Even though the Columbus Clippers have one of the worst records in the International League, and the worst overall in the IL West, their fans have a huge amount of pride in the team. They are proud that they have had several Player of the Weeks on the team. They are proud of the fact that they had three players in the All-Star game. Most recently, Clippers fans are proud that their ballpark, Huntington Park, was named the best new ballpark in America, beating our even the new Yankee Stadium.
To show their pride, another 9,000+ fans packed into the park. This continues their record as the highest (by percentage of total seats) attendance of any park in the nation. From all over Columbus, all ages and walks of life came to watch their team play. They came to watch a great game of baseball, to see some amazing plays, and to see the Clippers dominate. They were not disappointed.
While the fans wanted to see the Clippers dominate, the Indianapolis Indians started the game off strong. In the first inning, the Indians managed to combine for three runs, with some decent hits and amazing base running. The Clippers managed to score one in the first themselves, but they couldn't create the momentum that the Indians did. After the initial scoring, both sides were stagnated, as a pitchers' duel emerged.
Finally, in the fifth inning, the Clippers were able to crack the brick wall of the Indianapolis Indians' defense. With a series of singles, walks, and stolen bases, the Clippers managed to round the bases five times, including Jason Donald's third of the night, which is quite impressive. The most exciting of these was when Wes Hodges' stolen base forced an error, allowing him to advance to third and scoring Tony Graffanino. After scoring these runs, the Clippers were able to hold on for the win, 7-6.
Of course, no game this week would be complete without controversy – the Clippers and Indians game was no exception. In the sixth, right after the run-filled inning for the Clippers, Indianapolis right fielder Tagg Bozied swung and missed, striking out. Something that Clippers catcher Marson said immediately after that irked Bozied, and some words were exchanged. Quickly, both benches emptied, and it looked like we would have a brawl. Alas, that was not the case, as calmer heads prevailed and no punches were thrown.
Later, in the seventh, a home run from the Indians' Neil Walker hit the foul pole on the side. There was a conference where the umps decided that it was a home run. Obviously, this caused much booing from the stands.
While these two examples seem to indicate that it was a tough and controversial game, it really wasn't. While they made some mistakes, the umps called a pretty good game tonight.
The Great Race
Tonight's Sugardale Hot Dog race was actually a pretty clean competition. Unlike the normal cheating – tackling, tripping, and shutting the door early – the hot dogs all competed fairly. The three all emerged from the wall at roughly the same time, and they were all neck-and-neck coming down to the final stretch. At the end, however, Mustard was able to pull away, grabbing the lead. This gives Mustard 2 wins, while Relish has 6 and Ketchup has 1.
W: Hector Rondon (4-2) 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
L: Eric Hacker (5-5) 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
S: Greg Aquino (12) 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO