So among other new experiences, I got my first foul ball while at a baseball game. Sort of. The odd thing was that I wasn't even in the stadium. My wife and I left an inning early because we had to get back to Phoenix in time to have dinner with friends. As we were approaching our car, we heard the crack of the bat and looked up to see the ball soaring over the stadium on the 3B side. My instincts as a lifelong utility infielder kicked in and I ranged far to my left, scooping up the ball cleanly on two bounces. I wanted to set my feet and fire a strike to first, but seeing that I was in a parking lot and the only other person in sight was my wife, I decided to stick it in my pocket. First time I left the park with a baseball. I had gotten a batting practice HR at Wrigley before, but I wound up giving it to a kid. With nobody else around, I got to keep this one.
Now that I'm back in Chicago, I'm not able to give a first hand report of the game, but I'm still tracking the games via my laptop and it appears that Matt Szczur is starting to build on his encouraging game Friday...
- As I mentioned before, Matt Szczur is working on his swing this fall and on Friday. We know he'll work hard on making the adjustments so there's hope he can make more consistent hard contact. Friday was a nice start and he continued to hit well today. Szczur went 3 for 4, including a double, to raise his fall average to .368. He also scored once, drove in his 3rd run and stole his 4th base.
- Javier Baez didn't fare as well, though he did get his 8th RBI in 5 games. knocking in Szczur with a sac fly. Overall he went 0-4 to drop his batting average to .238.
- Check out AZ Phil's roundup of instructional league stats. I think the best thing to take out of this is the increased percentage of walks by players like Albert Almora and Jorge Soler. This is a time for those players to work on some things and it's encouraging to see someone like Soler alter his swing and still hit as well as he has. On the pitching side, Jose Arias was dominant and Juan Carlos Paniagua was also good.