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Game 1 (2011 playoffs) Cougars 4 – Bees 0

Sep
07

Just got back from Playoff Game 1, Kane County winning 4-0 over Burlington in a quick game. PDF scorecard here, and some notes…

– it’s chilly suddenly! Summer is over (for like a week before it comes roaring back one last time.)

– also, it’s post season, and I forgot they close down almost all the concessions because no one turns out, but did happen to eat before hand. About half the crowd was the junior high choir brought in to sing the national anthem, and they were gone after about 7 innings. Upside is I got to park really close.

– Greg Brillo seems like he’s elevated himself from non-prospect to fringe prospect with a really good season. He was strong here: 6 IP, 7 K (two different dropped strikes), 5 H/BB/HBP, and barely in trouble the whole time. The problem was the Cougars were doing little more.

– Brian Fletcher has hit great all season for the Cougars – 328/386/580! – and I kept waiting for him to get yanked up a level at an unfortunate time. The Cougars don’t have much offense as it is (which is the same as it’s been for many year), but Fletcher never got the call up and I couldn’t figure out why. And then, today, Brian turned a not hard catch into a double (with some help from some generous scoring) and everyone around me groaned about him botching another play. I haven’t seen it, but they sure had and were just rooting for the ball not to be hit near him for the next six innings. That doesn’t quite show up in the minor league numbers. As a rule, though, whenever you look at minor league fielding statistics, just assume that the error count only includes throws, and the occasional ball going thru the leg.

– this was about as minor league-ish as I’ve seen a game this season; bad errors (called and not), people getting picked off going extra bases, wild pitches and bad throws to cost runs. It was not a sharp game, but a win is a win.

That’s my 11th game of the season, and possible the last. This is a 3 game series with Thursday and Friday (if needed) in Burlington. I’d try to make the Friday game, but it’s a bit too far away for me to make in time. If the Cougars advance, they play another game Saturday or Sunday, but I’ve got a ticket for Dragon Gate at least one of those days and maybe other stuff to do on Sunday. Hopefully they make it all the way to next week, but at least I got to see one more win (and eat one more hot pretzel.)

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05/06: Bandits 6 – Cougars 1

May
06

milb boxscore
there’s a big ad out in centerfield, the logo is mowed into the lawn, and an obnoxiously big patch on the right shoulder of every jersey.

From KC Cougars – 05/06/2011

This game felt more minor league than most. Both teams decided they were going to wear black jerseys, which looked totally absurd. Cougars have green accents, Bandits have red, but it was way too close. I can’t believe the umpires didn’t force one of them to change. The Cougars defended as well as a little league team, making five errors and not acquitting themselves well at other times. Bandits should’ve scored more than 6.

Leondy Perez was surprisingly effective when he wasn’t sabotaging himself (2 of the 5 errors.) He threw a lot of first pitch strike and never much threw balls. The Cardinals farm club was aggressive – enough to get 10 hits, but also allowing Perez to go 8 innings. I have not checked, but I’d be really surprised if anyone went 8 innings last year on the Cougars. Oakland’s pitch count cap usually was around 80, and I counted 102 for Perez tonight.

I haven’t yet looked into who’s supposed to be the prospects on this team (beside the really hyped named from the KC organization), but no one really looked good. It’s one game, it’s tough to tell.

Two more games in the next week!

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Kane County Cougars vs Cedar Rapids, 07/16/10

Jul
20

Better pointlessly late than never. Cougars are suddenly/near randomly hitting like crazy and playing good for the first time in about four half seasons. Playoffs? Nah.

You know it’s a blow out when there’s an actual pinch hitter not due to injury. There is no strategy in minor league baseball.

Always nice to end it on a line drive tag out double play.

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Playoff Fever

Sep
08

Why is it that, when I was watching tv fifteen minutes ago, I couldn’t do anything but lay down on my couch and drift away, but now that I’m laying in bed, all I can do is stare at the ceiling, wide awake and figuring out posts?

Since I’m thinking and not napping, I thought I might as well compromise and start typing away on my itouch. Hooray for the wordpress app.

Quite feel like I’m paying the price for the weekend: cougars game Saturday night, dragon gate Sunday, early cougars game Monday. Plus a crazy marathon session of Fight Night in there – never more happy to win a fake belt – and all multiplied by (typical unexplained part here.)

