Saturday, August 3, 2019

Baseball Review //
Record Journal Expos vs. Ulbrich Steel
8/1/19 @ Maloney High School


Official box score here :::

https://hartfordtwilight.sportngin.com/game/show/25513997?subseason=564508&referrer=4591727

More photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

https://www.facebook.com/pg/raisedbycassettes/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2979721598736061


Originally, the Expos were to have their final game of the season on the road against People's United Bank.  But this game ended up taking the place of that game from last Tuesday when it was storming (I realize I said that in my last review but that game was a makeup from a different game) and it would at first become their final game not only at home but of the regular season.   Then, the game against People's on Wednesday got rained out, so once again, the Expos ended their season on the road.

This was their final home game of the season though and they were still playing the best record in the regular season.  If the Expos lost this game and their next game against People's (and the Orioles beat the Rainbow Graphics in both of those games) then they would have been tied with the best record.    So it's kind of funny, but after the Expos win on Tuesday they were going to win the league in Wethersfield, where People's plays, but instead that all important deciding game was here in Meriden.  (I just wish it was at Ceppa)

Now, I will admit that for this game I was slightly distracted.   Quentin was with me, so I was trying to make sure he was okay because earlier in the day he got four stitches in his chin.  Usually, I sit in one place and take photos while keeping my own version of score, but during this game I was walking around to take photos during different innings.   I will give you this warning now: My version of this game might not be accurate- because it does not match up with the official boxscore- but I still stand by it.

For this game the Expos were away even though they were in Meriden and Charlie Hesseltine was on the mound.   The Ulbrich Steel are a team that you can't really underestimate.   The Expos took a loss to the Orioles in a continuation game from the MS4MS series as well as another loss in a full game on Sunday night, but then Monday the Steel beat the Orioles.   I also feel like after the Expos the Steel are the team which I know the most about and like the most of their players.   Though, for reasons I do not know, Peter Barrows was not at this game and the Steel really could have used him.

The Steel put up a first run early, in the bottom of the first, but the Expos would respond with two runs of their own in the top of the 2nd.    There was some kind of drumcore going on near the school itself and it was a nice backbeat to the story unfolding on the field.   In the bottom of the third, the Steel scored two and were up 3-2 headed into the fourth.   The Expos had a three run fourth inning though and the Steel wouldn't score again until the end of the game. 

With the Expos up 5-3, they had a ten run top of the 5th.   We saw many things in this game, but a lot of them happened in this inning.   For example, many of the players batted twice just within this inning.    With the bases loaded, there was a walk which brought in a run.  A run scored on a wild pitch.   And then Kyle Hartenstein hit this bomb to center which looked like it would be caught but wasn't, so that brought in two more.    There weren't any Expos homeruns, but rather it was just a matter of hitting those key spots on the field where the ball would drop and moving the runners from base to base, one or two at a time.    This is the type of hitting the Expos need to take into the playoffs.

By the end of this game, we saw Wes Ulbrich come in to pitch for the Steel and both Jonny Doyon and Jason Sullivan pitched for the Expos.    I had this game stopped after six innings, and if you add up the IP for the Expos this checks out, and I'm not sure if it didn't go seven because of the fact that it was getting dark or because they just didn't think the Steel would be able to come back as some sort of mercy rule.   There was however a three run homerun in the bottom of the sixth to give the Steel some hope, but alas, it was not enough.

The box score with runs doesn't show up on the official site yet, but I had my innings like this:

0 | 2 | 0 | 3 | 10 | 4
1 | 0 | 2 | 0 | 0 | 4

That's 19-7 by my count, but at the same time, it's not as important as the fact that the Expos have the best record in the GHTBL for this season.    It's funny, but every time I go look at the box scores for the Expos I scroll through all of their games and remember back to when this season started at Ceppa Field against the Steel and I was there.    I've seen the Expos a total of fourteen times this season (they've played a total of 24 games) and that's almost half of the total baseball games I've been to this year. 

While the Expos had this winning season where they just felt untouchable in many ways, I still feel like this season was something bigger than that.  I wouldn't have stopped going to the games after three or five losses because to me it's always just been about seeing baseball, win or lose.   There were quite a few people at this game, but I hope that by next season more people will realize how great this baseball experience is and it's free.   But before that, we still have the playoffs.

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