Despite the team not playing well, it was a great experience. It was the first time I'd ever received a media credential to cover anything but a college sporting event.
I arrived with Jared Massey of LA Dugout at a little after 4 p.m. after we met up for about an hour before at a brewery right down the street from the stadium. It was a hot day in Ranch, so we wanted to take advantage of the air conditioning (and beer) as long as we could.
We caught the last little bit of batting practice. Guys like Austin Gallagher (45), Tyler Henson (29), Carlos Mirabal and Tony Delmonico were finishing up their set.
|Afternoon batting practice|
The 2011 fifth-round pick out of Oregon was in shorts and watching batting practice. By the look of him, I never would have guessed it was him. I know he's listed at 6-feet tall, 170 pounds, but I'd be shocked if he was either. Unfortunately, he wouldn't be needed on this night.
While we were on the field, Takashi Saito, who was with the Visalia Rawhide on a rehab assignment, walked by. After I had informed Jared that Saito had thrown the night before, I missed Saito the first time he walked by, as you can tell by this photo.
|Takashi Saito walks by|
However, I caught him on the second time back. He recognized someone affiliated with the Dodgers. He was wearing jeans and a blue shirt and was obviously not a player. Jared's best guess is it was Bill Mueller. He is serving in the Dodgers' front office as a special assistant to General Manager Ned Colletti.
After batting practice was over, we retreated to a WiFi-less press box. I didn't really care there was no WiFi access as I was just there to enjoy the experience.
|Angel Sanchez, who struggled|
Sanchez hit 98 MPH at one time and 96 a couple other times (readings I think were not accurate), but he worked consistently in the 89-93 MPH range. He threw his slider a bit, but didn't throw his changeup much. That, coupled with leaving his fastball over the plate, led to a short, rocky outing for the 22-year-old.
There wasn't much in the way of offense, as the Quakes ended up with just four runs. Christopher O'Brien had a double and Austin Gallagher went 1-for-2 with two walks. Nick Akins chipped in two hits, but that was about it.
Even though the Quakes lost 8-4, I was happy to have the opportunity to attend the game with media access and I hope to get back down there sometime this summer to see another game at the Epicenter.
Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue