Sunday, August 19, 2007

Game Report: Chico @ Reno (8/18/2007)

The beginning of the last homestand of the season provided some excellent entertainment from the moment fans walked through the gate. In addition to a coupon in the paper for 2-for-1 tickets (which I used to put my family in Section 9 for just $18) the Sox also gave out free baseball cards to the first 500 fans. They were professionally designed and were by far the best giveaway of the year in my opinion.

The game proved equally exciting with both teams clawing for the victory. The lead changed hands multiple times and there was plenty of drama to enjoy. And, believe it or not, Reno's bullpen was lights out as Walentin, Evans, and Thomas combined for 2-1/3 scoreless innings of work in relief of starter Adam Harendza who had a rough start giving up 6 runs and 9 hits plus a balk in just under six innings of work.

It was probably one of the top five games of the year from a baseball purist perspective (i.e. good pitching, good offense, good defense, competitive from 1-9, etc.) Hopefully you were there to enjoy it.

Some notes:

-- Les was able to keep Mike Done's hot bat in the line-up without sacrificing defense. Done has struggled in the field as of late and even when he isn't committing errors, it still can be ugly with Adam Amar at first having to dig out more than a few errant throws from Done. However, Done is red hot at the dish having hit .400 with 9 runs, 2 homers, and 12 RBIs over the last 10. Our skipper was able to keep him in the game as the DH and was rewarded for that choice when Done smashed one of the Sox three homeruns of the evening.

-- Another homerun was sent over the left field wall by Kane Simmons who continues to lead the league with 16 home runs. That comes in 48 games as he joined the team about a month into the season. If he had been here all year I think he would be the all time GBL homerun leader by now. That record is held by Peanut Williams who had 20 dingers last season. There is still time for Kane to set a new record. Assuming 4 ABs in all remaining games, he will have to average 1 for ever 4.2 at bats to get 21 by the time the season ends on Saturday. By comparison, Barry Bonds has averaged 1 every 8.9 at bats from 1999-2007. Stiff competition but it is a possiblity.

-- Effort seemed a little lax last night. Granted, the guys came back from a short 2-game road trip in Orange County and it is the end of the season but I'm hoping they pick it up a bit to close out the year. Adam Amar had two foul pop-ups come his way. The first bounced off the top of his glove and the second bounced about a foot in front of him. One guy near us was giving him a hard time so I know Adam was probably getting tired of that since the guy wouldn't shut up for a full inning. Of course, I do feel the guy's frustration. Scott Dragecevich should have been out on the missed pop-up. Instead, he sent one over the left field wall a few moments later.

And I know Senreiso may not have the best range, but it did seem like he really didn't put too much effort into catching a couple of fly balls, prefering to play them on a bounce. It seemed like fielding wasn't as crisp as it should have been. But, I point it out just by way of analysis and not judgement. Maybe guys are worried about injuries or are jsut worn out. If it is not up to Les Lancaster's standard, he'll let them know.
-- Speaking of injuries, Carlos Madrid was on-hand though he was in the stands. He is still nursing the hamstring injury (I assume) that put him on the shelf a few weeks ago. Boy, injuries were out of control this year!

-- Chico brought their mascot for the game which I thought was a nice touch. Rascal and Nugget had a dance off in the bottom of the 6th. It is always nice to get more than you expect and the Sox did a good job with that last night.

Now I realize the Sox are out of the postseason but I hope that doesn't stop the fans from coming out. The team will finish against some quality opponents and it will be the last professional baseball Reno will see until next June. So give the team your 100% support to finish strong and show them you appreciate having pro ball in our town.

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