Last night I took a trip down the 490, through rain and flooded highway to Rochester. A friend of my dad’s invited me, my dad and my brother to a feast at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (soooo good) and a Rochester Red Wings game. Unfortunately Francisco Liriano had thrown a seven-inning, four hit, 10 strikeout gem the night before in a 13-0 win over Toledo. So we had to settle for a pitching match-up of Rochester’s Philip Humber and Toledo’s Anastacio Martinez.
We were also treated to a Howie Clark sighting in right field.
I had never been to a game at Frontier Field but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a simple little minor league park that reminded me of a combination of Jacobs Field (not Progessive Field) in terms of how the concourse was set up and Camden Yards in Baltimore (mainly because there was a lot of brick).
The game was decent. Rochester took a 9-0 lead going into the eighth in large part to a six-run fourth inning. Rochester lead-off man Jason Pridie belted two homers.
But the fun really didn’t start until the eighth inning when Danny Graves came in to pitch. Danny Graves, the two-time Bison and former Reds closer who saved 41 games in 2004 and probably helped your fantasy team on its way to a championship.
Graves opened the eighth inning by throwing a ball. Nine balls actually. It was like watching Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn but without the velocity. Graves hit the first batter. Then he walked the second batter. Then he hit the third batter.
With bases loaded, he gave up a single, scoring one run. Then he walked the next batter. Then the skipper came out and took the ball away.
Seventeen pitches. Four strikes. No outs.
Toledo would score a total of six runs in the inning, but Graves was already in the dug out by then.
It made me wonder what happened to this guy? One minute he’s on top of the world a two-time All-Star, saving 41 games for a major league club and the next season, he has a rough start, flips off a fan and he’s stuck in the minors for three years. Then his game goes to hell and you wonder if he’ll ever get a sniff of the bigs again.
Rochester ended up holding off the Mud Hen assault and won 9-6. We headed back to Dinosaur and got a rack of ribs to go. Man that stuff is good.