MOOSIC, PA - (August 7, 2011) Game 2 of the doubleheader was the game that was rained out Saturday night. Game 1, Volquez vs. Banuelos, was clearly the marquee matchup, pitting the one-time major league ace against one of the Yankees' most prized pitching prospects. Very few people stuck around for game 2. It was just brutally hot that day. The temperature wasn't that bad - in the lower 80s - but the sun beat down on you (when you'd be in the shade for an evening game, even before the sun went down), it was extremely humid, and there was no breeze. Everyone was soaked with sweat.
No, it didn't snow, though I was wishing it would by the end of the game. It's an infrared photo of PNC Field. Grass and foliage looks white due to the "Wood effect."
I was looking forward to this matchup as much as the first one. I still have hopes that Daryl Thompson will figure it out (and avoid injury).
I think he needs a smaller hat.
Going for the SWB Yankees was Lance Pendleton. He's gotten a couple of cups of coffee this year, as a long reliever, and has done okay.
Pendleton was one of Paul Janish's teammates at Rice. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Yankees. They lost him via Rule 5 to his hometown Astros last December, but he failed to make the team in spring training, and was returned to the Yankees.
Batters, replace your divots.
Groundhogs fear when Juan Francisco is at bat.
Danny Dorn fields the throw from Juan Francisco as Kevin Russo, who's been splitting his time lately between Scranton and the Bronx, grounds out.
Former Red Chris Dickerson got on via a walk.
Everyone expected him to steal, but before he could, Mike Lamb grounded into a double play, Valaika to Negron to Dorn.
Daniel Dorn, who's been in a bit of a slump, was 0 for 2 with a walk.
Chris Valaika fouled off several pitches in the 5th, including one I thought was going to land on my head. (It landed two rows in front of me.)
Valaika eventually singled to left, scoring Corky Miller (who was on 2B, via a single and a Felix Perez walk). Bats 3, SWB 0.
Unfortunately, the fifth was kind of ugly. He gave up two doubles, two singles, and 3 runs. Gamed tied, 3-3.
Thompson's line: 5 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR.
81 pitches, 49 for strikes.
Jerry Gil pitched the 6th and part of the 7th.
Brackman was replaced by J.C. Romero, who easily cleaned up the mess, getting a line out and a strike out.
This would turn out to be Romero's last game as a SWB Yankee. He asked for his release the next day, and got it.
Valaika returns to the dugout after striking out.
Jerry Gil started the 7th, but after Doug Bernier walked and got to 2B on a Kevin Russo sac bunt, Gil got the hook.
Jeremy Horst took over.
Horst promptly gave up singles to Chris Dickerson and Mike Lamb. Doug Bernier scored the winning run.
SWB Yankees with the walkoff win, 4-3.
Juan Francisco leaves the field, already stripping off his uniform.
I was sitting next to a woman who was there hoping to see her cousin play. She had binocs, and was looking over at the Bats bullpen, trying to find someone named "Nick."
"Nick Christiani?" I asked her. (It's not like there are a lot of Nicks in the bullpen.) She was surprised I knew who he was. Like Todd Frazier, Nick is from Jersey, and is almost a local boy in eastern PA. Nick was just promoted to AAA this May, and this was the first time the Bats played in Scranton this year.
A doubleheader seemed like a good bet to see a relief pitcher like Nick, but no dice. He never got into the game. She should have gone on Thursday instead.