Think I’ve now spent more time talking about the dragon gate show than It actually lasted. Cougars was fun because it was the first time in over a month I’d been, only having 2 tickets for august and getting pulled elsewhere both times. I’m kinda excited for the playoffs, despite all logic against it. Besides being minor league, they’re also not really the same team that qualified for the playoffs. Many of those who won the first half division championship got called or got overtaken by this year’s draft class, and the team hasn’t seemed too strong.

I’m still excited just for the concept of playoffs. It’s the one time of the year when development takes a back seat and teams ge to totally play for today, not tomorrow. And I haven’t actually gotten to see these in three years; last year, I got called away out of town after i had bought my tickets, and they just missed them. In 2006, I followed the team all the way to the exciting city of Beloit (not exciting, many high schools have better stadiums) and I’d hoping the cougars will last long enough for me to form excuses to drive around the midwest. Burlington on a Wednesday is a no go, but I’d go wher eever this weekend.

Short posts are posts too.

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KC Game 19: Kane County 2 – Lansing 1

Apr
29

two for two on going to Cougars games and forgetting my phone. I keep foiling my own play to twitpic Ozzie, so sad.

Anyway, I don’t have all that much to actually type about this game and there’s a lot more I’d like to type before I sleep. There was some epic weirdness here.

Pedro Figueroa did not pitch especially well tonight. 5 walks in 3 1/3rd is not so good, and apparently weird for him (he had 2 walks in 15 IP coming in.) Still, somehow, he got thru it while only giving up 2 runs because of some catastrophically bad base running. Figueroa got 10 outs, half of them on the bases:

– base runner thrown out trying to stretch to a single into a double
– runner doubled off of first on a flyout
– runner picked off first (1)
– runner picked off first (2)
– runner picked off first (3)!

I don’t count a conventional double play as a baserunning out, but there was one of them too. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen three pick offs in a game, much less in the span of two innings. I’m still not sure I saw three legal picks offs – balks are tough to tell when you’re not looking for them watching a replay, but all the baserunners were sure he was going to home when he threw to first, and they were quickly cut down at second (though the last might have been a generous out call.)

Besides that, not a lot here. Lansing’s Charles Huggins looked really dominant. Both shortstops looked really shaky – they each picked up two errors, and KC’s Coleman muffed another pickup but just got it over in time, plus struck out all four times. Not a good night.

Crowd was in the 2000s, and it seems like 1500 were junior high kids from one school or another.

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i hold in my brain the anti-win formula

Aug
09

So far this year
Cougars record in games I’ve gone to and kept track: 2-8
Cougars record in all other games: 57-47

On the upside, I can now repeat the speech from Animal House in my sleep.

I have playoff tickets, but I might support the team better by staying away at this point.  I’ve got at least 2 more regular season games to fix things.

Other trend: the last 2 Cubs games I’ve gone to have ended in horrible rainstoms. I bring this up because I’ll be in the bleachers on Saturday afternoon. There’s isolated thunderstorms in the forecast.

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07/29: Cougars vs Peoria @ Wrigley

Aug
05

Took long enough to write this. I found myself standing around Wrigley again, which is sure enough time to get started. Too late for a narrative, but maybe bullet points. There’s tons of photos on flickr too.

1) The neighborhood itself was taking the day off. My usual parking place was unstaffed, and I got stuck at a place that boxes me in instead. The bars and the atmosphere felt different too…

2) but maybe that’s because the crowd was different too. Lots more families, less 20/30s singles like at a usual Cubs game. It was very similar to what you’d get at a normal minor league game, just a lot more of it.

3) 32,000 people was shocking. I was thinking they’d be happy with 20,000, but they ended up being six ML games (I think). It being in Wrigley and being a novelty were contributing reasons, but not one of the biggest. The much discounted ticket prices were one – $5 upper deck ticket is old school. Like old times, those seats weren’t even filled, but that’s because the main level seats were so much cheaper than usual that people just grabbed them before the upper deck went on sale. The main level and the bleachers seemed about 95% full (the obstructed sections of the 200s might have not been sold), and most of the empty seats were upstairs.

4) The second biggest reason for the tickets was Ryne Sandburg, who’s still very beloved. More than any player or either team, Sandburg was the guy most people came to see, and the number on the most Jerseys. Sandburg’s probably the reason the game happened – he does National City bank ads all the time, and they were the big sponsor for the show. The early plan was to rotate the game with all the minor league teams. Iowa will probably work out pretty well, but I don’t about everyone else.

