Freddie Ocasio and I often talk about our favorite show, AMC's Breaking Bad, in the clubhouse. Season four just premiered, but Freddie has a difficult time catching the show, since most of the games go well into the evening.
But with cable television in the Dave Lemak Clubhouse, Freddie told me he was planning on watching a replay of the season premiere tonight at 10 p.m. I mentioned to him that me might have to get thrown out of the game if it goes late.
Never underestimate the power of a good show.
Tidbit of the day from Dust Devils radio play-by-play man Jason Schwartz: Yakima Bears pitcher Adam Kudryk comes from an athletic family. His dad, Peter, won a Canadian Football League Grey Cup as a defensive end with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1972. But Adam was well on his way to forging his own path in baseball before a torn labrum in his left shoulder nearly ended his career at Weatherford College in Texas.
After coming back with the Mississauga Twins, an independent team in Mississippi, in 2010, he was looking through his spam folder on his e-mail account and saw a notice for a baseball camp. At the camp, which was run by the Major League Scouting Bureau, Kudryk hit 88 mph on the radar gun. That was good enough to get a call back from the Arizona Diamondbacks, who invited him for a tryout in Scottsdale, Ariz, in early March. There he reached 90 mph on the gun.
That was good enough to get him signed, and here he is.
Kudryk not having the best of luck tonight. He should have gotten out of the fourth inning, but a pair of errors led to two unearned runs for Tri-City, one of them a two-out RBI single by Taylor Featherston that made it 2-0.
Meanwhile, Dust Devils starter Ricardo Ferrer working on his best start of the season. He's only allowed two runners to reach base after five innings, and both of those were walks. You can draw the obvious conclusion, but it's sort of an unwritten baseball rule to ignore the elephant in the room, if you know what I mean.
Tri-City got a chance to add another run in the fifth, when Brian Humphries singled to left with Richard Pirkle on second base. Ocasio, the third-base coach, decided to test the arm of Yakima left fielder Marc Bourgeois and waved Pirkle around third. Bourgeois, showing an upper-class arm, was up to the test and threw Pirkle out by a couple yards to end the inning.
Ferrer just gave up his first hit, a solid single to center field with one out in the sixth inning. But what a nice run for 6-foot-2 right-hander, who has been in control all the way, commanding a nice curve and using a good fastball to set it up.
I've got him at 62 pitches through six innings, and they've been stretching out the guys from extended spring training to 90 pitches lately. I don't see anybody warming up in the bullpen, so it looks like he could go at least another couple innings.
Dust Devils still lead 2-0 heading into the bottom of six.
Ferrer gets touched up in the top of the eighth for two runs. A leadoff home run by Tyler Bream made it 2-1. Ferrer left the game after an infield single by Westley Moss. Nelson Gonzalez then bounced a pickoff throw to first for a two-base error, sending Moss to third. Zach Jones drove him in with a soft single to center to tie the score at 2.
Tough luck for Ferrer, who still pitched an amazing game.
Tri-City now threatening in the bottom of the eighth. Tim Smalling hits a one-out single, followed by a double to center by Jared Simon. A walk to Leonardo Reyes loaded the bases brought up pinch hitter Tyler Massey.
On a 2-1 count, Massey lifted a fly ball to Moss in center. Was it deep enough? Ocasio thought so, enough to send Smalling, who just beat a good throw to make it 3-2.
Gonzalez now with a chance to pick up his fifth win of the year. He gets the first out but hits Henry Zabala, the second batter in the ninth. But Gonzalez keeps his cool and retires the next two batters in order to end the game.
At 5-0, Gonzalez is now tied with Juan Grullon of Spokane for the Northwest League lead in victories.
Dust Devils back in first place in the East Division, tied with Spokane at 18-15.
And the game went just 2 hours and 8 minutes, so Freddie gets plenty of time to watch Breaking Bad.