If tonight was Jose Fernandez’s last night pitching in Greensboro, he certainly went out with a bang! Jose fired through 8 innings, allowed 8 hits, and a phenomenal 11 strikeouts! Relieving him was another fellow All Star Greg Nappo. He pitched one inning, allowing two hits and two strikeouts! Believe it or not though, the pitchers were not the biggest headline tonight. There was also the three home runs hit in the fourth inning. Ryan McIntyre, James Wooster, and Wilfredo Gimenez also went yard for the first time this season! But, yet again that isn’t the headline. Neither is the fact that the NY Yankees top prospect Gary Sanchez was only held to five hits of twelve at bats over the last three games.
The story of tonight is that coming into tonight, the Grasshoppers needed to either win or Hagerstown needed to lose. How about this… both of those scenarios happened tonight. Hoppers won by the score of 5-4 and Hagerstown lost to the WV Power by the score of 2-1. Greensboro won tonight thanks to hard work and a very valiant effort. The last play of the game sent a message to every team in the SAL league that we were coming to take the SAL Title again this year. The last play of the game was this… One out, top of the ninth, Riverdogs batting, man on third and first. This puts the tying run on third and potentially winning run on first. The ball was hit straight to shortstop Terrence Dayleg who flipped it up to 2nd baseman Austin Barnes then to Matt Smith at first for the amazing double play and final out of the game! Austin Barnes is among the seven other players heading to the All Star game in Charleston this weekend.
With this win tonight the GRASSHOPPERS solidify the first half title guaranteeing them a spot in the playoffs at the end of the season! Woot woo! It’s a very special time to be a baseball fan in greensboro and remember, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Also, I was unable to attend tonights game. I was at home preparing to go down to Charleston for the All Star festivities. So, keep a watch out for pictures, blogs, and other cool stuff from the All Star Break. A big thank you to my eyes and ears, and to a special friend, Jonathon Flournoy for being so observant to help me make these blogs possible for readers like you. Thanks!