Thursday, July 09, 2009
Dmitri Young & Matt Chico
Not knowing if Dmitri Young will don another uniform for Our Washington Nationals and realizing Matt Chico is now back pitching competitively in professional baseball, my friend Matt & I couldn't resist heading out to Prince Georges County Stadium for today's High Noon Start between The Harrisburg Senators (Washington's AA Affiliate) & The Bowie BaySox (Baltimore's AA Affiliate).
Camp Day at The BaySox Ballpark made for a very cozy turnout. And provided a nice opportunity to chat with some of Our Minor League Players or get autographs. It was good to see some of the regulars from Potomac Nationals & Washington Nationals Games, as well as, ESPN Zone Lunch Time Meet & Greets on hand.
The game itself was the sideshow. Matt & I went to see Young & Chico. Dmitri did start and played six innings. Matt Chico did not play but threw a bullpen session before game start.
In a brief conversation, Dmitri says he's been healthy and ready to go since April, but his bat during this game proved maybe otherwise. In three plate appearances--Young couldn't get around on any fastball from Bowie's Japanese Import Ryohei Tanaka nor from BaySox Reliever Jim Hoey's tosses--striking out twice. Dmitri did ground out to shortstop in the top of the 4th scoring Senators 2nd Baseman Michael Martinez with Harrisburg's first run of this game.
As always-Dmitri Young was nice as could be to Washington's Fan on hand today. Just not sure if he really is in playing shape.
As for Chico--He told me (paraphrasing here) that his arm is healthy and he is fully recovered. He's had no pain whatsoever but his problem has been his control. Having not pitched in many game situations due to surgery, Matt says that his release point for his pitches has been inconsistent. In fact, during his bullpen session before the game, Harrisburg Pitching Coach Randy Tomlin was specifically working with Chico on just this issue.
Attempting to get Matt's hips in line on his windup, throwing with a rag to give resistance while working on motion--Tomlin's instruction and side session was pretty interesting to watch. Chico's goal to make Washington Baseball Operations Staff believe that by the end of September, he can be depended on again. So when Spring Training 2010 begins, Matt can compete for a Major League Job, not leaving folks wondering whether he needs more seasoning.
As for the game itself, Tanaka actually pitched a no-hitter into the 5th until Javy Herrera doubled to left for Harrisburg. Bowie took an early 2-0 lead on a two run homer by Ambiorix Concepcion in the bottom of the second off The Senators' Starter Corey Van Allen. And The BaySox eventually won this afternoon's game by socking another homer--this one by Miguel Abreu--off Jack Spradlin in the bottom of the 8th. Final Score--Bowie 3 & Harrisburg 2.
Having never been to Prince Georges County Stadium--I was pleasantly surprised. Nice facility with plenty of good seats. No ticket more expensive than $14. Matt & I purchased seats in the front row right behind The Visiting Harrisburg Senators Dugout. Got a kick out of The Harrisburg Relievers sitting on top of a grass mound--above the bullpen--in the sun--instead of in the actual shaded and provided dugout there.
As usual--the typical Minor League promotions that play out most every inning. Including Bowie BaySox Staff dancing on the dugout, and various games on the field with children. And of course--The Bowie BaySox Mascot--Louie. We had a good time. A beautiful weekday--most everyone else still at work--baseball in the afternoon. And the chance to see Dmitri Young and Matt Chico in person. What more could you ask for?
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