Being that Pawtucket is not that far from where I’m living right now, I decided I’d go down and catch the fourth game of a Bats series and see a handful of former and future Reds. Over the weekend, Louisville had won three games against the PawSox, so Monday night, the Bats were going for a sweep.
Our seats were actually great, even though we only bought them last week – the weeknight games don’t really sell out, unsurprisingly, but the stands were pretty full, for a Monday. We were sitting in the front row, little to the right of home plate – a Red Sox employee with a nice videocamera was sitting in our row, and there was an Angels scout sitting in the next section over.
My camera is not very nice, but we were pretty close – unfortunately, the netting got in the way of any really good shots. I was pretty grateful for the net by the end of the game – sitting right behind home plate is a good way to get scared.
Chad Reineke got the start. Although it’s clear that he’s not exactly a top prospect, he ended up with a pretty decent game in the end. He was helped out by some really excellent infield defense by Miguel Rojas. (Negron and Janish, at second and third respectively, were fine, but unremarkable. Paul didn’t throw anything in the dirt, so that’s good.)
That’s, of course, Corky Miller in the shot with him. Dioner Navarro was the catcher in this game, but Corky warmed up Reineke at the beginning of several innings, and looked like he was doing a little first base coaching as well.
It was pretty impressively faster when Christiani came in. Both Reineke and the PawSox starter Justin Germano (who has played for the Reds, and both in Japan and Korea) were throwing around 87, and Christiani came in touching 94 mph. The difference in the sound it made in the catcher’s mitt was palpable.
We also got to see some familiar faces, like Mr. Paul Janish, who reached when shortstop Pedro Ciriaco’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, but had an impressive fly ball that almost went over the left field fence, and would’ve bounced off it if not for a reasonably nice play by the outfielder. Also, Joey Gathright, who many people still remember as the fastest baseball player they’ve ever seen. We didn’t get to see Gathright on the basepaths, but he still looked very quick out in center field.
During the pitching changes, they started playing the Blue Jays/RedSox game on the video scoreboard – and the Bats infielders took a break to watch the game, as well.
Most of the offense actually came from the back end of the lineup, with Cody Puckett (who looked a little clumsy out in left field) and Felix Perez (who looked pretty good in right field) both hit home runs, and Perez added a double. In any case, it was a nice win for the Bats, who were down early in the game, and gave them an 8 game winning streak – extended to 9 games tonight.