It was a hot July afternoon in North Carolina, and I had a six hour drive ahead of me back to the Philadelphia area after the game, so I was looking forward to a quick low-scoring Carolina League game. And of course what happens? Teams combine for 5 home runs and 24 total runs in a Carolina 14-10 victory. At least my seat was in the shade.
I assume that it had to be the heat that got to the pitchers in this one. Winston-Salem starter Brannon Easterling didn’t make it out of the 3rd inning and gave up 9 earned runs. Carolina starter Conor Harber pitched four scoreless innings but then 5 runs in the 5th (3 earned). Victor Diaz made his High A debut, but gave up 4 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. The radar gun said he hit 106, so while I think he hit triple digits, I think it’s a little off. Louie Lechich did pitch well for the Dash going 2 2/3 inning giving up 1 hit and no walks, so maybe he can become a hot day specialist.
I know that nobody else notices or cares about these things, but when I keep score, I notice patterns and other oddities. The Mudcats went up 9-0 in the 3rd and each batter in their lineup scored exactly one run. Interesting note (well, just to me), I was at a New York Yankees game in 2009 where the Yankees had a 9-0 lead and each batter scored once. But then Alex Rodriguez decided to hit a home run as they won 10-0. I wasn’t too disappointed because it was his only home run that I saw in person. Anyway, I was really hoping that would hold up, but after Winston-Salem scored the next eight to make it a one run game, I thought maybe I would see the rare case of a 9 run lead being lost also.
And with any high scoring game, there is always the one player who has a bad day. And on this day it was Winston-Salem 2B Toby Thomas who went 0-5 and grounded into three double plays.