After suffering back-to-back losses against the Kannapolis Intimidators, it was nice to come out of this one with a huge 11-5 win. The word of the day was “errors,” as that’s what Kannapolis kept making — by the end of the night, they had 5 errors (we had 0) and as a result, only 6 of our 11 runs were earned.
The day started slow. It was another of the special Season Ticket Holder Saturdays, where we were allowed to come into the park an hour before they opened the gates to the public. We could watch batting practice and get to hear a talk from someone interesting. Last time, it was GM Andy Haines who spoke for a bit, and took some Q&A. This time, it was supposed to be a scout, but there was apparently some mix-up and he wasn’t available. And BP was cancelled because of the rain.
Did I say rain? I mean rain and hail. At one point, and it doesn’t show up great in this picture, the entire outfield was covered in white because of the hail.
So the rain came in shortly after we got in the park. Instead of watching BP, we got to watch the tarp pull. And stand around eating free popcorn and peanuts with water and lemonade to drink. At this point, there were only two season ticket holders who showed up: Don and me. A little latter, Robert showed up. Since the weather and scheduling did so much to dampen the event, we got a bonus of 10 free lottery tickets. It was Las Vegas Night, and the promotion was the first 500 people would get 1 lottery ticket. So, we got 10 times as many. Of my 10, only one was a winner, and it was for $1.
Don and I also got a chance to have a brief chat with Andy Haines during the rain. Don asked why Christian Yelich is seeing so much action in center field instead of left. We’ve been speculating that it’s to teach him to run more — he seems sluggish in left, like maybe he’s not getting a good read on the ball when it’s hit. Andy said it was to get more exposure to different positions and help figure out where a good fit is. It was a fair, but diplomatic, answer.
Once the rain stopped, the field dried out fairly quickly. They have an amazing drainage system under that field.
The game got going sometime between 8:00 and 8:15ish and it moved along at a decent clip. One of the joys I have as a season ticket holder who has a seat next to non-season ticket seats is meeting all sorts of fans who come to the games and get the seats next to mine. For this game, I met a gentleman named Dan who was at the game with his kids. Everyone was having a great time, and Dan and I enjoyed chatting throughout the game. I go to most of the games by myself. Sometimes, I’ll travel throughout the stadium, visiting other regular attenders that I’ve gotten to know at the park. Sometimes, I’ll just enjoy the game from my regular seat and meet new friends. Everybody’s your friend at the ballpark.
As I mentioned earlier, the game was lots of fun — largely due to the significant lead we enjoyed for almost the entire game. Going into the 2nd, I was worried, as we were down 3 runs to 0. I was especially worried since we lost the two previous games and Jheyson Manzueta (who had yet to win a game) was our starting pitcher. But we got good in the 2nd and stayed that way. We ended up batting around, sending 10 batters to the plate, and scoring 5 runs. We scored another 2 in the 3rd, and 4 in the 5th. The Intimidators didn’t score any more until the 7th, and 2 more runs just weren’t enough to come close to our 11 run total. Manzueta got credited with the win, giving him a 1-5 record and bringing his ERA to 6.75 in 12 game starts, 50.2 innings pitched.
Check out the official box score, which is pretty close to how I had the game scored:
Check out the photo album on Facebook for all the pictures.