Saturday, September 02, 2006

Spirit Show Why They're Overall Champs Of League In The Regular Season....With Another Win

“Good luck in the playoffs.”
That’s what a fan took his time to stop and say to me as I left Hanover Insurance Park @ Fitton Field after a 4-3 Spirit win on Tornadoes Team Photo Day in front of 2,190. I must say, the fans were great and nice, the field was in pretty good condition (with the exception of a dirt hole in right),and the stadium itself was pretty nice and well-organized. The only downside today was the sort-of cold temperature, gusty winds, and the ominous clouds overhead that gave way to off-and-on sprinkles over the day. Next to Nashua, I think that’s the best stadium I’ve visited all this year. And what a year of road trips for me, Eric, and Alan (with Joe making quite a few trips tom places himself)….we’ve been to both Brockton & Nashua twice and have been to both Worcester & New Haven (a double-header) once. In those games we’ve won both in Brockton and won the game today in Worcester and lost the rest….we’ve been 3-4 on the games me, Eric & Alan have been at, just below .500.Ok,I’m done with the miscellaneous stats (who am I,SPIKE??)…ON TO THE GAME!!!
I will say this, about half of the Spirit’s starting lineup changed after the middle of the 7th ….
CF BJ Weed
2B Ricardo Cordova
DH Vic DaVilla
C Alex Trezza
1B Jeff Brooks
RF Andew Wishy
3B Antoin Gray
LF Luis Sabino
SS Morgan Brown
Lineup After The 6th:
SS Chris Rowan
2B Ricardo Cordova
DH Vic DaVilla
C Alex Trezza
1B Jeff Brooks
RF Andew Wishy
LF Antoin Gray
CF Luis Sabino
3B Morgan Brown
Kind of weird, but I like the fact that we’re still sort-of experimenting with the team--and winning. Anyhow now onto EVERYTHING ELSE. :-p
The Tornadoes sent starter Alex Pena to the hill, AND Reid Willett, AND David Byard, AND Dallas Mahan, AND Chris Shank to the mound today. Nobody for the ‘Nadoes last more than 2 and a third and noone less than an inning. The Spirit started off early to knock the starter early. Spirit 2B Ricardo Cordova got a double in the first, but the Spirit couldn’t do anything to score him. In the second the Spirit got a run on the board as 1B Jeff Brooks lead-off with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball, and then scored on a Andrew Wishy fly out to center. That was apparently enough to knock out Pena, as Willett started the third.
In the third, the ‘Nadoes showed off some great defense! Weed lined one right at first, and the ball bounced off first baseman’s glove….HOWEVER the second baseman picked up the play and ended it by throwing it to the pitcher, who was covering--A 3/4 /1 GROUND OUT! It was a great play, but the bullpen couldn’t help out the defense much. The Spirit went on to get a two-run homer from Trezza after DaVilla lead off the forth with a walk and struck again in the fifth with an RBI fielder’s choice. The Spirit ended the game with 4 runs on 4 hits. The Tornado pitchers all combined for 4 walks and 8 strikeouts. (ABOVE: Trewzza's two-run blast in the 4th)
The Spirit handed the ball to Sam Smith today…….and didn’t give it back for 8+ innings! He completely shut down the Worcester offense. Worcester struck only once on Smith’s watch, a lead-off homer to LF Josh Beauregard. Other than that he gave up 1 run on 6 hits (4 singles,a double,and the homer) and struck out 6 and walked none. In the ninth 3B Austin Wasserman and 1B Chris Collabello lead off with back-to-back hits. After those two batters the closer came in. Fitzgerald came in and I was pretty confident that with a 4-1 lead and Fitzy’s past performances that this would be easy, but Worcester’s late rally REALLY made a game into it. The next batter, Jabe Bergeron, drove in a run on an RBI-grounder to second to make it 4-2 Spirit. SS Bob Tewksbary lined the ball to third, but it bounced once and Brown held the runner to third while throwing out Bobby at first. Next up was Danilo Reynoso who grounded a ball to Cordova, but he misplayed it and drove in a run on the error (they first gave it to Rowan, but later changed it) that also got Reynoso to second. 2B Jeff LaHair came up, but he promptly poped up to first……GAME OVER,SPIRIT WIN-AGAIN!!!
Since Fitzy came in after Smith gave up to back-to-back hits BOTH runs were inherited to Smith. The win was picked up by Sam Smith as Kevin Fitzgerald picked up his ever-increasing Can-Am League record 25th save of the year. Smith dominated no batter more than CF Elliott Shea, who went 0-3 with 3 STRIKEOUTS!!!

