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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Strasburg in Syracuse
DATELINE: Aug 27, 2011
We arrived at the stadium shortly after 5pm for a 7pm game. The main entrance was closed to traffic, but we use a different entrance anyway. There were plenty of folks already on hand. Several tailgate parties were in progress. The lot filled up quickly.

The gates opened at 5:45pm instead of the announced (and usual) 6pm opening. I immediately encountered Bill DeLapp from the Syracuse New Times, who was looking for a good vantage point from which to photograph the draw of the night.

I wondered if our first base coaches would even be able to hear us. Yet there didn't seem to be as many fans in the stands as there were cars in the lot. Soon, we glimpsed parked vehicles in the overflow lot.

While I was sitting around, waiting for starting lineups, they announced Brad Peacock was in the souvenir shop signing autographs. I went into stalker mode and got on line. He signed the brim of my hat. I said hi to him, but I'm not sure he recognized me. After all, he didn't go screaming off in the opposite direction.

NBA Hall of Fame &
One of the Top 50 Basketball Players
of All Time Dolph Schayes
Dolph Schayes showed up, so I went over to say hi to him and snap his photo. Not sure he recognized me either. He and TV Stevie are friends, having both graduated from the same high school in the Bronx. A local sports broadcaster interrupted us. Gotta suck up to Dolph.

Tim Fox from NewsChannel 9 stopped by to say hi.

I heard that Tug Hulett had been named Player of the Game for the 2nd game of the previous evening. YAY! We voted for him.

The crowd kept getting louder and louder. Sandee and Anthony made it in time for the start of the game, although they'd gotten stuck in all the traffic.

Finally, the game started. I began writing down pitch speeds.Strasburg got up to 96mph in the1st inning.
What's in Gregor Blanco's hand?

The first base coach in the bottom of the 1st (and for most of the game) was Gregor Blanco. The past several nights we've noticed him swinging something as he strolls to 1st base. It looks like a stopwatch to me, but that just could be my broadcast years catching up to me.

Bernadina, the first Syracuse batter, hit a home run to start the game right.

While I was looking around the stadium at the end of the first, I noticed something curious.
Grounds crew watching from
way up high!

Strasburg reached 98 mph in the 2nd inning . . . and never exceeded that for the rest of the game.

A newbie, Chris Curran, was first base coach for the next couple of innings.

We wondered if the lemonade stand people all went to the State Fair. We love the lemonade at the stadium and really missed it last night.

There was a family with several young children sitting immediately behind us, and TV Stevie loved them. TV decided that one little fella was going to grow up to be the next Michael Kay. "See ya!" the kid called out every time a ball was hit. It was very cute.

Carlos Maldonado tipped his hat to us before he started warming up Strasburg for the 3rd inning.

By the time the 4th inning rolled around, the sun was setting and the sky was gorgeous.
Notice the 200 Level is full
and the general admission
3rd level is nearly empty.

Can't find the words to describe

By the 5th inning, Strasburg had a perfect game going. It was very exciting to watch. Then the 6th inning. Oh boy. Strasburg allegedly gave up two hits, but I don't necessarily believe the first would have been a hit if a certain outfielder had just hustled a bit. Strasburg was pulled from the game. He left to a standing ovation.

Eventually Rochester scored. In the meantime, Steve Lombardozzi and Matt Antonelli each made an astounding catch. And Bernadina hit an RBI double in the bottom of the 6th (which is why I voted for him, not Strasburg, as Player of the Game).

At the end of the 6th, the stadium announcer informed us that Chris Marrero hit his first Major League hit tonight. YAY Chris!

During the 7th inning, the stadium announcer informed us that Dolph Schayes was in the stands.

Chase Lambin played pretty good at third base tonight, considering he has 25 errors on the season. We never did get his attention. The din in the stadium was unbelievable.

The Voice of the Orange
leaving the stadium
after fireworks.
Matt Park, the Voice of the Orange, was sitting behind me.

WAER's famous Eric Cohen stopped by to say hi.

The last couple of innings were tense. The score was close (I like huge leads). Our relievers were distracted. The Rochester manager was tossed from the game. I couldn't get to my camera quick enough to catch the argument, but it was classic baseball confrontation.

The grounds crew moved from the tippy-top of the stadium to the outfield fence.
Grounds crew watching the end of the game

Eric Cohen commented that I notice the weirdest things at the stadium. Well, that's one of the reasons I wanted to blog. Because being at the ballpark is baseball and more.

Sandee's favorite closer, Josh Wilkie, managed to make sure the Chiefs won. Very tense end of the game.
Team walking off the field after post-game congrats.
Love the "rakish" tilt of Carlos's hat.

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