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Vancouver Canadians Take One for Road

The Canadians got their best of three Northwest League North division finals series off to a flying start with a 5-1 win over the visiting Everett Aquasox. The C’s rode some very good pitching, the key to the series as per my preview, and an outer space inspired sixth inning rally for the victory. The series now shifts down the I-5 for games two and, if necessary, three over the next two nights. It’s only going to take one to get it done.

Once again, C’s starter Tom Robson did not have his best stuff. He battled through though, keeping his team in the game through five innings, giving up a single run on five hits with a walk, versus four strikeouts. As per his last start, the right-hander didn’t have a feel for his curve ball. I had him throwing eight, and at least five of them were bounced. So once again he had to rely on his fastball. Luckily for him the umpire on the night was giving him the low strike, so he lived down there, working both sides of the plate.

As Jim Czajkowski said last time, it’s a special kid that can battle his way through with mediocre stuff to shut a good hitting team down. You know what would be even better? A kid that can command what should be an excellent curve ball. Then we’ll see how special he really can be. Talking to Czajkowski after the game, he said that if Robson can’t get a consistent feel for the curve then he may be forced to switch to a slider, something more easily controllable.

Mitch Nay had an excellent debut in C’s black, going 2 for 4 with 2 singles. For a guy that was drafted as a power hitter, he has a great approach, which was reflected in his season’s 0.71 K/BB ratio. He’s got a wide base, keeping his elbow in and hands at a medium height. He’ll takes some ‘party’ hacks early in the count, but if he’s got a couple of strikes on him will trust his hands and go with the pitch, as he did on his first at bat, a single up the middle.

The C’s got a bit of cosmic intervention in the sixth inning when a UFO like object was spotted hovering above the right field wall:

Of course, the C’s put up a four spot after the sighting, leading to a twitter spaceship trend.

The C’s bullpen were able to make that lead stand as Matt Dermody went 2 innings, striking out his usual two per inning. Garret Pickens went one, striking out two while walking one, and Chuck Ghysels finished proceedings off with two K’s of his own. I haven’t really mentioned Ghysels much this season but he has been throwing really well as of late. Tuesday’s two K’s makes for thirteen in his last six innings pitched.

Notes from the Pressbox:

Attendance at the Nat was a rather thin 1,796. I do believe that would be the smallest crowd of the season. Odd, considering it’s, you know, the playoffs.

Shane Dawson didn’t come off the DL for the playoff as originally thought. In fact he’s scheduled in for a MRI on Monday. That is never good news when discussing elbows, but he reckons it’s just for precautionary reasons, saying that ‘my velocity and accuracy is still there when I throw, and those are the first to go when you’ve torn your UCL.’

Either way, I like the fact they are being proactive with the injury. If they do find a tear, then he’ll get the Tommy John surgery done right away and hopefully be back for instructs in 2014.

Recent call-up Chase DeJong was up on the pressbox roof taking in the view about an hour before game time. It gave me the opportunity to have a wide ranging chat with the California native.

He was particularly excited about getting up here and playing in front of a large crowd, as per above, we didn’t really provide for him. This was after Bluefield’s home playoff date drew approximately 300 fans with one hundred of those being Pulaski supporters.

The sleeping arrangements also didn’t sound the best as the players were put up in dormitory style accommodation with beds that were about six feet long. Not comfortable for those taller players, of which the bulk of the pitching staff were.

In Game One of the South Division final, Boise shut out the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3-0.

Robson and Reeves Talk shop (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Robson and Reeves Talk shop (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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