FanPost

Waiting here in Allentown... (Gallagher vs. Hyatt)

Allentown, PA (May 19, 2012) - I always thought that song meant waiting for a job or something. But having now been to Allentown, I'm convinced that it's referring to waiting in traffic. Holy guacamole, is the traffic bad here. Coca-Cola Park is near the airport, so I guess that could be part of the problem, but jeez, if it's that bad on a Saturday afternoon, I hate to see what it's like at rush hour.

Maybe it was all people going to the game. It was a sell-out: 10,100 tickets sold. And no scalpers in sight. I ended up on the berm under the scoreboard.

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Iron and pig references are everywhere at Coca-Cola Park. The mascots are two furry, steel-colored pigs named Ferrous and Fefe.

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Fefe, get it? The symbol for iron is Fe. And why is Ferrous' jersey number 26? Nerd alert! Because that's the atomic number for iron.

(Ferrous was originally going to be named Porkchop, but the local Puerto Rican community objected, saying it was a racial slur.)

The Bats pitchers head to the pen, which is next to the berm. The bullpens are side by side, with the home team on the outside and the visiting team on the inside.

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Pigs first basemen John Suomi at bat against Bats starting pitcher Sean Gallagher.

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The berm is very far away from most of the action.

You do have a good view of the outfielders. This was the first time I've seen Felix Perez in center field.

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Chris Valaika hit an opposite field home run in the third.

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(Click to enlarge, and you can see the ball in the upper left of the photo.)

This stadium is the weirdest I've ever been to when it comes to visiting team home runs. It's like they didn't happen. Not a word from the announcers, no cheers from visiting fans (they probably can't get tickets), no groans or boos from the home crowd. Just silence. If you aren't paying close attention, or can't see the area of the field where the play was or was not made, you don't even know what happened unless you look at the scoreboard. Kris Negron and Neftali Soto also homered, and it was the same for them.

There's constant entertainment at Coca-Cola Park, so maybe people just aren't paying much attention to the actual ballgame. They carry it to a level I haven't seen at other minor league parks.

A lot of ballparks do that thing in the sixth inning where the grounds crew suddenly drop their rakes and start dancing to "YMCA." Coca-Cola Park tops that by taking off their tops. Instead of "YMCA," they dance to Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy."

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And end up taking off their shirts, twirling them around, then tossing them away.

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I saw Jeremy Horst warming up in the pen next to the berm, and tried to get his photo. They have so much fencing and screening it that it's quite difficult to see into the Pig pen.

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It was a lot easier to see into the visiting pen. Here's Kanekoa Texeira.

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Travis Webb and Nick Christiani.

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I moved up to the good seats after the seventh inning stretch. Though there weren't that many empty seats - a lot of fans stuck around, despite the score.

Wirfin Obispo pitched the 7th and 8th.

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Pinch hit double for Willie Harris in the 9th.

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Kris Negron struck out to end the 9th, but seemed happy enough with his 3 for 6 with 1 HR and 3 RBI night.

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Carlos Fisher pitched the 9th.

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He gave up a single and a walk, giving hope to the home crowd, but quickly dispatched the next three batters.

But here you are in the ninth two men out and two men on

Nowhere to look but inside and you cannot handle pressure

IronPigs lose: Louisville 9, Lehigh Valley 2. Been a long time since the Bats had a game like this.

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Carlos Fisher waves to a friend in the crowd.

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Apparently, Paul Janish's future's so bright he has to wear two pairs of shades.

Janish was wearing a cast on his hand. Actually, it's more like a brace:

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Probably wouldn't even have noticed it if I wasn't looking for it.

He spent the entire game standing at the dugout rail, scarfing sunflower seeds and talking to other players.

After the game, Chris Valaika was interviewed on the field. Probably for the Bats blog. They play a game at Coca-Cola Park where hula hoops are placed on the field, and people in the stands try to throw tennis balls into them. There are prizes, including cash, if your ball lands in a hoop and stays there. (I guess they sell the balls during the game.) So Valaika was interviewed in a rain of tennis balls. Every once in awhile, he would swat one away if threatened to hit him.

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I'm glad I don't have to pick all those up.

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