5) My seat was right behind the Cougars bullpen bench. Always fun when you can sneak down that far, and watch the players with people. Usually, only a couple guys sit in the pen early on and the relievers who might be used wander down during the early inning. In Wrigley, every pitcher on the team was hanging out there.

6) When the Cougars were warming up, I looking at the uniforms and was surprised to see they got new ones for this game. (Unlike pretty much every other team, the A’s give the players A’s jackets so they can keep wearing them at every level, instead of Cougars gear.) It took me about five minutes to realized the uniforms looked new because this was a ROAD game and they were wearing their ROAD uniforms and I still haven’t gone to see them at a visitor’s park this year. Duh

7) The Peoria Firedog is dumb. Why is the mascot for the Cheifs a fire fighting dog, anyway?

8) I don’t have many thoughts about the game. I was hoping that since it was a major league park, they’d do something crazy like give out the lineups before the game. No. (They were better about pitchers changes than the Cougars game.) This was the first time I saw fantastic new draftee Jemilee Weeks, and sliding into first and getting hurt wasn’t the greatest impression. Paramore has some power but I don’t if he’s going to hit for average. Richard seems to get all of his hits when I’m not at the game. It was a pretty fine hitting day because of the conditions and it showed on the scoreboard.

Leonardo Espinal is my favorite guy on the whole team. I’m not sure he’s the best player, but he’s the best guy.

The only scores they had on the scoreboard were this game, and the Milwaukee game. Every time a number went up on the board, or people checked their phones and heard something good happened, the crowd cheered louder than anything for the game they were actually watching.

9) It started to sprinkle in the middle innings, but it never got more than an occasional drop and I thought we might have missed it. The game just took long. It started raining decently in the bottom of the 9th, they tried to play thru it only because it looked like the Chiefs might just end it and solve the problem for them, but the Cougars held on just long enough (perhaps stalling a little bit on purpose) and the skies just opened up and unloaded on all of us on once. It was the worst storm I’ve seen at a ballpark*

Like everyone else who was exposed to the elements, I rushed towards the interior of the stadium. 30,000 people crammed into the concourse, trying to get away from the seats but just as disinterested at getting all the way out of the stadium. It wasn’t a soccer crushing situation, but you couldn’t really move without forcing your way thru people, and you couldn’t do much else but stand and wait.

I waited about 10 minutes, killed time writing stressed out text messages (crowd aren’t my thing.) I had promised to meet Mike at his apartment to exchange tickets* and pretty much needed to do it. Once I could no longer stand anymore standing around, I slipped my way to the exit, opened my small umbrella and made a run for it.

My umbrella quickly broke, bent in the wind. And also, I kinda started walking towards Mike’s old place, maybe a half mile west of where he actually was. On the upside, I got plenty of practice wearing my new bluetooth headset when I got directions.

The rain stopped by the time I left to walk all the way back to Wrigley for my car, and my car was no longer boxed in, so it worked out in the end. Except for that non-finish thing.

* Since then, I’ve been back to Wrigley on Monday (08/04) and that storm beat this easily. This time, I was seated underneath the upper deck and we were all willing to sit out the rain delay for at least a while. We were still feeling okay when they told everyone to seek shelter, because we felt pretty safe. Then the tornado sirens went off, possibly for the first non-test ever at Wrigley, and no one much felt safe.

Again, I was stuck on the concourse, packed in with people watching a storm blow by. This time was worse. The storm was so bad, the wind took driving rain and made it go horizontal. (Which made it a good thing we left our seats, because nothing was protecting people from that.) And the concourse waiting was worse too; because the rain happened before the 6th, beer vendors were free to keep on selling, and they had no issues with getting people hot, confined and on nerve very drunk too. It was so dumb.

I got to the park way early (another story that I’ll skip) and I had gone to IHoP for dinner. Everyone else had just gotten from work and didn’t want ballpark food, so the plan was to go to a place around Wrigley after the game for an actual meal. We decided we might as well go now, rather than wait out a game that didn’t look like it was restarting and tried to time it with a down moment with the storm. The idea was great, but the storm kicked up again once we battled thru to the exit and I had no umbrella (because it’s still broke and unreplaced.) But dinner was good and it was finally sane outside when we were done.

