Pregame Meal: Thursday, July 4th
Mark Matt Appel (@mattappel)
Happy Independence Day, ‘Cats fans! Lots of excitement at the ballpark today, as we have our July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza after the game today, and a sellout crowd is expected as always. But also, we just happen to have the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft in the building, as Mark Appel arrived today for his introductory press conference. He will make his debut tomorrow.
-Jake Rodriguez, ValleyCats catcher, faced Appel twice this year and was 2-for-2 off of him. He said the key to hitting Appel is to do it early in the game, because once he settles in, there’s nothing you can do. Appel will be on a shortened pitch count tomorrow (Ed Romero guessed around 30), but we’ll see if that holds up in a smaller sample size.
-I got the chance to speak to Mark for a little bit before the game. Aside from talking about how many times we were referred to as “Apple” in our childhoods, I asked him about the pressures of being a #1 overall pick. He said he doesn’t quite ignore it, but he can’t read too much into it as well. More on Appel in tomorrow’s PGM.
-July 4th at The Joe as become a Capital Region tradition of sorts, as the ‘Cats have played every 4th since 2005 here at home. During that time, the ‘Cats are 6-2. The Spinners have twice been the victim of a July 4th loss at the hands of Tri-City, in 2005 and 2006. They will look to buck that trend tonight.
-Dan Gulbransen, not surprisingly was promoted before the series started. Good luck to Dan, who will take his talents, and .397 batting average, to Quad Cities.
-Batting Practice Hero: Chan Moon hit a bomb, and then followed it up with a beautiful running drag bunt down the first base line.