Results tagged ‘ Brandon Belt ’
My friend Mike, the primary official scorer for the Tides, has said that there is no such thing as a bad day or night at the ballpark. I suppose that’s true; I don’t think I’ve ever regretted going to any game.
Nevertheless, while there may not be any bad days or nights at the ballparks, there are times that are less pleasant than others. Some games are uncomfortable because of the weather – it’s either cold, or too hot, or rainy. Other games are fatiguing because the game is moving too slowly and/or the game is too long. Still other games are annoying because of ignorant or drunk fans.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to work as a BIS “desperation scorer” at a couple of games in Richmond – the Richmond Flying Squirrels hosting the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. It’s about an hour and fifteen minutes from my home to The Diamond in Richmond – pretty much pure Interstate highway. Working these games would provide me a chance to pick up some extra money and to see prospects from the Toronto and San Francisco organizations.
The Wednesday game, unfortunately, fell into the fatiguing category. Richmond jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. In the top of the second, New Hampshire catcher Matt Liuzza hit a solo home run to cut the lead to 2-1. The game moved quickly and crisply to the bottom of the seventh, when Richmond added a run on back-to-back doubles by Thomas Neal and Brandon Belt. In the top of the ninth, Richmond brought in closer Rafael Cova to preserve the 3-1 lead. After the first three batters, the game was tied 3-3 – Shawn Bowman homered; Adam Loewen walked, and David Cooper hit a long double off the right-center field wall. And then the game became fatiguing.
For the next five innings, nothing happened. After Cooper’s double, the Fisher Cats put exactly one runner on base – a two-out single in the fourteenth inning. It was a parade of strikeouts, lazy fly balls, and medium-speed grounders. It wasn’t much better for Richmond – the Squirrels put three men on base from the ninth through the thirteenth. In the eleventh, the Squirrels got a one-out single and a two-out walk – hardly a dynamic threat. And in the thirteenth, a one-out walk who never left the base.
Neither team seemed alert or focused while batting. Batters were flailing at pitches down and low out of the strike zone. Everything felt heavy and slow. After every half-inning, a few more people from the crowd announced at 5608 headed for the parking lots. The diehards remained, waiting and waiting for SOMETHING to happen and end this slow-motion nightmare. Finally, in the bottom of the fourteenth, after Nick Noonan singled and stole second base, Brandon Belt smacked a pitch over the right-center field fence for a walk-off home run. Richmond 5, New Hampshire 3.
It was certainly not a bad night at all, just a little long and tiring. I would have liked it a lot better had the game ended four or five innings earlier.