Baseball Review //
South Windsor Phillies, 0
Record-Journal Expos, 7
May 31st, 2022
Ceppa Field, Meriden, CT

The official box score can be found here :::

Additional Photos can be found here :::

Exactly one week after their season opener, the Record-Journal Expos returned to Ceppa Field to take on the South Windsor Phillies and score seven runs again.   The Phillies and Expos have quite the rivalry going and so this was promising to be a stellar matchup.   Both teams have, in recent seasons, finished in first place even though the then champions would go on to become either the Orioles or Jets.    But there are teams who are at the top of the league, the middle of the league and the bottom of the league and the Expos and Phillies are both top of the league teams so them playing each other should make for exciting baseball.

The Expos scored five runs during the bottom of the second inning and it was a deficit from which the Phillies were unable to overcome.   A hit-by-pitch, two walks and then a run was walked in as well before AJ Hendrickson hit a deep shot to center field to clear the bases.  While it was nice to see that double drive in three runs, if it was just a little bit closer it would've gone over the fence (I thought it did at first) and been a grandslam.   In the bottom of the sixth inning, Hendrickson would do the same as he hit a long shot out to left to score two more runs.  Five of the seven runs in the game would be RBI's for AJ Hendrickson.

While this might not seem like a big deal because players can have big offensive nights, the fact is that AJ Hendrickson was also pitching the entire game and he managed to shut out the Phillies, barely giving up any hits.   There were only one or two occasions where it really felt like the Phillies might have a chance to score and then those opportunities quickly got shut down.   In many ways, it felt like AJ Hendrickson was doing everything in this game and that just feels even more surreal considering how he played last game, but this was definitely a team effort when you don't just consider the statistics of it all.

For one thing, the Expos have a new player in Javon Malone and he not only drove in a run but also had some defensive plays which would prove to be effective in the win.   Everyone really just seemed to step up offensively, taking the walk when they needed to, and going that extra mile defensively to make it so that the Phillies could not score.  In baseball, it can be frustrating at times when you feel like you have a strong offense and score 10 runs but then the other team scores 15 runs and beats you because you have a weak defense.  Or you have a strong defense but it doesn't matter if your offense can't score.  But right now, to start off this season with these first two games, everything is just clicking for the Expos and their offense and defense are both delivering the way they should.

But with this game it should also be noted that the Phillies might have lost but they didn't look that bad.   The second inning was really their biggest downfall and aside from that the combined pitching efforts of Noah Shaw and Connor Egan still left the Expos scoreless for five innings.   Offensively, the Phillies were missing Brody Labbe and Mike Lisinicchia, as well as Trevor Moulton as a pitcher, but these are just things which happen at the beginning of the season.  Jack Rich has yet to play for the Expos as he is off doing great things with the ECSU Baseball team.  

With only two games into the season for the Expos (and the most games being played is three) it might be a bit early to see this as being a runaway season for the Expos.  What the standings look like now- with the Expos, Jets and Orioles on top- might not be how it all plays out in the end.   But it is interesting to see that the new team of the Cardinals is 0-2 while the somewhat new team of the Greeners is 0-3.   Whether they can turn their seasons around or not remains to be seen but there is a lot of baseball to be played still so it's anybody's game.

While the Expos only had one game last week, they play three this week.  They go to Muzzy Field on Thursday night to take on the Greeners, who will be looking for their first win.  Then on Friday night they welcome the Jets to Ceppa Field, which will be a good matchup because they are the reigning and defending GHTBL Champions.   Baseball is one of those unpredictable sports though where it seems like the Greeners should be an easy win but they might not be.  I've seen it before where first place teams fall to last place teams (mostly the Mets in previous years) and it doesn't make sense but it happens.  

So even though it feels like Thursday should be an easy win and Friday will be more of a competitive game, anything can happen and you never really know until that game happens.  The historic Muzzy Field is a great place to watch baseball and these two games just feel like they're going to set an important tone for the rest of the season.    Either way, win or lose, it's a nice time of year to be outside watching baseball again.  


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