The missus surprised me this week with an offer to treat me to an Asheville Tourists game, versus the Charleston Riverdogs, and so off we went tonight, primed for pulled pork sandwiches, steak fries and a tall drink. Oh, and maybe some decent baseball – which doesn't always happen at the high "A" minor league level. But tonight brought another surprise.
A tall, lanky pitcher, Ben Alsup, recently of LSU (yes, they play something other than football down there) pitched a gem of a game – nine complete innings and only one seventh-inning broken bat single short of a no hitter. What kind of a pitcher is he? Think Tom Glavine or Greg Maddux - – pinpoint pitches (until he tired in the eighth) that led to ground balls and virtually no strikeouts or fly balls. His speeds varied from the high 60s to the low 90s.
But that sort of pitching performance often goes unrewarded – not so tonight. Jordan Ribera, a stocky, cocky 24 year- old from Fresno, California, knocked the hide off the ball and accounted for six of the Tourists' seven runs.
I see both in triple-A ball next year, and the Colorado Rockies the following year. Unless one or both become notorious head cases. But, gee, I hope not. I wanna say I saw them when.
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