Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday 9/5 SWB Yankees vs. Rochester Red Wings

I guess this shouldn't be too surprising, but I decided to go (against the advice of just about everyone) and head west to see the SWB Yankees take on the Rochester Red Wings, at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York. This is a beautiful ballpark and is located in what seems to be a pretty safe area in the city of Rochester. I would rate it as being 10x nicer than Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse and probably even with PNC Park in Scranton, PA.
For those interested in visiting minor league ballparks, here's a review of my experience at Frontier field:
  • First off, some history about the park. It is the oldest and longest running minor league franchise in the history of all professional sports
  • From 1929-1960 they were an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Then from 1961-2002 they were an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and in 2003 they became the affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
  • There is a section located on the left field side of the stadium that is designated as a "nut-free" zone. This is the first time I have seen this at a ballpark and I think it is a great idea for those that have an allergy to nuts. It is located to the left of section 130 in a berm area.
  • A great variety of food. The prices were decent. Hot dogs were 2.50, cheeseburgers 3.75 (which were really good), and I was tempted to get a pretzel which was about 3 dollars or so. The only complaint I have was the horrific lines. I hate missing much of the game and I don't think the stadium was really ready to handle over 13,000 people showing up at this game. I know they were also out of a lot of food, being it was the last game. Can't hold that against them too much though.
Stats from the game:
  • As for the game, it was a sold out affair. Saturday was the final game of the season in which the Red Wings drew a season-high crowd of 13,120 fans. I was amazed that so many had shown up to a minor league game.
  • Jason Hirsh, the starter for Scranton, was injured in the first inning. He twisted his ankle making a throw to first base. There was a good 3-5 minutes of discussion between Hirsh and the coaches in which they had him throw a few pitches to see how his ankle was feeling. After throwing 4 pitches, he again spent 3 minutes or so talking to Miley in which they ultimately decided to take him out the game. This injury is a blow to Scranton as a chunk of their pitchers have already left for New York. This is going to weaken them even more as they approach the playoffs.
  • Brett Gardner was in Rochester with the Yankees on a rehab assignment (coming back from a broken thumb). He went 1-3 with 1SB and 3 BB.
  • Anyone remember Philip Humber, one of the big prospects in the Mets organization? Well he apparently is on the Red Wings, as he was the starter for the game I went too. He had a terrible start, pitching 4.2 innings, giving up 7 hits, 5 BB and 5 ER's.
  • The pitching in this game for the Red Wings was terrible. In addition to Humber struggling, the Red Wings brought out Morillo, Lugo, and Lahey. Lugo was terrible, pitching 1/3 of an inning in which he walked 4 straight batters (5 total in the 1/3 of an inning he pitched).
  • Yankees won by a score of 10-0. The combination of walks allowed (11 in total) and 3 errors really helped Scranton out in being able to take the win.
  • Also must mention the Yankees pitching, as they held the Red Wings to only 3 hits and 0 ER. This is amazing considering their starter was injured in the first inning. Prihoda picked up his first win of the season, after being brought up from the Charleston Riverdogs (Single A affiliate of the Yankees). Prihoda's contract from the Grand Prairie AirHogs (an independent league in the South Division) was sold to the Yankees in the beginning of July this year.
  • Also Yankee fans, please keep an eye out for Zack Kroenke. He pitched 3 innings on Saturday, giving up 0ER and 1H and earned his 4th save of the season. He is a big lefty and could be good down the road. Between him and Dunn, I have been impressed.
  • Side note: Sean Henn (former Yankee) is on the Red Wings. He was a reliever in Friday's game and gave up 3ER in 2 innings against the SWB Yankees, one of which included a solo HR from Shelley Duncan.
Photos from the game:
  • Shelley had a huge hole in his pants. The fans were amused by this and kept telling him about the hole on several occasions. Based on the fact it looks to have been patched up many times, I am going to assume Shelley is aware of the large hole.
  • Brett Gardner- Nice guy, signed before the game for a handful of kids and posed for pictures while in the on-deck circle.
  • Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio threw out the final first pitch of the season, and brought the lineup card out to home plate. The players on the Red Wings each came out and shook his hand after he threw the first pitch. DiPonzio was shot in the head in January by a 15 year old while he was on the job. He lost peripheral vision in his left eye, has difficulty walking, and is unable to take care of himself. Was great to see this man walk on the field.
  • Jason Hirsh is a very tall man (6'8'' to be exact). The second photo was taken after he was injured on the mound.
  • Broken bat stuck in the ground.
  • So many holes in these pants. Times are so tough in the minors they only give you one pair of pants.
  • Definitly not a picture of John Rodriguez. Something was going on with the scoreboard for a while.
  • Yankeess winnnnn!!
  • Additional photos:


Kyle said...

Great post! Glad you had a good time. You took some awesome pics!

Looks like a really nice ballpark. The Scranton Yankees look like they're ready to defend their title too. Dominant win in every aspect.

Glad to hear that Gardner is doing well too. Look forward to him rejoining the majors for the Yankees.

That's really cool that you've got to go to all these minor league games and see these different parks. Minor league games are a lot of fun. They're affordable and you see guys that genuinely love playing baseball.

The Commish! said...

Again, great pics Christina. Looks like great seats too.

You are a true fan going all the way to Rochester for the game.

The Marlins would die if 13,000 fans showed up to a game. Great crowd. Looks like a great park too.

Someone get Shelley a new pair of pants!

Hope Gardner gets some playing time when he comes back to the Yankees.

Minor league baseball is a lot of fan.

And great story about that Rochester police officer. Hope the kid who shot him is put away for life.