It was the first game in a (long) series against the Aberdeen Ironbirds. In the span of three days the two teams have to play five games. I'll talk more about how important this series is (at least as far as the SI Yankees are concerned) later. Right now, here are some autographs :).
First up is one of the recent call ups, Trey Amburgey. Amburgey was the Yankees' 13th rounder this year and he pretty much demolished the GCL (warning, small sample size) and got promoted to SI. Since coming to SI he's continued to his the tar out of the ball, as he earned New York-Penn League player of the week honors last week.
Here is reliever Andre Del Bosque. He and I actually had a little chat before the game and he told me that he read my blog (including my recent Do's & Don'ts of Autograph Collecting post). This marks the second time a player has said they visited my blog (although I suspect it's at least the third).
This James Reeves autograph was the last one I got before the game. Reeves is a power pitcher who can throw a fastball that hits the mid-90's along with a slider and change-up. This year the Yankees are trying him out in a relief role (which might be where he ends up in the long term) but next year he may get a few chances to start and stretch out his innings in Charleston.
My first autograph after the game was from Drew Bridges.
Bridges was the Yankees' 20th round pick from 2013. He was one of the few draftees from that class who was drafted out of high school and as such his development has been a bit slow. However, he started out this year strong with a really good June and very productive July. His momentum has slowed a little in recent times but he's not without promise. On a side note, he sure knows how to pick it at third.
My last autograph from yesterday was from Alvaro Noriega. Noriega was originally assigned to Charleston this year but he was assigned to SI a few weeks ago to help the team out. He's primarily a backup catcher but pretty important now that the SI Yanks are down to three catchers.
So anyway back to the impact this game has on the playoff picture.
This series is pivotal as Aberdeen is currently 1.5 games behind the SI Yanks in the standings. A series win could change the whole entire NYPL playoffs picture. And the SI Yanks are currently battling injuries that range from serious to minor. Holder's thumb, Jackson's back and Wagner's wrist to name a few. But Holder managed to be in the lineup so I'm guessing it's healed enough for him to play. BTW, speaking of Holder, his brother Andrew left a comment on my blog. You never know who'll find your stuff ;).
As the title suggests, this game had several firsts.
One first is that this was James Kaprielian's first game in Staten Island. Technically he didn't pitch but it was his first appearance at SI. Unfortunately I didn't get his autograph (too many people mobbing him before the game) so I decided to try and get his autograph another time. Still cool to see Kaprielian, Holder and Degano on the same squad though.
Another first is that this game featured the first time I witnessed a position player pitching. The game went into extra innings (tied at 3 runs apiece) after Luis Cedeno threw six scoreless innings and Mark Seyler threw 0.2 innings & allowed 3 runs (it seemed like he left the mound with some sort of injury). After Seyler, Travis Hissong threw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief and Andre Del Bosque threw one inning of scoreless relief. By the top of the 11th inning the SIY staff decided they were going to save their bullpen and had Jake Hernandez, a catcher back from Charleston, warming up in the bullpen. The reason for this is because on 8/25 and 8/26, the SI Yankees have to play a doubleheader on both days as a result of suspended games that never happened last week in Aberdeen.
Jake Hernandez allowed one run which turned out to be the winning run as the Ironbirds won 4-3. In all honestly Hernandez wasn't awful and he managed to limit the damage to one run. Props.
On a sidenote, in the bottom of the 12th inning the SIYs had another position player Junior Valera warming up. Just in case the SIY managed to tie the game but not walk it off. Wouldn't that have been something?
So yeah, pretty decent game. I didn't like the result but the SI Yankees are still in first place. Hopefully they'll take both games from the Ironbirds tomorrow, and also watch from afar if the Cyclones can beat the Renegades (currently 2nd) to make sure they don't catch up.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).
2015 IP Auto Count: 113