Pregame Meal: Saturday, July 20th
By Matt Appel (@mattappel)
Happy Saturday ‘Cats fans! It’s undoubtedly my favorite night of the year at “The Joe,” Star Wars Night! Huge fan of Star Wars. Not at all afraid to admit it. The Hudson Valley Renegades are in town for three starting tonight, which could possibly be the best set of games this season
-For those who might not have been following the team last year, this is a re-match of the New York-Penn League championship series from last season. The ‘Gades took the last two after the ‘Cats took Game 1, and so ended the season for both teams. While only Ryan Dineen remains from last year’s team, this is still a rivalry that matches up the best two teams in the league, record-wise. Hudson Valley comes into tonight’s game at 19-13, first place in the McNamara Division.
-The ValleyCat bullpen was sensational last night after Kyle Westwood, who was solid in his own right, departed. Pat Christensen, Chris Cotton, and newcomer J.D. Osborne combined to throw five innings of relief. This pitching staff has been remarkable, really from the start of the season. They never seem to get blown out.
-Going back to Osborne: wow. How did this kid fall to the 36th round?? Granted, we’ve only seen him once, but a 93 mph slider and a devastating slider has lefty specialist written all over it. He struck out the side in the ninth inning last night, to record the save. He’s the fifth different pitcher to get a save this year for Tri-City.
-Spoke to Jake Rodriguez before today’s game after his go-ahead two-run homer in the 7th. Rodriguez is a guy who was drafted for his defense, but has shown strong signs with the bat as of late. I asked him if he could pick any pitcher in the history of baseball to catch, who would it be? His answer was Greg Maddux. Not a bad choice.
-Any person with a solid baseball background/common sense will tell you that winning series’ becomes easier when you win the first game. The ‘Cats are just 6-5 in series-openers, a trend they will try to improve upon tonight.