Monday was supposed to be a noon start for the Kernels, but the storms that rolled through Cedar Rapids did a little number on the ballpark. They lost electricity for quite some time and there was some damage to signage and one of the picnic areas in left field. The infield tarp didn’t exactly end the night in the same position it started it, either.
Nonetheless, the Kernels’ staff worked their butts off and the final game of the team’s series with the Kane County Cougars got started about 1:30. Personally, that worked out great for me, since I couldn’t shake myself loose from the office until after 1:00, but there were several busloads of youngsters from schools that only got to see a couple of innings of baseball before having to get back on their buses.
The Kernels ended up winning the game 8-7 and claiming three out of four games in the series against the Cubs’ MWL affiliate.
Byron Buxton and Travis Harrison each hit their seventh home run of the season this afternoon. I have no video of either home run. (Sorry guys, but I can’t capture every at-bat on video. I have to put my camera down to drink a beer every once in a while, after all.)
But I did catch a couple of things I thought you all might enjoy seeing.
First… here’s a video of Niko Goodrum’s bases clearing triple in the sixth inning.
Goodrum is just one Kernels player with serious wheels.
As I said, I didn’t get a video of Travis Harrison’s home run, which exited the entire ballpark and landed on 8th Avenue. Byron Buxton has hit a few out on to the same street, but his home run today merely cleared the LCF wall (borrrrrrring) and I didn’t get a video of that, either.
But Buck doesn’t just score on home runs.
Here’s a series of videos that I think demonstrates how capable the Kernels are of manufacturing runs. It happens to involve Buxton, but honestly, it could just as easily feature any number of Kernels hitters.
Buxton leads off the fifth inning with a chopper up the middle. It was ruled an error on the shortstop and I understand that… but it’s highly unlikely that Buxton gets thrown out at 1B even if the guy fields the ball cleanly. Every infielder in the league knows that they have to play every infield ground ball perfectly to throw out at least half of the Kernels hitters.
Buxton takes a modest lead off of 1B, but that doesn’t stop the Cougars from throwing over to keep him close. Nor does it keep Buxton from stealing 2B. The catcher, again knowing he has to hurry, doesn’t come up with the pitch cleanly and can’t even make a throw.
Candido Pimentel expertly hits behind Buxton and moves him to 3B.
With one out, Niko Goodrum makes contact and drives Buxton in with a ground ball.
It’s not as flashy as a home run, but it’s an example of how Buxton and his team mates have used their speed to intimidate and ultimately beat their opponents through the first several weeks of the season.