Friday, April 5, 2013

OPENING DAY

OPENING DAY 2013

or

INSULT TO INJURY




2013 Montgomery Biscuits Opening Day
Rain was the insult.
Matt Buschmann's ERA was the injury.

A Barons grand slam in the fourth inning put the score on the same side as nature, both were against the home team on Opening Night 2013. Fireworks and the first game of the year started with rain falling during the pre-game ceremonies and continued off and on through the night. Skitz starter Matt Buschmann was solid until the rain started to come down heavily, though it was obvious the tarp would not be used, as it was just a constant shower.

A moving strike zone and wet baseballs contributed to the tally, the game having all the hallmarks of a start of the season, rain soaked contest. The Barons bunted, the Biscuits picked a runner off who was caught in the mud, there was a balk, an error, errant throws so wild they weren't scored errors, foul popups miffed, runners thrown out at the plate because they were slowed by the muddy basepaths. In short, it was a glorious opening night!


GAME NOTES

Mikie Mahtook had an outfield assist, his first of the year, but probably not his last. He cut down a runner at the plate with a laserbeam of a throw, making what looked to be a close play not close at all. Plus he had new walkup music, but still staying with the old school style.



Merrill Kelly pitched well in his relief frames, striking out three. Lara, who will probably be the unfortunate victim of this years "you go girl" heckle, capped the tilt off with two strong innings.

I have been told the bullpen should be able to hold its own. However this comes from members of the bullpen, who are probably not likely to admit to whatever faults or suckage might be lurking!

From what I saw, the infield looked pretty nice at first glance. Seitzer looked really able at first base and he handled the wet baseballs in cold weather like a veteran. Robby Price seemed to have great range in spite of the muddy conditions. I am already an O'Malley fan and the Skitz SS looks like he was up to the task.

My only question mark on the infield was at third, Riccio Torrez started to erase it with excellent defense, making a barehand grab and throw early in the game. Late in the game Torrez made a veteran move by letting a slow rolling bunt up the line go foul. Its really easy to get excited after making a good play early in the game and then try too hard to make another one later, which can have bad results, I liked that Torrez let the play develop and come to him.

At the plate, Cameron Seitzer impressed me by being able to make a pitcher pay. The tall first baseman lifted a pop fly into foul territory behind third base into the lights and fairly steady falling rain. Three Barons surrounded the ball in the Biscuits bullpen, yet when none could corral the orb Seitzer was given new life. He promptly rapped a single to right field.

For the other guys, we got to see a very good starting pitcher and a couple of nice prospects on the other side of the ball, but since it was opening day I will spend more time on the home nine and get to the opponents later this week.

However I did get a nice look at Nestor Molina and his pickoff move that I can share.



OUTSIDE THE LINES

On more of a fan friendly level, the fans were definitely friendly - one of the best parts of the season opener is getting to see the familiar faces of spring and meeting the new people who will become the familiar faces of summer. A perk of the park, so to speak, and always a welcome sight after a long winter.

I was just getting in some witty banter when a passing paparazzi decided to take some video, which seems to have made the local paper. I was dubbed "Superfan" and will enjoy a few moments of glory but would rather have had a dry scorebook! All in all it was a cool evening, both in temperature and atmosphere, in spite of the loss in the record column.




SHES ON THE BALL


It took until the second inning to get my first baseball of the year. I was looking forward to getting it so I could inspect the signature.
Sure enough the new Southern League president has had her signature imprinted, by my reckoning its the first pro league official baseball to bear a womans signature.



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