On The Road with the Captains (part III)

Sorry my updates are so spread out lately. I’m going to try and write more frequently, especially during this 13-game home stand. In the meantime, it’s part 3 of my road trip series.
The last game of our home series was my second start that I reviewed earlier. It resulted in my second loss and another sub-par outing. So, this road trip was going to be important for me not only to get back on track, but also to use my bullpen session to start fixing anything that may be off.

The first series was at Hagerstown, a “short” 5-hour drive from Northeast Ohio and considering we left on an off day, it was an easy ride. Threw on my iPod and listened to some music followed by watching some Family Guy DVD episodes on my computer. When we get to Hagerstown, the hotel wasn’t too bad, but not the best we’ve ever stayed at considering it didn’t have any Internet access. But on the plus side, there was a restaurant called Barefoot Bob’s or something like that. Great food, bar hours, sports on TV. Can’t complain. We get to the field not expecting much from what I had heard prior to getting there. It sure filled my expectations. Hagerstown’s facility has the potential to be one of the worst in the South Atlantic League. And from what I’ve heard, it is. Small, cramped clubhouse. If you are building a minor league stadium take note: Huge couches in a small clubhouse are not the smartest idea. The field, though…wow. It looked like a weak Division III baseball field. Left field was about 425 feet and the outfield fence just went straight across to right field that was about 320. The visiting bullpen was literally just a pitching rubber with a slight decline all the way to the plate (no real mound). The infield was as dead as grass gets and the outfield had more hills and slopes than a town with dreams of hosting the Winter Olympics. But we are professionals, so we don’t let it bother us too much. Amazingly, we leave Hagerstown with our first series, winning 2 of the 3 games.

Next is Delmarva. Going over the Bay Bridge across the Chesapeake is always fun on a bus. Unfortunately, it was night, so the guys who had never been to this area of the country couldn’t see how high up we were. As we pull into Delmarva at about 2 am, the first thing we smell is the same thing we could taste. Yea, that’s how bad it was. Dead fish and dirty ocean. But that’s Salisbury for you. As the sense got accustomed to that stench around the hotel, we noticed the hotel was less than average, but had an array of food opportunities within walking distance, including a Cold Stone Creamery! And this hotel had wireless Internet. A surprise to us all, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. As we get to the field, you can tell it’s a top tier facility. Great clubhouse, great field, nice bullpen, and a bad hitter’s eye in center field. That’s good for pitchers, not hitters. I pitch the second game of the series. Hitting just wasn’t there in game 1, so I was pretty confident it would be there for game 2. Nope. I left the game after 5 innings, allowing 1 run, but it wasn’t enough as we were down 1-0. We score 4 in the top of the 8th and they come right back to score 4 more in the bottom of the 8th. That doesn?t happen. When we score dour four I went to the clubhouse to get my post-game work done. Shoulder program with Thera-Bands, shower, change, come back out the tunnel to peek at the score. To my amazement, we were down 5-4. Nothing changed in the top of the 9th and we lose. Rough loss, and even though I threw well (finally) I still don’t feel good about the outcome. I want to win here! Not only in my starts, but every other game. I got a ring at Marietta, now I want some here. But it’s a long season. And a long ride home after the following game. 10 hours, but they give us a 10 am game to end the series so we got back around midnight instead of 10 am the following day.

In the meantime, we have a 13-game home stand. A nice, comforting, relaxing home stand. Game times change around, but it will be nice to spend the afternoons or evenings at home playing MLB 2K7 or watching movies. Maybe I’ll just sleep. My next outing will be tomorrow, Saturday, against Hagerstown. I’ll review the game ASAP.

-Mike

2 Comments

Hey Mike,

Good luck with the start of your professional career! I hope you will be the next in the line of “Etta Express” pitchers to make the show!

Ken Radie

class of 75

Two years ago when seeing the Captains in Hagestown the game was canceled because the water in the dugout was knee high.

When I go over the Bay Bridge my hands start to sweat. I use both hands on the wheel.

I’ll see the Captains in Delmarva first week of June. But I’ll be staying on the ocean 😉 Its a Nascar Captains road trip.

Good Luck!!

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