Baseball Review //
South Windsor Phillies, 12 / 0
Wallingford Cardinals, 2 / 1
June 30th, 2022
Pat Wall Field, Wallingford, CT

Game 1 official box score :::

Game 2 official box score :::

Additional photos can be found here :::

This summer has been really nice for baseball so far (when it's not raining) because it's been in the 80's during the day but by the night it cools down.   For me this is just ideal baseball weather because it's neither too hot nor too cold.  So what better way to spend a Thursday night than watching a doubleheader between the South Windsor Phillies and Wallingford Cardinals at Pat Wall Field.   

One of the big differences between this doubleheader and the one the night before is that now the same two teams would be playing both games and there isn't a fresh team coming in for the second game.  I'd like to take a moment to just reflect on how big of a win that was last night for the Wallingford Cardinals as they had already played a game and managed to defeat a fresh team.  It seems like Rainbow Graphics should've had an advantage there but they did not.

Going into this game, the Wallingford Cardinals were 2-8 in 8th place while the South Windsor Phillies were 3-6 and sitting in 7th place right above them.   The fun thing about these two games was that if the Cardinals swept the Phillies they could've moved up to 7th place and pushed the Phillies down.   But, they split the doubleheader and remain in that race to finish in the middle.  For purposes of the playoffs though, I personally would want to finish the season in 4th or 5th place.

Not too much unlike the night before, the Phillies started the game off with bases loaded and then a huge double by Kezlin Douglas cleared them to put the Phillies up 3-0 right away.  Andre Jose was pitching really well for the Phillies and through the second, third and fourth innings Brendan O'Connell seemed to find his groove.  In the bottom of the second inning Alex Koletar hit a sac fly to score the first Cardinals run of the game and through four innings this game was a solid 3-1.

During the top of the fifth inning, the Phillies had runners on second and third with two outs.   A passed pitch brought in one run and then a double by Connor Egan drove in another run.  This put the Phillies up 5-1 and it felt like that was where they might stay.  In the bottom of the fifth there was a passed pitch that sent a runner for the Cardinals home but he was called out at the plate.   However, another passed pitch would bring home the second and final run of the game for the Cardinals.

In the top of the sixth with runners on first and third a single scores a run.  Runners on first and third again, another run scores on a passed pitch by the Cardinals.  A sac fly to center brings in the third run of the inning.  A double by Connor Egan in the top of the seventh helped him move to third on a passed pitch.  A single brought him home and then the Phillies would go on to score two more runs after that as well, ending the game 12-2.

Baseball is a tough game to play, both physically and mentally.  Sitting here, typing what I do is easy.   So to say that the idea of baseball offensively is to just hit it where the defense players are not seems easy not *to type* but to actually do it is a whole other story, right?  There are times when the batter will hit a shot straight to an opposing player who catches it and my uncle will jokingly say "Why'd he hit it right to him?"

Keeping in mind that things are easier to say than do in baseball, at this point I must commend the Phillies for their hitting during not only the first game but the second as well.  It sounds simple enough to say, but the fact that the Phillies were hitting the ball where the fielders were not is quite an accomplishment.   Whether it drops behind the outfielder or bounces right in front of them, the Phillies were just finding those spots and putting hits together.  

If it was so easy, everyone would do it.  But the Phillies just made it look easy.   Also, on the subject of hitting, if anyone was going to give out awards in the GHTBL and one award went to the best hitter (and was named after Ted Williams) it would have to go to Aedin Wadja.  No matter the situation, he just seems like as soon as you see him come up to bat you know he's getting on base.   Every single time he finds a way and gets on base.  

The second game was of a different sort for both teams.   While the pitching was good in the first game, it seemed to just step up a notch for the second game as we had a real pitchers duel.  Alex Koletar pitched an entire seven innings for the Cardinals (just like he said he would) and didn't give up a single run.  Let's just take a moment to appreciate how difficult it must have been to not allow a single run to a team that put up twelve runs in the previous game.

Casey Johnson was not without his merits though, as he also was doing great for the Phillies.  In any other game, pitching seven inninges and only allowing one run would get you a win.  It's definitely an accomplishment to be proud of though.  This was such a fun game though because the first one was so full of offense and this one was just a different type of game.  All four of the Cardinals games these past two days have felt different in their own ways.

In the third inning, Chris Fonteyn of the Cardinals got on base.  Alex Koletar hit a single which sent Fonteyn to third.  A sac fly by Evan Wilkinson brought Fonteyn home and that was the only run we would see the entire seven innings.   To me, in baseball, as a pitcher, you should be prepared to give up a run or two because you just have to hope your team scores more.  But the pitching on this night shut down the offense on both sides.

The top of the sixth inning saw a deep shot by Aedin Wadja drop in right field.  The umpire called it foul and the Phillies were loudly upset.  The thing about this play is that I was sitting on the first base side and so from my angle I couldn't really see whether it dropped fair or not (or how close) I just remember looking over and it dropped in front of the Cardinals right fielder and he was playing it as if it was fair.   Though most of the time players always do that, even when it's obviously foul, so I don't know.

I'm fairly certain that these were the same umpires as last night and both teams and different times were once again loudly yelling at them.   The umpires also threatened at different times to throw players out but no one ever was.    Someone sitting behind home plate (a fan) also argued this specific call with the umpire, telling him it was bad and the ump asked "Oh, and you can see it from all the way up there?"  Whether the call was right or not, it was definitely funny that the ump told the fan that.  

In the top of the seventh, as the game was getting close and intense with two outs a pitch flew by the Phillies batter which was an obvious strike three and end of the game but it was called a ball.   The final pitch of the game was a called strike three and both the Phillies and that one fan were upset again but a lot of that also likely has to do with losing and not just whether or not the call was right.   When they took a strike called a ball they were real quiet but when they thought a strike was a ball they got loud.  

This game didn't change a whole lot in the standings but it did push the Cardinals up a bit further away from the Greeners.   While the GHTBL goes on a little break before the second half of the season, games will resume July 5th with the third place Expos taking on the first place Jets in East Hartford.  This is a game that could shake up the Top 3 and is not to be missed.  

         On Tuesday night the Cardinals are home and face M&T People's, who they have a victory over already, which should be quite the rematch.   The Cardinals remain home on Wednesday to do battle with the ninth place Greeners for the first time.   This could be the chance for the Greeners to pick up their second win or the Cardinals their fourth or fifth.

After playing the Expos on Tuesday, the East Hartford Jets will travel to Vernon on Thursday for what also looks to potentially be the Game of the Week as the Jets take on the Orioles.   The Orioles, as of this writing, are currently only a half game behind the Jets.   This is going to be intense to say the least.  


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