Wednesday, July 18—Fresh from defeating the Cyclones 4-1 in Brooklyn Tuesday night, the Renegades returned home and were thrashed 7-3 by the McNamara Division leaders and fell two games off the pace.
For a season that started slowly in the home run department, 2012 is making up for lost time. Jeff Reynolds, leading off the first inning for the Cyclones, hit a 2-1 fastball over the left-field fence, and teammate Eudy Pina hit a two-run blast in the same area in the fourth. Tommy Coyle responded in the Renegades fourth with a 358-foot wallop over the right-field fence.
The visitors never relinquished the lead, although the Gades closed the gap to 4-3 after six innings, and hope for another come-from-behind victory began to rise among the Hudson Valley faithful. But the Cyclones added three runs in the ninth while their relief pitchers set the Renegades down in order in the final three innings. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
Tonight was special for me because I was joined by my daughter Margaret in a belated celebration of her July 12 birthday, so we had two Cannings cheering for the Renegades instead of just one. As part of a fine father-daughter outing she shared some of her pizza topped with hot dogs and bacon—my first tasty experience with the concoction but definitely not my last!
Weatherwise, today brought more brutal heat, humidity and thunderstorms, and an occasional breeze did not provide much relief. Compared with areas to the south, the thunderstorms just grazed The Dutch, but the 20-minute mid-afternoon downpour caused plenty of work for the grounds crew. Fortunately, the rain fell early enough for the crew to get the field playable before game time, with only a few slightly muddy spots on the warning track as reminders of the storm. Another job well done, folks, and much appreciated.
Typically, it was raining when I left home but it gradually abated as I reached Dutchess County. Marg, encountering torrential downpours on her way north from her New Rochelle office, called me to ask if the game was still on. I assured her that conditions were improving and confirmed that after I arrived at The Dutch and took a quick look at the field.
I started a new scorebook tonight and broke it in with my typical klutziness, splashing the Renegades page (and my jersey) with coffee before the game even started despite the travel lid on the cup. I recalled a recent conversation with my friend Dan Bailey, who had asked whether I actually drank coffee or just spilled it; “Yes,” I had replied.
Marg keeps more civilized hours than I do, but she was able to join a group of us in the parking lot for a while after the game. The gathering included umpires Jeff Andrews and Matt Moore, who were calling their final contest of the season at The Dutch and shared their perspectives on just how much activity a two-man crew can reasonably cover. Basically, they try their best but cannot always have an ideal angle and be right on top of every play. We wished them well as they headed to their next assignments.
Nourishment began modestly with pretzels from my car but soon included leftover pizza from the concessions and, eventually, a large aluminum pan with nearly two dozen wrapped hamburgers and cheeseburgers that were otherwise headed for the garbage bin. We were also invited to partake of a pan of bunless hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and beef that the grounds crew was unable to finish. We weren’t able to finish it, either, but we certainly made a respectable dent and were grateful for the opportunity. I eventually took the remaining wrapped hamburgers home after everybody else had helped themselves.
The heat and humidity had eased somewhat but were still oppressive as I headed home; thank God for automotive air conditioning!
Next home game: Thursday, July 19, vs. Aberdeen IronBirds, first pitch 7:05 p.m.