The Hoppers were back in Greensboro last night for the first game of an 8 day homestand. And they won! WooWoo! I was out of town for a few days and got back in town just in time to get to the ballpark before the game started. It rained (sprinkles, mostly) for almost the entire game, but the grounds crew did a great job of keeping the field playable, both teams and the umpires did a good job of keeping the action moving, and most of the fans sought shelter under the upper decks to enjoy the game. All in all, it turned out to be a fine night for baseball.
Last night was baseball
and the Hoppers brought their game
securing a win.
Before the National Anthem was sung, the colors were presented on the field. They stayed on the field during the singing and then were retired from the field. Jim, the announcer, asked everyone to show respect to the colors until they had exited the field, and I was really pleased to see that everyone remained standing and quiet until the flag was retired.
The game itself was generally a good example of smart baseball. The Hoppers had pretty consistent pitching from starter Bryan Evans (after hitting the 2nd batter he faced with a pitch, anyway) who pitched for five innings only allowed one run. Middle reliever Natividad Dilone pitched for 3 innings and also allowed one run. Closer Alejandro Ramos shut down the ninth inning 1-2-3 with outs that were all garnered as a result of nice fielding plays. The BlueClaws used 4 pitchers throughout the contest, pitching 2.1, 2.2, 1.0, and 2.0 innings each. All four Hoppers runs were earned against the first two BlueClaws pitchers.
Sausage Race (between 1st and 2nd): won by Country Sausage
Sumo (middle of 2nd): won by Blue Sumo
I don’t know if other teams do this or not, but the Hoppers like to have fun with the opposing batters. For example, last night, whenever BlueClaws right fielder Domingo Santana came up to bad, his walk up music was taking from Carlos Santana’s Black Magic Woman. They also put interesting pictures on the scoreboard for batters who share a name with celebrities. Last night, BlueClaws catcher Sebastian Valle was honored with mug shots of two other “Sebastians” (click each picture to enbiggen):
Yeah, that’s Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid and Sebastian Bach from Skid Row (my wife had to identify that one for me). Fun times with the visiting team.
Once again, I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to enbiggen):
All my pictures from the game are on Facebook.
And now it’s time to head back to the ballpark for today’s game. The rain has cleared up a bit, so I’m hoping they can get a great game in without any problems with the weather.
Another day, another Hoppers loss. By the end of the game, the Hoppers were starting to pick up momentum, but they ran out of innings. On the “silver lining” side, this was the 1,000th win for the Delmarva Shorebirds, so it was kinda fun to be in the ballpark for a visiting team to set a franchise record. MiLB.com has a nice article about it.
Hoppers lose again
finishing out the homestand
It was a beautiful night for a baseball game. The weather was perfect. The fan atmosphere was enjoyable. I got to the park about a half hour before the game started and headed over to the autograph table, where Michael Pasek (#2, 2B) was signing autographs. I added his autograph to my team baseball (pictured on left) and headed to my seat.
Just a little bit before the game began, my buddy Jason showed up and joined me for the game. He scores games, too, and we had a great time comparing ideas for scoring different plays and just talking about the game in general.
The game was fun, even though the Hoppers lost 6-4. They had no runs until the 6th, when they got 2. They scored a run in both the 7th and 8th as well. You could feel the momentum picking up, but with just one inning remaining, I knew they’d have a hard time getting the win. Delmarva put James Brandhorst on the mound, who handily retired the Hoppers batters: strikeouts for Rand Smith and Austin Markel, Sequoyah Stonecipher flied out to centerfield.
And with that, the 8-day homestand was over.
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Red Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Country Sausage
I did capture a picture of an interesting at-bat situation. On of my friends is a fan of “Deuces Wild,” where there are 2 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs, and 2 baserunners on base. We had that situation in the bottom of the 7th. Even more exciting was that Kyle Jensen was up. His number is #22 — more 2s on the scoreboard:
Jensen ended up getting a full count, then striking out… looking.
Here’s how I scored the game (click each picture to enbiggen):
All my pictures from the game are on Facebook.
I didn’t go to GSO v DEL Game 2 (4/13/2010) because I went to the Grand Opening of the Winston-Salem Dash stadium, where I watched the Dash fall apart over the course of 12 innings to capture a loss.
Surrounded by kids
makes a game interesting
in different ways.
GSO v DEL Game 3 was the first day game for the 2010 Hoppers. I went in to the office earlier than I normally do so that when I took a really long lunch to watch the game, I’d still be putting a full day in at the office. In addition to being the first day game of the year, it was the first of two School Days at the ballpark. As a result, the stands were filled with sixth graders from Guilford County
It was a wonderful day for a game. It was a little chilly, but I snagged my wife’s Hoppers Fleece Jacket before heading to the ballpark, and that made it perfect. Watching the game with so many kids in the park was pretty cool. Lots more balls got thrown in the stand from the field. It seemed like all the players and coaches wanted to give as many kids as possible a souvenir ball from the game. I helped teach some of the kids sitting behind me a little bit about how the game works. They seemed interested, and I was happy to help shed some light on the mechanics of play.
