I’m kinda late in writing about the two games I went to this weekend, but I’d rather talk about them than waste more pixels on the K-Rod situation.
Former Mets pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez is pitching for the Harrisburg Senators, and I wanted to see him one more time. I was also hoping to get an autograph so I could cross one more name off my Mets autograph wantlist.
I didn’t have luck on either count. El Duque pitched Friday, the game I didn’t go to. The only time I caught a glimpse of him all weekend was when the Senators went out on the field for team handshakes at the end of Saturday’s win.
He didn’t sign many autographs, either. I heard that he signed for one or two kids. For the most part, he ignored people. I was hoping he’d be more fan-friendly, but I’m not terribly surprised that he wasn’t.
Fortunately, there was still the fun of watching baseball and spending time with friends.
Game 41: Harrisburg 7, Trenton 1
Saturday’s game was a scheduled fireworks night, so the Trenton Thunder had close to a sellout crowd. My friend managed to get us a pair of seats in the front row, right behind home plate. They had been returned to the box office by a season ticket holder.
They were great seats, and you could really see the movement on pitches. They were terrible seats to try to take photos. Both of my cameras are point-and-shoot models, and they don’t have a manual focus option. The auto-focus wanted to lock on to the net, and there was nothing I could do about it. (This is one instance where your camera equipment really is more important than your photography skills, I’m afraid.)
Barring a major collapse, the Thunder are headed to the playoffs. But the Senators made them look like a .500 team on Saturday. Harrisburg scored five runs in the first three innings off Trenton starter Cory Arbiso. The Thunder eked out just one unearned run on four hits in the entire game.
Tanner Roark earned the win – his first for the Harriburg Senators – by pitching six innings and striking out six while limiting Trenton to three hits.
I’m not sure who the big Washington Nationals prospects are for Harrisburg, but I was happy that I finally got to see Austin Romine catch for the Thunder. I’m not sure how good a hitter he will be in the majors, but he does look like a solid receiver with a good throwing arm.
After the game, we made a quick stop in the gift shop – where I inexplicably bought a set of 2010 Reading Phillies team cards and my friend stocked up on Thunder cards from the past three years. Then we split while everyone else was still watching the fireworks so we didn’t get stuck in the post-game traffic.
Game 42: Trenton 3, Harrisburg 2
On Sunday, we dodged the raindrops and tried to get autographs from the Trenton Thunder players before the game. Romine, not in the starting lineup, made sure that all the fans who wanted his autograph got one. Most of the other position players signed as well, but cup-of-coffee Yankee outfielder Justin Christian blew everybody else off after signing two or three.
The game was a complete reversal of the night before. Harrisburg allowed the Thunder to score the first run of the game on a pair of walks, a wild pitch and a throwing error. Neither team had a hit until the third inning.
Rene Rivera singled off of Aaron Thompson, and Corben Joseph doubled to drive him home to build on the Thunder’s lead. Marcos Vechionacci singled to drive in the third run and give Trenton a 3-0 lead. They’d be the last runs we’d see for awhile.
Harrisburg second baseman Steve Lombardozzi, the son of the former Minnesota Twins infielder, broke up Hector Noesi‘s no-hit bid to start the fourth. (I know it’s a little silly to think about a no-hitter that early, but Noesi’s stuff looked so good that we were.) He would allow just one more hit over seven innings as he struck out nine Senators.
Harrisburg managed a ninth-inning rally against closer Ryan Pope, but it fell short and Trenton won 3-2.
Since there were more fireworks after Sunday’s game, we hung around by the players exit and tried for autographs while we waited for traffic to clear up. My friend got Alfredo Aceves to sign a baseball, and we all got a few more Trenton Thunder team set cards signed.
On the way home, I had the “pleasure” of listening to the Mets fall behind in their game against the Phillies. I suppose it was only fair, because I got to enjoy Brian Bullington’s unexpected success over the Yankees on the way down to Trenton.
- El Duque hopes for another shot at major leagues (cbssports.com)
- Aging ‘El Duque’ aims for one more shot in majors (boston.com)