In the throes of last year’s lockdown, one day shy of exactly one year ago, we talked about the ways we’d missed taking in a game. Atop my list was the short-notice random midweek evening, and after using an open night to take in the Nashville Sounds-Gwinnett Stripers game on Wednesday I’m pleased to report it’s as good as I remember.
After one week of reduced-capacity attendance, Nashville removed the restrictions, save four social-distanced sections in the park. But the nice thing about midweek Triple-A ball is that 100 percent capacity on a Wednesday looks a lot like 40 percent limit the Sounds had established during the first week.
It’s about a 10-minute drive to the ballpark, and takes less than 10 additional minutes to park, walk and get through the gates. I had a couple beers and a pork sandwich, watched a top-30 prospect have a big night (the Braves’ Drew Waters), and saw a few old friends (Yolmer Sánchez, Ryan Goins, Jonathan Lucroy). The relaxed nature of it all is why I’m ambivalent about Nashville being considered a potential expansion market. The availability of low-key-but-good baseball is one of the sport’s strengths, and it’s nice to take the game up on that.
Durham 5, Charlotte 4 (10 innings)
- Luis González singled twice, walked once and struck out twice.
- Blake Rutherford went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Jake Burger looked overmatched for the first time, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
- Gavin Sheets wasn’t much better: 0-for-5 with three strikeotus.
- Brian Goodwin walked twice and struck out twice.
*The Knights struck out 19 times over 10 innings.
*Cohoes’ Zack Remillard was promoted to Charlotte for the first time, taking the roster spot of Joel Booker. He opened the season by hitting .295/.458/.455 with nine walks against seven strikeouts for Birmingham. It seems like a rather fluky sample for a 27-year-old whom the White Sox used to plug roster holes between Kannapolis and Birmingham over the last three full seasons, but this is coming after a spring in big-league camp where he appeared in a team-high 25 games and posted a .435 OBP over 23 plate appearances. He’s always been on my radar due to Capital Region reasons, but maybe give him a faint blip on yours.
Montgomery 16, Birmingham 4
- Ti’Quan Forbes went 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Micker Adolfo’s numbers are surging: 2-for-3 with a homer and an HBP.
- Carlos Pérez was 1-for-4.
- Kade McClure gave up seven in the second: 1.1 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HR
*Adolfo has avoided striking out in three consecutive games, over which he has reached base eight times. His line of .255/.327/.532 is close to where you want him.
Jersey Shore 4, Winston-Salem 1
- Lenyn Sosa went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Yolbert Sanchez, 0-for-3 with a walk and a K.
- Luis Curbelo went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Duke Ellis had the Dash’s other hit, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a K.
- Luis Mieses wore the golden sombrero.
- Harvin Mendoza was 0-for-2 with a sac fly.
- Jason Bilous: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
*Bilous now 26 strikeouts against two walks this year, an impressive ratio considering he hadn’t even achieved 2:1 at any level.
Columbia 8, Kannapolis 2
- James Beard was 1-for-3 with an HBP.
- Lency Delgado, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- José Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a K.
- Bryan Ramos doubled, walked, got plunked and struck out.
- DJ Gladney went 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.
- Benyamin Bailey hiked his average over .100 by singling twice, striking out in his two other plate appearances.
- Matthew Thompson: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Can’t believe you can lose to a team called The Jersey Shore.
Is there something different about the major league ball or do our pitchers just suck? Nowadays its normal for there to be more strikeouts than hits for pitchers in MLB but in MiLB it seems the other way around.
Where has Bryce Bush been? Looks like he hasn’t played for W-S in about a week. Injury? I’m pretty interested in watching him and Gladney develop. Bush is from very close to where I live, and Gladney went to my Dad’s high school.
Seems like an injury, but he also hasn’t hit the IL yet. With bigger rosters, I wonder if there are going to be more in-limbo cases like these.
Birmingham? Royal Oak?
Close. Just north of there near the Troy-Rochester Hills-Bloomfield-Auburn Hills four corners.