Baseball Review //
Hartford Colts, 7
Wallingford Cardinals, 3
June 1st, 2022
Pat Wall Field, Wallingford, CT

Official box score here :::

Photos can be found here :::

What makes the Hartford Colts vs Wallingford Cardinals such an intriguing match up is that both of these teams are fairly new to the league and both feature former Ulbrich Steel players.   The Wallingford Cardinals- brand new for this season- went into this game 0-2 with losses to the Expos on their Opening Day and then the Orioles after that in the Cardinals' home opener.  The Expos and Orioles are generally considered to be amongst the top teams though, so having those losses isn't really a cause for alarm.   This felt like it made this game that much more interesting because it could be for eithet team to win.

The Hartford Colts are a somewhat new team and they went into this game 1-1, with a huge victory over the Greeners and a loss to the Champion Jets.  While the Cardinals were looking for that first win, the Colts were looking to stay above .500 and not end up with more losses than wins after this game.   And rightfully so, both teams really toughed it out, neither wanting to go onto that side of losing which ultimately one of them would have to face.    Sometimes you go into a game where one team is favored over another but this really felt like a game either team could win, and it stayed that way right up until the seventh inning.

Both the top and bottom half of the first inning went 1-2-3.   The second inning was when the Colts got on top and that was where they would stay.   A series of singles drove in two runs, the second run not even being contested at the plate when there was a chance that the Cardinals could've had a play.   That very well might have been the key moment of the game, where the Cotls went up 2-0 and stayed ahead of the Cardinals until the very end.   The Cardinals scored a run of their own to answer back in the bottom of the second and make it 2-1, but then a runner was caught stealing with only one out which makes you wonder why they're taking such chances in a close game.  

In the top of the third inning with runners on first and third, a run scored for the Colts on a balk.   A huge double in the bottom of the third scored another run for the Cardinals, keeping the game close at 3-2.   By the third inning or so the rain had come in.  It started off just a little bit where I could see some droplets, but eventually it opened up for an inning or two where it was coming down steadily.  It wasn't that heavy, as other fans went under umbrellas or took cover somwhere, but I stayed in it and so did the players and umpires.  It's not quite warm enough yet into summer where the rain felt refreshing, but it also isn't cold enough to where I had to hide from it.  I was most concerned about the handling of the ball.

The fourth inning went by without any runs scored but then in the top of the 5th the Colts went up 4-2 as a runner was able to score on a wild pitch.  This game was a lot about putting the ball into play, getting those hits and moving the runners to score.  There also were a few errors (throws and pitches made that didn't connect) that helped, but this game remained close throughout and up until the end it was either team's game to win.   In the bottom of the fifth the Colts got out of trouble with a double play followed by a pop up to first.  In the bottom of the sixth the Cards would double then a single would bring in a run, leaving it 4-3 with one inning left to play.  There was a very strong chance here that if the Colts didn't add some insurance runs the Cardinals could be motivated to walk it off.  

This game started in somewhat overcast weather and even though it rained a bit and then the rain stopped, this was one of those games where you had to watch until the end to see who won.  In the top of the seventh inning, the Colts got runners on first and second but they eventually did a double steal to advance.  This wouldn't really matter as the Cardinals changed pitchers and then a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases.  A huge single past first base scores two runs for the Colts and it was just what they needed to win this game.  A pitch got by the catcher for a third and final run to score, making this game 7-3.   The fact that the Cardinals put up three runs all game seemed to infer that they wouldn't be able to put up three or more in one inning and that was all they had left.   A huge double play and then a slow rolling groundout to first ended the game and secured the Colts' win.

There are several factors to consider why this game went the way that it did.  First off, if the Colts did not put up those three runs in the top of the seventh and this was a different team, the Cardinals could have easily tied it or even walked it off and got the win.   It really felt like the pitching by Alex Koletar for the Cardinals kept this game within reach for them the entire time.  And yet the complete game pitched by Matt Goldman was what also helped the Colts get the win here.    That pitching combined with the offense is what is needed to win games.  Both of these teams had it going on this night, but the Colts just had it going a little bit better.   Perhaps if Matt Goldman isn't pitching the Cardinals would've had a win, but that's how the game is.

Coming out of this game, the Hartford Colts improve to 2-1 and have People's and the Orioles on deck to face.   This is going to be an interesting next few games for the Colts because if they can defeat the Orioles, and hand them their first loss, they'll be right up there in the top of the league.   At the same time, the Cardinals are up against People's, the Graphics and the Expos again.  This might be a tough week coming for them, as they have their work cut out for them, but one of these games might be their chance to get their first win.   People's are the interesting team coming out of this game because thus far they have only played once and it was a loss so what fate awaits them against both the Colts and Cardinals is going to interesting to see.  


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