Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trip to Northwest Arkansas, Part One

I traveled to AA Northwest Arkansas this weekend, and caught Saturday's contest against the Arkansas Travelers (Angels' affiliate) on Saturday. I will travel out to the ballpark for Sunday's game (4:00 p.m.).

Several notes from Saturday's game:

- Daniel Cortes demonstrated some composure problems (which he had had in the past), shouting and hurling his glove against the bench following a frustrating performance. Cortes allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings....not a bad performance but a particularly frustrating one given walks and defense. It was probably a 'B' or 'B-' performance, overall. His velocity appeared to taper off as the game progressed, and he did not consistently throw strikes, especially early.... It was a cold evening at the ballyard, for the record. Nonetheless, he'll need to improve to advance to AAA and eventually K.C. (hopefully, he'll get a cup of coffee in September).

- '09 Spring Training invitee and third baseman Corey Smith committed two errors, both of which were obvious routine plays. He missed a towering popup and then later let a ball go between his legs.

- The offense looked stale. They drew six walks but struck out ten times, stranded ten runners, and only scored two runs.

- Relievers Victor Marte - a hard-thrower who I thought resembled Octavio Dotel - and Kyle Crist looked good, pitching 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings.

- The crowd was rather prolific and into the game despite the fact that there were northerly winds blowing, and it was in the mid 50's, overall.

- Tonight was Kila Ka'aihue bobblehead night. Unfortunately, though, I had to blow quite a bit of money on a Naturals hoodie sweatshirt. It was coooold, and I only brought short-sleeve shirts, thinking that Mays in Arkansas were a little more "Sling Blade"-like and a little less "Fargo"-like. (Two good 90's movies).

- Arvest Ballpark is beautiful, although it's seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I encourage everyone with spare time and money to visit the yard.

Pictures and extensive analysis of '09 draft prospects from the LSU-Arkansas game to come. For the record, I attended the final four innings of the LSU-Ark. contest, and plan on witnessing Sunday's game, in addition to the Nats-Travelers game. So stay tuned!!!

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