Double-A Pedro (8-5-09)

1a - RBBSL Logo.jpgMy company has a softball team in the soon-to-be world famous Reading-Berks Business Softball League (RBBSL).  Sadly, we were eliminated from playoff contention a couple weeks back after a tough loss to the squad from EnerSys.  Last Monday, we assembled at Cacoosing Meadows for our final game of the season, another tough battle against the accountants of Reinsel Kuntz Lesher.  On the field next to us, it was a battle between EnerSys and the Reading Phillies (their front office).  As rec. league softball goes, it was huge game — the R-Phils won 10-9 and punched their ticket to the post-season while sending EnerSys home for a long winter.

After the game, I was chatting with my buddy from the R-Phils and he informed me that the R-Phils had just announced some big news…

1- Pedro on RPhils.jpg

…Pedro Martinez would be making a rehab start for the R-Phils on Wednesday, August 5th. 

Baseballtown was a buzz.  A future hall of famer was about to grace the mound at FirstEnergy Stadium.  I was in the middle of a ridiculously busy week at work.  But I decided I’d take a short break on Wednesday night so Tim and I could check out Pedro on his comeback trail.

2a - zagurski_mike.jpgBy the way, do you see the guy pictured just below Pedro on the R-Phils website?  That’s Mike Zagurski.   He’s had a cup of coffee in Philadelphia and boasts a spotless MLB record of 1-0.  A couple weeks back, my softball team faced off against the R-Phils on the night of the MLB All-Star game.  It was also MiLB All-Star break so Zagurski and a couple other professional R-Phils players came out to Cacoosing Meadows to cheer on their softball team….and to heckle mine.   Well, mostly, I think they were there to heckle us.  And they heckled us, and heckled us…and then they heckled us some more.  Ultimately, we lost the game by one run.  But the silver lining is that I can now say I’ve been heckled by someone who has pitched in the major leagues.  Not too shabby.


2 - Baseballtown Sells Out.JPGAfter our softball game, I ordered a ticket to the game online.  Entry was free for Tim (0-4 is free at the R-Phils).  It was a good thing I ordered it online because, for the first time in team history (or so I’m told) the R-Phils completely sold out.  As the sign says, they even sold out of standing room only tickets.

We actually got lucky, on the way home from work to get ready to head to the game, my buddy called and said he had four extra tickets.  Someone had given them to him, but he already had tickets.  He ended up giving them to us so we’d have reserved seats and wouldn’t have to battle the crowd for General Admission seats or standing room.  It was defintely a good thing, because check out how crowded it was at the game…

6 - packed house.JPG…see how people are using the stairs down into the LF homerun trough as standing room to watch the game?  Crazy.  It was packed!

As we arrived, they were announcing the starting line-ups.

“And pitching for your Reading Phillies, warming up in the bullpen, Pedro Martinez.”

3 - pitching for the r-phils.JPG

We headed straight to the bullpen, and got there in time to watch about two pitches before Pedro was officially “warm.”  So we walked back toward the grand stand with Pedro, his catcher and pitching coach Steve Schrenk walking right down the foul line along with us.

4 - and warming up in the bullpen.JPG

Notice that Pedro is wearing No. 41 rather than his usual No. 45.  In that last photo, Schrenk’s pullover is covering up Pedro’s number.  Based on a close analysis and comparison of Schrenk’s and Pedro’s career numbers, it probably wouldn’t have killed Schrenk to give up No. 45 for a night.  Although, it obviously didn’t kill Pedro to give No. 41 a test drive.

The R-Phils took the field and Pedro did some more warming up:

5 - warm ups on mound.JPG

And then it was time, Austin Krum stood in and Pedro delivered his first pitch in Double-A baseball since he was a 19 year old kid in 1991 pitching for the San Antonio Missions in the Texas League:

8 - 1st AA pitch since 1991.JPG

The At-Bat would not go well for Krum.

However, things would go much better for Edwin Nunez in the first inning:

9a - Edwin Nunez HR.JPG

Nunez hit a bomb that landed inside that yellow circle up there.

The rest of the inning went much better for Pedro:

  • K – Austin Krum
  • K – Reegie Corona
  • HR – Edwin Nunez
  • K – Chris Malec

 Totals:  3 Strike Outs, 1 Hit

All the while, Tim was enjoying a chocolate ice cream helmet with sprinkles:

8a - tim and ice cream.JPG

By the way, here was our view:

9 - rphils pedro panaramic.jpgNext, the R-Phils came to the plate.  Did you pay attention to the Phillies-Blue Jays Roy Halladay trade talks?  One name you might have heard tossed around was Dominic Brown.  Well, in the bottom of the first, Brown absolutely crushed a ball to tie the score up at 1-1:

10 - dominic brown gonzo.jpgBrown’s HR exited the stadium and landed out on Route 61. 

