver to C Miller – 3 out
Fun game, great company. Scoring Note: Yes, Ryan you were right (of course) – Hopper’s GIDP was not an RBI. Also, SAC bunt didn’t count as an AB for Ginter, different than SAC fly (I’m still working this out).
...and just in case you were hoping for some detail overkill, here's the published rosters for both teams (as of 7/31/09) and if you ever wanted to know what a Bats Official Scorecard looks like...here ya go...