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Kane County vs Clinton, 05/29/2010

May
30

Since my kinda-sorta protest is almost over, maybe I should get this up it’s out of date.

Went to Cougars vs LumberKings game last night, the first game officially on my truncated ticket package this year. There are 3 more games in the next two weeks, very annoyingly designed. Game was zooming around for the first 7 innings. No one knew the game wasn’t half over by then.

I’ve switched from pencil and paper to using the iScore baseball app. This was the fourth game I’ve tried; it took me the first three to figure out what I was doing. I’m still probably only something like 98% accurate, but that’s about usual the other way. You can compare to the official scoring here.

That last chart is the pitching data. You can actually chart pitch location and type, but I’m thinking most people aren’t sitting directly behind home plate (and have strong pitching identification skills) and wish this had an alternate display. Maybe it’s there and I still need to find it.

Notes & assorted weirdness

  • this iteration of the Cougars is not very good. They’re well out of the playoff position for the 1st half, and will be out of it again in the 2nd half unless there’s some hitting reinforcements.
  • Blackhawks vs Flyers started after this game, finished before the end of this game, and featured more scoring. Game drew just over 7,000 despite going head to head with a Stanley Cup game, though maybe it was more like 5,000 in the building.
  • Cougars were down to their last out when they got two runs to tie it up. This seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • Joshua Lansford pitches so slow.
  • Daniel Carroll’s plate appearance in the 12th was the most minor league moment of the game. With Baron on second and no one else on, Carrol grounded the ball back to the pitcher, who fielded it cleanly and spotted Baron running for third. The pitcher ran at the runner, forcing him to run back towards second. Pitcher threw to the shortstop, covering second, who chased Baron towards third. Shortstop threw to third baseman, who ran the runner back towards second. This time, the third baseman seemed to wait too long to make the throw, only getting it to the man covering second (the second baseman now) as Baron was touching second.Smart play, because Carroll had over-agressively ran past first all the way to second, believing Baron would get tagged out. Instead, Baron got to second right before Carroll did. Second baseman tags the hitter Carroll after he steps on the base, then Baron as he steps off the base too late (!!!) for a strange double play.
  • The last pitcher for the Cougars, Juan Nunez, is actually the back up catcher. He was throwing 85-88 (no breaking ball!) and got two strike counts and a swinging strike, but could not get out of the jam.
  • I tried to flip my cap for a rally hat in the bottom of the 15th, but it wouldn’t sit right on my head. I take the blame for the loss.
  • This was a fireworks night, but they needed too late for fireworks, so everyone who stuck around gets to exchange it for a ticket. Hooray free baseball.
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Chiefs @ Cougars, 06/07

Jun
07

Not driving to Des Moines kinda worked out: Rich Harden scratched from Iowa rehab start. If I got there and found that out, I think I might’ve just resumed driving west until I sank into the Pacific.

Instead of driving 4.5 hours, I drove about 10 minutes down the road and saw a different Cubs minor league team – Peoria vs Kane County. Since I’m going back today on my regular tickets and will forget all of what I saw by then (or would anyway), here’s some random notes that didn’t actually need to be noted:

  • Vitters’ line for the night: 0-4 with two double plays and one K (looking). Totally bad luck. First AB was a screaming line drive to second, where the fielder had to either catch the ball or it wouldn’t dislodged some vital organs, and the runner had no shot at getting back to first. Ball in the second AB was hit hard on the ground to third, deflected off the third baseman’s glove, scooped and chucked by the shortstop, and (maybe) beat him to first base. Lucky play. He earned the last two outs, but as impressive as you could be with that line
  • I should know who’s managing Peoria and I should check, but I’m folding laundry in between typing and busy enough. Whoever it is, when Vitters was up, they coached third base from about one step outside of the dugout, like 10-15 feet from the actual box. That was a first.
  • Pedro Figueroa doesn’t have good numbers, and he’s a 23 year old in low A so it’s not really counting, but he’s seemed really good the last two times I’ve seen him (this start and May 22nd). A ton of ground ball outs – 1o today – and about as many Ks per innings without walks.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but the Cheifs hitters all seem much better than the Cougars. Which makes no sense given that 7-1 final score and all. Maybe Berroa or someone is going to be good and I don’t know it yet.
  • It was hot and humid and not as much fun to sit outside as it should’ve. Hopefully it’ll be better tonight. Tickets bought the night before were better than I get on my regular package, of course.
  • Still, it was a Sunday afternoon versus the Cubs, in June, and attendence was 5,191. Last time I saw Peoria, last Labor Day weekend, they drew 11,302 on a Sunday and 7,007 on  Labor Day proper. And that was before they added the second deck of (usually empty) sky boxes and (always empty) balcony seating. At least the group seating in the bleachers was completely sold out, for the first time I’ve seen this season. The economy is a brutal thing.

Hopefully it’ll be more full tonight. Even if it’s not, it the future Cubs vs the future guys the A’s will trade before they get expensive, and you really can’t pass that up. The Cougars magic number is 13, and Peoria’s the team they’re trying to put away, so it’s as important as a weekday low level sporting event in the far western suburbs can be in June. (Also, it’s a Cubs off day.)

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