I was just about home when the game picked up. It looked like it was going to restart at some point when I passed it again on the way to my car – amusingly, some ushers were stopping people from coming back in, but you could walk around to another side and be welcomed back with a problem – but I was still surprised it actually happened. Given that they only lasted about 40 minutes before being stopped (and for good) again, I’m not sure why they bothered.

I took Lake Shore on the way home. Lightning over the city and the lake is awesome to see, but it would’ve been better if people were not slowing down to watch it.

** Mike had to give me a ticket for the Fire/Everton game the next day, and I thought enough to give him my new camera so I didn’t have to carry it around in any more rain. I had planned to take more pictures at THAT game, but Mike didn’t think to bring the camera into the stadium, and so I didn’t get it back until later.

short: The Fire’s stadium’s really nice, it was a fun game, and I’d totally go back.

07/10: Kane County 6 – Peoria 1 (3rd, SUSPENDED)

Jul
10

(that’s today’s game, I know it’s hard to tell)

From the time I got home until about the time I normally leave for the park, it rained and occasioanlly rained very hard. I don’t live that far from the park, and saw the “groudns crew” untrap and set up the field last time out. It seemed to me that there was no way this one was starting on time.

WRONG. I showed up five minutes before the game started, and they were ahead of schedule if anything. Peoria games are huge to the Cougars – they’re easy sell outs with all the people willing to spend much money for a Cubs logo, and I guessed they wanted to make sure everything started normal. (WRONG again, but that was a bit later.) The field was taken care of, though the seats were all wet and even had a bit of standing water in the aisles. It’s a warm enough night that it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is having a pencil if you want to keep score, and I’d forgotten in the car. It occurred to me a little later that I forget the ticket window probably would’ve had one with their scorecard, but by then I decided just to see what I could see without tying myself to a pencil for a few hours.

Besides the usual Ryno appearance, the big news was Scott Eyre being with the Chiefs on a brief rehab assignment. In a few days, he’s going to be a slight roster headache for the Cubs, but today he was ruling the single A bullpen, chatting with all the Cubs youngsters who wanted to pick his brain. I had thought, due to the earlier rain, they might just have Eyre start so they were sure to his inning or so in, but apparently that wasn’t the plan.

Would’ve been a better one than the one they had. Jose Pina, making his second start with the team, had no control, had no help from the defense and was yanked after 8 batters and 2 outs. (Something in the 30 pitch rang too, and since he only went 2.0 last time out, he must be a low pitch count.) Mueller replaced him and really wasn’t much better. Larry Cobb touched him for a home run to straight away center, as long as I remember seeing in that park, and Cobb’s not a big guy.

Anyway, the Cougars were on pace for a nice win, something needed after a mediocre start to the 2nd half. The sky was really sunny to start the game, then got a little cloudy, but there seemed to be sun just on the other side of the clouds. Except, by the bottom of the second (after a really long first), that sun disappeared. “HMMMMM”, I thought, and took a look at the weather radar on my phone. A big wave of red weather was suddenly heading our way from the northwest. I did the reasonable thing. I got up, walked over the concession stand, and got myself a hot soft pretzel. (and it was the best one of the season, because it was actually SOFT.)

By the time I got to my seat, the 2nd had finished, and after the usual between innings shennagings, the PA guy made an announcement to the effect of “We’ve been told severe weather is on the way in 20 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to get to your cars RIGHT NOW. And now, the third inning.” It’s really hard to take such a warning seriously when they just keep on playing baseball, and there seemed to be plenty of people figuring it must not be so bad if they’re not pulling the players. But the players have a dugout, there’s no cover over this stadium (yet), and I had my weather radar, so I was getting out of there.

I briefly considered doing exactly what they suggested – going to my car, hanging out there for the storm, and then going back in the park once the delay was over. But I gave it another thought, and realized hanging out in a parked car alone during a thunder storm to see Scott Eyre pitch was not the way to go. There are plenty of times I’d take the lightning over seeing Eyre pitch, I’m not sure taking both is the best idea.

The storm’s going on right now, outside of my window. It was as severe as promised for a while (hail!), and now it’s just loud and off in the distance. If I knew they’d resume the game, I think I might drive back and see if I could sneak back in. But since i can’t figure that out, I think I’m going to stop writing this post, and start watching some AAA or playing some Burnout.

Update: they just suspended the game. Yay for not staying.

