Friday, August 14, 2015
Rock Cats Blog // New Britain 5, Trenton 0 [Game 21]
Box Score: http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_08_12_treaax_nbraax_1&mode=gameday
In the final games of the season this is the first of four series which end out the Rock Cats run at New Britain Stadium and as the Rock Cats. The Trenton Thunder is the Double A affiliate of the New York Yankees or as I like to call them "the Little Yankees" and then after this series is three games with the B-Mets, a week or so on the road and then they return back home for seven games straight to close out their home season-- the first three games against the Bowie Baysox and the final four games against the Portland Sea Dogs. Originally, the plan was to go to the game on Tuesday night as we had tickets from the library as part of the summer reading program. I'm not sure what it was all about exactly but I just filled out some form I got at the Meriden Public Library (Represent!), mailed it in and then they mailed us back tickets for that game. Tuesday, however, had a prediction for scattered thunderstorms and rain pretty much all day, up until about 10pm and I was fairly busy anyway so when my Dad called and said he wasn't feeling it I agreed and we decided to pass on that game.
Now, the last three games of the season are amnesty nights so I knew that if we didn't use the tickets on Tuesday we would be all right and just use them one of those nights instead. There was no sign of a rain delay or anything before the game but then about the time that the game was scheduled to start the Rock Cats tweeted that they were preparing the field for the game. This tweet lasted for an hour as nothing was stated otherwise. Then, finally, after two hours with no other notes made, the Rock Cats called the game and announced a double header for Wednesday night. So, if we had decided to go to the game on Tuesday night we would have ended up standing around for two hours waiting for them to essentially send us home among a crowd of angry Yankees fans. I'm glad we passed as I felt something in my gut telling me they might call the game though I think the hardest part was because it was one of only thirteen games left in the season and they didn't want to just have it disappear.
Tuesday night's tickets became valid for the Wednesday night game or any other game of the season you would want to go to and so I decided to just put them aside and perhaps just buy a single ticket for this game as my Dad wasn't able to go with us so it was just my son and I. We found out some time during the day though that we had won a contest from Kidtivity.com and would be getting free tickets to the game so that was a nice surprise and added bonus to this game. It is also worth noting that this game was Shane Carle going for his league-leading 13th win this season, something which was supposed to happen on Tuesday night (Which is why I struggled with not going to the game and was relieved when it was called) and of course he did do that in grand fashion so I was rather excited to see that.
Somehow though my wires got crossed as I took an old screengrab and thought this game was going to be gates at 5:05 and the game around 5:25 or 5:35. As it turns out the gates were actually at 4:35 and the game started at 5:05. We got there around 5pm and I was thinking I had time to go to the dugout for Trenton Thunder autographs still but alas we actually should have been rushing to see the start of the game. There was a Dave and Buster's table on the way in I was trying to avoid and the lady asked me if Quentin wanted to spin the wheel and despite my saying "No thanks" she said "It's free", so he stopped and got sucked in. We waited for some other kid to take their turn, then Quentin spun the wheel and we sat there for another five minutes or so while he picked out his prize. (He ended up getting Gummy Bears, which he loves) By the time we made it in it was already the bottom of the second inning and for the double header games they only play for seven innings in total for each of the two games.
We kind of settled in, watched Shane Carle pitch a great game and then the Rock Cats scored more runs as well. The Rock Cats don't seem to have an in between on their offense though-- they either score only two runs (and sometimes lose for it) or they score more than four runs and win. It also just seems like the offense does better when coupled with the pitching of Shane Carle. As we would find in the next game, as Matt Flemer struggled with pitching the offense struggled as well. One of the worst calls I've ever seen an umpire make came when Trenton Thunder player Jake Cave hit a long ball and tried for a double. As he slid into second he moved around to the right of the base and was tagged- as he was clearly nowhere within reach of the base- and yet was stilled somehow called safe. The Rock Cats manager came out to argue that, but it didn't matter because there were two outs and they got out of the inning on the next batter. It would come back to bite Trenton as well, as in the top of the 7th one of the batters argued with the home plate umpire when he struck out and then he was thrown out of (what was left of) the game.
After Shane Carle's 13th win this season we stood up to applaud him. Two guys walked by us and asked if we wanted a game used ball and I said "Sure" and Quentin told them thank you. My best advice to getting game used balls: Have a little kid with you. Everyone apparently wants to give little kids game used balls. Even other little kids who might just be slightly older than them. So it was just nice though to have this as a souvenier of Shane Carle's 13th win as it will most likely be the moment he breaks away from the rest of the pack and secures his spot as the pitcher in the Eastern League with the most wins in 2015.
In between the two games they had a half an hour break. We went over to get some autographs of the Trenton Thunder but we only managed to get five players to sign, though one of them was Rob Segedin who signed a home made baseball card so I thought that was cool. Jake Cave walked by us- twice- and acted as if we didn't exist and no one named Tyler would look at me even though there are at least two players with that name on the Thunder. And then Quentin slowly began with meltdown which did not end until we got home. First I took him down the stairs in the non-game area to see if he'd calm down and when he wouldn't we went to the car and ended up just leaving while he screamed the whole way home. I'm not sure why kids have meltdowns for no reason like this- or at least why Quentin does- but that comes with getting all the game used balls I suppose; you take the good with the bad. I also wasn't too eager to get back into the game- at the risk of the meltdown continuing- when Trenton took an early lead on the Rock Cats so we only got to see one game of the double header but that's okay because it was the game that we wanted to see.