With an on field temperature of 102 degrees at the first pitch, to say it was hot was an understatement. Spaz always does a seat upgrade during every game promoting LAZY-BOY recliners. He has dubbed this “the best seats in the house”. These “best seats” consist of four recliners at the top of the seating bowl behind home plate. Tonight, the “best seats in the house” clearly was out in the SUNBRELLA zone located in right field. Sitting there underneath umbrellas with an ice cold Mountain Dew, a great friend, and baseball. What’s better than that? Yeah. A win would’ve capped it off, but when you have secured the northern division playoff spot, I’m okay with just enjoying games for the sake of enjoying them.
Tonights game was enjoyable from a Hoppers standpoint as well. I got to witness Austin Barnes slam his 4th home run tonight! Which I love seeing guys like that perform well. Aaron Senne and Austin Barnes hit homers tonight. Both great guys doing great things in the diamond. Tonight was Aaron’s 3rd homer in four nights. That is quite the accomplishment! Hoppers were facing the Hickory Crawdads, which coming into tonight were 7-2 in the second half, and are currently in first place. Needless to say, the heat wasn’t the only struggle our boys were going to have to overcome.
Pitchers tonight were the newly acquired Scott Lyman, who pitched 5.2 innings, allowed 8 hits and four strikeouts. Greg Nappo threw 1.1 innings, allowed 3 hits and 4 strikeouts. Nappo would be relieved by Jose Rodreguez would pitch 1 inning, allowing 1 hit and 1 strikeout. Brad Mincy then came up to finish off the night, allowing 2 hits and no strikeouts.
The big hitters of the night were, Aaron Senne with a two run homer to right field. Austin Barnes slamming his homer in the bottom of the ninth. Aaron Senne went 3-4 tonight and Austin Barnes went 4-1, with his home run being his lonely hit on the night. Ryan Goetz also went 3-1 on the night. Hoppers fell to the Crawdads to a score of 11-4. With this loss the Hoppers drop to 4-5 in the second half standings and currently three games back. Come and check out your Hoppers tomorrow for another scorcher. Temperature tomorrow is predicted to be around 105. Maybe, it’ll be just hot enough to steam some Crawdads. As always, this is Jordan Stowe, and IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Game 3 of the Greensboro Grasshoppers – Lakewood BlueClaws series came Tuesday evening, July 6. The Hoppers fell to the BlueClaws again, on a close 6-7 game. My Rally Cap was out and in force, but must have been just too little, too late. This brings my Rally Cap record to an even 2-2 since I started keeping track. It was an exciting game, though, especially towards the end when the Hoppers were starting to rally.
The Hoppers highlight of the night goes to Chase Austin, who hit two homers. One came in the 3rd inning and the 2nd came in the 9th inning, putting the Hoppers just one run short of tying. Pitching for the Hoopers was Chad James (2.1 innings, 4 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 strikeouts), Natividad Dilone (2.2 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 strikeout), and Ramon Benjamin (4 innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts). I love watching Benjamin pitch — he’s so efficient.
The highlight of the game for me was off the field, collecting autographs. Before the game started, I was thrilled to find Carlos Paulino (catcher) signing autographs at the table by the playground area. I had a couple of baseballs I’ve been carrying around to get Paulino to sign — the only Hoppers game ball I have is a foul ball Paulino hit that I scrambled to pick up about a month ago when it went into the stands, and the ball I threw when I threw the first pitch last month. Paulino caught my pitch, and I thought it would be cool to have his autograph on the ball I threw. So I took them to the table and he was happy to sign them for me. When I told him where each ball came from, he seemed to get a kick out of it. After getting Carlos’ autograph, I headed over to the Hoppers bullpen area to watch the team warm up in the outfield. There, I got both Michael Pasek (2B) and Erick Carrillo (P) to sign their cards. Later in the game, I spotted Curtis Peterson (P) in the stands and got him to sign his card, too. I’m hoping to get all the cards in the team set autographed before the season’s out.
Sumo (between 2nd and 3rd): won by Red Sumo.
Sausage Race (between 8th and 9th): won by Hot Sausage. Hot entered from center field instead of by the Hoppers dugout with the other two sausages. It was kinda weird.
