Syracuse, NY (June 7, 2011) - The Bats brought the good wood (and no, I don't mean Travis) to Syracuse on Tuesday. The game started out something of a pitchers' duel. A pitchers' duel with a lot of hitting. When the dust settled, the Bats had 17 hits (including a triple and a home run), 9 runs, and a decisive victory.
The Bats' one-two punch, Zack Cozart and Chris Valaika.
I looked for Todd Frazier in left field, then at third base. No dice. I wondered if he'd been called up. Then I saw him by the dugout. He was the first base coach. Getting a day off, or perhaps a minor injury? (He did pinch-hit later, so he's not on the DL.)
The Bats' new center fielder, Brent Clevlen. They signed him out of the independent leagues.
I was wondering if Tom Cochran had cleared waivers. Apparently, he did. He was the Bats' starting pitcher.
Chris Valaika did the same thing: swung at the first pitch, and got a single.
Only his was a line drive to center, that brought Chiefs center fielder Corey Brown to his knees.
Left fielder Yonder Alonso flips his bat after striking out
Cozart came to bat with two on, two out in the second, and struck out on three pitches. He took it out on his bat, flinging it into the dugout with a crash that made the fans gasp.
Louisville finally broke through in the third. It was a two-out rally. Mesoraco singled, Hermida walked, and Danny Dorn killed the rally with a homer to left. (Actually, the rally continued. Clevlen singled...then got caught stealing to end the inning.)
Hermida and Mesoraco congratulate Dorn at the plate.
As it turns out, that was the game right there. There would be a lot more runs put on the board, but even when the score was close, it never felt close. The ambience in the ballpark that day was very laid back...perhaps because the Chiefs' chief cheerleader wasn't there. (A season ticket holder who has a very loud voice and isn't afraid to use it.)
Tug Hulett steals 2B. (With a name like "Tug," you know he's scrappy!)
Devin Mesoraco goes out to the mound to talk to Cochran. (No, there wasn't dust on my camera lens. There was a lot of fluffy white stuff floating in the air. Cottonwood? People were sneezing their heads off.)
The announcer had a hard time with Mesoraco's name. He called him "Merasco" the first couple of times. I was wondering if I had been mispronouncing his name all this time. The third time, he pronounced it correctly. But the next time, he called him "Mesorasco." The Reds fans sitting to the left of me had had enough, and screamed, "Pronounce his name correctly!" (After that, he did.)
"Charles Larry" is pronounced "Justin." Yup, old friend Justin Lehr pitched the 7th.
Lehr didn't give up any hits or runs, but he did walk two.
Cochran singled in the 7th. Unfortunately, he tried to go first to third on a Cozart single, and was out by a mile.
Corey Brown goes to 2B on a groundout.
The Bats put the nails in the coffin in the 8th. "Mesorasco" singled. So did Jeremy Hermida.
Dorn walked, Clevlen struck out, then Negron singled, plating Mesoraco.
The first base coach, Todd Frazier, pinch hit for Lehr. He singled, scoring Hermida.
The bases were still loaded for Cozart. He'd had enough of the singles merry-go-round, and cleared the bases with a triple.
Dorn and Negron score on Cozart's triple. I was afraid Negron was going to pass Dorn on the basepaths.
Valaika singled, scoring Cozart.
Broken bat single for Alonso.
Mesoraco flew out, Hermida singled again. Bases were loaded for Dorn, but he flew out. At last, the inning was over - after 12 batters and three pitchers. The Bats had put six runs on the board, making the score 9-1.
Alonso returns to the dugout.
Alonso may be the best bat-twirler on the team, but Frazier is the best hat-twirler.
Dontrelle Willis took over as first base coach when Frazier entered the game.
The Chiefs got one back in the bottom of the inning, and threatened more, but a double play ended it.
Dontrelle Willis gives a ball to a fan.
It was the pitcher's turn to bat with two outs in the bottom of 9th. The Chiefs put pinch-hitter Jeff Frazier in.
He grounded out, ending the game. Bats win, 9-2.
The energetic D-Train celebrates wins by jumping up and chest-bumping each of his teammates. They all seem to know the drill.
You know how it is, when your brother is with his cool friends, and pretends not to know you? Yeah, it was like that.