Tagged: natividad dilone

GSO v LAK Game 3 (7/6/2010)

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.

Paulino Autograph First Pitch Ball

Autographs on Cards

Promotion Results
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:

Fry Guy Promotion

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.

Curtis Peterson

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site. There’s also a game story over there.

I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (GSO)
GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (LAK)
GSO v LAK Game 3 - 7:6:2010 (Pitchers)

All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

See ya at the ballpark!


GSO v WVP Game 5 (6/28/2010)

It was another scorcher today. It was a day game, and started at 12:30. As much as I was concerned about the heat, it was actually cooler at noon today than it was at 6pm yesterday. Sitting out in the sun was just asking to be baked, and with the sun directly overhead, it was difficult to find a seat in the shade. The good news is that the Hoppers came away with the win, 5-4.

I was concerned at the beginning of the game, as starting pitcher Edgar Olmos couldn’t seem to throw a strike. By the time he was replaced after only 2.2 innings, he had walked 4 batters with only 2 strikeouts. He threw a total of 32 balls and only 23 strikes. Somewhat surprisingly, only one batter scored on Olmos, in the 2nd inning. Olmos was replaced by Natividad Dilone, who pitched 4.2 innings and was credited with the win, allowing 3 runs. The last 1.2 innings were pitched by Alejandro (AJ) Ramos, who delivered 2 strikeouts and allowed no runs. Offensively, the Hoppers looked great. Two of our five runs were homers: Chad Cregar started off the 2nd with a solo homer on his first at-bat after coming off the DL and Justin Bass started off the 6th with another solo homer. Rand Smith spent a significant part of his time on first taunting second and attempting to steal. He never got a good chance to run for it, though. It’s definitely nice to see some good defensive playing from the Hoppers. You can see the improvement from the first half of the season. It’s showing both on the field and on the scoreboard — today’s game was another errorless outing for the Hoppers. Today was the last day for the home stand. The Hoppers are on the road to face the Rome Braves tomorrow through Saturday. They’ll be back in Greensboro for a four-game home stand against the Lakewood Blueclaws starting next Sunday.

Before the game, I headed out to the blazing hot left field and took a few pictures of the players warming up:

Warming Up

Warming Up-2

Promotion Results
Sumo (between 1st and 2nd): won by Red Sumo
Sausage Race (between 4th and 5th): won by Hot Sausage. They ran a 90-yard dash today (I suspect because it’s tough for the sausages to run the bases in the blazing heat we had today) and while Sage was off to a good start, she just fell short at the end.


Sausage Race

Perhaps one of the smartest things that the Hoppers did today didn’t have anything to do with playing baseball. They watered the stands. That is to say, that they hooked up the hose and sprayed down one of the sections. It was such a great idea, in the oppressive heat, to do it. For about an inning leading up to the spray-down, they were announcing over the PA that section 114 would be hosed down — both to let people who didn’t want to get wet enough time to get out of the area and to let people who did enough time to get over there. I think almost every kid at the ballgame made a dash to 114 to take part in it.

Cooling Down

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site.

I used iScore to score the game. I missed a pitching change for the Power, and the reasons behind a couple of outs, but here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v WVP Game 5 - 6:28:2010 (GSO)

GSO v WVP Game 5 - 6:28:2010 (WVP)

GSO v WVP Game 5 - 6:28:2010 (Pitchers)

I had a great time at the ballpark today, but I hope that it’s cooler next time the boys are in town for some home games.

All of my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

See ya at the ballpark!

GSO v WVP (6/25/2010)

Hoppers Haiku
Come from behind wins
are so exciting and fun
and make great drama.

Welcome back, Hoppers Fans fans! It’s been pretty dry in this blog for over two weeks. I got behind on writing about games, then I got really busy at my job that provides a paycheck, and to make it even more frustrating, the home stand that started Thursday was the first time in almost two weeks that the Hoppers were at home. I missed the Thursday night game, but I was at last night’s game against the West Virginia Power and was thrilled to have baseball back in the city!

I’ll just go ahead and say it. My rally cap takes total credit for yesterday’s win. I don’t remember what inning I put the cap on, but I’m sure I had it on by the sixth inning, when the Hoppers were losing 6 to 1. In the seventh inning, the Hoppers scored a second run, but they really got on fire in the eighth inning, where they scored six runs. The final score was six to eight, in favor of the Hoppers. It’s was another great game to watch — come from behind wins are always dramatic, and it’s nice when it’s the home team that is securing the win. This means that with two wins in the 2nd half of the season, the Hoppers are undefeated and continue to hold the top spot on in the SAL Northern Division standings for the second half of the season. (They share that spot with the Lakewood Blueclaws.) Curtis Peterson started the game, and allowed four of the six Power runs in four and two-thirds innings of pitching, with two of those runs being in fifth inning before he was pulled and a third one scoring from a runner he allowed on base before he was pulled. When Natividad Dilone took the mound from Peterson, the bases were loaded. He walked the first batter he faced (sending in a run that was charged against Peterson). The inning was thankfully over when the next batter grounded out. The final two runs the Power scored came in the sixth inning with Dilone on the mound. Dilone keep the Power scoreless through the seventh, and when Ramon Benjamin took the mound to close in the eighth, he only allowed a single batter to take a base, delivering what appeared to be three easy outs, two of which were strikeouts. I really want Peterson to emerge as a great starting pitcher, but I’m not seeing it yet. He always seems to come out doing well for about four innings, where he just kinda falls apart. I hope he’ll continue to work on his stamina and be able to stay in the games for more innings before being pulled.

