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Aeros/BaySox Sunday Game Notes

April 21, 2009
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The 1st place Akron Aeros beat the Bowie Baysox 6-3 on Sunday in Bowie on the strength of an outstanding starting pitching performance from Chuck Lofgren. Lofgren gave up one run on just two hits in 6 innings of work, striking out three and walking just one. Some quick hit thoughts on the game:
  • Lofgren wasn’t overpowering, but he was extremely effective. He had the Baysox off balance all day, and seemed to get stronger as the game went on. He was sitting at around 83 with his fastball in the 1st inning, but cranked it up to 88 mph in his 6th and final inning. Lofgren didn’t allow a baserunner until a one out walk in the fourth, and didn’t give up a run until a solo HR with one out in the 5th. Lofgren’s intense competitive streak was on display on Sunday, as he was fired up all game long. He was really upset with himself after giving up the HR, but didn’t let it effect him as he came back to get the next two hitters. The only other baserunner he allowed was a bloop single in the 6th. It was his 2nd good start of the season, and if he keeps pitching like this he will find himself back among the ranks of the top Indians prospects in a hurry.

  • 1B Beau Mills had a great day with the bat and in the field. He was 2-5 with a double and two runs scored at the plate and got a chance to show off his wheels in the 5th. Running on the 3-2 pitch, he scored all the way from first base on a Carlos Santana single to right that was misplayed by the RF. In the 2nd inning, he made back-to-back nice plays in the field on the Baysox 4 and 5 hitters. The 1st play was a simple popup down the 1B line, but as Mills moved over to catch it, Baysox catcher Guillermo Rodriguez literally screamed right in Mills’ face as he was running down the 1B line. I have never seen anything like that before, and give credit to Mills for hanging in and making the play despite the bush-league antics. The next Baysox hitter smoked a hard grounder to the hole between 1st and 2nd, and Mills made a great diving play to get to the ball and even beat the runner back to the bag himself for the out. Mills can hit in his sleep, and if he can continue to field the ball like he did on Sunday, he will be in Cleveland sooner rather than later.

  • Nick Weglarz got off the schnide in a big way, hitting a deep SAC fly to drive in Mills in the 3rd inning and hitting an absolute bomb the other way over the left center field fence in the 5th. I was sitting right behind the Aeros dugout, and the look on Weglarz’s face when he rounded third could probably be best described as relief. He is doing a good job staying back on the baseball, as in 3 of his 4 AB’s he hit the ball to the left side of the field. Wegz may have been pressing just a bit due to the slow start, so hopefully this can get him untracked and he can hit the way we all know he can.

  • Neil Wagner looked decent in relief of Lofgren, giving up a solo HR but touching 95 on the radar gun. Randy Newsom seemed to struggle a bit with his release point and walked a couple of guys. Fellow sidearmer Vinnie Pestano came on to record the last out of the game for his 5th save of the season.

I really can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to cover these minor league baseball games. You get right down on the field to watch the games, you can sit wherever you want in the ballpark, you can hear the players joking back and forth…I highly, highly recommend it to any baseball fan. I was able to chat with the players before and during the game (Nick Weglarz is a really nice guy), listen to the guys in the bullpen make fun of each other (Randy Newsom is hilarious), and really get a good read on how they react to what happens on the field. The tickets were cheap, the food was good, and there were no lines for the bathrooms. A good rule is to try and see twice as many minor league games in person as major league games during the year. Look for these recaps anytime an Indians minor league affiliate comes to the DC area this season.

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