After visits to San Jose and Sacramento as well as the big club this season, I headed up to Oregon to watch the High A Eugene Emeralds in action last night against the Vancouver Canadians. Despite the fact that virtually no one reads Fan Posts anymore (at least partly because they are not as visible on the Home Page anymore), I am going to followup my other posts with some impressions.
Weird Ending to the Game. I have never seen a walk off missed 3rd base appeal call, but that's what we got. The Emeralds won their 7th straight, when, after going into the 9th with a 4-1 lead, appeared to have had the game tied by a Triple which seemed to have scored 2. Then, as the next Canadian batter stepped up to the plate, the Emeralds threw to 3rd base, the Home Plate Umpire gave the out sign, and it was a 4-3 Emeralds victory. One of the baserunners missed 3rd on his way Home and, on appeal, the game was over. Very strange, and without replay, that's all she wrote.
Green is a Weird Color for the Giants. Really it was very strange to see so much green associated with a Giants team. They wear black and orange warm up jackets, but stil, the uniforms and the stadium and all the Oregon Duck stuff around just make it feel so un Giantsy.
The Stadium. Very modern digs, shared with University of Oregon, the view is of trees, which is very Oregon, and everything feels very outdoors. The concourse with the concessions is at the top but it is not really covered, so the whole thing feels like you are outside. It is a nice feel. Concessions are pretty standard (no Turkey Mike's level food like in San Jose), but there is a Prince Puckler's Ice Cream stand.
The Pitching, Kai-Weng Teng! Apparently he had gotten off to a slow start, but he looked fabulous tonight. Fastball sat comfortably at 92-93, and he threw lots of breaking pitches, which the opposition just couldn't touch. The break was not huge, but just enough to miss a lot of bats. I have no idea how that plays at upper levels, but it sure was a pleasure to see him dominate. His delivery is smooth rather than deceptive, and he pitches completely out of the stretch. But he looked great.
The Hitting. The entire team has trouble with the change up, leading to some ridiculous looking swings, but still, these guys can hit. I think they had 11 hits on the night, and there was a great combination of power and a sometimes opposite field approach. Will Wilson's Home Run was pure power, pulled to Left Center. Armani Smith is huge, looking more like a football player, but has a very easy swing with power--his opposite field double off the wall was gorgeous. Logan Wyatt, the big guy with no power, actually looked pretty powerful with a screaming line drive pulled off the Right Field wall and another nice hit. Labour, last week's Player of the Week, also doubled. Patrick Bailey still looks lost, unfortunately, but sss plus all the investment put into him means he will likely get a lot better.
7 wins in a row plus lots of prospects, mainstream and on the fringe, make this a very exciting team to watch. And it's not a bad drive from the Bay Area.
Next stop, Richmond in July!