Baseball Review //
South Windsor Phillies, 1
Record-Journal Expos, 3
June 27th, 2023
at Ceppa Field, Meriden CT

Official box score here :::

More photos can be found here :::

With threats of rain during the day and a dark cloud still looming over the field, this was a fun game because the weather just felt perfect.   The Expos are in the middle of the league right now while the Phillies are closer to the bottom, but as we reach the halfway point of the season it truly still feels like the playoffs could belong to anyone (except the Greeners) as there is that potential to turn it around and just spend the month of July winning.

This game was really a pitchers duel between Luke Mathewson and Charlie Hesseltine.  With moments of runners on base, both were able to get out of sticky situations and as you can tell by the score, the offense in terms of runs came only in bursts.  Both teams threatened, but it didn't always add up.

The first two innings went by scoreless. It was until the third inning when Aedin Wadja singled onto first base. A nice shot down the first base line by Thomas Slane had Wadja running to make it first and third.   With no outs, Jake Petrozza would load the bases.   A sac fly out to left field would score the first run of the game and the only run for the South Windsor Phillies.    A strike out and ground out to first would get the Expos out of the inning.

The bottom of the fourth inning saw the Expos put up their first run of the game as well.  Javon Malone, who has just been so consistent this season in the tales of how runs are scored, lead the inning off with a double.   Jack Rich flew out to center, but that moved Malone over to third base.   Will Kszywanos hit a beautiful shot down the first base line to score Malone and after four innings it was tied 1-1.

Another thing I must note about this game is that even though GHTBL doesn't have pitch clocks, this game went by fast.  It started right on time at 6:30pm and was over a little bit after 8:00pm.  This was partly due to it being low scoring, which was also because of the defense and a few 1-2-3 innings.   Both teams were really on their game, tied at 1-1, and it was just a matter of who would crack first.

Before we get to the end though, I would like to note that the top of the sixth inning saw a great catch by Max Giacco to end the inning and this was just one of those times when it looked like the Expos could've been in trouble with runners on first and third, but that stellar defense saved some runs.   

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jack Rich hit a double out to right/center and if it had gone inches further it would've been a homerun.   AJ Hendrickson came up with Rich on second and smacked a no-doubt homerun over the left field fence to give the Expos a 3-1 lead.  The way this thing carried you just knew it was gone and there was no way any play would be made or it could possibly be called foul.

As the Expos ended the game defensively I <redacted for legal purposes> to get the AJ Hendrickson homerun ball, as it seems we get at least one from him every season.   What I liked about this game was that it could've gone either way.  One of the Phillies could've hit a homerun and we'd be looking at an Expos loss.  But the fact that it went this way, that the Expos won and that AJ Hendrickson sort of walked it off in the sixth provided a lot of excitement.

This game pushed the Expos back into third place, above the Orioles, and if the playoffs were being decided today then the Expos would meet the Phillies in the first round.   But, M&T Bank has fallen to four losses now, at 8-4 with the Expos at 8-5, so before this is all over the Expos might even claim second place.   The Rainbow Graphics are just unstoppable with only two losses and eleven wins.  

What is perhaps most interesting right now is that the Jets and Orioles, who are usually battling it out in the finals of the playoffs, sit in the middle of the standings, tied for fourth place at 7-4, and if they were to meet in the playoffs today both teams would have to win every game after the first initial loss to make it to the finals again.  

My bold prediction for the playoffs, which are a little over a month away, is that we somehow see Rainbow Graphics vs Record-Journal Expos in the finals and the South Windsor Phillies eliminate the Vernon Orioles.   We'll see what happens as the summer goes on, but those are my bold predictions for right now.


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