MOOSIC, PA - (August 5, 2011) I checked the Bats roster the morning of this game, to see if Dave Sappelt was being called up to replace the injured Chris Heisey. Not yet, but I did notice that Mike Costanzo was no longer on the roster. I'd seen him playing the day before, but now he was no longer a Bat.
It wasn't until I was at PNC Field, watching the warmups, that I realized what must have happened. I saw a guy who looked awfully familiar. He was wearing the wrong number - #28 instead of #25 - but it was him.
Hide the kids! The prodigal child-eater is back. Juan Francisco, who had been rehabbing his injured knee in Arizona, had rejoined the team, and Mike Costanzo was sent down to the Mudcats to make room.
I was sitting in section 30, which is where the fans who want to get visiting players' autographs hang out. If you go down to the railing before the game, you are almost guaranteed to get a chance to get a sig and exchange a few words with the visiting players.
Daniel Dorn was among those who stopped to sign. He's always very friendly to the fans.
Corky Miller also stopped and signed for everyone who asked, but he was a lot more intimidating. Probably because he looks like a biker and almost never smiles. (Or maybe he does, but you just can't see it under all that facial hair.)
Dave Sappelt (now the newest Red) does this cool thing where he runs the ball along his arm and up into the air, and catches it. (Though once in while, he almost catches it with his face.)
On the mound for Bats: Travis Wood.
Going for the SWB Yankees was DJ Mitchell, a tenth-round draft pick out of Clemson.
Denis Phipps doubled.
Travis Wood got into trouble in the second inning. He gave up a leadoff ground rule double to Brandon Laird.
Two singles scored a run, until he finally got the 8th and 9th batters in the lineup out, along with leadoff man Chris Dickerson (who should probably not be leading off, with his .219 average).
Dave Sappelt lets a pitch go by.
He let four of them go by, getting a two-out walk in the third.
He stole second without a throw.
Jeremy Hermida fields a Brandon Laird fly out. (Yay, it stayed in the park!)
Devin Mesoraco answered in the fourth with a home run of his own.
Things really fell apart in the fourth. Wood gave up two singles, a walk, and a double. Three runs scored.
I thought these two photos were kind of neat because they show two different grips. His fastball and curveball, I think.
Francisco homered in the fifth, adding another picket to the fence.
Wood was pulled (heh) after five innings. His line: 5 IP, 11 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 1 BB, 6 Ks, 1 HR.
Jared Burton pitched the sixth. He struck out one, and allowed no hits or walks.
Denis Phipps homered in the seventh.
(Denis Phipps is an interesting player. He's always had excellent defense. Eric Davis loves his glove. But he hasn't hit much...until this year. Suddenly, he's raking. He took the CF position from Sappelt. If he keeps it up, the Reds will definitely want to add him to the 40-man roster.)
Brad Boxberger pitched the seventh. He was...not quite so good as Burton.
He faced six batters, and gave up two singles, a double, and two earned runs.
Tom Cochran pitched the eighth, striking out one and walking one.
Final score: Louisville 4, SWB 8.
I did what I usually do on fireworks nights: rushed to my car, and watched from the parking lot, so I could get a head start getting out ahead of the crowd.
The Bats had 13 hits, SWB 14. But the Baby Bombers got a lot more runs out of their hits.
Juan Francisco made a splash on his return, going 3 for 5 with a double and a homer.
Denis Phipps was 3 for 5 with two doubles and a home run. I wonder if he can bat leadoff.
Former Red Chris Dickerson was 0 for 4 with two Ks. He did have a sac bunt, and a nice running grab in the outfield.