Syracuse, NY (Thursday, June 10, 2010) - The Lousville Bats' Syracuse series came at a busy time of year for me, so I didn't make it to all the games like I did last year. I did make it to a couple, though, including the Travis Wood vs. Jeff Mandel matchup.
Local author Bert Sugar was there. He threw out the first pitch.
He bounced it the first time, and insisted on trying again. He managed a strike the second time.
He is the author of Bert Sugar's Baseball Hall of Fame: A Living History of America's Greatest Game. He was selling copies of his book for $35 in the concourse, and autographing them. Seems kinda steep, since you can get used copies at Amazon.com for 8 cents plus $4 shipping.
It was also "Throwback Thursday," meaning the Chiefs wore their old, politically incorrect uniforms. Chris Duncan, brother of Shelley, son of Dave, looked especially old school, with the baggy pants.
On the mound for the Bats: Travis Wood.
Jeff Mandel started for the Chiefs.
The first base side of the park is brutal at this time of year. The sun shines right in your face for the first half of the game or so. It's hard for human eyes to see the game, let alone the camera. The regulars all know this, and sit on the third base side (plus that's the home dugout side). Suckers who let MiLB.com choose "best available" for them end up sitting above the visitors' dugout, blinded by the light.
I can't really complain, though. I knew what I was getting into. I wanted to sit there, to get some portrait shots of the Bats' players.
Zack Cozart posed nicely right in front of me.
Danny Dorn was coaching first base.
He's on the DL with a broken hand. Not sure if it's the hamate or what. It was probably reported in Farmers Only sometime, but I don't remember the details.
Second baseman Chris Valaika.
Right fielder Wladmir Balentien.
Third baseman Todd Frazier.
Show us your balls, Yonder Alonso!
This was the first time I've seen Alonso. He hadn't made it to AAA yet the last time I saw a Bats game.
Catcher Wilkin Castillo in the 2nd inning.
It's a stand-up double!
Unfortunately, Valaika was out at home, ending the threat. He tried to go first to home, and, well, he's no Drew Stubbs.
Travis Wood heads back to the dugout after striking out in the 3rd.
Yonder Alonso doubles in the 4th.
Todd Frazier doubles, scoring Alonso.
It looked it might be a big inning, but Mandel got out relatively unscathed. Frazier was caught trying to steal 3B, then Chris Burke popped out.
Devin Ivany catches a Chris Burke popup in foul territory.
Wilkin Castillo hit a home run in the 5th.
Wood congratulates Castillo. Between the double and the home run, the Chiefs fans were convinced Wilkin was the second coming of Barry Bonds.
Chris Duncan singles in the 5th.
Duncan takes 2B on a wild pitch by Travis Wood.
The sixth inning would be a big one for the Bats.
Wlad came to bat with one out (Cozart fly out), one on (Alonso walk).
He made them pay, hitting a single...
... that scored Alonso and Balentien.
Then Chris Valaika doubled, scoring Frazier and Burke.
Stand up double, scoring Valaika.
Cozart struck out, Alonso reached on an error, then Balentien grounded out. But the Bats had put 7 runs on the board, meaning the score was 9-0. They batted around. Cozart was the only one who didn't reach base (he made two of the outs in the inning, grounding out and striking out).
Travis Wood pitched 7 innings.
His line: 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. And 1 for 3 with a double, a run scored, and 1 RBI.
Atahualpa Severino pitched the last two innings for the Chiefs.
Federic Baez pitched the 8th for the Bats. (He's since been sent down to Carolina.)
He gave up a home run to second baseman Leonard Davis, making it 9-1.
Wlad and friend in right field.
No, the tall red fellow is not a new prospect. The Chiefs have a kid's play area back there. It's open throughout the game, in case your kid is going nuts sitting in the stands.
The soul-sucker, Ben Jukich, pitched the ninth inning for the Bats.
Jukich struck out Chase Lambin, but pinch-hitter Sean Rooney reached on an error. Cozart booted it. (Janish would have gotten that!)
Chris Duncan singled, but Jukich struck out the next two batters. Bats win!
Final score, Bats 9, Chiefs 1.