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Game 7: Cubs 10 – Pirates 8 (and Game 5: Cougars 13 – Bees 5)

Apr
09

Chicago 4-3
Pittsburgh 3-4

Kane County 5-0
Burlington 2-3

MLB
POTG: RP Jon Lieber (3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, somehow 0 R, W [1/130])
Runner Up: C Mr. Soto (3 H, 2B, R, RBI), CF Reed Johnson (H, 2 R, 2 BB), 1B D Lee (2 H, 2B, R, 2 BB), RF Fukudome (3 H, SB, 2 BB, 2 R), SS Ryan Theriot (2 BB, R, 2 SB)

Single A
POTG: RF Todd(ric) Johnson (4 H, HR, 3B, 3 R, 4 RBI)
Runner Up: CF Corey Brown (3 H, 2 R, RBI), 2B Ray (2B, 2H, R), 1B Dowling (4 H, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), LF Lissman (3 H, 2 R), RP Walters (2 IP, 0 H)

I kinda waited a day to see if any of this would make sense with a bit more time. It does not.

The Cubs played a great game they should’ve won easily, then played a horrible game they should’ve lost easily, and then ended up winning in the end because the Pirates last option was an actual Last Option and the Cubs last option was their Best Option who was supposed to have the day off. The Cubs happen to win because the Pirates aren’t 100% trying to win this season and so a Rule 5 pitcher way over his head ended up in the game when no one else was available. The Cubs didn’t earn this win in any way, it was handed to them by circumstance.

It’s pretty improbable for the Cubs defense to be this bad, everyone all at once, and I think it’s impossible for it to stay that way. Stupid plays are being passed around like an infectious disease. Theoretically, everyone wakes up and realizes they are baseball players playing the game of baseball and stops screwing around.

I listen/followed to the this game on my computer, with an eye towards making the KC home opener. Pirates home opener started at 12:30 (or so, whenever way too many celebrations for a decade of losing concluded), Cougars started at 3, but I wasn’t going to be able to start heading that way until 4 anyway, so I figured one game would be resolved by the time I wanted to shift to the other. That didn’t quite work out, and while the Pirates tied it up in the major leagues, I checked the Minor League scoreboard to see the Cougars were winning as lopsided a game as the Cubs had been a few innings before.

When I got to Cougars Stadium, the Cubs had just escaped the 9th (much thanks to the bunt play gone bad, an all time classic bad Pirates baseball moment) and I heard Pat opening up the 10th inning as I parked. I had no idea how the Cubs/Pirates would turn out, but I was pretty sure if I stayed around to listen for a minute more, I was never making it inside the gates. My ticket was free, a bonus for my ticker package, but I figured I might as well use it if I came out here. So I turned off the radio and went in.

The official attendance is listed 2,236, but there were not more than a 1,000 people (and probably a bit less) inside the park when I arrived in the 4th inning. I noticed odd empty spots in the rows of parked card and a few people headed the opposite direction as I came in, which should’ve been a tip off. Also possible tips: the temperature dropping while the wind picked up.

I did not put this together until I got into my (relocated) seat. It’s a nice spot, two rows behind the home dugout, among the people who come for a lot of games and actually seem to be paying attention to what’s going on. The only small problem is, on this day, the seat was also apparently located in the Arctic Circle. It was so cold, maybe a few degrees above freezing and howling wind to make it feel like a few degrees above 0F instead. The rug had been pulled out from me, because it was beautiful the two days before before flipping back into early December weather. It was cruel.

I got a barbecue chicken sandwich for the heat as much of the food, but wolfed it down in three bites, while somehow drenching a pant leg in excess sauce. If it had been a hotter sauce, this might have worked out well. I washed it down with a Mountain Dew, attempting to drink fast enough to override the stupidity of a ice cold drink on an ice cold day.

I looked around at everyone else seated in the stands. They were dressed warmed them me, but seemed to be having no more fun. I looked at the umpires, and the second base ump was trying to close his ski mask tight enough to cover all but the iris’ of his eyes. I looked into the Bees dugout, and saw someone passing out packets of heat to everyone on the bench. I was given no heat packed. I hated the Bees. April baseball in the Great Lakes can be a miserable experience.

At that point, I decided I was unlikely to be following two games on the same day where 6+ run leads would get blown (which is true) and that everyone in the game would likely mail it in to get into the warmth quicker (which was not true), so there was no reason to sit out there, tired, miserable, and doused with barbecue sauce. I decided I might as well get another warm food that makes a mess – the sugar bread who’s name I forget whenever I’m not at the stand buying it – and decided to take off as soon as I was finished. The Cougars started turning the 6 run lead into a 7 and 8 when I started to take off for the exit, so I felt like I made a decent decision.

