Pre-Game Meal – Playoff Edition: Game 2 (9/9/12)
by: Evan Valenti (@EvanValenti)
Afternoon folks! Welcome back to “The Joe” on this opening week of the NFL season. ValleyCats getting ready to take on Auburn Doubledays for game two of this best-of-three series. Here are the tidbits from today:
1.) The ValleyCats and Doubledays have faced off in the playoffs once before. In the 2006 opening-round series the ‘Cats swept Auburn by the scores of 1-0 and 4-3. Friday night marked the third one-run win for Tri-City against the now-Nationals affiliate.
2.) Shortstop Joe Sclafani has a mild ankle sprain on his left ankle. He sprained in during the five-hit game against the Hudson Valley Renegades on September 4. It doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much. He’s 2-9 with the mild sprain, including his first career home run as a professional. He put in multiple good rounds during today’s batting practice.
3.) Fatigue is starting to really take a toll on everyone, but the casual baseball fan wouln’t notice. Catfish Elkins explained to me that he’s not necessarily “tired”, but he says his bat speed has regressed just a hair.
4.) Dan Gulbransen loves to leave on a high note. Each batter gets three swings in the final round of batting practice. Gulbransen hit a solid line drive to the opposite field and immediately left the cage. Why? He believes that batting practice should end on a high note, and as soon as he puts a good swing on it he will call it a day.
Batting Practice Hero: How could it not be Dan Gulbransen? He did hit two line drive home runs, but that last swing was a thing of beauty. He left me wanting more. Kind of like some other guy I know. His name is George Castanza. Props if you get the reference.
Pictured below: Jarrod McKinney
Sclafani – SS
Elkins – 2B
Tucker – RF
Wierzbicki – 1B
Heineman – C
Cokinos – DH
Gulbransen – LF
Dineen – 3B
King – CF
RHP – Rodgers