The “Fry Guy” Strikeout promotion was in full effect today. Here’s Spaz encouraging the third base side to coax BlueClaws batter Buschini into a strike:
Remember earlier when I said I saw Curtis Peterson in the stands? Guess what he was doing. He was filming Ramon Benjamin pitching. I guess they analyze the tapes to see how they can improve.
I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):
All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.
Saturday, May 1 was the final game for the most recent Greensboro Grasshoppers home stand. It was against the Rome Braves, who beat the Hoppers 2-6. The Hoppers got a run in each of the first and second innings, but stayed off the board for the rest of the game. Even with the loss, I had lots of fun at this game because my wife and several of our friends joined us for the game. I love going to baseball games, but it’s even more fun to go with friends.
We got to the ballpark and I entered the Home Run Derby drawing, like I do every game. This time, my name was drawn when Jose Torres was up to bat. The way it works is that a name is drawn for every Hoppers batter in the fourth inning. If the batter makes a home run, the person whose name was drawn receives the ever-increasing jackpot. For this game, I think the jackpot was up to about $450. Sadly, Torres didn’t homer, so I didn’t win the money. I don’t think anyone’s won the money yet this year. I’ll keep trying.
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Blue Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage. Sage was doing pretty well, and looked to be in line for the win. However, on the third base side, Country Sausage blocked her, allowing Hot Sausage to secure the win.
I managed to get a few interesting photos. Here’s one of Chad Cregar. I like how you can see the bat in motion, and the blur of the ball after it left the bat.
Here’s one of Chase Austin, who successfully made it to safely to first base after laying down this bunt.
Finally, here’s a series of Edgar Olmos pitching.
Since we were running a tiny bit late to the game and since I was visiting with friends as well as watching, I didn’t score the game this time. Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site.
All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook. This was the last game I had my buddy’s telephoto lens to use, so I’ll be back to my normal lens for the next home stand.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers played their fourth game against the Shorebirds last Tuesday, and it was a day game. Day games are always fun. To make it even more exciting, this game was one of the Guilford County School Days at the ballpark. The stands were filled with about a hundred million second graders. OK, maybe not that many, but it sounded like there were that many once they started screaming and yelling.
Since there were kids all over the place in the main section of the ball park, including where my season ticket is, the Hoppers had all the season ticket holders that attended the game sit up in the Yes! Party Deck. That was really cool. I’d never been to the 2nd level, and it’s a whole different experience checking out the game from up there. I liked it, and I hope that when they have school days again, they put the season ticket holders in the Party Deck. It was lots of fun. I even made a new friend who won tickets to the game from his employer. We ended up sitting next to each other for the last couple of innings and really enjoyed chatting as the game wound down. That made the loss easier to bear.
It was a tough loss, 2-3. The Hoppers got on the board with a run pretty quickly in the 1st inning. No more runs were scored until the 4th, when the BlueClaws scored a run. The Hoppers didn’t respond with a run of their own until the 7th, but the BlueClaws tied it in the 8th with a run and scored another run in the 9th to secure the win. The bottom of the 9th was particularly disheartening: Kyle Jensen walked. Kyle Skipworth walked (then Michael Pasek replaced him as a pinch runner). With Chase Austin at bat, the BlueClaws had a pitcher substitution, who allowed both Jensen and Pasek to advance on a wild pitch. Then the pitcher intentionally walked Austin, loading the bases. It was exciting. I was hopeful that we’d at least tie, if not secure the win. How could we not? Bases loaded, no outs! Then Carols Paulino flies out. Then Jose Torres strikes out. Then Terrence Dayleg strikes out. It was a rough inning.
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Red Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage
A note about parking. Since it was a day game, the lot across the street where I normally park for free was not available. Nor was street parking, since the meters were all in effect. All of the lots near the stadium were also full. It was difficult to navigate the streets due to the large number of busses. I finally gave up and parked in a city lot a few blocks away from the stadium. Much to my surprise, when I got out of the deck after the game, the parking was less than $2. Next time there’s a day game, I might just skip hunting for a spot and head straight for the parking deck. It was only a couple blocks away from the stadium. Nice and easy.
Once again, I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):
All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.