Thursday, August 27, 2015
Rock Cats Blog // New Britain 0, Bowie 5 [Game 27]
Box Score: http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_08_26_bowaax_nbraax_1&mode=gameday
Quentin and I went to The Final 7 Game 3 (or 3/7 for short) and the final game in the series versus the Bowie Baysox at home together, just the two of us. It was Latino Heritage Night and there were notes before the game of a poster give away as well as a player autograph session so I was excited for both. When we got there we went to the home side first because it was the first sidewalk we went up on. Quentin found one of his new friends and while they were talking a guy came up and asked Quentin if he wanted a ball from batting practice. We went over to the ticket window because I had tickets from the rained out Thunder game to cash in as well as some tickets which simply went unused to go towards the Amnesty Nights on Friday and Saturday. So I was happy that I was able to exchange all four tickets right then and there and now am set with tickets- at least for me- from this game until the end of the season because our Sunday tickets will be at will call. When at the ticket window, the man behind the glass gave Quentin yet another game used ball to which we are very grateful because I'm sure Quentin will only look back and treasure these times.
Once inside we figured out that the Rock Cats poster was representitive of the Latino players for Latino Heritage Night and those were also the players doing the autograph session, so as to sign the posters. I thought maybe they'd be giving away a generic Rock Cats poster (Something like a big white poster with the logo in the center) for all of the players to sign and so I was curious as to who would be at this autograph session exactly but this made a lot more sense and it actually worked out a lot better because each player was able to sign over their picture. The posters are actually really nice- they have a high production quality for a give away which wasn't really advertised until a few days prior (at least that I knew of) and so it turned out to be one of the better give aways for the season. The players featured on the poster who were also signing were Jose Ortega, Juan Ciriaco, Noel Cuevas, Jan Vazquez and Carlos Estevez. Along with the poster we sent one of the balls through and so we got the ball signed by these five players which was also kind of neat because it's now the "Latino Heritage Ball", which might only be special to Quentin and I but is still a cool souvenir.
While we were in the autograph line though we did run into some trouble. There were quite a few people in front of us, but not so many behind us. When our poster reached the end, a woman came up, took our poster, rolled it up and said it was hers. I told her it was ours and that she hadn't been in line in front of us- nor was she a child, so obviously she wouldn't have gotten a poster to begin with- and then the next posters to come through were being followed by the kids behind us. So yes, some woman literally cut in front of us and stole Quentin's signed poster to which she will have to face the consequences for by forces greater than me so it's not a big deal and I'm not going to stress over it. Luckily for us Quentin is friends with just about everyone on the Rock Cats staff. Carlos Estevez saw what happened as well, and so for that I am eternally grateful because otherwise I would have felt like I was losing my mind. We were able to not only get another poster but Miss Kathy brought us two and so now Quentin has ended up with an extra so it was a great way to turn a negative into a positive, which I feel all of the Rock Cats staff excels at and is something I hope retains in Hartford.
The CT DOT was there and Quentin got one of those rubber bracelets from them as well as two rubber rings which are just smaller versions of the bracelets Lance Armstrong made famous a decade or so ago. We also got a flashlight key chain from the CT DOT as well as a free t-shirt from the radio station cranking out the jams while there as well. With that, two signed posters and two baseballs (one of them signed) we were making out pretty well and the game hadn't even started yet. We ended up having to make a trip back to the car but only after we visited the Third Base Shop. They've always sold the baseball holders there but now they were on sale for $3. What? The least I've ever seen them go for was $6 or so. We definitely had to buy one right then and there to put our Latino Heritage Ball in and it worked out really that all sort of fell into place as well.
The game itself was a different story. The Rock Cats were swept by the Baysox and I just hope they don't lose all of their Final 7 games (Though the last place Sea Dogs should be an easier foe) I feel like a broken record stating that giving up five runs is not a big deal for Ryan Carpenter, let alone any pitcher, and that this is just the result of a lack of offense. At least during the game last night the Rock Cats had some runners on base and so you at least thought there was a chance they might score and win the game. Do you know how many hits the Rock Cats had during this game? Two. Two hits. There was no chance of the Rock Cats winning this game. I don't care if Nolan freaking Ryan was pitching for the Rock Cats. It is very hard to win a game on only two hits. (Though the Baysox did give up some walks) The only thing I can think of is comparing this with what I wrote about last night's game and how it's harder to come out of a 5-0 defecit than if they scored those runs earlier and were at 3-2 and had to fight to keep their lead. Perhaps the fact that they had already been defeated twice by the Bowie Baysox was getting into their heads and they had already lost this game in their minds. I don't know. Maybe the Baysox are just that good. Either way, I'm tired of blaming the offense but the numbers don't lie. But I also feel like this might have just been one of those cases where the Baysox pitcher was also just that good that he could the Rock Cats down.
As part of Latino Heritage Night they had food there that was normally not there and though I wasn't hungry when we got to the game I was hoping to get some empanadas but by the sixth inning they were closing up shop. We went to these first three of the last seven home games forever in such different situations, but they all turned out well in the end despite the Rock Cats losing. On the ride home Quentin said to me "I'm not happy that the Rock Cats lost". I told him I wasn't happy that they lost either and neither were the other fans and even the players themselves. Then we had a talk about how in sports such as baseball there has to be a winner and a loser though, and so if the Rock Cats won then the Baysox and their fans wouldn't be happy so that's just sportsmanship. At this point of the drive home I thought Quentin might have fallen asleep but he just kind of stopped listening to me and then started talking to me about Star Wars instead.