So last night I was able to make it to the Gwinnett Braves game against the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. Sorry I don't have pictures to post, mainly becasue I was sitting behind the homeplate screen, but here's a recap of all the fun.
Great night for a game, and only slightly muggy on the Norfolk waterfront. My wife couldn't get off from work early, so it was 7:00 when we got to the park for the 7:15 start. Our seats were in the second row, about midway between home plate and the Braves on-deck circle.
The game started with Jordan Schafer being called out on a check swing. This would be the beginning of the end for Schafer as he argued with the ump and continued while in the dugout, to the point the ump warned him during the next player's(Wes Timmons) at-bat. Logan was finally ejected after his third at-bat of the game. He had taken a called second strike, then lined out to short. While walking back to the dugout he again said something to the ump who immediately ejected him. Weapon-X and this ump had been at each other all night, so I was expecting him to get tossed, and really thouoght it was going to happen in his second at-bat. I can't really complain about the ump in all honesty, his strike zone seemed pretty consistant all night to me.
Brooks Conrad was on deck when the top of the first ended, played the field in the bottom of the first, then was pulled for JC Holt. After the game several of the Braves players said Conrad had gotten the call to join Atlanta in Washington for the weekend series. Good luck to Brooks. I just read that KJ has been put on the DL to make room for Brooks, so that solves that mystery.
About the third inning I wandered up to the concourse and found cbwilk. He's not hard to spot. He's a big bear looking motherfucker that all the players are asking to give their autographs to. We hung out for a bit, he filled me in on which gate the Braves would be leaving by, then I went back to my seat, all awash in the afterglow you get from meeting a legend like that.
The game was sort of a pitcher's duel, just not a great one. The Braves scored 1 run in the top of the second by stealing home on a double steal. The Braves didn't hit much off the Tides starter, but he wasn't throwing a ton of strikes either. Halama was dealing, sort of. He was really good through 5, and went 7, but I could tell he was winded. The Tides then got 2 runs off Huber in the 8th, and it was looking grim. But some clutch hitting in the 9th by JC Holt, Brandon Jones, Reid Gorecki, Brian Barton and Wes Timmons(and a clutch walk by Clint Sammons) enabled the Braves to put up 4 runs in the 9th and go back up by a run. Luis Valdez closed the game out for his 14th save on the season.
I was sitting with a Braves fan behind me(who was loving my Klesko jersey), and surrounded my a bunch of Phillies fans. Much shit was talked as the scores for last nights game scrolled across the scoreboard. Most of the Phillies fans were cool, smart and funny, and could take a joke. A couple were stupid drunk morons. The 2 stupid drunks left after one of them made some random comment about Atlanta to my wife and she verbally bitch-slapped him and pwned both his baseball intelligence and his fashion sense all in one sentence.
After the game I went down and hung out by the player's exit with cbwilk. He gave me a Brian Barton card which my wife got Brian to sign. I now have a ball with autographs from Jordan Schafer, Greg Norton, Brandon Jones, Clint Sammons, Wes Timmons, JC Holt, Luis Valdez, Tony Armas...hell I was getting everybody to sign it. Most of the guys were really great about signing stuff and would actually talk to you, which is always nice. Wes Timmons and Clint Sammons were really cool, Greg Norton was awesome, and Jordan Schafer is really nicer than I expected. I asked him about his wrist and he said it really wasn't getting any better, which is the same thing cbwilk said he told him when he asked him before the game. I have a feeling its one of those things that's going to bother him all year. Halama was kind of a tool, but I guess he feels like he belongs in Atlanta's rotation, you know, over Jurrjens, Lowe, Vazquez, KK, and Hanson.
Overall, the game was a blast, the players were great, and I got to meet the infamous cbwilk. I'm hoping to make the GBraves/Durham Bulls game on the 8th, and if I do I'll post another rambling mess like this. Maybe I can even meet the infamous royhobbs, who I hear will be there.