Put another game in the WIN column!
The Hoppers treated everyone to another great evening of baseball, and delivered another win. That keeps them undefeated in the 2nd half of the season, and secures their spot as the only undefeated team in the division right now. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going. It’s not too early to ask for a sweep of this series against the West Virginia Power, is it? They’ve already secured the series win, and if they can win the next two games, they’ll sweep.
The Hoppers won the game 2-3, but didn’t get their first run until the fourth inning. The Power got on the board in the second, and I was beginning to wonder if I needed to get my rally cap out. I didn’t. Going into the fifth, the score was tied 1-1. The Power scored a run in the top half of the inning. The Hoppers responded by scoring two in the bottom half. The rest of the game was scoreless, but continued to be exciting, with great batting and fielding from both teams. Left-handed pitcher Chad James gets the win, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits with 4 strike-outs. It’s his second win of the year, bringing his record to 2-4. After five innings, James was replaced by Erick Carrillo, who allowed one hit in two innings with no strike-outs. Arquimedes Caminero pitched the seventh and eighth innings, also allowing one hit, but coming through with five strike-outs and getting the save. I love watching Caminero on the mound. As he’s preparing for his pitch and taking the signs from the catcher, he strikes an intimidating figure, stiff and leaning slightly forward. Just before his wind-up, he relaxes and quickly goes through a smooth delivery of the pitch.
In addition to securing the win, Chad James encountered a wardrobe malfunction. At one point (maybe the fourth inning?), his belt apparently failed and he had to get a replacement (click each picture to embiggen):
Sausage Race (between 2nd and 3rd): won by Country Sausage. Sage came out first, but left the field at the visitor’s dugout before even getting to first base.
In addition to entertaining the fans with a great ballgame, the Hoppers brought in Myron Noodleman, the hippest nerd in da’ biz. Myron provided great entertainment between several of the innings. He did some solo dancing. He led the crowd in the chicken dance and the YMCA dance. He did a very clever “dueling signals” dance with Hoppers manager Andy Haines while “Dueling Banjos” played over the PA. My favorite dance was when did a little dance with Hoppers players Terrence Dayleg and Alejanero (A J) Ramos. They started by approaching Myron as though the were going to fight with him, but Myron countered by hypnotizing them and getting them to dance with him. The players looked like they were having a great time with him, and the fans loved it. During the game, Myron wandered throughout the ballpark, signing autographs and posing for pictures with the fans, and just generally being funny. He posed for a picture with me, and while my shirt says that I’m proud to be awesome, I was thrilled to be hanging with Myron. If he’s going to be performing at a ballpark near you, that alone is reason to go to the game. Check out his schedule to find out when you can see him in your town.
I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):
There are two more games in the series before the Hoppers hit the road again. I’m planning on being at both of them. Tomorrow’s game is an afternoon game and they’re giving away a set of baseball cards to the first 1,500 fans in the gate. I’m definitely planning on getting a set. Monday’s game is a day game. I’ve been putting in overtime at my day job so I’ll be able to take a really long lunch and attend the game. I love day games, ’cause we get to play BINGO. The only downside I see so far about the next two games is that since they’re in the middle of the day instead of the evening, I expect it to be tremendously hot. It’s OK, I’m the Hoppers Fan. I can deal with the heat in order to watch the boys play baseball.
All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook. Most of them are of Myron Noodleman having a blast and entertaining the fans.