There have been alot of runs scored by area baseball teams this season. The hitters have been ahead of the pitchers for the most part and the top teams have feasted on the pitching staffs of the struggling squads. That's why Wednesday's game between the Wausau West Warriors and Spash Panthers was such a refreshing treat. Stevens Point won 1-0 behind Brad Stroik who took a perfect game into the 6th inning and ended up with a two hit shutout. Adam Kramer, who has struggled for much of the spring after being one of the top pitchers in the state last spring & summer, was almost as good. Point scored the only run on a walk, sac bunt, fly out and a single on a 3-2 pitch. These two pitchers will probably face off again sometime this summer in Legion ball but, at least on this day, both can hold their heads high with great efforts.
There are no givens in the playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens never believed that they had no chance against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. And they now find themselves in the Eastern finals after hammering the Penguins in Game 7 last night 5-2. They could be facing another surprise team in the Philadelphia Flyers who were down 3-0 in their series with Boston but after winning Game 6 last night have now pulled even. They will try to become the first team since 1975 to come back froma 3-0 hole to win a series...and 1975 saw the Flyers win the Cup!
The Brewers are a mess and hopefully a day off will help. They have the worst home record in the majors and the overworked bullpen is being abused. Also the starting pitching isnt getting deep enough into games and some hitters...I'm looking at you Prince Fielder...are not doing their jobs. One bright spot is the continued emergence of Casey McGehee as a strong spot in the batting order. Ken Macha needs to pull the trigger on Trevor Hoffman as closer...his fastball has no velocity and he can't throw his changeup for strikes.
The Brewers welcome in the Phillies this weekend for Seventies Week. Milwaukee is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the team and this weekend will re-visit the era of powder blue uniforms, big afros and the exploits of Yount, Thomas and Harper at County Stadium. Jim Colborn and Gorman Thomas will be signing autographs on Saturday and Sunday is Hank Aaron bobblehead night. Both Saturday and Sunday are national tv games.
Songs of the Day (from my I-pod)
Flying Home-Lionel Hampton (1957) this jazz classic was actually written in 1939 by Benny Goodman and Hampton played on it then and later made it his own. The original tune featured arguably the first "honking" sax solo at the end by Eddie Jacquet which was later used in alot of early R & B and Rock & Roll records. Here is Hamptons band doing the tune on tv in the late 50's
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong-Buffalo Springfield (1966) A Neil Young song sung beautifully by Richie Furay from the Springfield's first LP. If I had a time machine one of the places I would go is LA in 1966 to witness the Byrds, Springfield and other great bands live in their natural habitat.