Monday, April 27, 2015

4/27/2015 Indianapolis Indians 7, Louisville Bats 6

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 1 of 3

Chihiro and I are back, just a couple of weeks after our first attempt at a game here this season was stalled by a rainout. It's still a bit early in the season to rely too much on standings, but Louisville is not playing so well and Indianapolis is one game behind Columbus to lead the IL West Division. What's troubling is that David Holmberg is starting for the Bats, he's 0-3 with an 11.27 ERA for the season so far; but there is hope...Chris Volstad, a haunting presence from my past, is starting for the Indians. Forget his record so far this season, he's a pitching train wreck - most of the time.
In other news, I get to see this guy tonight, so hey...what the heck!! PLAY BALL!

Ah, was a close game, anyway. After the Indians chased Holmberg out with a 3-run 5th inning to take a 4-1 lead on the Bats, they Bats return the favor by chasing Volstad out of the same inning, at the bottom, eventually scoring 5 and taking a 6-4 lead on the Indians. Indy scores another run in the 6th, and the Bats are still on top of things when Sam LeCure enters the 7th. After facing 4 batters and not recording an out, his 2 runs allowed give the Indians a lead that will remain until the final out. Florimon leads the Indians in total bases with 3, and scores 2 of their 7 runs.

Pedro Florimon faces David Holmberg in the 1st

Ivan De Jesus Jr versus Chris Volstad...the result, a 2-out triple

In the 5th, with one on and one out, Florimon doubles off Holmberg; here is is racing to 3rd on Jose Tabata's opposite field seeing-eye single...
If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that Florimon's feet never touched the ground...

Volstad and former Royal Irving Falu in the bottom of the 5th; Falu would strike out swinging for the second out (stranding Bryson Smith at 2B). Three batters and 2 runs later, Volstad would be lifted for AJ Morris.

De Jesus faces Morris in the 6th

For me, the highlight of the game was an off-the-field event. Last year, my oldest daughter Kei and I were unexpectedly 'featured' on the Kiss Cam, to which my reaction was non-chalant (I was tallying pitches on my scoresheet) and hers was nothing short of morbid embarrassment.

In the middle of the 6th, with apparently not enough folks in attendance, Chihiro and I were featured, again unexpectedly, on the Kiss Cam. Of course, I'm a little too absorbed to notice.
"Hey Dad, look!! That's us!"
No morbid embarrassment this time around...instead, we both launch into a KISS CAM HIGH FIVE
All the LOLzzz

It's hard for me to determine who won the Mystery Rookie Card game tonight, but if I were to establish #sparkle as a criteria, then I certainly won, hands down. I selected this adorable 2011 Topps Update US112 Lonnie Chisenhall Cognac Diamond Anniversary variant.
Chisenhall was a 4th round pick by the Cleveland Indians in the 2008 Draft (he was drafted by the Pirates in 2006, but did not sign) and made his MLB debut with the Indians on June 27, 2011 after appearing in 66 games for the AAA Columbus Clippers to start the season. Sure, I saw a lot of the Clippers that year, but only after Chisenhall had been called up. He's been shipped back to Columbus every year since his debut, and has averaged a nut hair under 0.9 WARP in 5 seasons. This card probably has more career WARP than Chisenhall.

Speaking of WARP, even Chisenhall's career value is higher than Jordan Pacheco's. Chisenhall's card has more value as well, and much more #sparkle.
This 2012 Topps Pacheco RC comes after Pacheco's MBL debut during the September expanded roster call-ups in 2011. He was a 9th round pick by the Rockies in 2007, and while he didn't blow cars apart during his movement through the Rockies' system he showed a lot of spunk and grit, I suppose. His most formidable MLB campaign occurred during the 2012 season, when he played in 132 games and compiled a .309/.341/.421 slash line. His 3.3 VORP that season was his highest in his 6 MLB seasons so far, and his only MLB VORP that wasn't at least -1.6. In June of 2014 he was placed on waivers by Colorado and was subsequently claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he compiled a .259/.315/.327 slash line and averaged just over -0.2 WARP. Pacheco is currently a free agent, and is no doubt looking forward to a robust minor league contract in 2016. My favorite thing about Pacheco is that his last name makes me think "Pachuco."

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

Official Program (featuring Donald Lutz) and Scorecard


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!

