Saturday, July 23, 2022

Baseball Review //
Record-Journal Expos, 8
Wallingford Cardinals, 0
July 22nd, 2022
Pat Wall Field, Wallingford, CT
GHTBL


Official Box Score :::

https://www.ghtbl.org/event/expos-cardinals/


Additional Photos :::

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=raisedbycassettes&set=a.7833502796691226


We're in the midst of a heatwave but baseball continues.   This game started at 7:00pm and when we got there we felt a cool breeze.  It was a little bit cloudy and we even felt a few rain drops, so overall it wasn't as hot outside as I thought it was going to feel like.  It may also help that we're on the tail end of this heatwave.

The Cardinals and Expos have met twice before during the regular season and the Expos were going into this game 2-0.   The Cardinals have also been involved in a battle for seventh place with the Greeners and Colts while the Expos have been battling the Jets and Orioles for first place.   So this was a matter of a top team taking on a bottom team.

Right away, the Expos came out swinging and put two runs up in the first inning.   Kyle Hartenstein singled, Jason Sullivan doubled to make it first and third and then Jack Rich flew out to right field but both of the runners on base scored.  

In the top of the third inning, Kyle Hartenstein was once again on base and stole all the way to third.  Jason Sullivan hit a beautiful shot near second base that Sam DeMaio jumped to catch in what was just one of those plays not every player is making.  

Jack Rich would do the sacrifice again, grounding out to first but allowing Kyle Hartenstein to score.   Jonny Walter would then single to make it first and third, which would help Shaun Remillard to come home on a wild pitch.   After three innings, the Expos were up 4-0.

During this game, Jeff Massicotte was pitching for the Expos and he was just doing a tremendous job.   When balls were hit, they rarely left the infield and there was a lot of grounding out to first base.  But the Cardinals just weren't clicking with the bats tonight and their offense really felt like it was shut down.

To their credit, Noah Kleczkowski did pitch well for the Cardinals.  There weren't a lot of errors or other reasons why the Expos scored so much-- the Expos just had the offense and were able to hit the ball through the gap and at places where it made it difficult to field in time to make a play.   Yes, there were a few throws that went by the intended fielder (a missed throw to first, for example) but that just happens from time to time.

At one point during the game, there was a hit to shallow left and Justin Marks thought it would for sure be caught but it ended up dropping.   Someone near me yelled loudly something like "C'mon, get it together!" and when it's a matter of adjusting from the lights and all that, I mean, yelling from the stands isn't really helping, is it?

The fourth inning saw three more runs for the Expos.  Nhasean Murphy singled onto first but managed to steal all the way to third and then come home on  wild pitch!  Sebby Grignano got HBP then stole his way to third.  If there is a stat out there for most HBPs this season, Sebby Grignano might have it.

Jason Sullivan walked, making it first and third, and Jack Rich would single in Sebby Grignano, giving Jack Rich a lot of the RBIs in this game.  Shaun Remillard singled in Jason Sullivan for the third and final run of the inning, putting the Expos up 7-0.   In the top of the sixth inning, Kyle Hartenstein singled in Sebby Grignano for the final run of the game.

What the Expos showed in this game was how hitting can lead to moving the runners.  They often got a runner on first with a hit, then that runner would steal to second or third and on another hit they'd be home.   This is the type of offense that can be dangerous because it's not about power hitting and everyone felt like they were contributing so it isn't something where you can just walk that one good batter.

This loss set the Cardinals two games behind the Greeners and with there being only three games left in the season it feels like they'll be battling for that wild card spot.  The Cardinals travel to Nevers Park on Sunday to take on the Phillies, they meet the Graphics at Northwest Park on Wednesday and finish out their season August 3rd against the other birds, the Orioles.  

The Expos have six games left in the regular season and the action begins on Tuesday at Ceppa Field against the Phillies.  The Expos also meet the Graphics, Colts and Greeners next week.  They then play People's twice before the season ends.  The Expos do not face any of their direct foes (the Orioles and Jets) again in regular season.

Next week there are still some matches out there where a team like the Colts could upset the Orioles or People's could upset the Jets.   It's all winding down into the playoffs though and next week is the final full week for regular season.  

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