The Silverhawks and Whitecaps had been trying to play a game since Friday night, and were finally able to do so this afternoon at Coveleski Stadium. The Whitecaps had been rained out five consecutive times. That has to be hard to handle if you are a ballplayer. With sunny skies thought they were able to get a doubleheader in this afternoon.
Game one starter Bradin Hagens may have wished that they were rained out again today. He gave up five runs in only 3 1/3 innings pitched. Part of the trouble was the fact that he walked four, but he also made two key errors that led directly to runs for the Whitecaps. With the bases loaded in the second inning Hagens fielded a ball hit right to him, and threw the ball over the catchers head. What could have been an easy double play turned into a long inning. He committed another error in the fourth inning to help another big inning for West Michigan.
On the mound for West Michigan was lefty Kyle Ryan. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, but was lifted before he could get the last two outs of the game. He really seemed to have control of the game. He only gave up the one home run during the game, and I was actually shocked when he was pulled. His battery mate Rob Brantley was a big part of the offense hitting a home run in the sixth inning, and scoring two runs. The last batter in the lineup had the big offensive day though. Edwin Gomez went 2-4 on the day knocking in three runs. The damage was really done by the bottom of the lineup in the first game.
The Silverhawks could only muster one run in the seven innings though so in the end it may not have mattered. That run was a home run off the bat of Ramon Castillo. That was Ramon’s first hit of the season, and the only hit he had on the day. Keon Broxton provided his usual excitement by hitting a ball in the gap, and legging out a triple. He has rarely made contact in the three games that I have seen. When he does though it is exciting. He led all of professional baseball in triples last year, and is off to a good start this season.
One great thing about the day was the fact that the kids were able to take the field prior to the game and play catch. As people came in former Mayor Joe Kernan was encouraging them to get on the field to play catch. As a kid this has to be a great thing to do. Some of the players even joined in playing catch with the kids. After the game they let them run the bases, but I did not stick around that long.
The outfield is still a mess, but you can see the progress that they are making. Part of the fun this season will be seeing the progress that is made in between each homestand. Today was a cold day, but you hope that when everything is completed more than 861 people will show up. With all the money going into the stadium it would be nice to see some fans show up to appreciate it.
I say that, but I don’t know how true that statement is. Sometimes you would like some people to stay home. Once again I saw a kid hit with a ball who was sitting on the first base side by a right handed batter. For some reason parents only make their kids pay attention when a left handed hitter is up. The odds are actually much higher that a ball comes their way when a righty is up rather then a lefty. The same people that I heard giving their kid that gem of wisdom were also all over right fielder Chris Jarrett the entire game. Chris was playing more towards center field when a ball was hit near the line. He made a great diving effort to get the ball, but the ball bounced out of his mitt. It was a great effort that was not worth the shrieking “error” that he was given. It was anything but an error. The woman yelling at him was about as round as she was tall. I really don’t think she could have walked the ground he covered to get to the ball. Diving like he did would have killed her. She let him hear it all game about that ball when she didn’t have food in her mouth. If it was a player on the other team it wouldn’t have upset me so much, but when you are a ‘fan’ of the home team I don’t understand getting on them that bad. I was so sick of hearing her that I moved to the third base side of the field for the second game. It didn’t help though as I could hear her shriek from across the field.
Here are a couple pictures that did not make the cut for the post:
As usual here are my scorecards for the game: