Yesterday, I made the trip down to Springdale, Arkansas for my first Naturals game. And not only was it one game, but a doubleheader. Fourteen innings of baseball. (They only played seven inning games based on the fact that they were trying to get two games completed.)
I have no idea what the plans are for Felipe Paulino‘s rehab. I don’t even know where he is at the moment, but I had hopes of seeing him pitch in one of the games, but alas, it did not happen. That hope wasn’t all for naught, however, as it spawned a thirty minute discussion with my cousin on the 2 hour drive about what the Royals are going to do when Duffy and Paulino return to the team.* I did however get to see a few pretty interesting things and I’d like to share them with you.
*Consensus between us was that we believe Duffy will stay in Triple-A and Paulino will replace J.C. Gutierrez in the pen. However, after looking up Gutierrez’s stats when I got home, I realized that he doesn’t have any options left. So I have no idea.
1. Cheslor Cuthbert looks pretty good – Cheslor barely got into town before I did and I was excited to see how he looked at a higher level. He started at third and made a ridiculously awesome snag a few innings in on a line drive hit about about two feet over his head. He also ripped a double down the third base line in the seventh inning which I was happy to see because I think he saw all of four pitches in his two previous at-bats combined.
2. Noel Arguelles loses it – Noel made an appearance late in the first game and promptly gave up five runs in two innings pitched. His command was really bad and you could tell he was not happy out on the mound. When he entered the dugout after his last inning of work, he proceeded to get even angrier. He threw his glove on the ground as hard as he could. He followed that with his hat. He then reared back and kicked his hat as hard as he could. It flew up over the top of the dugout and landed on a lady in the first row behind the home dugout. She almost jumped out of her chair because she was looking out towards right field and never saw it before it dropped on top of her. One of Arguelles’ teammates ran up on the field and retrieved it for him. Kind of amusing series of events if I hadn’t just watched the guy give up five runs.
3. Manny Pina hits a home run – Pina has king of been lost in the shuffle after the emergence of Salvador Perez. I’m super happy with the player Salvy appears to be turning into, but I also kind of like Manny Pina. He hit a home run in the third inning of the second game and that was nice to see.
4. Ethan acquires long sought-after Naturals gear – You don’t care about this, but I do. I have been wanting Naturals apparel for several years and this was my first opportunity to acquire it. I acquired said Naturals swag* with a vengeance. Got a cool hat and an awesome shirt that says “I am Strike the Sasquatch.” Get on my level.
*Swag is used correctly there, right? Isn’t that what the kids are calling it?
All in all, it was a successful day at a nice venue and I’m already thinking about the next time I can get down there. That’ll probably have to be after a trip to see the Stormchasers, though.