When we arrived in Canberra there were thousands of people lining the streets. At first we thought it was funny that all these people were welcoming the Blue Sox into town, but they actually were lining the streets to see the cars that were apart of the Summernats which is a big car show and festival that they hold once a year. We arrived at the hotel and I was roomed with Todd Grattan, Aaron Sookee and Dae-Sung Koo. We had full cooking facilities once again so I headed off to the supermarket which was only a 10 minute walk away. I bought breakfast, lunch and dinner for 4 days so I was able to save a bit of my meal money again.
|People lining the streets for Summernats, and no, they just weren't waiting at the lights|
Back at the hotel I was pretty tired so I took a shower, got into my practise gear and got into bed to have a little nap. Even though it was only a 20 minute nap I felt a lot better once I woke up from it.
We went down 7-1 in the first game of the series. At times it was a very frustrating game for us. We would hit balls hard straight to fielders, outfielders would make good catches in the gaps to rob us of base hits and we just couldn't get a really going throughout the game. Craig Anderson started and didn't have much luck against the Cavalry as they scored 6 runs in 4 1/3 innings against him. I came on and threw 2 1/3 innings of relief giving up 1 run on a solo home run in the 7th inning. The next hitter of that inning got on base by what I could only say was a controversial call. The ball was hit to Michael Lysaught in what was a routine play. He made the throw to Boss Moanaroa at 1st who had his foot planted on 1st base. After he caught the ball, his foot came off the base a little bit but the umpire saw something different and called the runner safe at 1st saying that Boss's foot was not on the base.
When I woke up on day 2 in Canberra I received some bad news that I had been released from the Minnesota Twins organisation. It just shows how cutthroat the Minor Leagues are. There wasn't much I could do about the situation so I just went on my day as usual.
We lost this one again in a very heated game 4-2. The only offence that was provided came off the bats of Pat Maat and Michael Lysaught who both hit solo home runs. The real drama began when Brad Thomas threw a fastball in the back of right fielder Kevin Kiermaier. Like any team would, the Cavalry sent a message back and they threw a pitch over Pat Maat's head. Now when you're trying to retaliate in that situation, you don't throw at a players head. Even though you're trying to hit the batter, there is a right way to do it. Pat didn't appreciate the ball being thrown towards his head, so he retaliated in the best way possible. By disposing the next pitch thrown over the left field wall for a big home run. It was like something out of a movie, it would have mad a great script. We still lost the game, which isn't a good thing, but at least the game may have been entertaining for the fans.
Day 3 in Canberra we had a double header. Double headers are quite dreaded in this league. Playing two 9 inning games in tough on anyone. Even if you're a bullpen pitcher you have to prepare yourself to sit around for a long time.
We couldn't get much going in this game, even though we hit the ball hard, it was always to a fielder. Brandon Barnes hit 2 home runs to take his season tally to 6 while David Kandilas and Joey Hage each got two hits a piece. Chris Oxspring started and had a tough one only getting through 5 innings giving up 6 runs, 4 of which were earned off 9 hits and 2 walks. Cavalry bats remained hot as they scored early and often putting runs up in the first 3 innings.
We lost this one on a walk off single but we had plenty of chances to keep the Cavalry out of the game. The box score says we only made 1 error, but we definitely made close to 3 or 4. I think the scorer may have been a bit generous to the Cavalry hitters. Pat Maat hit a grand slam in the 1st inning to put us on top early and we lead the entire game up until the 8th inning when the Cavalry tied it and then lost it in the 9th.
On our last day in Canberra we had an afternoon game so we had to check out of the hotel and headed off to the field at 11:00am. When we got there it was quite cloudy and a bit of rain started to fall but it was nothing to write home about. The hitters hit in the cages which is always good news for pitchers since we don't exactly like standing around in the outfield for 40 minutes catching and chasing the balls getting hit.
Vaughan Harris started for us and had a pretty shaky start giving up 3 runs in the 1st inning. He settled down to throw 3 scoreless innings before giving up another 2 in the 5th. Pat Maat's bat remained hot as he provided our only runs thanks to a 2 run home run in the 4th inning. I came into the game in the 6th and had one of my best outings of the year. I threw 3 innings, for 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 0 runs.
The new mechanics I've been working on seemed to paid off quickly as I feel my velocity has increased and it has added a bit more bite to my breaking pitches. Just need to go back to practice on Tuesday and continue to work on making myself a better baseball player and control what I can control.