Notes from Day 4 in Beloit
by, 08-12-2012 at 01:40 AM (801 Views)
I mentioned when I wrote my Notes from Day 3 in Beloit that due to travel, returning to work and some other things, I may not get to Notes from Day 4 for a bit. I really didnít want it to take almost a week. However, it has. That said, I still feel compelled to write more about my trip to Beloit because it was such a great time. The Snappers are playing really well. Their lineup is really coming together well. Their starting staff has been terrific, generally providing the team with a Quality Start. And, the bullpen is full of very hard-throwers.
This weekend, the Snappers returned to Beloit after a brief road trip. Starting last night, they play three games against Peoria, the Cubs affiliate. They just promoted high-profile Cuban defector outfielder Jorge Soler to the Midwest League.
Letís get back to my Beloit trip. If you missed the first days, be sure to read my Notes from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
Sunday started with a quiet morning of writing. After checking out of the hotel, we met Jim Crikket at Applebees for lunch before heading over to the ballpark. The crowds on Thursday and Friday night were fairly small. On Saturday night, the attendance doubled, in part due to postgame fireworks. On Sunday, the Snappers have a great promotion. The first 500 fans would receive a Prince Fielder Beast Mode bobblearms. The line outside Pohlman Field wrapped around the outfield fence and out into the parking lot.
Wisely, the first 500 fans got wristbands, and after the 5th inning, they were able to claim their Fielder Bobble arm. The Snappers were playing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the affiliate of Brewers. Milwaukee is about an hour from Beloit, so there are always a few more fans when this team comes to town.
The teams didnít take batting practice. However, in the batting cage behind the third base, manager Nelson Prada was throwing to Miguel Sano, Kennys Vargas and Tyler Grimes.
The game was great. The Snappers won handily. Miguel Sano ripped a long, opposite field home run. Itís probably about 375 to the right centerfield gap, and there is an advertisement board that is probably 20 feet high. The homer went over that. Later, JD Williams ripped a long grand slam that really put the game out of reach. Like Matt Tomshaw and Jason Wheeler the two previous games, David Hurlbut was terrific, giving up just one hit over the first six innings. Tim Atherton went two innings, and Mason Melotakis pitched an inning in relief.
After talking to several players and coaches following the game, I enjoyed being a call-in guest of the Gleeman and the Geek podcast. We talked about the Beloit team, but we also talked a lot about Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia and more.
I had a chance to see GM Matt Bosen and Director of Media and Community Relations Chrissy Scaffidi before leaving. These two are great. They both work so hard. So does the entire Snappers front office. Seriously, I need to thank especially Chrissy for making the four day trip so great. They were very helpful and accommodating.
It was great to catch up with other Twins bloggers like Jeremy Nygaard and Jim Crikket. (be sure to read his blog on his two days in Beloit.) It was good to see AJ Pettersen, who as you know writes here at Twins Daily regularly, again. It was nice to see his brother Josh again. It was great to meet a few more players that Iíve chatted with or tweeted with.
Beloit is a great place for minor league baseball. I know that you will likely read many opinions to the contrary, but for all its downfalls, Pohlman Field provides an atmosphere that encourages fan interaction. I enjoyed meeting the fans, and seeing the players talk to fans between the dugout and their clubhouse. That is not the case other places around baseball. Why they donít get more fans there, I will never understand.
I have now made the trip over to Beloit three straight seasons, and I hope to continue that trend in coming years. There is still nearly a month of regular season remaining, so be sure to consider a trip out there. Check out their website and see when they are at home. In fact, the Snappers are hosting the Peoria team the next couple of days. You could see Jorge Soler as well.
This Snappers team is fun to watch. They won a playoff spot in the first half, and it appears that they are setting their roster for the playoffs. The lineup is pretty solid. Nate Roberts and JD Williams are doing a very good job at the top of the order. Then the 3-4-5 punch of Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas is powerful. Drew Leachman is coming on again. Their starting rotation has been pitching really well of late, and they have some very strong arms pitching well in the bullpen.
We left Beloit at about 5:30, and we got back to the Twin Cities by shortly after 11. Of course, Monday was full of more driving for me. Left the Cities at about 8:30 and got to Perham at about 12:15. Left there about 2:15 and got back to Warroad by 6.
Below, you will find a few more pictures from Day 4:
David Hurlbut warming up before the game with pitching coach Gary Lucas watching.
Wang-Wei Lin signing autographs before the game.
Corey Williams playing a game with a fan.
National Anthem Line Up
Miguel Sano warming up
Sano after home run
Eddie Rosario at bat
Kennys Vargas connecting.
Miguel Sano at third base.
Mason Melotakis warming up.
Postgame - JD Williams
Postgame - Nate Roberts and his mustache and Tyler Grimes
Tommy Watkins high-fiving Eddie Rosario with Kennys Vargas and Miguel Sano behind.
Postgame - Jairo Rodriguez and Drew Leachman
Postgame - Dallas Gallant and other bullpen arms.