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A play-by-play guy trying to survive in a mid-major world

Archive for the day “June 28, 2009”

Snell strikes out 17!

Less than 24 hours after Tom Gorzelanny strikes out 12 batters, Ian Snell establishes a Victory Field record by striking out 17 Toledo Mud Hens.  This afternoon Snell walked the first batter of the game and then preceded to strikeout the NEXT 13 BATTERS!  Let that sink in a for a moment…he asked for an option from Pittsburgh (2-8 with an ERA above 5) and set down 13 straight via the K.  His first victim Scott Sizemore looked at a fast ball on the outside corner.  Snell got the next three batters swinging before freezing Brent Dlugach with a heater down the middle of the plate.  The next four batters swung and missed (we’re now up to 9) before Sizemore looked at strike three for the second time.  Snell finished off the 4th inning by striking out Clete Thomas and Jeff Larish.  After getting Larish, Snell turned his back to home plate and pumped his fist.  Why not?  That was his 12th consecutive punch-out.  Number 13 was Brent Clevlen opening up the 5th with a swing and a miss. 

For Ian Snell this afternoon…7 innings pitched, 1 unearned run, 2 hits, 1 walk, and an IL best 17 strikeouts.  It’s only one start, but I wonder if the Pirates phones will be ringing tonight?  Is anyone interested in a 27 year who sat at 94 miles per hour and hit 96 at least a dozen times this afternoon?

I was able to ask him two post game questions before Jason Davis nailed Ian with a towel full of shaving cream.

On striking out 13 straight

“It felt good today and these guys welcomed me with open arms and it felt good to see fresh faces and this crowd was great today.  I loved pitching here in ’05 and today was a great feeling and I’m enjoying it.”

When did you last feel that type of comfort on the mound?

“I haven’t felt like that all year and as soon as I got here they guys made me”

….BOOM!  He was then nailed with shaving cream ending the interview.  In case you are wondering he waited for me to finish calling the 10th inning and was very gracious during the interview.  To be real honest he hasn’t stop smiling since he arrived yesterday. 

I get that same feeling when Ollie Perez was pitching for us in ’06 (By the way he struck out 13 Mud Hens in his first start after an option from Pittsburgh).  Snell, like Perez may be pitching for a trade.  He was awesome today. 

8:00 UPDATE :

Here is more from Ian Snell…

“I just worked off my fastball.  The guys made me feel welcome here.  It was just fun to see this relaxed and fun atmosphere.  Nothing against the guys up there you know they work hard they do everything.  I just have a lot of thoughts going through my head and I just wanted to get my thoughts together and it felt great.  I felt awesome today and they made me feel awesome.”

“It’s just the fans are electric here.  You can tell, even though they don’t say much or cheer much they pay attention to the game.  It was just fun pitching in front of them again.”

“I owe a lot of credit to (Catcher Erik) Kratz.  He did a tremendous job of setting up you know he didn’t set up too early where they can see where I’m going.  He mixed the pitches real well and when I left a pitch up he reminded me you know your elbow is hanging over or your head is bouncing over.  A lot of it had to do with him and I have to give a lot of the credit to him because he did a great job of game-calling.”



Gorzelanny strikes out 12

I don’t think I’m sticking my neck out much when I say that Tom Gorzelanny may be named the IL’s pitcher of the week.  This week the 26 year old lefty won both of his starts allowing one earned run (0.90 ERA) and striking out 19 over 10 innings.  Last night Gorzelanny’s fastball ran up to 93 miles per hour and he blew it past several Toledo hitters.  He was lifted after 87 pitches and who knows what his strikeout total would have been if he was fully stretched out.  Remember Tom spent a month in the Pirates bullpen and reclaiming his endurance.  Setting aside the strikeout numbers, the past two starts for Gorzelanny have me thinking about 2006.  His fastball has renewed life and his slider is nearly unhittable.  Well, now I’m just gushing…I’ll stop.  If he is named the League’s pitcher of the week he will become the 1st player for the Indians this season and the first pitcher since Bryan Bullington took home the honor last year for the week of May 19-25.

I’m rolling the dice with my next prediction, but perhaps the Tribe will pull of an awards sweep if CF Jeff Salazar is named the IL’s batter of the week.  Since Monday the 28 year old left-hander is batting .440 (11/25) with 3 home runs and has scored 6 runs.  It’s a long shot for Sally, who is having his best week in over a month.  Entering June he was hitting .279 and saw the average fall as low as .241 on June 22.  This recent stretch has him hitting .259 and vying to become the first Indians hitter to win the League’s weekly honor since Michael Ryan won the award back in ’07 for the week of June 18-24.  If it’s not Salazar look for Toledo’s Clete Thomas to take home the honor.  He is hitting an even .500 (17/34) this week with 6 extra-base hits.   

The Zooperstars were at the Vic last night.  In this picture Harry Canary just wrapped up the the 7th inning stretch.

LHV 014.jpgThroughout the years I have seen plenty of Minor League acts.  For my money the Zooperstars are one of the best entertainment acts out there.  I also like Birdzerk, Myron Noodleman, and even though they are no longer in business the Blues Brothers.  The Blues Brothers hold a special place in my heart because after a game in South Bend they let me drive the “Bluesmobile” a few blocks from South Bend’s Coveleski Stadium to a downtown BW-3.  Some silly copyright law put them out of business a few years back. 

Here are some pictures of Coca-Cola Park. 

LHV 010.jpgYou can see from the pictures that they are drawing large crowds and the atmosphere rivals that of Durham and Pawtucket.  The fans were into the game right from the start and even had some clever chants depending on who was at the plate.  The only unusual chant was that of DE-FENSE whenever the Indians would get a guy on base.  I’ve never heard that at a baseball game, but Philly Phan is a little different than most.  Indians 1B Brian Myrow blasted a ball to right field that landed at the bottom of the ‘P’ in PenTele Data sign.  Pigs 1B Andy Tracy says he hasn’t seen too many travel farther than Myrow’s blast.  Check out the grass pattern in this next picture.

LHV 012.jpgThe groundskeeper mowed 7 baseballs in the grass.  The pattern starts at home plate with a ball about three feet in diameter and fans out to right center field.  Each ball is mowed differently giving you the appearance it is spinning out of the yard for a home run.  It’s one of the cooler patterns I’ve seen in a long time.  A year ago the Phillies script ‘P‘ was mowed into the outfield grass.  Indians groundskeeper Joey Stevenson told me the Iron Pigs groundskeeper used to work for the Mets.  While with the Mets he once mowed this classic pattern.

Coca-Cola Park only seats 10,000 fans and that feels like the right capacity with their location to Philadelphia.  When push comes to shove I’ll take Huntington Park in Columbus, but the Pigs new home is a close second.  One more picture for you.

LHV 006.jpgI have an update on the hotel ghost stories.  The feedback was tremendous and I wanted to share with you this comment. 

I used to work valet at the Radisson in Scranton and my manager used to talk about how the place was haunted. He said a cleaning lady encountered a ghost on the 6th floor and ran out the building screaming to never came back again. He said someone jumped off the 6th floor and commit suicide and that ghost haunts the place.  That baseballs players story is scary as hell though!

I hope this helps a little as more proof that the place is haunted. 

Well, well, well it seems the Lackawanna may have itself a permanent visitor.  Thanks for the comment and reading the blog.   


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