So, in my professional capacity, I got to check out last night's (8/22) Rock Cats/Defenders game. Although I made it late (due to scheduling conflicts, covering the Pilot Pen tournament as well) I managed to come away with a few observations.
That game was a pitcher's duel basically the whole way. Adam Harben had the Defenders off balance for much of the game (note the 8 K's), but didn't get a whole lot of help from his D. Take the fifth inning. Two groundouts, then he gets to Nate Schierholtz. Strikes him out, but the ball gets by catcher Jose Morales and he reaches. Next batter, Matt Tolbert boots the ball and Brian Buscher reaches. Fortunately for Harben, he gets Brian Horwitz to fly out. I was on the lookout for Travis Ishikawa (thanks to a friend who's written about the Giants system), and didn't play, but he wasn't really needed. Harben hung one to Schierholtz, and that was that. The insurance run came on a wild pitch by Jay Sawatski. Total of three errors for the New Britain D, capped off by Quincy Foster going five-hole on Doug Deeds in the 7th on a sac bunt (yes, a sac bunt).
Chris Begg was, how you say, f'n nails. Complete-game two-hitter, groundouts by the bushel. Only faced three over the minimum, and the one time he got in any real trouble was the fourth. Six balls left the infield the entire game, and the only one that was a hit was Trent Oeltjen's RBI triple down the right-field line. Doug Deeds walks, and Matt Moses gets all 4-6-3 on us to end the threat. Nice diving catch by Quincy Foster in the 8th to get Felix Molina, too. Can't say much about the only guys I'd really heard much about (Span and Casilla), as everyone on the Rock Cats looked bad tonight, thanks to Begg, but Span managed to use his speed for once (infield single to lead off the fourth). Jake Wald made a nice play on a chopper by Oeltjen to end the game, too.
I wrote up an article on the game for the paper, and it'll be up Friday. Thing is we just went the paid route for online, so you'll have to subscribe for that (and yet, we're a free weekly...) so I can't copy and paste. But the website's www.thenorthhavencitizen.com. It's not a pure game story because the hook was a resident getting and handing out tickets as part of the promotion.
By the way, this is the first game I've covered above the Can-Am league. I could get used to this. :)