Sumo (between 2 and 3): Won by Blue Sumo
Sausage Race: I can’t find my notes on who won, but I can assure you that Sage Sausage lost
As far as the game itself went, the Hoppers lost 9-4. The Shorebirds got on the board in the 4th with 3 runs and added 2 runs each in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. The Hoppers didn’t get on the board until the 8th, where they got all 4 of their runs.
For this game, I started using an application on my iPhone to score the game: iScore Baseball Scorekeeper. This app is amazing. It makes it easy to record details about every pitch in the game, then creates an accurate scorecard for each team. The only downside I’ve found so far is that it is a battery hog, but with everything that it does, I’m not surprised. I’ve learned a few battery management tricks that I think will serve to make sure that I’m able to score a full game without running out of juice. In addition to creating a scorecard, the app makes it possible to create a “gamecast” for the entire game, available on the web for anyone to watch. You can “watch” the games I scored at my iscorecentral.com page. Here are the scorecards from the game (click each picture to enbiggen):
All my pictures from the game are on Facebook.
MiLB.com has a nice article about Curtis Peterson’s debut last night, as well as the attempted robbery he stopped last week:
Petersen plays hero ahead of debut
By Paige Schector / MLB.com
After coming through the incident unscathed, Petersen was ready to make his debut Monday.
“I felt good,” he said. “The fastball is not there yet, but my curve and changeup were working. I pitched downhill. It was respectable.”
In his first full season, Petersen knows there’s a long road ahead and time to improve.
“I want to get hitters out earlier in counts in a long, long season,” he said. “I may not have as many strikeouts. Get some ground balls, go for easy outs and hopefully pitch deep into games.”
Curt looked great on the mound. Too bad the Hoppers blew the game in the ninth. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him as the season progresses.
Yesterday’s game win
was really enjoyable.
Today’s loss? Not fun.
So, yeah, after yesterday’s win, I was pumped to go to the ballpark today. I was even more pumped when, after the first inning, the Hoppers were ahead 4-1. Curtis Peterson was on the mound, looking good. He ended up pitching 5 innings, allowing 2 runs off 5 hits. Helping the Hoppers was the opposing pitcher, Tony Butler, who allowed 4 runs off 2 hits in 4 innings. All four of those runs were in the first inning, and I was surprised that the Shorebirds let Butler pitch 3 more innings after such a terrible first inning, which included 3 walks.
Peterson was relieved by Ramon Benjamin who was taken out after facing 4 batters. He struck out the first batter, the second got on base with a base hit, and he walked both the 3rd and 4th batters. Benjamin was replaced by Sandy Rosario, who was unable clean up the mess Benjamin left him — all three batters on base when Rosario took the mound ended up scoring. At the end of the sixth, the Hoppers were losing, 5-4.
The seventh was a good inning for the Hoppers, and they pulled ahead 6-5, which they maintained through the eighth.
Then, the ninth inning came. The Shorebirds batted around for eleven batters. Five of those eleven walked. Six of them scored. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Hoppers went from leading by one to trailing by five. It was embarrassing. Alejanero Ramos’ 27.00 ERA really tells the story of the ninth inning, as he pitched for only 0.2 innings. Arquimedes Caminero relived Ramos and secured the final out after facing 3 batters. When the Hoppers stepped behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the first three batters fell quickly by hitting to third base, where Levi Carolus was easily able to throw to first before they could reach the base.
The fans that were left at this point left the ballpark pretty dejected. Check out the box score if you want to see the full details of the sad tale.
All was not sadness at Newbridge Bank Park, though. The highlight of my evening was meeting first baseman Chad Cregar and getting his autograph on my team ball before the game. No one was at the autograph table when I walked up, and Chad was happy to chat with me for a bit. I told him that I thought he had the coolest walk-on music and he chuckled about it.
Cregar’s the eighth autograph on my team ball. Here’s a picture of his signature:
In promotion news: Country Sausage won the Sausage Race between the first and second innings. Red Sumo won the Sumo Match in the middle of the 2nd inning.
I’m going to miss tomorrow’s game, ’cause I’m heading off to Winston-Salem to watch the Dash play their fist game in their new stadium. Maybe the Hoppers will do better without me in the stands.
Hoppers win today!
And happy birthday, Guilford!
Great day for baseball.
Another busy day means I’m too tired to really write about today’s game. Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the above Hoppers Haiku.
Highlights today: meeting another season ticket holder and talking about scoring games, watching the Augusta starting pitcher (Zack Wheeler, #45) walk about a bazillion Hoppers before being pulled out in the first inning after retiring only 2 batters, and hanging with some of my friends for the 2nd half of the game. Oh, yeah. Also the first Hoppers win of 2010! The pre-game festivities were rather cool, too. They included the opportunity to play catch on the field, a parade by the Kernersville Little League, and a kickball game where all the players were mascots from other teams (celebrating the birthday of Guilford the Grasshopper, our mascot).
