AKRON RUBBERDUCKS WEEK 11
Ducks got swept by Harrisburg in the 4 game weekend series. The wheels have fallen off the wagon as the Ducks have lost 9 straight. Lucky for their early season success they remain in first place at 38-26 with a 4 game lead. However, everyone is closing the gap and they have to turn it around fast.
Erie comes into Canal Park for a three game series. Erie is a team that is 13 games under .500, no better time than the present to stop this losing streak and start winning again... fingers crossed.
Game one: I got all the Erie players autographs from the last time they visited. This is the perfect week to try out the new Kalimar 500mm telephoto lens I picked up at the flea market last week. No baseballs, no autographs just pictures today.
I would say getting use to the length and weight of the camera was the biggest thing. With the new lens I was able to get "in you face" shoots, but my arms were shaking and lot of the pictures came out blurry.
Bradly Zimmer sliding back to first base on pickoff attempt
Bradly Zimmer Batting
For the game the Ducks have now dropped 10 straight losing 9-5. There were some bad things like after the third out guys not hustling back out on the field for defense. Basic fundamentals on fielding and throwing that cost the team three errors. Starting pitching... enough said. Some of the good; after two weeks in AA Mike Papi looked good at the plate and had his first 3 RBI game. 8 of the 9 starters collected at least one hit. There were more hits than strikeouts (12/6). Lastly, the back half of the bullpen was lights out the last 3.2 inning gave up only 3 hits with 3 strikeouts and no runs.
Game two: Did not attend the game as it was Hiromi's birthday. PRIORITIES! Ducks lost 9-2.
Game three: A BIG storm came through since last night, then again at mid day with buckets of rain flooding our yard. Even if the rain stops and there is a game I would not go. The streets looked like rivers and our yard like a swamp.
The game must go on and the Ducks got swept at home again losing 4-2 in 10 innings. That now makes 12 straight. Unbelievably, The Ducks are still in first place at 38-29 with a 2 game lead in their division.
This homestand is not over as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats(Blue Jays) make their first trip of the season into Canal Park. I complete the search of the teams roster and of the 117,000+ sportscards I have, I have only ONE card of all players on the roster. If I continue to try and get minor league players autographs I should invest in some current minor league products.
Game one: Showed up early for BP, but there was none for either team. The RudderDucks had a youth baseball camp all day. When I arrived the ground crew was working on the field getting it ready for the game. The one player I have a card to get signed and he was promoted to AAA earlier today. One of the regular guys getting autographs gave me a card of the Blue Jays #8 Prospect Rowdy Tellez for nothing in return. I got my one autograph of the day.
It was a packed house at 7,121. Not sure if it was because of the fireworks after the game? Maybe, a hot nice day? What ever the reason it was nice to see the fans come out and support the team. The Ducks had a one game special jerseys for the Akron-Run. During the game you could bid on the players jersey. If you won the auction after the game you got the jersey off their back, autographed and picture taken. The Ducks should have special jersey every night, because they finally won a game. After scoring 5 runs in the 2nd inning they sent the start to the showers early. The Ducks held on and won 7-4. Did not stay for the fireworks.
Game two: New rule that there is no early entrance on Saturday's even if you are a season ticket holder. That means no BP or autographs. I never got a clear answer to why, but it sounded like something to do with the SGA. I guess they only had a few cases in the season ticket entrance and ran out. When a season ticket holder went to the regular entrances they were at the end of the line and when they finally got in all the SGA were gone. Mostly the SGA are limited to the first 1,000 fan. If you don't arrive early you don't get the SGA simple as that. As season ticket holders we paid a lot for our tickets and I think we are entitled to still arrive early like any other day and if they are giving something away we should get it first. It might have been a worker error by not having enough cases at the season ticket entrance, but don't punish us. I'm sure a lot of other season ticket holders feel the same (except for the ones who did not get a SGA).
On to the game ... The SGA today was a 2016 Eastern League All-Star T-shirt. I played by their rules showing up early and waited by the main entrance gate. I did not get any baseballs or autographs, but I did get a PROMO Romeo's Pizza T-shirt with the RubberDucks logo on the front that was thrown into stands. Ducks starting pitcher Nick Pasquale making his AA debut looked pretty good gooing 5.1 inning giving up 4 hits, 1 run and striking out 5. Ducks won 3-1. Did not stay for the P!nk's firework show.
Game three: The last few Sunday's game did not have BP, so I did not arrive until first pitch 2:05pm. Another large crowd came out to the ballpark. I don't know if it was the 91 degree weather or the Ducks unable to play fundamentals baseball in scoring a runner from third with no out. All they had to do was hit the ball deep in the outfield or on the ground to the right side of the field. But NO, the next three outs all came from striking out. I could not watch anymore and left early. The game would go into extra inning and the Ducks won 2-1 in 10 innings.
The Ducks have swept the series and are starting to come around. There record is 41-29 leading the division with a 3 game lead. On the road for the next four days before returing home for another weekend series at home against Trenton Thunder.
Week 11 Haul
Week's total: 4 games, 0 balls (0 give-a-way), 1 autographs, 1SGA, 1 PROMO
Games: 1 day 3 night 0 doubleheader Home record: 3-1
Akron's total: 29 games, 110 balls (50 give-a-way), 86 autographs, 2 bat, 7 SGA,
Games: 8 day 21 night 0 doubleheader Home record: 21-8
2016 baseball season total: 44 games, 151 balls (55 give-a-way), 171 autographs, 9 bats