Monday, April 13, 2015

4/13/2015 Columbus Clippers, Louisville Bats PPD

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 1 of 2

The game that wasn't a first visit of the season, and the first game I've ever attended that was rained out before the first pitch was even thrown.
Chihiro and I were all fired up and ready for based ball, and the weather really wasn't looking that bad...we've seen it a lot worse. The look on our faces above is primarily the result of what we are seeing happen on the field only 20 minutes before first pitch.
YUP...they're rolling out the tarp!
...5 minutes later came the rain, an hour later the game was postponed officially.

Of course, we had time to eat something and participate in the Mystery Rookie Card game for the first time of the 2015 season.

Chihiro picked a card that looks much nicer than mine, this 2008 Bowman Draft Prospects BDP36 Rich Thompson refractor. Rich (known by most of us as "Chopper") hails from New South Wales, Australia and was signed as an amateur free agent by the Anaheim Angels in 2002. 
He was a hero on the Australian Baseball squad of 2004 that defeated Japan to earn a Silver Medal, and seemed to be a consistent performer in the Angels' minor league system leading up to his MLB debut in 2007. Even though the High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes worked him out as a starter in 2004 and 2005, he was primarily a reliever. He made appearances during the offseason with the ABL Sydney Blue Sox in early 2011, and at the time was a potential success story for Australian players in MLB.  His only considerable major league season would be 2011, the following spring the Angels placed him on waivers, when he was claimed by the Oakland A's and only appeared in 1 MLB game before being granted free agency. He signed with Toronto at the end of 2012, but never pitched for any MLB team or its affiliates since. Rich currently lives in Arkansas and is a personal trainer. He's also very active on twitter (@Chopper_54). You know how down I am with Australian Baseball, folks.

My pick brought a dry chuckle at first...this rustic 1988 Donruss 174 Ellis Burks card. I chuckled because I was sure I already had it; fact of the matter is, I don't.
Burks was the 20th pick in the first round of the 1983 Draft by Boston, and signed with them a few months later. He was with the Red Sox organization for 10 years, making his MLB debut in 1987 and only playing fewer than 130 games per season two times; despite shoulder surgery and, later, bad knees and back spasms plaguing him from time to time. Burks' OPS+ during his playing years in Boston was a rather impressive 116; he continued his success at the plate with the Chicago White Sox in 1993, and signed with the Colorado Rockies at the end of that year. His first season in Colorado was abbreviated somewhat, but from 1994 until the trade deadline in 1998 his OPS+ blossomed to an even more impressive 133 with a near 1.000 OPS; Burks was an MVP candidate and competed with the likes of Tony Gwynn for the batting title in 1996. At the 1998 trade deadline, Burks was sent to the San Francisco Giants for Darryl Hamilton, Jim Stoops and PTBNL Jason Brester. Burks continued to be bestial for the Giants, appearing in no less than 120 games again, despite his ever-increasing injuries. He was 35 at the end of the 2000 season, ripe and ready to finish his career as a DH in the American League, and signed with the Cleveland Indians, where he played in 317 games in 3 seasons (still bringing in the baconesque 133 OPS+), and ended his career where he started, with the Boston Red Sox, in 2004.

My scoresheets, stood up at the can still download the scoresheets for free HERE!

Official Program (featuring Donald Lutz) and Scorecard

Ticket (Dylan Axelrod)

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!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

4/5/2015 St Louis Cardinals 3, Chicago Cubs 0

Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
MLB Opening Night
Game 1 of 3

 Jeff Passan is pretty sure this isn't flat beer...I'm pretty sure he didn't taste it to find out.

Plenty of media gesticulation was produced and hankered over regarding Wrigley's Opening Night disaster...not the disaster of the Cubs being shut out by Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in front of a milestone viewing audience on ESPN (and a crowd that would have been extraordinary, save for the significant bleacher outage due to renovations). Media pros hacks such as Passan and my favorite writer in the known universe, Bob Nightengale, were on hand to reveal the horrors of Wrigley's "bathroom breakdown" but not the horrors of the Cubs' breakdown at the hands of the St Louis ball club.

OK, it wasn't so horrible, and it wasn't such a breakdown...really, just a slightly lame beginning to a season that nobody really expects to carry its own water...even if the Cubs have to stand in line to use the bathroom, the Cardinals are pretty good at base ball so all is well. Better to warble on about piss in beer cups than that, for sure.

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

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