JULY 26, 2009: Syracuse, NY: There's a statue of a horse in front of Alliance Bank Stadium. Looks like one of those horse sculptures they get local artists to paint, then put up around town. This one is painted with sports gear: footballs, helmets, bats, baseballs, etc.
There were a lot of people tailgating in the parking lot. Unusual for baseball. There were tailgaters the day before, too, but I thought it was because there was an "official" tailgate party going on. There was no such thing on Sunday, but there were people tailgating nonetheless.
The game started at 5pm. Alliance Bank Stadium is aligned exactly north-south, and the sun is pretty brutal in the afternoons if you're sitting on the first base side. I decided to sit on the third base side, even though that was the home team's dugout, meaning it was more crowded, and I'd be seeing mostly the backs of the mostly right-handed lineups.
The view from my seat:
(I ended up moving to the first base side after a few innings. It was just too crowded on the home team's side. And I got tired of taking pictures of the batters' backs.)
Justin Lehr was on the mound for the Bats.
Horacio Ramirez started for the Chiefs.
Maxwell would end up stranded, after Lehr got the Chiefs to strikeout, groundout, and popup.
The Bats drew first blood in the 2nd. Kevin Barker singled, and a groundout, single, and sac fly brought him home.
Lehr was 1 for 3 with a RBI.
Drew Stubbs hit a home run. It was only his 3rd homer of the season, just over the right field fence, just fair.
Stubbs crosses the plate.
Chris Heisey played LF and went 3 for 5.
Sutton played 2B and was 3 for 4. He was wearing #9, but his batting helmet didn't match. It was #6 - teammate Michael Griffin's number. Sutton was sent down by the Reds only three days before; I guess they didn't bring his gear on the road trip.
Chris Valaika played SS, and was 1 for 3 with a double and 2 RBIs.
The error was by Drew Stubbs in the 4th. I don't remember an error, and it's not mentioned in the game writeups in the Syracuse papers. I think it must have been changed by the scorer after the game was over. It was Stubbs' first error of the season.
Stubbs was 1 for 5, but the one was that home run.
Kevin Barker and Pete Orr.
Heisey scores in the 7th:
Pinch-hitter Corey Patterson:
He grounded into a forceout, then stole 2B. But ended up stranded when Maxwell flied out.
Yunior Novoa tries to pick off Heisey:
He eventually succeeds. Heisey out at 2B.
Robert Manuel closes it out.
The Bats celebrate their victory.
Final score: Bats 5, Syracuse 3.
After the game, manager Rick Sweet praised Lehr, saying, "He's pitched very well for us and he knows how to pitch. I'd like to see him get a chance at the big leagues."
I guess they were listening in Cincinnati...