Pre-Game Meal – ‘Ship Edition: Game 2 (9/12/12)
by: Evan Valenti (@EvanValenti)
Welcome to “The Dutch”, home of the Hudson Valley Renegades! I don’t know about you guys, but between the last two games I think I have cut a few years off my life span. Talk about drama. Game three might have been the most incredible baseball game I have ever seen live. Four ties and five lead changes? That’s pure madness. And as for last night, what a way to shut down “The Joe” for the 2012 season (there will be other events held there, but that was the last ValleyCats game in Troy this year). Tri-City picked one heck of a night to register their first walk-off win.
But enough of that. Here are the tidbits from today:
1.) It has become glaringly evident that ‘Cats first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki is the unofficial captain of this team. Him and Stubby Clapp are attached at the hip. Clapp asked Wierzbicki yesterday whether the team should leave for Fishkill right after the game or wait until the next day. Without hesitation Jesse said the next day. It gave the ValleyCats a chance to sleep in their own beds. Jesse is one of the “veterans” on the team. This is his second year of professional baseball.
2.) For those of you that were not listening to the game or following our Twitter page (@ValleyCats), Vincent Velasquez made his first appearance in over a month last night and was sensational with the exception of one pitch. The second-round draft pick had a lively fastball (93-95 mph), which he kept down in the zone, a good change-up, and featured a sweeping slider. I asked a couple guys about the right-hander’s return. All responded with some form of: “It was great to see him out there battling again.”
3.) I asked a couple of guys over the past couple of days how they “enjoy” playing in cold weather. It has been chilly the past two nights from “The Joe”, with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees after the sun goes down. Elkins told me it’s frustrating because it could end up ruining the most important part of a baseball player’s body: the hands. Cold weather can numb your hands on the field, making it almost impossible to grip the baseball right. Plus, when you break your bat in the cold it sends a stinging jolt through both arms, and that feelings tends to linger for a while.
4.) I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Stubby Clapp’s son, Cooper!
Batting Practice Hero: Jesse Wierzbicki. He hit a 400+ ft. home run to dead center off Stubby. That’s impressive.
Pictured below: Last night’s hero, Preston Tucker.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup:
Sclafani – SS
Elkins – 2B
Tucker – RF
Wierzbicki – 1B
Heineman – C
Cokinos – DH
Gulbransen – LF
King – CF
Dineen – 3B
RHP – Aaron West
Oh, and one more thing…