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.
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.
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.
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?