As much as we celebrated the return of baseball Tuesday, April 7th at Welcome Back Senators Night, last evening proved it’s really here. Honest. The Senators and Altoona Curve crossed the white lines on a misty, raw 41-degree evening; however, I only witnessed smiles as baseball is truly back.
The teams played a crisp, pitching-dominated opener … Only one error per side. Both had to be scored on tough plays to third … Catcher Pedro Severino opened a lot of eyes by quickly releasing lasers to catch four Curve runners running the bases … Austin Voth’s 6 scoreless IP shouldn’t go unnoticed … Kudos to Aaron Margolis and his team for the scoreboard and ribbon board updates. Everything is much easier to read at a glance. I’m really impressed … The front office and fellow fans were downright giddy that we were actually watching a baseball game take place. It didn’t have anything to do with shivering from the dampness or even $2 beer night. I guess this off-season and winter really were that depressing! (I’ll never understand why those in charge of calendars steal days and weeks from a baseball season, multiply them, and indiscriminately stick them into the off-season. It just isn’t fair.)
Each team managed just five hits, not unusual considering the weather … Five of the six combined walks didn’t hurt, although each team had scoring threats … A lead-off walk, however, still does hurt. (I’m still amazed by how many lead-off walks score in MLB.) Nothing against Abel de los Santos, who battled through his first hitter of the season in less than stellar conditions. You know it’s cold when Bob Hauer’s wearing long pants and long sleeves!
I look forward to Game Two tonight. The temperature should be higher, but it’ll be tough to beat a tight 1-0 Opening Night final.
One final note: If the weather scared you away last night, be sure you don’t miss the new synchronized dancers between innings tonight.