So the G-Braves were in Norfolk for a 4 game series last week, and due to some hinky circumstances, I only made it to 1 game. Un-freakin-acceptable. Gwinnett headed to Durham when they left Norfolk and the last game of the series was Monday with an 11am start time. 3 hours one-way in the car? No problem! I packed my camera and my trusty Klesko jersey and off I went.
First of all, I'd never been to a game at Durham before, but I'd heard good things about the park. What I hadn't heard was how tough it was to find when you don't know your way around Durham to start with. I still managed to get there, get parked, and make it to the gates by they time they opened at 10. Lucky me, it was "Education Day", which meant there were about 5000 kids at the game on field trips. Of course, all the kids had upper level seats, and I had cherry picked a seat right behind the Gwinnett dugout, so how bad could it be?
Wow, that looks familiar! I think it was in a movie, "Major League", or maybe even "A League of Their Own"? Oh well, I'm sure somebody will remember.
I missed getting some great pictures of Todd Redmond and Clint Sammons dancing to "Party in the USA" because I was hanging by the end of the dugout talking to the game's starting battery of Ryne Reynoso and JC Boscan before they ran out to start their warmups. I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for missing those shots, but I was getting a ton of street cred with all the kiddies that were being forced to stay in their seats by their teachers because I was talking to the players. After last weeks game at Norfolk I had sent Cory Gearrin a bunch of pictures of him pitching, and he stopped to talk to me about them on his way out to the bullpen. After that a kid escaped from his teacher and ran up to me, asking me to sign his copy of "Four-A", because he just knew I had to be the famous CB Wilkins if players would stop to talk to me.
This was the "View From Your Seat" picture I submitted, but Gondee was too drunk to post. Top of the first, Matt Young leading off.
Ryne Reynoso was dealing early on.
Freddie Freeman crushes a 2 run homer to left center field in the top of the third. Hey Troy, you hearing footsteps coming up behind you yet?
Reynoso was pulled after going 4.2 innings. He was less than pleased. Mike Dunn relieved him.
Dunn was effective as hell. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to see him up in Atlanta.
Craig Kimbrel ended up getting the 4 out save. He was absolutely filthy. His fastball was hitting 96 and 97 and making Durham hitters look like little leaguers.
Middle of the ninth and Brandon Hicks doesn't look concerned about the Durham hitters coming up.
2 outs in the 9th of a one run ballgame, and this is the look on Wes Timmons face. That smirk just screams "You can't hit that!" to me.
Some more random shots.
This one's fo' tha ladies! Freddie's backside!
Freddie and Barbaro talkin' shop.
Barbaro in the on-deck circle
Cory Gearrin protecting Clint Sammons. The warm-up area for relief pitchers is about 15 feet from the foul line at DBAP, so somebody has to watch out for the bullpen catcher during play.
Sorry guys, but there were exactly 2 decent looking females in the entire park that I saw, and I wasn't able to get a shot of them.
The color on the picture came out a little weird, but this is Gregor Blanco staring those 2 girls down. A few seconds later he may have injured Todd Redmond by punching him in the arm to get him to look.
I had to get back headed home when the game was over, so I didn't hang out afterward like I normally do at Harbor Park, but I left Durham a happy Braves fan. DBAP is a neat place to watch a game, and I'd love to make it back some other time when the Braves are playing there.
If you're interested in more pictures, and I doubt you are by this point, the entire album of around 350 pictures can be found right here. Be warned, I tend to take a lot of series shots, like of the ones of Kimbrel, Dunn and Reynoso above, and it do it with batters too, so some of the shots get a little redundant.