With the Bats in Columbus I felt it was the right time to check out the new Huntington Park. I hadnt been down there yet and I'd heard it was really nice. It did not disappoint. I didnt go to fancy baseball photography school like BubbaFan, but my trusty Canon PowerShot was more than enough to get not-blurry still images of ballplayers standing around when there wasnt any action.
It's kind of a funny story. So Mrs Scrabbles and I got down to the park an hour early so we could take a look around and everything. But being the Reds fan that I am, I didnt bother getting tickets before the game. There will be plenty available the day of, right? Wrong. Standing room only at 6 bucks a ticket. I have certain physical incapacities that make it difficult for me to stand for 3 hours at a time, so I wasnt really thrilled by that prospect. But the only other tickets they had left were in the Tansky.com Bullpen Suite. 25 bucks apiece. What the hell, right? Why not? We'd already paid for parking.
This was the suite. We werent exactly sure what we were getting into when we got the tickets, so we had to double-check with the usher to make sure this was the right place.
Genuinely classy. I'd never seen a ballpark the way a rich guy sees it, so this was a pretty surreal experience.
This is the Wendy's Hamburger Balcony in right field. Like I said, genuinely classy.
The usher led us to believe we would have the suite to ourselves for the evening, but that was a total lie. A family came out to celebrate the graduation of a girl from OSU. The guy who threw out the 1st pitch was her grandfather. So I sat by a celebrity. Jealous?
Now on to the baseball. It was a perfect night for a ballgame. Drew Stubbs and Danny Dorn warming up before the game:
Eric Davis was on hand for the game. He stood in the dugout pretty much the whole time, presumably swapping stories of the big leagues with Darnell McDonald.
I found it endlessly amusing that he wears his old Reds uniform everywhere he goes. Just imagine if John Glenn did this.
Red Reporter Favorite Norris Hopper led off the game by taking a ball outside. It seemed cosmically just that he, the lead off man, be the only Bats starter to not get a hit.
Drew Stubbs hit second and would have a pretty nice game. He socked a good, hard line drive in 4 of his 5 ABs. The best part of the night was when Stubbs lined his 3rd hit into left-center. A guy to my left said, "We gotta get this kid up in Cincinnati!". I thought I had made a new friend, but before I could say anything he ruined it by saying, "...and we gotta send Bruce back in his place!" Even Mrs Scrabbles rolled her eyes at that one. Did I mention how much I love her?
Here's Stubbs grinning after his first single.
Drew Sutton had a pretty nice game too. He started at SS, but I didnt really get a good read on how he handled it. Justin Lehr didnt give the defense much chance to do anything spectacular. Here's Sutton just before smacking a double off the Wendy's Hamburger Balcony:
Lehr had a fantastic game on the mound. He gave up only one really well-hit ball the whole evening, and that was a solo shot off the bat of Matt LaPorta. Here's LaPorta trotting home:
The game was over pretty early on, as the Bats scored 6 in the first 3 innings. Lefty Zach Jackson was on the hill for the Clippers and the Bats lineup was stacked with righties, as Danny Dorn was the only lefty in the starting lineup. Here's Dorn before striking out to end the 1st:
Former top prospect Andy Marte had one hell of a time though. He was only charged with one error in the game, but the official scorer was being mighty generous to the guy. There were 3 plays which should have been outs that Marte let by him. By the end of the night the home crowd let him know what they thought of him. Here's Marte shielding himself from the various rotten fruits and vegetables that a local vendor donated to the angry fans:
Like I mentioned earlier, Justin Lehr threw himself a nice little ballgame. It took him 105 pitches, but he got all 27 outs. Here's the rest of the team standing around watching Lehr do his thang:
The game was over pretty much right after it started, so I stopped taking pictures of the action and toured the new ballpark. It's really a nice place to catch a game. By the 5th inning or so it was 7-2 Bats, and that's the way it would stay to the end. Mrs Scrabbles and I took off before the 8th and decided that next time we'll get tickets ahead of time. Oh yeah, and Drew Stubbs is like a jillion times better than Willy Taveras.