Also, it was nice to not be putting my rally cap on today. Great job, Hoppers!
Tomorrow, they start a new series against Delmarva Shorebirds. Let’s hope they can take the momentum from today’s win and channel it into some good playing and a win tomorrow.
I’m too tired to write a full review of tonight’s game. Maybe tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to introduce a new feature to the Hoppers Fan blog: Hoppers Haiku.
We just want a hit
and we finally get one
in bottom of ninth.
Yeah, B. J. Salsbury held us hitless for six innings. The reliever kept the no-no going through the seventh and the eighth. It wasn’t until Chad Cregar (who might have the best walk-on music on the team) singled in the bottom of the ninth that the spell was broken. The Hoppers ended up scoring 2 runs in the ninth, which wasn’t anywhere near enough to overcome the 8 runs Augusta had. The Hoppers lost 8-2.
Tomorrow’s another day. I’m crossing my fingers. Even if the Hoppers can’t manage to win, at least I’ll leave the park with a fleece blanket, ’cause they’re giving them away to the first 1500 fans.
Tonight, I got to see a game and a half of baseball. Since yesterday’s game was suspended, they finished it up today before playing today’s (shortened to 7 innings) game. My wife and I got to the park at 5:30, just as the suspended game was resuming. We settled in to watch that game in the sun on the concourse in right field since it was fairly chilly. It was neat to see that, from a playing and scoring perspective, they really did just pick up right where they left off yesterday, in the top of the 5th. They went ahead and finished out a full nine innings. Augusta won 7-3. The Hoppers scored all three of their runs in the 6th inning and were fairly unimpressive the rest of the game, with the exception of turning a nice double play in the 7th.
After finishing yesterday’s game, they took about a 30 minute break to reset the field for tonight’s game. Even after all the rain we had yesterday, they needed to wet down the filed again today:
For the 2nd game, we settled into our assigned seats in Section 104. Before getting to details of the game, here’s the important scoring information I’m sure everyone is waiting for: “Hot Sausage” won the race in one of the between-inning activities and “Red” won the Sumo Wrestling match in one of the other activities. I’ll try to keep track of who wins these competitions for the rest of the season, if I remember. Spaz did a great job keeping the between-energy pretty high. He’s pictured on the left leading everyone in the YMCA dance.
The 2nd game was pretty enjoyable, until the 7th inning, when Augusta scored 3 points and moved to a 4-1 lead. When the Hoppers took the 7th inning, they were greeted by relief pitcher Jason Jarvis (32), who I was really beginning to like — he kept throwing balls. The Hoppers managed to score another run, for which I also credit Jarvis. He threw a ball that hit 3rd baseman Taylor Krick, who then stole second base. Krick made it to third off of Chad Cregar’s hit, and then was able to make it home on what I think was either a passed ball or wild pitch. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Hoppers scored in that inning, so they ended up losing 5-2.
Here are my scoresheets (click to enbiggen):
The relief pitcher for the Hoppers, Sandy Rosario (16), looked real good. He had a tough 7th inning, though. I’m going to keep my eye on him as they play him more this year.
Even though the Hoppers didn’t win, it was still a fun game. And, since it was Friday night, they had fireworks after the game!
All in all, it was a great night. There are a few more photos on Facebook. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and I’m hoping that the Hoppers can rally for a win.
Thanks to my buddy Jason for forwarding me this newspaper article about Hoppers pitcher Curt Peterson stopping an attempted robbery in a Walmart parking lot Wednesday morning:
GREENSBORO — Grasshoppers pitcher Curt Petersen stopped an attempted robbery Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the Walmart on Battleground Avenue….
“This guy came up behind her and grabbed her purse and her keys,” Petersen said. “She was yelling, ‘Help! Help! Help!’ I thought maybe it was just a joke. … I thought maybe they were messing around. But then she got knocked down, and I knew it wasn’t a joke.”
Petersen said he dropped his things, ran to Dixon’s car and grabbed Conrad before he could get in.
“I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And he said, ‘I’m taking her car.’ And I was like, ‘No, you’re not,’ ” Petersen said. “I had a hold of him, and he threw the keys back to the lady and said, ‘All right, all right, just let me go.’ And I said, ‘I don’t think so.’ “
That’s awesome! Curt’s from Texas, and I bet they’re used to having regular citizens stopping thugs like that all the time. I met Curt at the Season Ticket Holders Picnic on Tuesday and chatted with him for about 10 or 15 minutes. He seems like a really nice guy, and reading about how he stepped up and prevented this robbery just confirms that for me.
The article says that he’s probably scheduled to pitch on Monday. I can’t wait to see him on the mound.
Way to go, Curt! Welcome to Greensboro.
Edit to add: WFMY News 2 ran a story on this incident, with the following video: