Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Road Trip

Larry and I have returned from our one week ballpark road trip.  Thanks to all of our friends (and my daughter) who joined us at the parks, shared meals and gave us wayward souls shelter.  Five of the six games went down to the 9th inning.  Except for the Phillies-Red Sox game we purchased our tickets at the ballpark and for the major league games we got terrific seats on the third base side near the dugout for between $36 and $48.  We also stopped by Gettysburg, The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Charlottesville and Annapolis.


 Since this is about baseball we'll need to look at the key stats:

May 19:  At Philadelphia: Red Sox 7, Phillies 5.  Attendance: 45,656
May 20:  At Gettysburg: Union beats Rebels.  Attendance: About 165,000
May 21:  At Pittsburgh:  Pirates 5, Mets 4.  Attendance: 14,386
May 22:  At Cleveland:  Indians 5, Tigers 3.  Attendance: 15,049
May 23:  At Cincinnati:  Reds 2, Brave 1.  Attendance: 20,411
May 24:  At Salem VA (Carolina League A):  Winston-Salem 1, Salem Red Sox 0.  Attendance: 2,942
May 25:  At Baltimore: Orioles 8, Royals 2.  Attendance: 28,954

Best Ballpark FoodCincinnati (Ole Smokehouse - Pulled Pork, Slaw, Mac & Cheese)
Runner-Up: Pittsburgh (burgers & dogs)

Best Between Innings Entertainment:
Salem VA (Sumo Wrestling - actually two kids in pumped up Sumo Wrestling costumes + clips from Talledega Nights)
Runner-UpPittsburgh (Pirogi Race, much better than the Condiment Race in Cincinnati)

Best VendorPhiladelphia (Phillies Yearbook Vendor - "No discounts, I just add value")

Best MascotPittsburgh Parrot

Best National AnthemBaltimore (Holy Cross Academy Chorus)

Best Crowd: Baltimore (Largest walk up crowd in Oriole history)

Best Setting for Ballpark Pittsburgh (View of downtown & bridges)

Most Convenient To Stuff Outside Ballpark: Cleveland (Walk out the park and you are at the restaurants & bars downtown)

Best Parts of the Drive Between Ballparks:
  • US 60 between Chillicothe, Ohio and Hillsboro, Ohio
  • US 460 between Princeton, WVA and Blacksburg VA (tip of the hat to Sen. Robert Byrd for easing the way)
  • VA 20 between Charlottesville, VA and Orange, VA
Number of Coyotes Seen Crossing Roads1 (US 60 in Ohio)

Fastest Pitches:
Kelvin Herrera (KC Reliever) - 99 MPH
Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati Reliever) - 98 MPH - (yep - he didn't break 100 but was the most dominating pitcher we saw)

Funkiest Throwing Motion:
PitcherKyle Bellamy who pitched the 8th and 9th innings for Winston Salem and had a sidearm/underarm thing going that almost had both his legs on the ground during various parts of his motion
Non-PitcherHunter Pence (Phillies Outfielder) - is his arm injured?

Most Dramatic MomentWalk off Home Run by Todd Frazier to win the game for the Cincinnati Reds 

Best CatchRyan Sweeney (Boston).  With 2 on and 2 out in the bottom of the 7th and the Phillies trailing 7-4, Carlos Ruiz hit a line drive to the gap in right-center on which Sweeney made a diving catch at the warning track, right in front of our seats.

Funniest Fielding PlayBrandon Phillips (Cincinnati).  With two out, and Atlanta runners on 1st and 2nd in the top of the 7th in a 1-1 game, Michael Bourn hit a grounder to Phillips on the first base side of second.  Phillips made a sliding stop, rolled around for awhile, bobbled the ball and eventually shuffled it to the shortstop covering second to get the out.  Seemed like the play took about 10 minutes.  Phillips was laughing as he ran off the field.  You can watch it at

Worst Infield Play:  The Phillies-Red Sox game which featured lousy infield play by both team for the entire game                                                  Philadelphia

Most Frustrating Game for a Hometown FanPhillies-Red Sox game in which the Phillies had 12 baserunners in the last five innings and only scored once, losing the game 7-5.

Clutch Relief PerformanceChris Perez (Cleveland) who with two men on base struck out Miguel Cabrera and got Prince Fielder on a grounder in the 9th to preserve the Indians victory over the Tigers.

Best Throw By FielderBrennan Boesch (Detroit).  The Indians had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 8th when Asdrubal Carbera hitter a liner to right field which Boesch caught and then threw a bullet to cut down Casey Kotchman at the plate.  You can watch it on

Biggest ComebackThe Pirates down 4-0 to the Mets and Johan Santana came back to win 5-4.

Camden Yards, Baltimore


  1. Wow, great run down, stats and all. Sounds pretty exiting, good thing G was on medical stand by! dm

  2. Mark,
    Great trip, and sounds like a run of great games. Who's the great note taker??
    Sports reporters in the making.
    Bob F