Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hänsel und Vanderheiden

Cyclones starter Hansel Robles, caged in the garden (the dugout),
watches reliever Tyler Vanderheiden (in the guise of Gretel) shove
the wicked witch (aka the Vermont Lake Monsters) into the oven.
Folklore is all about archetypes.

My short trip to Connecticut and Massachusetts next week starts with a game I will see with my mother, two of her cousins (once removed) and their spouses.  As a sort of a dress rehearsal, I took mom to last night's Brooklyn Cyclones game, her first.  It was a classic visit to MCU Park.

For now at least, a classic ballpark visit includes a pre-game meal at Nathan's Famous and, as I have opined before, the lobster roll is the way to go.  Mom declared Nathan's roll inferior to the ones she gets from the Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck, but at almost three times the price I rebutted.  (Not to mention that you cannot get a big paper cup of Coors; yum, yum, he typed facetiously.)

We had some time yet before the game so we strolled over to the boardwalk to check out Tom's Restaurant, the Coney Island outpost of the 1936 Prospect Heights coffee shop.  One day this may be the place to go before seeing the Cyclones, but it apparently won't be this season.

Walking east on the boardwalk, we passed "Steeplechase Plaza," the future home of the recently restored, 92-year-old B&B Carousell (sic).  The "oceanfront plaza is envisioned as a site for public performances and art, food concessions and retail space," states a sign on the fence.  Youth recreation fields were constructed in this area behind the right field bleachers when the stadium was built.  How or why that changed is not known to me.

At the stadium, we saw a pitchers duel.  Neither team had a hit until the top of the eighth.  The Vermont Lake Monsters used three pitchers to accomplish the feat, while Hansel Robles handled the load by himself for the Cyclones.  Robles got a nice round of applause after Daniel Robinson sent a soft liner into center.  The pitcher, who struck-out eight and walked none, finished the inning, stranding Robinson at first.

Tyler Vanderheiden pitched the ninth in relief for the Cyclones.  The crowd got nervous when Austin Booker sliced a double down the left field line.  Booker went to third on a ground out but Vanderheiden, who would end the night with an 0.61 ERA after 16 games, closed the inning with a strike out, leaving Vermont scoreless.

In the bottom of the ninth—that seems to be a theme todayDimas Ponce, the light-hitting third baseman, lined to center to lead off.  With Phillip Evans at bat, Ponce advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored when Evans singled to left.  Evans was mobbed by his teammates at second base and the fans in the stands were only slightly less excited.
Box Score

Mom saw an exciting game; a pitchers duel, a walk-off win and manager Rich Donnelly thrown out for arguing balls and strikes.  It was not only her first Cyclones game, it was her first minor league game.  I enjoyed seeing the game through the eyes and ears of someone experiencing minor league baseball for the first time.

No comments:

Post a Comment