Tonight is the final game of Wichita’s season-opening seven game homestand, and regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game against Sioux Falls, the homestand can only be defined as a success. The Wingnuts can’t hit the road with a record worse than 5-2, and a 6-1 start would be outstanding for a team with a new manager and a cast of new players.
Joe Muich ended last night’s game in the 13th inning with a walkoff homer, the second game-ending homer for the Wingnuts last season. Last year, they didn’t have a single such home run. Wichita is already 3-0 in one-run games, too…but I won’t spoil my lead note for the Sunday notes column. So pretend I didn’t just tell you that.
We had the first comment of the season last night. And I need more comments. I thrive on them. Let’s make this a little more interactive, can we? A commentor asked what happened to Byron Embry, last season’s closer. Well, I can tell you that Embry has decided to hang it up after 12 professional seasons. He peaked in Triple-A, making it to that level with the Royals and Mariners, but never reached the majors. Embry compiled a 28-34 record with 77 saves and a 3.41 ERA.
So Embry is done with baseball, and reporters everywhere are weeping. Or celebrating, depending on your viewpoint. It’s a little of both for me. I loved talking to Embry because he would always come up with a juicy quote — including one about hitting his own mother if she disrespected him or one of his teammates. But my relationship with Embry was a little volatile because he didn’t like when I printed the quotes he made when he was a little fired up. But generally, we got along and it’s disappointing to see him give up baseball.
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There was an interesting incident in yesterday’s game between Fort Worth and Sioux City. Here is the account from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Things turned a bit interesting in Crow's final inning when he hit Carlos Arroyo with a pitch. Arroyo didn't take the plunking sportingly and threw a bat toward Crow. Cats catcher Kelley Gulledge immediately stepped in front of Arroyo as both teams wound up on the field. No punches were thrown.
So Fort Worth’s Aaron Crow, a first-round MLB draft pick last year who didn’t sign with the Washington Nationals, had a bat thrown at him. That much we know. But we have no comments from Crow or Arroyo or either manager. That seems odd to me. But I guess that could mean it wasn’t a big deal. From what I hear, the bat didn’t come remotely close to hitting Crow. But still, I wish I knew more about this.
That’s all for today. Sioux Falls’ J.D. Reininger had a pulled tooth yesterday but is back in the lineup today for the Canaries. Speaking of lineups, here they are:
SIOUX FALLS (2-4): 2B Joe Anthonsen, 3B Trevor Lawhorn, CF Beau Torbert, DH Cory Harris, LF J.D. Reininger, 1B Patrick Reilly, RF Ben Van Iderstine, C Paul Smyth, SS Tim Hutting. LHP Jino Gonzalez.
WICHITA (5-1): CF Nick Blasi, SS Brenan Herrera, LF Greg Porter, RF Dustan Mohr, DH Kelly Hunt, 3B Mike Thompson, C Joe Muich, 1B Steve Pearson, 2B Josh Horn. RHP Will Savage.