Game 1 of 4
Getting back to the base, for the second time this month, I'm still buzzing about Tony Cingrani's debut at the Bats' Opening Day April 4th (and also Mike Hessman's, wow). My friends Bill and Marty are with me this evening, and Pedro VillaERAeal is starting for Louisville. Also, Corky Miller has been called up to Cincinnati recently, so Konrad Schmidt (who started the opener as well) is behind the dish.
Could he have a night tonight? Sure, he could...as only Konrad Schmidt himself could muster it up.
For all the grief I afford Villareal (including the nickname I use for him, that I created, yet that he EARNED...get it?) he has had a smooth start so far this season, and so has his counterpart for the Braves, Tim Corcoran. Pedro handles himself very well, cruising through 6 innings of work with 1ER and 4K. Corcoran mirrors his efforts with a clean 7IP, 1ER, 3K and 2BB. Corcoran's only run was courtesy of Henry Rodriguez, who drove in Mike Hessman in the 2nd inning. Villareal let Joe Terdoslavich get to him in the 4th with a 2-out solo HR on the first pitch he saw in the AB.
Obligatory Billy Hamilton photo! Billy did not much of anything tonight, he reached base once on a lead-off walk to start the 1st inning, made it to 3B on a Felix Perez Single, then grounded to 1B twise and struck out swinging. Here is his first groundout versus Corcoran in the 3rd inning.
Bats reliever Nick Christiani, in relief of Villareal, gives up a 1-out solo shot by Matt Pagnozzi in the 7th, and the Braves have a 2-1 lead over the Bats heading into the bottom of the 9th, Louisville's last chance to close this game out in their favor.
The Braves call on Australian side-armer Andrew Russell to stifle the Bats; he retires the first two batters handily on a groundout and strikeout...with one out left, Henry Rodriguez singles for the third time tonight, followed by pinch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss' first hit of the game, another single, on Russell's first pitch and the tension is electric! 2 out, 2 on, and here comes...oh gawd, here comes Konrad Schmidt.
Schmidt is 0-for-3, with a ground out, flyout, and a FIDP following a bizarre play (more on that later). Against the side-armer, Schmidt finally finds his patience, working a full count plus one fouled back.
Let's review Schmidt's FIDP a little more in depth, or rather, the events that transpired before it. Henry Rodriguez reaches on a single (his second of the day). Denis Phipps strikes out (foul-tip-to-mitt: FTM), one out and one on. Schmidt enters the batter's box, and on the first pitch (a called strike), Rodriguez is heading for second, Braves catcher Matt Pagnozzi fires to second baseman Corey Wimberly and...drops the ball right as he's tagging Rodriguez!! Rodriguez is safe, Wimberly is charged with an Error, and (here's the strange part)...Rodriguez is saddled with a "Caught Stealing, No Put Out." Yes, it's a strange one but it happens, and it's legal.
Referring to THE RULES, specifically 10.07 (f), which states:
At any rate, Schmidt's high fly to shallow right field one pitch later would have only been the second out of the inning, but Rodriguez still had his wheels assembled, tagged up and headed to 3B, and was thrown out by Terdoslavich to complete the double play and end the inning.
The "fun guys," doing work in 211:
I sagged to my seat in erstwhile joy at the sight of this lovely 2002 Donruss Hank Blalock RC. Maybe it's because he has actually played pro ball quite recently (2010, for the Tampa Bay Rays) but how soon do we forget his bestial baseball prowess!!
Marty pulled this 2006 Upper Deck John Gall RC. Here's another player who folks might have been asking "where is he now?" if he weren't an 11th round pick to begin with.
Bill's pull was stranger yet...maybe I should have accepted it, after all! This 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter featuring Brandon Allen, as a rookie card, was even more premature as Gall's, and perhaps more posthumous in nature.
My scoresheets, using my new pitch-counting method! Read about it HERE, download the scoresheets for free HERE!
Official Program (featuring new Bats manager Jim Riggleman) and Scorecard
Louisville is finally adding some #sparkle to their season tickets, with several players (and a mascot) featured on different dates...I believe I have one of each this season, so here's tonight's ticket with Buddy Bat (the mascot I was speaking of)
Bat Chat and Gameday Stats
(I am @yoshiki89), and also please leave a comment!