Baseball Review //
Bristol Greeners, 1
Record-Journal Expos, 9
June 24th, 2022
Ceppa Field, Meriden, CT

Official box score here :::

Additional photos :::

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later and for the first time this season I was to see the Bristol Greeners.   I wouldn't feel so bad about seeing the Bristol Greeners if they weren't 1-9, but they had last year to get it together (and they've been a team for longer than that) but maybe they're just not on the GHTBL level.  At least with the Wallingford Cardinals it's their first year so they're still working things out.  But the Greeners are back and right back to the bottom.  At what point do you say "I don't want to lose anymore?"

Jack Rich was on the mound for the Record-Journal Expos.   Jack Rich has pitched a few times before for the Expos, but not yet this season, and it makes me wonder when the last time he pitched was and how well this was going to go.   But the game opened up quickly with a strikeout and that set the tone for the rest of it.    Jack Rich was there not only to pitch but also to make a statement.

In the bottom of the second inning, Justin Marks hit a deep sac fly out to right field to bring in AJ Hendrickson as the first run of the game.   Being up 1-0, this game still felt close and I wasn't sure exactly what the Greeners were going to do to lose it.  There was a time (though not so much now) when the Rainbow Graphics were just known for making defensive errors and the Greeners seemed to have that together, mostly, so it was odd watching them play the way that a good team would and knowing that they had such a poor record.

The third inning is what we like to call foreshadowing.   AJ Hendrickson was HBP and that loaded the bases after the two previous batters were walked on.   Nothing came of this, but it showed that the Greeners' pitcher was starting to lose it and soon the runs would open up.  In the fourth inning for the Expos, they did exactly that.  Charlie Hesseltine, who was playing left field, hit a scorcher down the right side to bring in the first run of the inning.  Jeff Papciak hit a sac fly to bring in the second run of the inning but the Expos weren't done yet.

Javon Malone hit a triple to score two more runs and the Expos had four runs in the fourth.  Here are the little things in baseball which you have to watch but also sometimes don't matter.  When this triple was hit, the Greeners instinct was to throw to home for a potential play at the plate.   This play at the plate wasn't even close, but as Javon Malone was on second, he noticed that all of the focus was on home so he went to third.   Had the Greeners just thrown to second or third this might have only been a double.  

This is a moot point in this particular instance though because superstar pitcher and hitter AJ Hendrickson would absolutely crush a three run homerun to center to make it a seven run inning and show exactly how good the Expos are.   Sometimes you just need these innings that are bursts of offense and then make it so that the other team cannot score more runs than you have.   The Expos have been doing really well with this during the course of this season and it helps that they have pitchers who rake.

Not to be completely outdone, in the bottom of the fifth inning Justin Marks hit a solo homerun to the right side.   It's kind of scary (for other teams) when you think about how the best hitters on the Expos might be their pitchers, but at the same time, literally anyone on this team has that risk when they're at the plate of just hitting that shot which breaks the game wide open.  Teams might stop pitching to certain Expos (they walked Jack Rich tonight) but you can't walk everyone and that's what makes this Expos team so dangerous.

In the top of the sixth the Greeners managed to score a run after a double but bad baserunning causes the inning to end for them.   I'm not sure what they were thinking but it looked like a runner on first was trying to go to second but not very fast and while being greeted by a player with the ball for the obvious tag.   It was just one of those things where it felt like the Greeners were falling apart, down right runs and trying for a come back but just going in the other direction.

This win pushed the Expos closer in the battle for first place.   They are now 7-2, behind only the 8-2 Jets and 9-2 Orioles.   Some teams have played more games, but all three teams only have two losses.   Behind them are People's- who seem to have turned their season around- at 4-4 and the Colts who are 5-5.  

Sunday night the Expos travel to South Windsor to face the struggling Phillies (3-5).  The Expos also meet the Greeners once again on Monday at Muzzy Field.   M&T People's comes to Ceppa Field on Tuesday night to take on the Expos, while the Expos go across town on Wednesday night to Pat Wall Field to face the Cardinals once again.  The Phillies might be hungry for a win and People's might be a surprise, but if the Expos keep playing the way they have been this will certainly be a fun upcoming week of games for them.


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