A Busy Baseball Week

The past week was a really busy one for me. In addition to seeing three different levels of Phillies (AA, AAA, and majors), my son had two baseball games, and the cold water valve in my laundry room broke, sending a geyser of water all over, and down through the floor vent into the finished basement. Fortunately, it broke while I was in the act of turning it on, instead of when I was unaware and off doing something else, so I was able to find the main shutoff valve without too much panicking and minimal water damage. On the plus side, the floor behind my washer and dryer is now cleaner than it’s been in years!

This entry is going to be a bit long, so please bear with me.

Tuesday, May 4 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs Indianapolis Indians

The IronPigs held the first of two Education Days scheduled for this month. Education Day just means that the game starts at 10:35 am, and there are lots of school groups in attendance. My own children were, in fact, at school that day; we just had lots of other people’s kids surrounding us.

As they were last year, the IronPigs player head shots were drawings by local school students:

lv lineup copy.jpg

 

Leadoff batter Rich Thompson looks very serious in this rendition. In need of a little Prozac?

 

 

Luis Maza, on the other hand, looks quite happy.

 

 

Has John Mayberry been getting the Michael Jackson treatment? He looks a bit pale.

 

 

This artist even included Andy Tracy’s stubble.

 

 

 

Not a bad likeness.

 

 

 

Neil Sellers could be forgiven for going 0-for-4 today, since it looks like he might have trouble seeing straight.

Paul Hoover looks rather demonic. Hoover has just been called up to the parent club to replace backup catcher Brian Schneider, who is currently on the DL.

 

 

Brian Bocock, that is not a good batting average!

 

 

Drew Carpenter, hitless so far this year (he didn’t get one this day, either).

 

 

Dewayne Wise needs a neck reduction!

 

 

 

The IronPigs were hosting the Indianapolis Indians, AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drew Carpenter started for the ‘Pigs, giving up one run in six innings, striking out five:

a carpenter.JPG

Carpenter was opposed on the mound by Daniel McCutchen (no relation to Andrew – obviously). He makes pitching look almost painful with this expression:

d mccutchen.JPG

Paul Hoover is out at second, but the throw from Indians shortstop Argenis Diaz was not in time to turn the double play:

dp.JPGNo IronPigs game is complete without the Pork Racers – Hambone, Chris P. Bacon, and Diggity:

pork racers.JPG

John Mayberry is safe at second on a steal attempt:

mayberry steal.JPG

Mike Zagurski came into the game in relief of Carpenter. I recall listening to the radio broadcast of his major league debut a few years ago, when Larry Andersen described him as looking “a little Kruk-y”:

zagurski.JPG

Antonio Bastardo was called upon to get the final out of the eighth inning:

bastardo.JPG

Scott Mathieson came in to close the game and get the save. Mathieson is attempting to come back from not one, but two, Tommy John surgeries. He looked pretty good, hitting 95 and 96 mph on the stadium radar gun (though who knows how accurate those are?):

matheison closer.JPG

Final score: IronPigs 3, Indians 1.

Wednesday, May 5 – Phillies vs Cardinals

Finally, my first Phillies game of the season! Not only that, but we had some amazing seats (thanks, Eric and Michelle!), just past the Phillies dugout in the fifth row. We missed the first inning, however, due to absolutely nightmarish traffic resulting from simultaneous Phillies and Flyers games. I hate when (hmph!) secondary sports like hockey interfere with my plans!

Nonetheless, with adult beverage in hand, we settled in for the start of the second inning. Kyle Kendrick was on the mound, and he pitched masterfully for seven innings, scattering six hits and giving up no runs:

kendrick 5May.JPG

The Cardinals countered with Brad Penny, shown here rockin’ the high-socks look. The little white blur is the ball going past him:

brad penny.JPG

Brendan Ryan led off the third for the Cards, and was called out at first on this play:

howard stretch.JPG

I think the Phils got a lucky break here, as it sure doesn’t look like Howard has the ball yet. This brought Tony LaRussa out of the dugout for the second time in the game. He had earlier come out in the second inning to argue Colby Rasmus’ being called out at third on an attempted steal. Unfortunately for LaRussa, both arguments were to no avail:

