Yesterday, I had multiple options of how to spend my evening, and attending the double-header was not high enough on my list. I did get to hear most of the first game while we were driving, and I was thrilled to hear Andy Durham call the three-run walk off homer. I caught the score of the second game, saw we won, and was happy that the Hoppers swept the double-header. What a great way to carry the momentum from the one-hitter the day before. Check out the box scores (first game, second game) and the recaps (first game, second game) for the details.
Even more exciting, with Hagerstown’s game being suspended in the 11th in a 2-2 tie (game to be continued today), it put the Grasshoppers in a tie for first place in the division! With just a handful of games before the All-Star Break, we need as many wins as possible to get and stay ahead of Hagerstown, and stay ahead of Hickory and Kannapolis, who are knocking on the door right behind us.
I don’t know what to blame it on. Day games are often hot and stifling, but today the temperature was only in the high 70s and there was a nice breeze. The fans were supportive with a decent amount of energy. The Hoppers just seemed slow today. Our pitcher, Rett Varner, allowed all three of West Virginia’s runs on six of their nine hits. He only pitched 4 innings before being replaced by Holden Sprague, then Grant Dayton, then Jordan Conley. Offensively, the Hoppers matched the six hits the Power generated, but could not manage to score any runs.
There was some excitement when the base umpire made a bad call (yeah, I know I’m biased). Andy went to the field to chat with him about it, but the call was not overturned. Andy wasn’t particularly animated about it, so maybe my view wasn’t adequate to see the entire situation. Here’s Andy chatting with the ump:
Today was “Remember Whensday” and many of the Hoppers staff (thankfully *not* including Spaz) were dressed in flapper attire, complete with boas. Here’s a picture of some of them during the “YMCA” dance:
Even with the loss, I had a great time at the game. My office came out, to make it a team-building event. I’m usually at the games by myself, so it was great to hang out with a bunch of my friends and enjoy the action.
Before the game, I stopped by the autograph table and got Jacob Realmuto’s autograph. He’s still on the DL from the nasty gash he got on his hand when it got stepped on as he was sliding into home a few weeks ago. He said that the stitches came out recently, and he should be cleared to play again Saturday. It’ll be nice to have him back in the line-up.
Here’s the autograph I got:
After today, the Hoppers hit the road for a four-game series against Kannapolis to close out the first half of the season. We’re still in the running for the coveted playoff spot, but so is Kannapolis, so I’m not expecting them to yield the next four games easily. We really need to go out there and win every one of them. Kannapolis isn’t too far away, so I’m considering heading down for the Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday games, especially if the division stays as tight as it is now.
I was disgusted enough with the game outcome that I didn’t even bother compiling the stats or comparing it to the official box. Here’s how I had it:
Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to see bigger versions of them. Check out the photo album on Facebook for all the pictures.