Tuesday, July 8, 2014

7/8/2014 Toledo Mud Hens 3, Louisville Bats 4

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 3 of 4

STOP THE PRESSES! Today, for the first time this season, I can record a legitimate WIN in the Mystery Rookie Card game...hands down!
Not only that, but this could be the biggest WIN of all, since I started the game a few seasons ago!

One thing I'm seeing here this season that I haven't seen for a while is really good pitching. Tonight's originally scheduled starter was Tim Crabbe, but as Crabbe went on the DL yesterday, recent call-up Mikey O'Brien was pencilled in to start for the Bats against Derek Hankins...both pitchers I had never known of before tonight.
Tonight is 24-year-old O'Brien's AAA debut; he started the season in Pensacola, appearing in 17 games (9 of them starts) and owning a 3-3 record with a 3.86 ERA. He then was demoted to Bakersfield, for unknown reasons, and was 1-0 with a 6.23 ERA in 3 starts there. Cincinnati picked up O'Brien in the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft from the Yankees.

Toldeo's starter Derek Hankins is another story; he's just turned 30 and has spent time in the Pirates and Rangers organizations since 2004, prior to signing with the Tigers in 2013 (when he also spent some time with the mighty Doosan Bears of the KBO). Hankins, who hails from Effingham, IL, was pretty good with the Mud Hens last season (4-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 14 starts) but has seen his line slip a little this season, entering the game with a 4-9 record and a 5.93 ERA.

Fact of the matter is, both starters were excellent; both going at least 6IP and neither one allowing more than 2 runs. Neither pitcher was handed a decision tonight, as that trophy went to the bullpen. The damage to either team was minimal, but the game's outcome was decided during the 7th inning...one that saw the Mud Hens in the lead by 1 at the middle, and was met with a response by the Bats with 2 more runs scored. Neftali Soto's sac fly in that inning, against LHP Mike Belfiore in relief, ended up being the game-winning RBI.

SCOREKEEPER'S NOTE: While we're on the subject of the 7th inning, the first batter O'Brien faced was the legendary Mike Hessman, who reached on a throwing error by Soto. Later in the game, the Official Scorer reversed the call and ruled it a hit, but I was not about to change the ruling on my scoresheet.

I also got a second look at Donald Lutz this evening  Bloodied, yet unbowed, by his lack of #sparkle on June 14th I am hoping to see some #shine tonight...especially since Lutz has an 8-game hitting streak going on. Here, Lutz is facing Hankins.
Tonight, Lutz did see some action in left field, but ended his hitting streak at 8 games, with a sac fly RBI to his credit.

SCOREKEEPING PRO TIP: Of course, I'm trusting that all of you are always being sure that you're wearing sunscreen. That being said, when it's miserably HOT (as it was tonight), the sweat and sunscreen can add some misery to your scoresheet. We all know that sweat, sunscreen, and a little bit of rosin helps a pitcher with the grip on their ball; it's also true that sweat + sunscreen + paper = a medium that isn't fair to the application of graphite on paper (or ink, for that matter, if that's how YOU roll).
Everyone should have a small hand towel or dry washcloth in their Scorekeeper's Utility Belt. I can't handle life without mine, as it's great to keep the sweat out of your eyes and even better...to rest your sweaty, sunscreeny hands on and protect your scoresheets. It works!

Chihiro and I are all smiles this evening!! Go Tuesday Baseball! That means $1 Hot Dogs!!

The lede for this post proclaimed my joy in finally "winning" the Mystery Rookie Card game today. Where I was nearly despondent when my pal Marty pulled a Barry Bonds RC a month ago, this is my day to celebrate the same, victoriously.
There isn't a card in the 1986 Donruss set that looks quite this amazing. Regardless of what it's "worth," it's a keeper, and also a badge of sorts. I'll keep this card in my scoring clipboard for the rest of the season.

Chihiro's pick sported a familiar face on this 2006 Topps #230...yes, I remember that guy! It's Tim Corcoran!
Tim had a really good outing with the Gwinnett Braves when I saw him here early last season. He was a 44th round draft pick by the Mets in 1996, yet didn't make his MLB debut until 9 years later, as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray, and pitching for his 3rd organization. He only appeared in 40 games with the Rays from 2005-2007 (17 of them starts), and never appeared in an MLB game afterwards. He signed with the Florida Marlins later that year, then with the Dodgers (twice) in 2009, and again in 2012. He played in 16 games with the Delfines de Cuidad del Carmen of the Mexican League in 2012, and found himself in the Braves organization in 2013 at the age of 35 and isn't active this season.

BONUS CARDS: Sure, my wallet is hurting, but certainly not my pride. Bottom line, Matt (who runs the Slugger Monkey kiosk at LSF) is keeping to his word on my requests for Jose Altuve cards, and had quite a stack for me tonight. I couldn't pick them all up, but here's what I was able to take home with me:

The 2013 Bowman Chrome Jose Altuve Refractor #194 is numbered 60 out of 250. The 2014 Topps Heritage #28 is simply darling. The 2013 Topps #35 Refractor is also darling.

Here's a 2011 Bowman #11; the 2013 Bowman #108 is numbered 4 out of 500. Sweet!!

Last time I was at LSF, I challenged Matt to find some other Astros hits for me. Here are two Carlos Correa cards, what a stud!! 2013 Topps (Pro Debut) #4 and 2013 Bowman #BP100.

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 (featuring Corky Miller, this season he broke the record previously held by Bill Lyons for most games played for the Louisville franchise)

Bat Chat and Gameday Stats

If you enjoy my work, I encourage you to spread the word via Twitter
(I am @yoshiki89), and also please leave a comment!

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