--RIGHT near Fitton Field Eric spotted something I feel like showing--so here’s the picture… -- And I thought some places were bad with the lineups….before the game me and Eric tried to get the starting lineups because they weren’t written down on the whiteboard, so me and him copied them down after they were announced over the PA system. I go past the same designated whiteboard after the game is more than halfway through, and the lineups STILL aren’t up. WHAT THE HELL?!?! That’s not great, but I got the lineups in the end, so I don’t care.
-- Both the programs and team photos were very nice AND big.
--Before the game me and Eric walked around the park and eventually talked to Frank Carey. He told us that he’s trying to convince Mr. Loprado to sell the watch he wears at the Pro Shop next year. Me and Eric both think it’d be a great thing to buy for $30. He’s guessing that if we say yeah to the idea Nick will to……but with the good look of the watch I don’t even think he’d need our approval. I think that all of us would buy it.
-- Frank also said that If we went tomorrow he’d somehow get us tickets, VERY nice of him to offer.
-- Their on-field guy was pretty funny and entertaining. He was good and funny doing the games and then when there WERE no between-inning games he was in the stands with the fans DACING! LMAO…that guy was great! ^_^ (He's the one in the black shirt and tan-ish pants. This was him dancing in the stands,it was pretty amusing.)

Obviously I’d have to say Sam Smith. The guy was fantastic in hi second performance with us. I think he’ll do good in the playoffs as a fifth starter.
The other person that I think was key in our win was 1B Jeff Brooks who went 2-4 and accounted for two of our runs. He hustled pretty good today and played pretty good at first.

Tomorrow afternoon Joey Siak will get the nod for the Spirit as the game time is set for 2:05.
I have no burning questions, like Joe does, but I’m sure someone will come up with SOMETHING.


SoSayethI2006 said...

Great wrap Dave......

Spirit Mom said...

Thank you to all of you dedicated Spirit fans who have expressed your interest and insight about the team. I only recently found your website, but have been following it after each game. I have appreciated your candor about the players and team performance throughout the season.

A Spirit player's mom.

DaveCo said...

Your welcome,both of you.
Spraky: I figured I'd write the report for two reasons....
1) Give Joe the day off :D
2) I was at the game anyways :-p

Spirit Mom: No,I thank you and your son and what he and the others have done these past four years. I can't put it into words exaxctly,but I love the team and their performance soo much that it just makes them so enjoyable and fun to follow. The closeness you feel with these guys is nothing like you can experience on any other level in pro ball,maybe that's part of the reason....who knows?
All I can do now is wish them good luck in the playoffs,and maybe go to a few road games to support the boys....

Anonymous said...

For Worcester today (Sept. 3) Reid Willett gets the ball. He is 4-5 with a 6.42 ERA. The highest on the Tornadoes staff.

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures, Dave!!

Joe Grav said...

Thanks very much Spirit Mom. We Spirit fans do appreciate the recognition that we are the best fans in America.... if not the world.
(how long til that joke dies?)

DaveCo said...

Thanks for the info Anonymous...and Joe,that joke will never die! O__o

bent gonely said...

For what it's worth, I just talked to someone in Lynn city governemnt and he says that "nick lopardo is definitely pulling the plug after this season.He has had enough."

Joe Grav said...

that might be good news... lynn government's never right

SoSayethI2006 said...

Sounds like a "Willy" story to me...

SoSayethI2006 said...

Thank YOU SPIRIT Mom. Nice to hear.
And, very diplomatic use of "candor". We DO get a bit .....carried away sometimes, all in good fun and with a respect for the game.


Joe Grav said...

maybe its de vries' mom and she wants him to run it out, too