Morey’s Masterful Complete Game Shutout (7/29/2011)

Robert Morey pitching a complete game shut-out.

After the eighth inning of last night’s Greensboro Grasshoppers game against the Savannah Sand Gnats, my friends and I were wondering hoping that they’d let Robert Morey come back in for the 9th, in an attempt to get a complete game. He had been pitching great all night, facing only four over the minimum at that point. He had racked up 9 strikeouts and no walks. It hadn’t even registered to me that he was pitching a shutout. During the bottom of the eighth, they were warming up Michael Ojala, so we weren’t sure who was going to start the ninth. When Morey took the field, we were giddy with excitement. The first batter went down on a 6-3 groundout. The second batter made us nervous when he got into scoring position on a stand up double. But the third and fourth batters were easily retired with fly balls to left and center field and the game was over. Hoppers over the Sand Gnats, 5-0.

Robert Morey pitched a complete game.

Robert Morey pitched a complete game shutout.

I’ve never seen a pitcher pitch a complete game. I don’t think it happens very often in Low-A ball. To watch Morey work the game and secure a complete game shutout was a real thrill. The event was noteworthy enough that MiLB.com ran a story about the game. According to that article, Morey’s been lacking confidence this season, but last night’s game probably helped him in that regard. He notes that he’s happy with his curveball and the fact that he was throwing first-pitch strikes helped give him the confidence that his stuff was just where it needed to be. And in what I think is an incredibly classy move, he gives credit to catcher Jacob Realmuto for calling a great game.

Offensively, the Hoppers looked good, too. Three of our five runs were solo homers: Marcell Ozuna in the first, Christian Yelich in the third, and James Wooster in the fourth. The other two runs came in the seventh from Noah Perio and another run from Ozuna.

Christian Yelich at bat, solo homer.

Marcell Ozuna at bat, bunts a single and advances to 2nd on the throw to 3rd. Everyone safe.

For all the details on the game, check out the official box score, game recap, and a story that the Sand Gnats published.

Lately, I’ve been showing up early to the games to watch batting practice from Eugene Street and snag BP balls. Last night, my wife and I decided to get supper before the game (we went downtown to the Mellow Mushroom, always a treat), and that ate into all of my BP time. We did drive by the ballpark on the way to supper, though, and I spotted a ball on the sidewalk against the fence. I pulled the car over and jumped out to retrieve it and found another ball along the fence on my way to pick that one up. BAM! Out of the car for 20 seconds and I snagged 2 more balls for my collection. The sweet spots were either too scuffed up or stained to make them good autograph balls, so they’ll probably find their way into the hands of a kid at the ballpark someday.

Once in the park, I concentrated on collecting more autographs on my card set and was very successful. I got autographs from Isaac Galloway, Noah Perio, Danny Black (who is sporting a pretty awesome “Second Half ‘Stache” now), Wilfredo Gimenez, Grant Dayton, Jordan Conley, Mike Ojala, and Michael Brady. I also had a quick chat with Kyle Winters, who is always friendly. His family made it out to the park for the last home stand, and I got to meet his mother (who sometimes comments in this blog as “catherine”). They’re all great people and Kyle said he was glad I got a chance to meet them.

Autographs: Isaac Galloway, Noah Perio, Danny Black, Wilfredo Gimenez, Grant Dayton, Jordan Conley, Mike Ojala, Michael Brady

After the first inning, I spent the evening watching the game from Section 110, next to the visitors dugout, with some friends. I think I’m going to move my season ticket to that area next year. I’m going to miss the tunnel area, but the view from that close is so much better, and it’s fun to heckle the opposing team.

Today’s one of the monthly season ticket holder Saturdays, where they’ll let us in the ballpark an hour early to watch batting practice, maybe hear a talk from a coach or players, and enjoy some complementary snacks. This is something new that they’re doing this year, and not many season ticket holders are taking advantage of it. I hope they keep it up because it’s a really nice perk.

Anyway, here’s how I had the game. I know of at least one error on my card: in the 2nd, Jet Butler was out on a dropped third strike, 2-3, not the 5-3 ground out I recorded. And I haven’t done the stats yet. I’m going to be keeping my eye out for Robert Morey for the rest of the season and try to get him to autograph this scorecard.

Scorecard: Robert Morey pitches a complete game shutout.

Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Check out the photo album on Facebook for all the pictures. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hoppersfan

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5 comments

  1. catherine

    Nice to see this nice updateon the Hoppers from Hoppers Fan,Greg.
    We had a terrific time in Greensboro for the last homestand. My firstand probably only visit to the area–this year for sure. We were hoping that Kyle was going to be back on mound for that homestand but he had a slight setback just before we arrived and that put his return out a couple more weeks. Think Kyle will be back in there on Aug 2. We cannot wait for that.
    Thanks to you, Greg, great to meet you in person,and all the wonderful Hoppers Fans we met while there, the Vance’s, Zeb, Carol and Gil, Mrs. Blue, The Boosters, Hank, Henry and Patrick in particular. Super nice people. We enjoyed Smith’s the breakfast place near the field–great biscuits–don’t get them like that in Colorado, Natty Green’s downtown–had a great beer there and a good burger. Enjoyed Donald Moore, Don Moore, Andy Durham, Jim, Spaz and the other on field entertainment. A special thank you to Katie Dannemiller–she got Kyle’s sisters on the field to throw out honorary first pitches one day–hope you got to see that. All in all a perfect trip to Greensboro.

    • Greg

      Catherine — It was truly a joy meeting you, too. I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to see Kyle pitch while you were here, but that’s how baseball goes sometimes, isn’t it? Until Morey’s complete game shutout last night, the last game Kyle pitched (which I think was a 1-hitter) was definitely my favorite pitching performance of the year. I’m glad to hear you had a great time even without getting to see Kyle pitch. North Carolina’s a great state, Greensboro’s a great city, and I’m always happy to hear about visitors having a good time when they’re in town.

      I’ve still got two games backlogged to blog about — this past Thursday’s, and the game I saw you at in the last home stand. Hopefully, I’ll write them up tomorrow. It’s hard to stay on top of the blog with my work and church responsibilities…. Unfortunately, at the last home stand, the only game I made it out to is the one where we met, so I didn’t get to see Kyle’s sisters throw out first pitches. I bet that was a thrill!

      It sounds like you pretty much met almost all the “regulars” that I know about at the ballpark, too. And it sounds like everyone treated you right. Looking forward to continuing to keep up with you here on the blog and through Twitter.

    • Greg

      Yeah, I guess he does — that’s the clear space on the card, so I guess his autograph looks pretty good there. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Hoppers Extend Their Winning Streak (8/14/2011) « Hoppers Fan

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