larussa argues.JPG

Placido Polanco got the Phils on the board in the fourth with a two-run homer. Shane Victorino was on base at the time, and congratulates Polanco as he crosses the plate. Victorino would also hit a solo homer in the sixth:

polanco homer.JPG

Chase Utley prepares to field a ground ball:

utley 5May.JPG

Cards third baseman David Freese tracks down a popup in foul territory. The expressions on the faces of the fans in the vicinity of the play are priceless:

foul ball caught.JPG

Is Albert Pujols pondering the Cards’ lack of offense in this game? The Phillies pitchers kept Pujols in check through the first three games of the four-game series, with Pujols going 3-for-13 with no RBIs:

pujols 5May.JPG

Chase Utley makes the pivot on a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the seventh:

utley turns two.JPG

Danys Baez and Jose Contreras pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close out the victory for Kendrick.

Final score: Phillies 4, Cardinals 0.

Saturday, May 8 – Reading Phillies vs Akron Aeros

spam can.jpgThe Reading Phillies were holding their annual Spam carving contest this past Saturday. I had no intention of taking part in this, I just simply planned on snapping a few photos of other people’s Spam creations.

My daughter, motivated by the prospect of the $250 prize, had other plans.

At her urging, I handed over the $5 entry fee (proceeds benefitting a charity called Opportunity House) and we received our can of Spam. What to carve? I was a bit unprepared, as I’ve mentioned, this was not part of my original plan. We decided upon the R-Phils mascot, Screwball.

Step one: figure out how to get the Spam out of the can intact. Eww. My experience with Spam ended many years ago during childhood, when my mom would occasionally serve it. I have never willingly touched Spam since then.

Let’s just say it’s a bit, um, slimy. Best not to think about what’s actually in it. It’s also not the easiest medium to work with. And after your hands are covered with Spam juice, it’s not easy to control your carving utensils (a plastic knife and toothpicks).

Anyway, here is our entry, “Spamball”:

spam3.JPG

Here’s the real Screwball for comparison:

screwball.JPG

OK, so not a perfect likeness, but like I said, Spam isn’t the easiest thing to work with.

Mmm, a Spamdog!

spam2.JPG

These two contestants are working on separate halves of what would eventually be the winning entry, “Screwball’s Spamtastic Opportunity House”:

spam1.JPG

Prior to the winner being announced after the seventh inning, judges narrowed the entries to six finalists. Ours was one of the six! Fans then cast their votes for their favorite. The finalists got to walk out on the field accompanying their entry. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of this, since I was on the field and couldn’t very well take a picture of myself.

The winners, pictured above, got the cash, and the rest of the finalists got a cap and t-shirt as consolation prizes. My daughter claimed the cap, since the shirt was extremely large and would have looked like a dress on her.

I only managed a few pictures of the game, as it was incredibly windy and cold, making it hard to hold the camera steady.

R-Phils starter Yohan Flande:

flande 8May.JPG

Aeros starter Eric Berger contorts himself:

eric berger.JPG

R-Phils centerfielder Quintin Berry reminds me of a t-ball player who needs to use the bathroom:
berry 8May.JPG

The R-Phils lost, 5-2, though we left before then since it was so windy and cold. The kids didn’t even mind missing the post-game fireworks, they were so uncomfortable.

Whew! Now I’m caught up. Hope to be blogging more regularly this month.

(all photos by me, except the can of Spam)

18 Comments

Wow. You’ve been busy! Sorry about the water valve thing. Your pics are as professional as always. And so glad you got to see the Phillies win for your first game of the season at the ballpark. Love the spam. LOL.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Great pics…I do have to agree with you that the Cards got hosed on that play at first. But if they can’t hit, then this play doesn’t really matter.

I’d like to do that type of trip with the Cardinals AAA, AA, and A team and the big club.

