Wind Clocked at 20; I-Cubs Clock a Trio
Waiting for the game to begin tonight I noticed that the pitchers would be throwing into a stiff breeze. A couple young scouts, I thought, sat down a couple rows in front of me to chart the game, one of them armed with a jugs gun. I sauntered down to ask them how the scoreboard speedometer compared to their readings since the last time I checked it was thought to generally register a couple mph slower than actual velocity. No, the gunslinger told me, the scoreboard readings run pretty true. In fact, he said, he doesn't really use the gun when he's charting; he just goes by the scoreboard numbers. Only then did I realize the "scout" was Randy Wells.
The Iowa hitters, including young Vitters, did indeed surf the wind to the tune of a long ball hat trick tonight. Besides JV, Brett Jackson and, ho hum, the Rizzo kid, also went deep.
Jackson played left tonight and was dropped to sixth in the order. He began the game leading the PCL in strikeouts but tonight he was but a double shy of the cycle. All three of his hits, not to mention Rizzo's league-leading 14th homer, came off Salt Lake lefty Brad Mills. Rizzo's towering two-run blast in the 3rd came on a 3-0 count after Dave Sappelt stole second with two out on the previous pitch. It was last seen well on its way to the Des Moines river beyond the street that runs behind the right field bleachers. Rizzo also drew a walk off side winding loogy Matt Meyers. He looks supremely at ease and confident at the plate in this league. How numbered are his days here?
Travis Wood worked seven solid innings in evening his record at 3-3, notching nine fly outs against one long homer that came to rest in the left field parking lot where I found it lodged beneath a car tire. Manny Corpas traded three runs for three outs in the 9th to make the final 7-5 I-Cubs.
Sappelt played center instead of Jackson who didn't appear hampered legging out his triple or getting cut down at second by the cutoff man when Ty Wright was held at third after Jackson's sharp single to right. Looking for the elusive cycle in his last trip he grounded out, but still his night was whiffless.