Isotopes Rally to Down Redbirds

Myworld is in Memphis on our way to Dallas to catch a game at Auto Zone Park.  The Isotopes rallied in the eighth on a passed ball strikeout to defeat the Memphis Redbirds 4-3.  Dee Gordon, who had been a thorn in the Birds side all evening swung at a pitch in the dirt for strike three, but it bounced off the chest protector of Rob Johnson and rolled along the third base foul line.  Dee Gordon’s legs beat the ball to first.  A Brian Barden single put the Isotopes within one and after an intentional walk to Matt Angle to load the bases Justin Sellers singled into the hole between short and third to drive in two.

The Isotopes scored first when Dee Gordon lined a triple into the right centerfield gap.  It was the first of his three hits.  He would also walk in the ninth.  Elian Herrera drove him in with a sacrifice fly on the first pitch after the triple.

Ryan Jackson evened the score in the bottom frame, hitting an infield single between short and third.  Dee Gordon bobbled the ball and then hurried his throw, firing it into the bleachers.  Jackson was credited with a hit and Gordon an error for allowing him to second.  Two fly balls scored Gordon, the last from Chad Huffman.  Starting pitcher Blake Johnson walked the next two hitters but got Tommy Pham to fly to right to end the threat.

Scott McGregor (who appears to be no relation to the Oriole pitcher from the 60s with the same name) pitched well with his pedestrian stuff.  He limited the Isotopes to the one run in his five innings of work but stayed under 90 the whole evening.  A leadoff walk to Chili Bass in the sixth ended his day.  In the fifth McGregor walked to start another Redbird rally.  Two hitbatsmen latter and a ground out later gave the Redbirds a 2-1 lead.  Brock Peterson, who hit a tenth inning walkoff homerun yesterday, struck out with a runner on third and one out and Greg Garcia grounded to second to strand the runner on third.

The Redbirds scored another run in the seventh when defensive replacement Jermaine Curtis led off the inning with a single.  A wild pitch advanced him to second where he scored on a clutch two out single from Chad Huffman into right center field that appeared to be catchable by Matt Angle.  Matt hesitated while he and the right fielder Chili Bass tried to decide who was going to catch the ball.  The ball did not hesitate and landed between the two before they could make a decision.

Victor Marte was brought on in relief in the eighth.  He struck out the first two hitters, but the leadoff batter Dee Gordon got to first on a passed ball.  Chili Bass was hit in the foot by a pitch and Brian Barden was jammed by a Marte fastball but still muscled it over the shortstop for an RBI single.  An inadvisable throw by Tommy Pham to third allowed Barden to advance to second.  That forced the Birds to make the decision to walk Matt Angle intentionally.  Justin Sellers singled between short and third to drive in two, the throw from leftfielder Chad Huffman too weak to get Barden crossing the plate.  The throw was cutoff.  Matt Angle had rounded too far past second base and was tagged out in a rundown.

Josh Hall worked the last two innings for the Isotopes to pick up the save.  He issued two out walks in both those innings but was still able to get the third out without any difficulty.

Game Notes: Jamie Romak did not start but got in the game late in a double switch.  He swing at and missed on three ordinary fastballs from Josh Hall, none of them breaking 90 in his only at bat…Kolton Wong appeared to square up to bunt with two strikes but the ball hit him in the foot.  The home plate umpire checked with the third base umpire to see if he had offered at the pitch, the third base umpire said no and Kolton was awarded first to load the bases…Auto Zone Park has two retired numbers in their outfield.  Number 6 is for Stan Musial and number 10 is for one of the better hustlers in baseball number 10 Stubby Clapp, who willed all the talent out of his body to get some major league appearances.  Not a big guy but he played with a lot of heart…The stadium itself has a picnic area in right field, a massive scoreboard in right centerfield, some green and brown pine trees out in centerfield (trees that do not appear native to the area) and a raised cement wall in left.  A grassy bluff sits above the left field fence where fans can purchase cheap seats to sit in the grass.  No lawn chairs are allowed.  Apartments overlook the outfield but the pine trees appear to obstruct the balcony view for most of the residents.  The corner houses had a nice view and three residents were sitting on their balcony enjoying the game.  The stadium also has a large carnival like playground along the first base side where the kids can entertain themselves with the typical carnival games if they get too bored with the baseball…Bob Dylan will be playing with Wilco at the stadium on July 2.  Myworld is not really a Bob Dyaln fan but he is a legend and depending on ticket costs it would be a good concert to see…Myworld got a seat just to the right of the Redbird dugout.  We had a perfect view of the players inside the dugout.  On the downside we had a close and unprotected seat that would have been difficult to dodge any foul ball.  The ticket cost for that seat was $19 day of the game but just $16 if I bought it before the day of the game…Ballpark food was the typical fare.  Myworld was surprised not to see any barbecue stands.  They did have a barbecue bacon hot dog, but it has to be tough selling food with all the good restaurants outside the stadium…In between innings the Redbirds staged a fun event with a bubbles race between two members of the stadium staff.  They each got inside a plastic bubble and like hamsters rolled themselves by pushing this bubble forward from centerfield to left field…Went to Beale Street after the game and security to get onto the street was tight.  It was equivalent to the security for getting on an airplane.  You had to show identification to get in the area and once inside you were patted down for weapons.  It is an example of how violent a city Memphis is.  As the people next to me stated “Don’t stay out too late.”

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