Saturday, June 14, 2014

6/14/2014 Gwinnett Braves 0, Louisville Bats 1

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 4 of 4

"Homer Bobblehead wouldn't do that."
It's Homer Bailey Bobblehead day at LSF, and yes, I got mine!! Now I can assure you that whatever Homer Bailey does (or doesn't do) in real life, I have tangible evidence in the Dungeon that proves his plastic and resin counterpart would have stood by idly, eternally locked in his peculiar windup.

Chien-Ming Wang, the infamous Taiwanese MLB organizational nomad who signed as a free agent with the Reds in late 2013, has made 13 starts for Louisville this season with mixed success. His 8-5 record and 3.89 ERA is a bit deceiving; out of his 9 previous outings, 8 of those were Quality Starts, and the Bats are 8-5 when he's on the mound...and 6-1 in his last 7 starts. That being said, his record isn't as good as it was with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in  9 starts last season, but really looks more like his work with AAA Buffalo later on that same year.

Toss Braves starter Cody Martin into the mix, who is also good, but not great, and you could never expect a pitcher's duel of any kind. But we got one today, as Wang hurls a gem - 7.1IP, 9 H, 2K, 0 runs...and the Bats bullpen contributes to hold the Braves scoreless, despite allowing a combined 10 hits. Martin stays in for 6 innings, striking out 7, walking 3 and only allowing 5 hits and one earned run...the run that costs the Braves the game. That earned run happened in the very first inning, when leadoff batter Jason Bourgeois (who reached on a BB) actually stole home during a double-steal attempt.

This is also my first live Donald Lutz experience! He was on the roster for my previous visit to LSF a couple of weeks ago, but had been called up to Cincinnati 'real quick' and did not play. 
"Der Brauner Hulk" looked ferocious at the plate, yet saw no action whatsoever in LF...he went 0-for-4 tonight with 3Ks (2 swinging) and a lineout to right field. 

Here he is facing Martin in the 4th inning, when he was called out on strikes.

The sun was ferocious today, and proved problematic to most of my attempts at getting decent photos. But this is a good thing, as the last time I was at a game with my oldest daughter Kei, we went home early with decidedly frozen extremities.
It's Saturday, we got bobbleheads, and I'm wearing my Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs "Bacon Saturday" cap. A fun and unusual game, a great reason to beat the heat with some cool base ball and a Souvenir Soda. No complaints.

For the Mystery Rookie Card game, Kei picks this 2008 Upper Deck Denard Span #718. The price tag is $1.50, so she's kind of a winner. THIS IS DSPAN.

My pick has no price tag, but it sure does have a story. Featured on this 2004 Bowman #263 is one Jeff Allison, who was a first-round pick for the Marlins in 2003 and was a Baseball America top-50 prospect at one time (BA also honored him as the 2003 High School Player of the Year). 
Unfortunately for Allison, his story isn't really your typical "Prospect to Promise to Bust" tale, and you won't see what went wrong for him in any box score or on the back of any of his cards.  Allison will always be remembered for his substance abuse issues (addicted to Heroin and OxyContin) and would always be linked to the similar downward spiral of Josh Hamilton. Allison's struggles were documented in a 2009 feature by Thomas Farragher for the Boston Globe ($), and included episodes of suspensions for non-disclosed reasons (2005), overdoses (2006) and even prison farm assignments (2007). Unlike Hamilton, there was no rubber mattress for Allison to bounce back into pro baseball on, and in 2012 he told Peter Gammons that he was likely to retire, mostly due to a lingering potential elbow injury that would require surgery and rehabilitation...yeah, and all of that other stuff too, I guess.

BONUS CARD: 2013 Allen & Ginter Jose Altuve #AGR-JA, game used jersey. No words. Wait, I have one..."sharp."

My scoresheets, using my new pitch-counting method! Read about it HERE, download the scoresheets for free HERE!

Official Program (featuring Tucker Barnhart) and Scorecard

Ticket (Daniel Corcino, who did pitch for Louisville last year, but has spent this entire season in AA Pensacola)

Bat Chat and Gameday Stats

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(I am @yoshiki89), and also please leave a comment!

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