Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Magic number: 5

There was a moment when despair gripped Fraser Field, as TJ Shimizu's 5th inning RBI single momentarily put Les Caps on top 2-1 off a struggling Bryan Morse. But in typical 2006 Spirit fashion, North Shore made Fraser a fortress, rallying back for single runs in the 5th and 6th to earn the 3-2 win. It was a historic moment at Fraser as Kevin Fitzgerald notched the save in front of a STANDING OVATION at Fraser Field-- and I literally mean EVERYONE was standing up making noise. No prompts from the PA system, no half the crowd cheering, none of that- just natural noise and energy, propelling Fitzy to the save as he struck out two Capitales to nail it down.

The Spirit struck in the very first inning. BJ Weed led it off right with a triple and came around to score on a Vic Davilla RBI 5-3 groundout to give the Spirit the lead, 1-0.

It appeared for a while that that would stand up as Bryan Morse was simply cruising through the first three innings. In the fourth, though, Quebec got to Morse. Brian Scalabrini picked up a double to lead off the inning. He reached 3rd on Eddie Lantigua's sac fly. Montague's RBI single blooped into CF scored the run to tie it.

Morse continued to struggle in the 5th. Jose Garcia reached first with one out on an error by 2nd baseman Ricardo Cordova. He moved up to 2nd on Willie James's single. TJ Shimizu then gave the Capitales the 2-1 lead, inciting the brief moment of panic.

But it was not to be for Quebec. Time and time again, the Spirit have rallied when they've been challenged, and tonight was no exception. In the 5th inning, Antoin Gray started it right with a double, getting the crowd riled up in support of BJ Weed, who followed with a sac bunt. After a Cordova K, Vic Davilla stroked a clutch RBI single into right field to even the score 2-2.

In the 6th, Andrew Wishy got it rolling with a 2-out walk and a steal of 2nd base. Then Rob Fischer's flared RBI single over the head of Eddie Lantigua gave North Shore the 3-2 lead.

Bryan Morse pitched 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Dennis Robinson pitched a 1-2-3 8th and Fitzy gave up one hit in the ninth but got the save.

QCC 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 ----- 2 6 0
NSS 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 X ----- 3 7 1

Burning questions, I guess? What's there to question?

1. I literally got the chills to see all of Fraser rise to its feet and cheer like that. It's always been a dream of mine to see that happen. How amazing was it?

2. Will Matt Bishop pitch the Spirit to a 2-0 lead?

3. Was the crowd less than, greater than or equal to what you expected, numberswise?

PS- Congrats to Vic for being named MVP!


Anonymous said...

Where did Rob Fischer go, did I miss something during the game or did they just take him out?

Joe Grav said...

Fischer was still in , I thought they took Wishy out?

They put in Sabino for someone.

1. As I said it was one of the best moments ever.
2. Oh, hell yeah!
3. It was about equal, maybe a little bigger, than what I thought.

bent gonely said...

Sabino went in for Fisch in the 7th inning. Fisch hasn't been playing like his old self - he's down to 8th in the linup. I don't know, maybe he's hurting.

the crowd tonight were the true hardcore Spirit fans. They were watching the game and they were into it and that 9th inning was a rush.

Hey --- why are you guys routing for New Haven. they'll be harder to beat than Brockton and that drive to picturesque New Haven is a pain in the ass.

Jack Suslak said...

Well to answer Anonymous, right after the 6th end, JK came out and yelled Rob, and then JK talked to him and he went out of the game
and went up towards the pen with the trainer, seemed to be ok, but I am not sure

1. Without a doubt one of the best moments ever there, it was so sweet

2. Bishop has been great so far so expect nothing to change tomorrow

3. Little less, but they were so into it from the start and what they did at the end was awesome!

benoit emond said...

joe and wackos- it was nice to see larry come over with the microphone and acknowledge you guys tonight. I know there have been times when you haven't been treated fairly but there are many in the organization who recognize that you guys are the best fans that the team has.

like i said ---- you guys are the best fans in the country.... if not the world.

Joe Grav said...

we really are.

shoutout to my roomate grant from connecticut, who for tonight was an honorary citizen of the NOHTH SHOAH.

TonyTheTiger20 said...

wow that kicked so much more ass than new haven did.

and shoutout to joe for is ASS KICKING rant to the lynn cam people

bent gonely said...

Why are you guys routing for New Haven ????

SoSayethI2006 said...

WE don't like Brockton. Period.
Up until recently, NHC has owned us on the road, but not anymore.
Think getting to Brockton is easy?. Try doing it midweek, especially if they are 6:00pm games!.

1. Big times @ Fraser.

2. I see Bishop being at his best 2morrow.

3. Bout what I expected, but was hoping for a bigger crowd. The fans were definately into it tonight.

Fisch came out after going 1st to third; maybe he hit the 2nd base bag funny, I dunno'.

RustyKuntz said...

yeah, getting to New Haven is easier than getting to Brockton...the only thing those trips have in common is that you can bribe your woman with a trip to Ikea if she comes along.

its kinda depressing to count on the Pats cheerleaders to get the fans out for a freakin' playoff game

Joe Grav said...

Screw the Rox, I never want to see them beat anyone, except possibly Quebec, sometimes.

bent gonely said...

Amen about the cheerleaders tomorrow night -- it just brings in people who don't watch or care about the game -- there were none of those tonight.

wooden said...

Sabino was most likely put in for defensive purposes, not to mention Kennedy probably wants to keep him fresh.

The playoffs are always a disappointment in terms of the crowd for the midweek; not surprised that those that did turn out were the ones that really care.

It appears that Bishop has only faced Quebec in relief, so it's difficult to tell how he'll do. He's had two mediocre outings and three stellar in his past five starts. Don't be surprised if Kennedy has him on a short leash and throws either McNamara or Trout out there if he struggles the least bit. Likewise if Quebec trots out Beavers instead of Dunn to start.

I wasn't there, but I find it hard to believe that that moment eclipsed the feeling when the Spirit took the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning in Game 4 of the 2004 NELCS -- the similarly sparse crowd went absolutely bananas.

Joe Grav said...

I was going so bananas that I nearly passed out and didn't really notice the crowd around me, plus I sat in the first row; I was sitting in the back and was able to see the whole crowd rise as one. It wsa rather inspirational, really. I'd imagine the players were extremely honored. It must have been nice to actually feel like professional athletes for once, and get the respect they deserve for the hard work they do & excellent show they've put on for the fans this season.

Joe Grav said...

I just realized my last post is confusing..
I sat in the front row & nearly passed out in 2004;
I sat in the back and saw the crowd rise last night.

Just clarifying.

wooden said...

No clarification needed - we know you're under 21...

Joe Grav said...

Wooden, i was just reading NEFan and...

say it ain't so..

if Goldklang Group buys the Spirit and they adopt "FUN GOOD" as the slogan, I'll become a Nashua Pride fan

wooden said...

Joe - I think the rumors about Nick abandoning shop are just that: rumors. Clancy's a hard-ass, but Nick's been dealing with him all along, so it's not like he had mayor #1 promise him X and mayor #2 say he can only have Y. My point in bringing up GG is that (A) The Spirit will still exist (B) these guys know what they're doing, but it's not a one-size-fits-all approach, i.e. they'll run things exactly the way they do in Brockton (although, would that be so bad?)

Having finished up a season of affiliated ball, I can also tell you that word gets around quickly about which promotions work and which ones don't, so I saw a LOT of the same things in Woodbridge that I saw in Lynn, Nashua and Brockton.

SoSayethI2006 said...

What was it You read that got you to react this way?., I was looking at it earlier and saw no mention of GG.