Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Rock Cats Blog // New Britain 2, Bowie 5 [Game 25]
Box Score: http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_08_24_bowaax_nbraax_1&mode=gameday
I wasn't sure and I had to look it up but this was the second time that the Rock Cats played the Baysox at home this season. They had a three game series back in June which I don't remember but this did feel like the first time the Baysox had made the trip to New Britain, much like the previous series with the Trenton Thunder. Now the Rock Cats are in their final seven games at home- or what I like to call "The Final Seven"- and so the timing of them all is important to me in the sense that I just want to take it all in and as much of it as I possibly can while I still can. Since the game was scheduled to start at 7:05 the gates opened at 6:05 so we left a little bit after 5:30 as I had to exchange vouchers from CPTV Sports for tickets and then by the time we were ready to wait in line it was already 6 which was really good timing I'd say. The front had a pretty decent line so we went over to the visitor's side entrance as I knew I'd be going up those steps and then down to the Bowie Baysox dug out first thing.
What can I say about the Bowie Baysox? They're probably one of the nicest teams in Double A that isn't the Rock Cats and that's saying something. After being snubbed by most of the Trenton Thunder and the odd antics of some of the players on the B-Mets, it was refreshing before this game to call a player by name and have them oblige to signing an autograph for you. When making my player sheet though I had it outdated as I made it over a week in advance so when I saw the new injury report I had to change some guys. The funny thing is, I printed it out on Friday and by Monday it was already out of date as one of the players (Derrick Gibson) wasn't going to be there while Ozzie Martinez- who was taken off my original player sheet due to injury- was reactivated and playing this game. Ah well. Baseball is a constantly moving, changing, living organism in and of itself so you have to expect things like this to happen.
When it was all said and done- and time to take our seats- everyone had signed our player sheet except for Derrick Gibson who wasn't there, Drew Dosch who was probably there and I just didn't recognize because he wasn't in uniform because he wasn't starting on this night and Mike Yastrzemski who had instead signed two cards for us. I felt badly enough as it was asking him to sign not just one but two cards so having him sign the player sheet as well just didn't feel like something I needed. I was happy with the autographs we got though, a total of ten players, and so I knew that this would be the only time I would have to visit the Baysox dug out this series as well, which made me happy because it meant two more chances the next two nights to get Rock Cats autographs. I must also say that when the kids who were waiting for autographs and I called out to Mike Yastrzemski to sign his response was something to the effect of "Absolutely, I'll be right over", which was just one of the coolest things I had ever heard. He could just rest on his name but instead is making a legitimate fan base and I respect that.
Aside from making my player sheet to collect autographs- most of which I was expecting to get while waiting for Mike Yastrzemski to sign our cards- the only thing I know about the Bowie Baysox is that they are in first place in East-West, a spot once held by the Altoona Curve. Granted that didn't matter to the Rock Cats because they just swept the Reading Fightin' Phils in Reading and that's the first place team in the East-East. So they are the Double A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and seem to be an all around good team since they're in first place. Oh, and everyone kept pronouncing it as "Boo-E" and not like David Bowie which was strange to me. Show me three examples of why it should be "Boo-E" and I'll start saying it that way but since we have David Bowie, Jim Bowie and his knife I'm sticking with that way. I don't even know a lot about the Bowie pitchers but Jeff Hoffman was starting for the Rock Cats and he seems to have good outings, most of the time pitching well but not getting the decision. He's one of the guys that I put with Harrison Musgrave right now as far as Rock Cats pitchers go because they can pitch six or seven great innings and then that Rock Cats win might not come until after that and they get a no decision.
Though there are still six games left after this one and what I presume to be a five man pitching rotation we could see Jeff Hoffman pitch again this season at home but I'm not going to count on anything and will instead just be thinking of this as what could be his last start here in New Britain. But the theme for this week is thinking of everything as being quite possibly the last time we see it here in New Britain. Jeff Hoffman though is someone that I hope not only starts next season in Triple A but makes it to the Colorado Rockies main roster sooner than later, kind of like Yohan Flande did this season, because he's just that good and was traded from an organization (Blue Jays) which might be part of the World Series this year. When you look at this game as well, you'll notice that Jeff Hoffman took the loss- this is true- but he only gave up two runs over six innings. He left the game and it was 2-1 which is really just not a high score at all. Most of the trouble here does not go along with Jeff Hoffman but rather with the lack of Rock Cats offense. I've always felt a good pitcher shouldn't give up more than four runs and, well, Hoffman only giving up two shows you how great he is. The Rock Cats just could not reciprocate offensively and provide the runs needed.
This was probably a hard loss for the Rock Cats to take because they just couldn't string together the hits to score. Jordan Patterson scored the first run of the game by trying to steal second and then the Bowie catcher threw the ball into center field so Patterson went from second base to home with ease. But that was really only the matter of scoring on a Bowie error and so otherwise the Rock Cats just couldn't seem to put together the hits they needed to score. My only hope is that with Shane Carle set to pitch the second game of the series the offense will be there and thus the third and final game against the Baysox will be the most exciting rubber match. At least that is all I can hope for at this point in time.