Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Springfield Cardinals Game #2

Our second game in Springfield on Friday night had perfect weather.  Sunshine and lower 70s for most of the game.  Gates opened at 6:10 with the same magnet schedule giveaway as the night before.  LMK if anyone out there needs one.  My wife thinks it would look tacky to put all 8 on our refrigerator.  Unlike the previous night, there were players at the gates to sign autographs as the fans entered.

I was glad to see Alcantara at the first gate.  Even though he did not pitch that great the night before, he is only 21 and has a ton of potential.  I usually would not have a Double A prospect sign a ROMLB, but my local sporting goods store had a sale a month ago on these for about $10 a ball. 

Jack Flaherty is another 21 year old starting pitcher ranked in the Cardinals top ten prospects.  He is 3-0 with and ERA under .50 right now.  Very nice kid who stayed after his 15 minute time frame to sign for another 20-30 people.  He does not throw as hard as Alcantara, but his command and secondary pitches are better.

Hawkins was the last player signing at the gates.  His line was very short compared to the other two.  I guess when you are a middle reliever that is the way it goes.

Our seats were along the first base line.  The rest of the guys signed before the game.  I will show these in the ordered they signed for my son and I.

Blake Drake has an outside chance to be a fourth outfielder because of his defense. 

Yes I even get cards signed by the hitting coach.  We are lacking about 6 or 7 cards from having this 2016 Peoria Chiefs team set signed.

Mercado was a shortstop until last year when he shifted to centerfield.  He made 3 great plays in the two games we saw.

 Mejia has been back and forth between Double and Triple A the last few years.  With Aledmys Diaz at short and a couple of better shortstop prospects in the lower minors, I doubt if he ever reaches St. Louis.

Herget is the closer for Springfield.  He is not your typical closer though. I doubt if he is 6 feet tall, and he does not throw in the high 90s.

Hudson was the 34th overall pick in the 2016 draft.  My guess is he will be a big league reliever by next year.

McKnight is slowly working his way up the minor league ladder as a middle reliever.  He throws in the low 90s with decent control.  My son remembered playing catch with him before a Peoria game 2 years ago.  Another nice kid who may not make it to the big leagues.

The game itself was pretty exciting.  The Cardinals were trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth until Jacob Wilson hit his second solo home run of the game.  Later in the inning the tying run was on second with 2 outs, but the batter struck out.  McKnight went out in the 10th for his third inning of work and gave up 5 runs.  Wilson did get up in the bottom of the tenth and hit a long home run that was just foul.  He did get a hit, but the Cardinals failed to score and lost 7-2. 

There were fireworks after the game that were somewhat better than the previous night.  After the lights went out, Wilson came out and signed autos for about 10 minutes.  He also gave away 2 bats that he broke during the game (neither was used for his home runs).
I asked him about his brand of bats and he told me he used a cheap store model to hit the home runs.  I had high hopes for him when he played in Peoria, but he is now 27 and still in Double A.  Maybe he can cut down on the strikeouts and become a Jed Gyorko type player. 


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