Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5/18/11 Long Island Ducks 2, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 4

Regency Furniture Stadium, Waldorf, MD
Game 2 of 3

Michael Schlact takes the mound for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to face the Long Island Ducks. Yes, friends…this is Independent Baseball action, Atlantic League style!!

I am thinking to myself, right about now, if you don’t know who Michael Schlact is (or at least know something about him) you may be living under a baseball rock or two. So read my post a couple of months ago about baseball players on twitter, and also check out Michael’s MLBlog and also this great article by Benjamin Hill. You can also follow Michael on Twitter, he’s @michael_schlact. All that being said, I’m also thinking most people reading this blog may have read other blogs, and therefore may know about him. So let’s just take it from there…

Like many folks, I started digging deeper into Independent League Baseball following Schlact’s signing with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Before that, I knew of the Kansas City T-Bones, the Normal CornBelters (don’t ask), and a few other teams, but not a whole bunch more. I discovered quite by accident that you can listen to all Blue Crabs games for free online…which followed a subsequent discovery that one can WATCH Blue Crabs games online for free as well. It gets better…the games are archived, for streaming anytime, and you can watch just about any Independent League Baseball game through the same network (IBN Sports, this link will take you straight to the Blue Crabs landing page). The video quality is very good; there are no fancy on-screen graphics but you get to see some of the between-innings action on the field…which means there are no commercials! The audio feed is from the radio feed, play-by-play announcer Josh Caray is very good…stick with him, keep your scoresheet updated, and you should be able to keep up with the game just fine. Josh is, or course, related to Harry, Skip, and Chip...I'll write more about him in a future post.

After doing cartwheels up and down the block (hey, free baseball is awesome!) I just couldn’t wait to see Michael Schlact actually pitch in a game, rather than try to figure out how I was ever going to see him pitch…

I can’t tell you how kool this is. Really. That’s Michael Schlact on the mound!!

Of course, the first game I picked to watch and score was shortened due to rain. It may not have been Schlact’s best outing, but I was very impressed by what I saw and I’m sure that Blue Crabs fans are loving him to death. This year’s squad is doing very well to boot, playing several games over .500, and Schlact has been a big part of this effort.

Here the Blue Crabs are taking the field at the start of the game, Schlact is easily the tallest guy on the squad, and easy to spot as he emerges…

Schlact pitches to Kennard Jones in the first

This is Schlact versus SS Javier Colina

The first two batters scored on Colina’s HR, but Schlact held 13 more Ducks scoreless until Virgil Vasquez took over in relief. Vasquez tightened the tourniquet as the Blue Crabs responded with a big 4-run 5th inning. Unfortunately, rain started just as the 5th ended and the game was called after a 30 minute delay.

On my scoresheets, I had to use full names…I’m not so familiar with these names yet, but I have a feeling I will be soon. Look for more Blue Crabs games posted here, and more games with Michael (and a few earlier games featuring Disco Hayes as well)!!

You can watch any games (home and away) on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs homepage…the schedule is posted here with links to box scores and game recaps.

The link for this game: CLICK HERE

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