I forgot to bring my fancy camera to the ballpark, but I took a few pictures with Camera+ on my iPhone and applied the filter that makes it look that you took a picture of a tiny model instead of real life (click to embiggen):

Tiny Ballpark
Tiny Ballpark at Dusk

Before the game started, I spent some time chatting with my friend Pat at the Taylor Made Kettle Corn booth. With the drought of home games, it had been about two weeks since we chatted. He hooked me up with a bag of delicious kettle corn for the evening and we caught each other up on what we’ve been up to the past couple of weeks. The short version is that it’s been a tough couple of weeks for both of us, and we’re both glad to be back in the park for some Hoppers home games. I can’t recommend the Taylor Made kettle corn enough — Pat’s a great guy, the kettle corn is delicious, and the prices are amazing. A small bag of kettle corn lasts me the entire ballgame, and a large bag can easily be shared by several people. The best part is that anything you don’t finish at the ballpark, you can take home and enjoy since it doesn’t tend to go stale for a couple of days. Just seal it up in some tupperware or something and snack on it for a few days. It’s good, good stuff.

Promotion Results
Susage Race (between 1st and 2nd): won by Country Sausage. Sage had the lead until she reached third base, where she stopped to drink a glass of water offered to her by one of the pitchers in the Hoppers bullpen. Will she ever win?
Sumo (in middle of 2nd): won by Red Sumo

Check out the complete recap and box score on the Hoppers site. Additionally, I’ve noticed that they are now providing a “Game Story for the games, which is a great little recap of the game as well.

I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to embiggen):

GSO v WVP Game 2 - 6:24:2010 (GSO)
GSO v WVP Game 2 - 6:24:2010 (WVP)
GSO v WVP Game 2 - 6:24:2010 (Pitchers)

In about an hour, I’m headed back to the ballpark. They’ve got Myron Noodleman scheduled for tonight, which should prove to be great entertainment. I’ll try to remember to bring my camera this time. And fireworks! Friday and Saturday games have fireworks — last night’s show was awesome, and I’m looking forward to another great display tonight.

See ya at the ballpark!

GSO v LAK Game 1 (4/24/2010)

The Hoppers were back in Greensboro last night for the first game of an 8 day homestand. And they won! WooWoo! I was out of town for a few days and got back in town just in time to get to the ballpark before the game started. It rained (sprinkles, mostly) for almost the entire game, but the grounds crew did a great job of keeping the field playable, both teams and the umpires did a good job of keeping the action moving, and most of the fans sought shelter under the upper decks to enjoy the game. All in all, it turned out to be a fine night for baseball.

Hoppers Haiku
Last night was baseball
and the Hoppers brought their game
securing a win.

Presenting The Colors

Before the National Anthem was sung, the colors were presented on the field. They stayed on the field during the singing and then were retired from the field. Jim, the announcer, asked everyone to show respect to the colors until they had exited the field, and I was really pleased to see that everyone remained standing and quiet until the flag was retired.

The game itself was generally a good example of smart baseball. The Hoppers had pretty consistent pitching from starter Bryan Evans (after hitting the 2nd batter he faced with a pitch, anyway) who pitched for five innings only allowed one run. Middle reliever Natividad Dilone pitched for 3 innings and also allowed one run. Closer Alejandro Ramos shut down the ninth inning 1-2-3 with outs that were all garnered as a result of nice fielding plays. The BlueClaws used 4 pitchers throughout the contest, pitching 2.1, 2.2, 1.0, and 2.0 innings each. All four Hoppers runs were earned against the first two BlueClaws pitchers.

Promotion Results
Sausage Race (between 1st and 2nd): won by Country Sausage
Sumo (middle of 2nd): won by Blue Sumo

I don’t know if other teams do this or not, but the Hoppers like to have fun with the opposing batters. For example, last night, whenever BlueClaws right fielder Domingo Santana came up to bad, his walk up music was taking from Carlos Santana’s Black Magic Woman. They also put interesting pictures on the scoreboard for batters who share a name with celebrities. Last night, BlueClaws catcher Sebastian Valle was honored with mug shots of two other “Sebastians” (click each picture to enbiggen):

Sebastian The Crab?

Sebastian Bach?

Yeah, that’s Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid and Sebastian Bach from Skid Row (my wife had to identify that one for me). Fun times with the visiting team.

Once again, I used iScore to score the game. Here’s how I had it (click each picture of the scoresheet to enbiggen):

GSO v LAK Game 1 (LAK)

GSO v LAK Game 1 (GSO)

GSO v LAK Game 1 (Pitchers)

All my pictures from the game are on Facebook.

And now it’s time to head back to the ballpark for today’s game. The rain has cleared up a bit, so I’m hoping they can get a great game in without any problems with the weather.

See ya at the ballpark!