Friday, July 17, 2009

I Have Met My Match

So my dad and I went up to Altoona to see a game last night and had a blast. Beautiful night and they Curve won 7-1. More details on that to follow, but I need to confess I have found a food that may be my Kryptonite:
That's right, funnel cake. Who would have thought that a food simply made famous at at ballparks, carnivals, fairs and festivals could defeat me? First, some background. I've been getting in some good training this week, so a small appetite was clearly not an issue. I met my dad up in Ebensburg to then go to Altoona and we stopped at Subway for dinner. I had a 6-inch meatball, baked lays, and a drink with a refill (all of which I devoured at a normal rate). When we were at the stadium, I had a small diet coke and a small-ish soft pretzel in the 4th inning.

A couple of innings later, I decided that I needed something sweet and the funnel cake smelled pretty good. I go up and order it and sit back down and start to eat it. About two or three handfuls in I knew I was in trouble. How was I getting full? I rarely get full--even after five or six trips to the Hoss's soup & salad bar or an entire medium Little Caesar's pizza. I figured if I gave it a rest, maybe I would get it back. A half inning later, one bite was all I could muster. I was full. One more try an inning later....nothing. I don't eat funnel cake often, but don't ever recall this reaction to it.

By the end of the game I had only eaten half of the funnel cake (originally about the same size as the above pic I found on the Internet) and threw the rest away. I'm still trying to process how this happened--so disappointing. I hate wasting food that looks and tastes so good. Last night, I kept thinking that this is what normal people must feel after one or two trips to the Hoss's bar or a couple of slices of pizza. :)

In other news, our good friends Ben & Laura got married over the weekend. The wedding was at Heinz Chapel on Pitt's campus and the reception was at the Oakmont Country Club. While Pitt isn't too high on my list in many categories, they did get the architecture thing right with the chapel and the Cathedral of Learning. And, Oakmont CC (hosted the 2007 US Open and next year's Women's US Open) speaks for itself. Here's some pics:

It's crazy to think that Chad & Jen H and Matt run up the Cathedral multiple times for training in the winter!!!

The Heinz Chapel is impressive. I took a picture of the stained glass on the inside, but wasn't too steady on the shot (a little blurry) plus a dude's balding head from the row ahead is in the shot, too.

Oakmont CC looking out from the Clubhouse. Those smoke stacks are in Springdale and I thought it was so cool on the TV coverage a few years ago when they were in the shot since we ride past them.

And, finally, on to the game last night. Yoslan Herrera (aka the Pinata) actually had a good game. Seven shutout innings. He's still sitting in the high 80's on his fastball, but his curve and changeup were on last night and got a lot of swings and misses (5 strikeouts). The exciting part was seeing the top of the Curve lineup in person and the hope that this will arrive to Pittsburgh in two years or less. This was even without Brian Friday who didn't start since he was in the Eastern League All-Star game the night before (and was probably travelling back all day from Trenton, NJ). However, here was last night's top of the order:

2B Jim Negrych: 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Negrych is a borderline prospect, but the guy can hit. His downside is his defense, but he turned a couple of double plays last night and made a fine running over-the-shoulder catch in shallow right field. We shall see....

CF Gorkys Hernandez: 3 for 5 with a double and RBI. No real web gems, but he is so smooth and quick in the OF and on the bases)

RF Jose Tabata: 2 for 5 and just ripped the ball on both of his singles. He actually also hit in to a triple play in the first inning. Negrych and Hernandez were on and he hit a low line drive to the 2nd baseman. It was just off the dirt and you just couldn't tell if it was going to be a catch or a trap, so the runners had to go. Before you know it, the 2B throws to the SS and then to 1B and we just kind of looked at each other and said, "Hey--that was a triple play."

3B Pedro Alvarez: 3 for 5 with a tape-measure HR to right center field. I thought it was maybe going to hit the roller coaster out there. Maybe he's starting to find his AA groove. He's got a 7 game hit streak and is hitting .351 with an Albert Pujols-like OPS of 1.051 so far in July.

Like I said the other day, if these guys (along with Millege, Lincoln, Gorzelanny, and others at AAA) can continue their progress, 2011 may be the start of having a strong and productive organization that just re-loads like the Minnesota Twins or Oakland A's. On top of this, the Pirates' management *clearly* must have read that blog entry with my hope and suggestions because today the Post-Gazette reported the Pirates are going to talk about *potentially* seeking contract extensions with Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. It all may be coming together.....

Finally, a few photos from last night from our usual General Admission front row seats just behind first base:
Gorkys Hernandez (3) and Jose Tabata (31)

Pedro Alvarez

Finally, you never know who you're going to see in minor league baseball games. Sometimes there's veterans on injury rehab. For the Harrisburg Senators, we saw Dmitri Young (no kidding, his nickname is 'The Meat Hook') who, according to the Washington Nationals site, had a strained hip and back since April and just started rehabbing on June 27.

I remember him at a game about 10-15 years ago (it may have even been longer--back at Three Rivers Stadium) because I still remember a specific play. He was playing left field in his (sort of) slimmer younger days I think for the Cincinnati Reds. There was some sort of play (a bunt?) where the third baseman, short stop, and pitcher where nowhere near third base and a Pirate was going to second base. What I remember is that he came flying in from left field to cover third base and not allow the Pirate to advance to third. After the play, he then chided the young player about remembering to cover his base. For some reason I always remember that hustle on his part and then his 'mentoring' of the younger player. Isn't it funny what your brain remembers?

Have a great weekend of training or whatever else is on your schedule and WATCH OUT FOR THE FUNNEL CAKE!!!!


Beth said...

I never thought I'd live to see the day... defeated by funnel cake of all things!!!!! I just wish I was there in person to see it with my own eyes!!

Maijaleena said...

Maybe you are just getting...old. Ha ha! Or you had a bad day.

Nice pictures!

JPH said...

You may have a chance at redemption when you come see the Senators. There's an all-you-can-eat pizza place called Infinito's in Harrisburg that is only $7.50 with a drink, and the pizza is pretty darn good. There are two in York (you'll see one from 83) and one in Lancaster (that's the one we've gone to. The have a (very limited) salad and pasta bar as well, but it's really not worth your time. They even have dessert pizzas and really good mini-cinnamon rolls. And no funnel cake.