Building on his early total of three strike outs, Pedro kept dealing in the top of the second:

10 a - rphils pedro LF trough panaramic.jpgTop of the second:

  • K – P. J. Pilittere
  • K – Richie Robnett
  • ground out – Edwar Gonzalez

Totals:  5 Strike Outs, 1 Hit

Between innings, the R-Phils kept us entertained with the antics of the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor:

11 - crazy hotdog vendor.jpg

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor throws hot dogs into the stands much to the delight of the fans.  However, on this day, thrown hot dogs were not enough to satisfy the capacity crowd.  We wanted more Pedro.  And in the top of the third, he delivered again:

12 - pedro motion.jpg

Top of the third results:

  • K – James Cooper
  • K – Marcos Vechionacci
  • ground out – Austin Krum (Pedro hustles over and covers first)

 Totals:  7 Strike Outs, 1 Hit

In the bottom of the third, it was D-Bro time again — and he delivered again…

14 - dominic brown strokes a double.jpg

…not a home run this time…

15 - dominic brown double.jpg

…a solid double.  This guy is looking good.

Tim was pretty excited for two reasons…

16 - no foul balls.JPG

1) he had his glove and he was ready to catch a foul ball — but none came anywhere near us, and…

17 - roast beef.JPG

2) Our Arby’s Roast Beef batter was at the plate.  If Brian Stavisky could hit in D-Bro from second base, we’d all win free roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s — unfortunately, Stavisky didn’t come through for us.

After someone else did Stavisky’s job (no free roast beef for us), Pedro was back to the mound in the top of the fourth.

By the way, ever heard of Reegie Corona?  He plays for the Trenton Thunder.  However, last February-March, as a result of the Rule 5 draft, he played for our Seattle Mariners.  I never saw him bat on TV during the spring, so I didn’t know about his crazy wide stance.  Check it out:

13 - reegie corona.JPG

…but the important thing is that Pedro had his payback on his Double-A arch nemisis, Edwin Nunez:

19 - strike three.jpg

“Strike Three!”

Top of the fourth results:

  • K – Reegie Corona
  • K – Edwin Nunez
  • single – Chris Malec
  • ground out to S.S. – P. J. Pilittere

Totals:  9 Strike Outs, 2 Hit

After the top of the fourth, something funny happened that I thought was noteworthy.  After the ground out to end the inning, Stavisky (the R-Phils first basemen) rolled the ball back to the pitcher’s mound.  Third basemen Neil Sellers ran by the ball to the dugout.  Then, he turned around and back to the mound and grabbed the ball.  I was watching him and I figured he wanted the ball to keep as a keepsake from his game backing up Pedro Martinez.  But he went and grabbed the ball and threw it to a fan above the dugout.  I thought that was pretty cool.  He knew someone would want that Pedro-pitched ball.

Anyway, I took one last picture of the field, it was a beautiful night for baseball…

18 - nice evening.JPG

…but, as I said, I was crazy busy at work this week.  So we cut our night short after four innings so I could go home and work, work, work.   But it was an excellent four innings of getting to see Pedro pitch some minor league ball.  And the R-Phils did an excellent job playing host to a huge crowd for the night.

Pedro ended up having two more strike outs over two more innings.  He gave up a couple more tuns, one of which was unearned.  We’ll see how he holds up when he makes it to Philadelphia.  I was watching the gun throughout the night.  I saw one pitch clock in at 91 mph.  But he seemed to throw mostly curves and change ups that were in the 60s and 70s.  In fact, he had one curve that was 64 mph.

7 Comments

Great recap. Awesome photos. I’ll say to you what people sometimes say to me: I felt like I was there.

Now I just want to see Pedro get back to The Show.

Sounded Like You Had A Great Time!
I loved your pictures! Agree With Zack, Can’t Wait To See Pedro Back in Action.

Pretty sweet! After the two minor league games I’ve been to this year, I’m really interested in other people’s encounters. Altough I haven’t seen anyone to the caliber of Pedro, it makes me think who might be in the bigs in the future.
Brian
http://txbaseballfan.mlblogs.com

Hey, long time reader first time commenter. I was also at this game in Reading when Pedro was there. I never seen that stadium more packed. Did you go to the Phillies game on sunday? I thought I saw you on TV when they were showing the pregame show.

Great stuff – looked like another fun night at the park – can believe the details you provide. Between the pictures and details, I feel a little crowded too – Good to see Tim was set with his ice cream helmet – Hopefully you will also get to catch Pedro in action at Citizens Park – Todd

ZACK – thanks, man. Well, it looks like you’ll get your chance to see Pedro in the show tomorrow. If he stays in the rotation, you should be able to see him pitch live again in Philadelphia or Queens.

YANKEEKID – Thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

BRIAN – Yep, it was pretty sweet. Pedro is easily the biggest name I’ve ever seen in the minors. After him, its probably Melvin Mora and Jerry Hairston in the same game in 2003 between the Bowie Baysox and Harrisburg Senators. Both were on rehab assignments.

TOMMYD. – Hey, thanks for commenting. Indeed, that place was packed. Very cool for the R-Phils. We were at the Phillies game on Sunday. I should have a post for it tonight. Cool that you saw us on TV. One of my buddies called me during the game and told me he saw us on TV – I guess it was at the end of the pregame show? Anyone TIVO/DVR it? I’d love to see a screen shot!

HAWAII TODD – I don’t think we’ll catch Pedro in the Bigs. We don’t have any more Phillies games planned for the rest of the season, plus we don’t have much room to squeeze one in due to other games were attending — also, if we did have more time, I’d probably rather go to another stadium — like Camden Yards. So, Big League Pedro will have to wait until next season (assuming he’s still around). We actually saw him in the bigs last September up at Shea — he got the loss, Jamie Moyer got the win, good times.
-Todd

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