Back at City Island

Last night I got to my first Senators game of the year. It was a nice evening and the ball park looked great. And I had the good fortune to be seated next to a very kind gentleman who enjoyed discussing baseball. Our conversation began with him asking me if I were a season ticket holder. He explained that he he had tried to get the seat I was in but that it was already taken. I guess he asks everyone the same question, trying to figure out why he got stiffed. (I had the aisle seat, and that's no doubt why this guy wanted it.) It was, in fact, a wonderful seat, fifth and final row of the field boxes, just behind first base. And at City Island, where there is minimal foul territory behind the plate and along the base paths, you are really close to the players.) In any case, the game started off horribly for the Senators (down two zip before they had recorded a single out, shoddy fielding in the top of the first, poor base running in the bottom half...), slowly settled down (good pitching), then turned fun with a five run seventh. The highlight was watching shortstop Danny Espinosa go 5 for 5, including two homers. (Bristol right fielder Mark Dolenc absolutely crushed one way over the left field everything in the fifth inning.) Even the most routine games involve something memorable. In this case, in addition to seeing Espinosa go 5 for 5, I had the opportunity to see pitcher Loek Van Mil, who just happens to be 7 ft. 1. But that's not all. He's originally from the Netherlands and he pitched quite well for the Dutch team in the World Baseball Classic. He's moving up in the twins organization. But he had a bad outing last night. Speaking of relief pitchers, it's time to check in on the progress of Atahualpa Severino. He's still in Syracuse, apparently having a good but not great year. His ERA is 3.65 (44.1 innings pitched), but his walk to strikeout ratio is not good. I'm rooting for him! (In the photo, Danny Espinosa, playing for the US in the Pan American Games.)

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