In between getting my food and leaving, the Cougars premiered a new in between feature, a stadium wide karaoke sing along to a random song shown on the not-so-jumbotron. “Sweet Caroline” played, the lyrics were shown on the screen, and not a single person sung. They looked for someone to show singing in hopes of getting everyone else started, and could only stadium personal acting as plants. This failed. I cackled. The song concluded, PA Announcer thanked everyone for singing along, and everyone clapped and laughed at their own non participation. I don’t know if everyone was too cold and beat by the wind to sing, or if everyone has had enough of Everyone Who Are Not The Red Sox trying to steal their song, but I hoped this would mean a quick, sweet death to the bit.

It won’t die, they’ll play the same song in the middle of the summer, all the families who are there for the day and not for the game will sing, and I’ll remember the bottom of the 6th is for making a food run.

(This is getting way to long as it is, but I must also mention this was the greatest Ozzie Race in the history of such things. It might still be going.)

Anyway, I left, hustling to my car more to get into the heat than anything. I threw my free opening day t-shirt into the backseat, and decided I might as well turn on the radio, just in case.

Pat announced the start of the 12th inning. So great.
I looked at the clock. I was in the park for roughly 45 minutes.
I think this makes me a failure of a human being, but I was okay with it.

From there, you may know the rest. Basbeall-refrence has added the win likelihood to their boxscore this inning, and it’s funny to see the five biggest plays of the game were all Pirate plays – getting on base, getting Cubs out, and a mindblowing bad bunt play. There was no great big play in the 12th to win the game. it was a lot of wildness from a pitcher not ready for this level and baserunning advances during the count or from sacrifice flies. The Cubs nearly batted around without actually getting the bat on the ball for a hit, and there was a lack of a big hit to focus on.

I’d like to break the game down more, or examine the Cubs SB trend (looks like Kendall isn’t the only one they’re going to be running wild on), but the measly 45 minutes I spent at the game appears to have given me something. I’ve got a sore throat, a runny nose, watery eyes, and people expecting me to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning and so much more to do today. I hope this post was good and coherent, because I don’t expect the next one will be.

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Game 133: Kane County 6 – Beloit 3 and Game 134: Kane County 4 – Beloit 1

Aug
31

I’ve got like no time today, which is a shame because I’m so glad I went to this double header, and I wish I could write a bunch about it.

Quick bullet points

– it’s quite enjoyable to show up to a baseball game in the bottom of the second, and get first row behind home plate tickets – for a double header, for $12.

(even when you get kicked out of that seat. And the next seat you try. And nearly the next seat you try. I really had front row seats, I just thought I’d sit in an empty row rather than right next to a random person, and it backfired after game 1. ALAS.)

– second game Kane County starter Trevor Cahill recent gamelog

07/18: 7.0 IP, 1 ER
07/23: 7.0 IP, 1 ER
07/29: 5.0 IP, 1 ER
08/03: 6.2 IP, 1 ER
08/08: 6.0 IP, 0 ER
08/13: 5.2 IP, 0 ER
08/20: 5.2 IP, 0 ER
08/25: 6.0 IP, 1 ER
08/30: 6.1 IP, 1 ER

I think he may have something here! AND Ozzie Cougar led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday for a man who may have been his father, so it’s all looking good.

With all that, Cahill only took the team ERA lead because Jared Fernandez gave up 3 runs in the opener, “slipping” to 2.77.

– Today’s Standings

                     what's left
Quad Cities    40-25 ---  1 v Peoria, 4 @ Beloit
Cedar Rapids   38-28 ---  1 v Burlington, 3 @ Peoria
Peoria         37-29 1.0  1 @ Quad Cities, 3 v Cedar Rapids
Kane County    36-29 1.5  1 v Beloit, 4 @ Wisconsin

These are second half standings. Top 2 advance to face the first half winners, who are both in the bottom half of the division this time around, so anyone alive can feel like they’ve got a real good shot. Cougars still can’t hit, but it’s pitching might just be enough to get them into the playoffs and who knows how far the hot streak will take them from there.

That’s a Sunday doubleheader in Wisconsin. I almost went to that park about a month ago, and if things keep up, there’s another place I rather be than my fantasy draft on Sunday.

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