Baseball Review //
M&T People's, 2
Rainbow Graphics, 5
July 10th, 2022
Mount Nebo Park, Manchester, CT

Official Box Score here :::

Additional photos here :::

This game started at 5pm and ended just after 6:30, just to give you an idea of how both of these pitchers were dealing.    The fun thing about this game is that going into it both People's and the Graphics were around the same record and fighting for that fourth place spot.   So aside from the Jets, Expos and Orioles fighting in the Top 3, this is the battle right under that as these are the next two best teams in the GHTBL.   This game just felt so evenly matched as well- on paper- because each of these teams just feel like wild cards in the sense that you can't always predict that they will win but they don't always lose either.  

M&T People's would strike first in this game as right off the bat in the first inning, with two outs, Brendan Lynch would hit a home run out into center field.   This put People's up 1-0 early on but in the bottom of the second inning Bryan Rodriguez came home after an RBI single and then Austin Martin drove in another run with runners on second and third to give the Graphics a 2-1 lead.  This didn't feel like it was impossible to come back from though and this game always felt like it was within reach for both teams, even though it was so fast paced and there wasn't a lot of offense overall by either team.

In the top of the fourth inning the tying run scored for People's as a ball dropped right behind second base and a number of Rainbow Graphics players just kind of watched it.    Rainbow Graphics started this season winning (surprisingly) and then they've dropped off a little bit, but these are the type of fundamental errors that you'd see the Graphics make in seasons past when they were in last place.   The Graphics' right fielder made a spectacular diving catch later in the game and it didn't feel like the same team.

The bottom of the fourth inning would see the Graphics put up two more runs.  After a HBP, a run was scored via a double when there was a bad throw to home.  Had that throw been on target it might have very well gotten the runner and left the game tied.  A sac fly by Austin Martin brought in the second run of the inning and the Graphics felt more comfortable sitting on top of a 4-2 lead now.  

I wasn't the only one confused in the bottom of the fifth inning when Travis Salois singled in the fifth and final Graphics run of the game.   It went to the People's right fielder and I thought it was caught.  There seemed to be some confusion by coaches and players alike, as it looked to have been caught and an out but instead it was somehow not caught and ruled a single and the run scored.    These are the types of plays which could unfairly determine a different game, but it didn't end up having an affect overall on this game.

The good news/bad news (Good news for the Graphics, bad news for their opponents) coming out of this game is that the Graphics seem to have found a solid starting pitcher in Ryan Skaff, who just had such a great game here tonight.  On top of that, the bat of Travis Salois proved to be effective and that offense just shined when it needed to.   With the likes of Evan Chamberlain, Tyler Repoli, Eric Brainard and Max Adams (who was absent from this game), the Rainbow Graphics could be putting together a solid team this season that by the playoffs might take some people by surprise.

At the same time, Brendan Lynch just seems to be a consistent bat for M&T People's but overall their team seems to feel like it has two faces.  Either you're going to see this offense that just can't be stopped and pitching which will shut you down (Which I saw earlier this season against the Colts) or you're going to see pitching which will give up runs and offense that feels competitive but not winning (such as when I saw them earlier this season against the Cardinals)   Still, it feels like either of these teams is capable of pulling off that win or loss at any time and you can't really know before the game starts.

M&T People's are going to Ceppa Field in Meriden on Tuesday, where they last met and defeated the Record-Journal Expos.    People's then also returns home on Thursday night to welcome the Phillies, who have been having a rough season, so even if People's isn't able to beat the Expos again they should be able to defeat the Phillies on Thursday night.

Rainbow Graphics don't play again until Thursday when they go to Vernon to take on the Orioles, which will be an interesting match up as they are now both sitting next to each other in the standings.  In some ways, the Graphics getting a win here could see them push into third place and send the Orioles down to fourth.   The Graphics will also meet the Colts on Friday at Northwest Park and as much as the Graphics feel like they're trying to bring down the Orioles, the Colts must be trying to bring down the Graphics.  

With so much happening this week the standings could see some major changes by the end of it.   The Expos could move to first, the Orioles could move to fourth and the Colts could climb up as People's sink down.  There are really still a lot of wild card factors out there which makes this week that much more exciting.  


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