Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tides vs Braves: 4/19/2009

Just a few thoughts on the Norfolk vs. Gwinnett game I attended on Sunday.

I was mildly disappointed that Uber-catcher Matt Wieters tweaked a hammy on Friday (who knew it was even possible for steel to get tweaked?) and did not play on Sunday. The most I saw from Wieters was when he stood for the anthem and jogged out to the bullpen.

The Matt Wieters vs. David Price matchup from last week would have been rivaled by a Matt Wieters vs. Tommy Hanson showdown (Hanson is Atlanta's own uber-prospect, a 22 year old RHP with wicked stuff) but it was not to be. Some highlights:

RHP David Pauley looked pretty good. He gave up a monstrous (though questionably fair) solo shot to C Clint Sammons in the third and that was it through six innings pitched. CF Gregor Blanco hit a rocket right back to Pauley. It knocked him 4 feet off of the pitcher's mound and, as he fell to the ground, for a split second I thought that the ball had killed him. But somehow he had gotten his glove up in front of his face in time and caught the ball. Amazing that he wasn't seriously hurt by that drive.

Justin Turner was playing SS today and made a great grab on a scorcher to his left, flipped the ball to the second baseman to start a nifty 6-4-3 double play. Turner will have no problem playing second in the bigs and could even be passable at short.

I have to give another defensive star to Lou Montanez in right. Braves 1B Wes Timmons shot a liner to right, Lou scooped it up on a dead run and gunned it to Jolbert Cabrera at first. Timmons legged it out but just barely. A fantastic effort by Lou.

RP Kam Mickolio was bringing it in the bullpen and entered the game in the 7th, his first action of the year. He promptly gave up a "just enough" solo shot to center to OF Joe Borchard but retired the next three batters in order. Alberto Castillo pitched a scoreless 8th and Bob McCrory (who was hitting 95 on the radar guns) struck out the two in the 9th for the save.

I was messing around with my camera's movie functions and caught a little vignette in two parts that I like to call "The Joy and Pain of Mike Costanzo"

Costanzo is number 24. There is no sound. Here's the first act entitled, "Costanzo Makes The Play".

Pretty nice, eh? Here's the second act entitled "Costanzo is hitting .111 and Is Not Very Happy About It, Thanks"

And now, Bob McCrory bringing it in the bullpen.

And some random snapshots from the game:

Tides vs Braves

This is only my second AAA ball game that I've attended and I've got to say that the level of play is real close to what you see in the Majors. Must be frustrating to some of these guys to be this good but never quite get good enough to make the big club.

Tides win 4-2 and sweep the inaugural series at Gwinnett Stadium.

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