I think we have to seriously consider the rating of your blog from now on… with the post going from getting wet to porking with windy and cold making it hard… all good comments taken out of context could cause for good headlines… LOL

the artist for Dewayne Wise, no relation to the pitcher Figueroa I’m guessing or maybe it is…

-peter
Phillies Outside

Welcome back Sue!
Wonderful post and your pictures are always great. I think your Spam entry was better than that house. they played around with the title of their entry and I guess that gave them entra points.
I can’t see that blur that is supposed to be the ball in Penny’s pic.
Love the kids drawings!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Jane – Thankfully my husband has a client who is a plumber, and was able to come the next morning to fix it. I’m just glad it wasn’t the hot water spraying all over me!
Peter – Get your mind out of the gutter! :-)
Emma – Thanks! I wish you could have been there to vote for it. In the Penny pic, the ball is just to the right of his foot.

15thtee – Weird how these comments pop up out of order sometimes! You’re right, in the overall scheme of that game, the missed call did not affect the outcome. It’s convenient that Reading, Lehigh Valley, and Philly are all within an hour’s radius of my house. I don’t think the Cards farm teams are that close to each other, but it would still be a fun endeavor!

I was doing very well until I saw the Spam… then I wanted to throw up :-) Love those kids’ renderings… what a great idea! No comment on the Cards/Phils… it hurts too much.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Ok Sue, I just spotted the ball! You just take great shots! The pic of with the red wig is there if you want to look at it.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Sue,
If they give out a Phillies Road Warrior award, you better be in the final group!
Paul Hoover is an old Rays farmhand, and a pretty good catcher, but he did play once for the Princton (Rookie League) D-Rays.
Still love the “meat” race, I wonder if anyone ever has a beef after the race?…I know, bad pun!
I am glad you became the Spam-tastic finalist we all know you are…..Wish we could of seen more of your creation…..Maybe in 2011 you will have your own small video arms ready to take the Spam spector and reign for a year..

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The spam is hysterical, although disgusting…lol Victorino’s favorite food is Spam…go figure.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Looks like Berry was checking for his SPAM. The drawings by the kids are super! …and running food always makes me laugh!
Great post. Glad you didn’t suffer much water damage.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Ew spam! I’ve never had the courage to try that! Does it taste good at all? But what an interesting competition… spam carving. I don’t know if I would ever partake in that… I’m not very artistic to begin with. Amazing pictures you’ve got here! Thanks for sharing with us!!
Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Nice pictures and welcome back!!!
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Hey, if you visit Hawaii, you can have Spam Sushi! (I’ll pass…)
Your guys rolled against us last night; I have a suspicion you’ll do so again tonight, esp. with Dice-K on the mound. We’ll see!
Kind of odd to see Roy Halladay chasing Ubaldo Jimenez (of the Rockies) in the ERA/ Cy Young race. That should be fun to watch the rest of the year! I took notice of Jimenez when he pitched against us in Game 2 of our 07 WS title–we beat him, 2-1, but he was VERY good in that game. He has done pretty well since then, and may very well be the ace of their staff.
Enjoy watching Doc!
Take care, Sue!

Hope you are doing well? By the way, where are you?
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Hey, Sue!
Sorry I didn’t hear from you during our series. I am very pleased, but frankly, also relieved that we took 2 out of 3 against you guys. Even though we historically have had some success against Doc, I am very surprised we hit him around as much as we did. (Let alone Dice-K throwing a near-no-hitter–we haven’t seen him that good in a couple years! As good a time as any, though!) ;)
Take care, Sue. Good luck to Doc and your Phillies!

Greg, thanks for stopping by! I’ve been very lax in my blogging lately, not only because things have been really busy non-baseball-wise, but also because the Phillies offense has been really sucking lately, especially those last two games against your Sox. I often try to abide by the old rule of not saying anything if you can’t say something nice, so sometimes I think it’s best if I don’t post right away, so all my negativity can dissipate. Almost gone now… :-)

We’ll be seeing alot of those Indians in Pittsburgh by the end of summer. Neil Walker, 3rd baseman, was called up today and Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln are sure to follow.

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

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