While most of you were enjoying the miracle comeback last night, I was at G. Richard Fitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, watching Mike Sarbaugh's Kinston Indians clobber the Potomac National's, 9-1. The key hit was Mike Butia's grand slam in the 4th inning, giving the Indians a huge 4-0 lead.
In 40 games so far Butia was batting .197 w/ 2HRs and 15 RBIs, so he needed the lift. It couldn't have come at a better time because the Nat's pitcher, Jack Spradlin, had pretty much shut down the Indian's to that point and it looked like a nice lefty pitcher's duel was shaping up between Spradlin and the Indian's Ryan Edell, but it turned out to be a one-sided duel.
I had a front row ticket facing third base, hoping to see Jared Goedert play at third, but Chris Giminez plyed third instead.
Michael Aubrey was the DH. He's still hanging in there and looks healthy, hitting .314/.400/.657 in 35 AB.
The most impressive player was our pitcher, Edell (5-2 3.73). He owned the Nats for the first three innings, but from the 4th inning on, the Nats had runners in scoring position, but Edell let only one run in. It seemed like the more runners the Nats had on base, the tougher Edell pitched. It was a gutsy performance (5.2 IP, 9 hits, 1 ER, 4 SO, 0 BB). I was not aware of him before last night, but if this is any indication of the kind of pitcher he is, he might have a future.
I got to see Kinston's tall, lanky catcher, Chao Kuan Wu, who was in the Seattle system last year. He's played in 4 games so far. He was the bullpen catcher last night. I like catchers.
This Kinston team is nothing like last year's team in terms of talent. No one besides Edell stood out last night. There are a few names on the roster that we've come to know, Aubrey, Stephen Head, John Drennen, Max Ramirez, Nathan Panther, but none seem to be pounding on Akron's door (though 3B Chris Giminez has an impressive .941 OPS w/ 11 HR). And yet, Kinston is in 1st place in the Carolina League (32-21 .604) just like last year. Give Sarbaugh some of the credit.
Rather mundane pictures of the game are posted at: http://picasaweb.google.com/TrakkerToo/KinstonPotomac6107