Team Europe is in the place

On Wednesday, we get to Maryvale complex between 7 and 7.30 like every day.

We get our breakfast.
Coaches and players eat breakfast between 7.30 and 8.30. They can choose between different types of cereals, bagels, bread, waffles, fruits, yogurt, jams... Pretty wide selection even for the pickiest persons.

7.30 - coach meeting.
Right after the meeting, we order our tickets online and use our coupon from yesterday to get seats in the 36th row, behind the 1st base dugout. this time, we order E-tickets, which should save a lot of drama.

Off to the field. the coaches decided to make it competitive today. After the warm up and play-catch, a target, maybe a bit bigger than a strike zone, is set about 30 meters away from the players. Bob Misciz is tossing balls to the players and they need to make the throw in the same action. It's catchers vs infielders, vs outfielders. It's a surprisingly tight game but the infielders are eventually winning it, overcoming an early deficit.

Then, it's time for DP Busters. The sliding mat is set up on the field and a dummy is held vertically by the coaches. Players need to learn how to break up the double play. It seems pretty awkward for some of them but they get better at it by the end of the practice.

DP Busters
That's why you only get one out on that play

At 9.35, players split into positions. We follow Andy Guerrero in the cages to see their routines. Hitters get a serie of cuts facing the 3-wheeled pitching machine, throwing curveballs today. In cage 2, Darnell Coles is throwing BP.

Sandy Guerrero feeds the curve-throwing machine during BP
On field 4, infielders work on DP and are soon joined by a group of picthers to work on PFPs.

Tony Diggs is working with the outfielders on do or die plays. In this drills, players charge the ball that he is hitting. Every round, the players move up closer to the next cone. The last flawless player wins the game.

After a quick lunch break, we are headed to the game.
Both teams are playing home but we are assigned to the advanced game in the stadium.
Team Europe is in charge of having the Mariners/Brewers team score some runs.
Filip has 3rd base and relays the signs sent from the dugout by Matt Erickson.
Chris has 1st base.

The guys tease you a bit if you don't score runs. "You know what they say" told Charlie a few days before. " When your team doesn't score, the 1st base coach is the one who is blamed"

Matt Erckkson is posting the line-up for the game against Goodyar
Well, in that game, The Indians/Reds advanced team peppered the ball all over the field in the first few innings. Our team loads the bases twice with 1 out but each time, consecutive strike-outs by middle of the order players, prevent us from getting back in the game.
"Chris, you get guys on base but they fail to score, if I was you, I know I would get on my 3rd base's coach case" teases Matt Erickson.
In the 8th inning however, one of the opponents' pitchers, a funky side-armer gets on the mound and things start to change for the best. The erratic pitcher struggles to throw strikes and when he does, he gets hit pretty hard and we come back from a 4-1 decifit to take the lead at 4-5. The rest is history as our next pitcher doesn't leave any hope to Goodyear (name of that combo team) to come back in the game.

Team Europe gets the win...

A quick note on the advanced Instructional team team or regular instructional team.
Most players are on the regular team but a smaller group of players who are either higher draft picks or a bit more experienced players take part to these games. The advanced teams are usually composed of 2 clubs, Mariners and Brewers in our case. 

After that, it's time to head to Chase Field again.

A few seats to our left, Robin Yount, a legendary player from the Brewers
We quickly get to keep our grand slam streak alive as the D-backs do it again in the 1st inning. Randy Wolf is struggling from the start and it doesn't look good. The Brewers are resilient but they fail to score with guys on base and give away a series-tying win to their host.

Fans go crazy during game 4 at Chase Field
Once again,we don't get to celebrate. Hopefully the Brew Crew wil get it done Friday in front of their own fans.

Tomorrow is the last day of instructional league. Let's  hope it will be a good one.

No comments:

Post a Comment