Tuesday’s Post-Game Thoughts & Video
My apologies for a lack of a Blog on Tuesday. The home opener, while fun and exciting, always gets you pulled in a bunch of different directions as a staff member and yesterday was no different from pulling Tarp at 9am to moving boxes, tables and chairs, to testing equipment. Then post-game doing some training with the interns in their first game so that everyone knows how to upload video, distribute a game recap and post to the website.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on last night’s home opening 1-0 win over Dayton plus video highlights at the bottom of this post. Also Dave & Dave cranked out some great coverage for the Journal Star. Check out the game report, a look at what Opening Day means to players and fans and Ron Johnson’s photo gallery.
- The home opener is always fun. Great to see the familiar faces around the stadium from season ticket holders, to longtime game-day employees (ushers, ticket takers, concession workers) and Host Families. It’s also great to meet the new employees, the interns working in baseball for the first time are always pumped for opening day and it is fun to see.
- On the field the Chiefs played well again Tuesday, executing when they needed to on offense, defense and pitching. It shows again, this is why they do drills in Spring Training and early work in season because those situations happen in games, often.
- Nick Petree made some tough quality pitches. Granted he got himself in trouble with a career-high five walks but he also got out of those situations with a career-best six strikeouts and some timely ground ball outs. With the numbers Petree put up at Missouri State University and last year with State College, five shutout innings is not a surprise at all though he did use 90 pitches to get there.
- Matthew Young just missed his first home run of the season and settled for his first triple since 2012 as his line drive smashed high off the wall in left-center and bounced back past the two Dragons outfielders. Young is a hustler and even sprinted to first base after being hit by a pitch later in the game.
- Chris Thomas is efficient. He got the save by throwing 1 pitch. With runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth, Thomas was summoned to get the final out and he got a comebacker on the first pitch to end the game. That’s two outings for Thomas, two games finished and two batters faced. Total.
- I often mention one of the things I love most about baseball is that you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. Last night was no exception. In 11 years on this job I don’t believe I have ever seen a pitcher leave a game tied (0-0 in this case) with no one on base and still take a loss. That happened to Dayton’s Junior Morillo. He got hurt while throwing ball 3 to Mason Katz in the 6th inning and a new pitcher had to come in. With the count 3-2, ball 4 meant the walk was charged to Morillo. The new hurler, Daniel Wright then balked Katz to second and with two down, Ronald Castillo drove in Katz with a bloop single. That run, charged to Morillo despite him being out of the game with no one base, saddled the lefty with a loss.
- Great defense again last night. Michael Schulze with a very nice 5-2 fielders choice on a contact play and both Juan Herrera at SS and Katz at 2B made nice plays as well.
- Zach Loraine was fantastic in middle relief and Chris Perry came in throwing strikes out of the bullpen as well. The duo logged 3 2/3 shutout innings and struck out three. Loraine got the win and was our Pekin Insurance Beyond the Expected Player of the Game.
- A fantastic national anthem by Cathy Black-Grant last night to kick off the season. Cathy sang with us last season and it was great to have her back to get us going on Opening Night 2014.
Here are last night’s video highlights! I’ll have the lineup and Game Notes this afternoon, thanks for reading!