Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Diamonds in the rough – series notes, July 18, 2017

Thrilling Race to First Half Title Came Up Short but Diamonds Are Hoping
To Learn from That and Capture the Second Half Championship

Come-from-behind and extra inning victories – with a three-run walk-off homerun by J.J. Wagner as the crowning point – filled the Diamonds’ fierce run at the championship for the first half of the Pacific Association season.  Pittsburg, however, came up short, finally being knocked out of the race with just four games left to play. The Diamonds enter the second half of the season with great starting pitching, proven excellence in the field and what many consider to be the best line-up in the league. Can they be consistent enough to win the second-half title? It’s Opening Day all over again as the Diamonds play Vallejo and everyone’s record is 0-0.

Tuesday, July 18, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Former major leaguer Travis Blakley will return to the mound for his third appearance for the Diamonds.  Blakley was every effective in his two starts against the Stompers, shutting them out in his five innings of that first appearance. He will be looking to get the Diamonds off to a good start in the second half.

Wednesday, July 19, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined.

Thursday, July 20, Vallejo, 6:30 p.m. – Starting pitcher to be determined.

Hello Vallejo!! – Scheduling quirks, driven largely by the need of some teams to share their baseball stadium, created a number of oddities this year. Perhaps the strangest of them all is that Pittsburg did not play a game at Vallejo the entire first half of the season. The Diamonds make their first trip to the City of Opportunity hoping to do as well against the Admirals here as they did at home.

Diamonds’ Home Sweet for Stompers – If you think that last sentence was a cheap way to segue into this next bit, you are correct. The chart below shows you the Diamonds were 8-4 against Vallejo, all of the games at Winter Chevrolet Stadium.

As you can see the Diamonds’ home was sweet for Sonoma where the Stompers went undefeated. Pittsburg – which has primary access to its stadium – played 24 home games and just 15 away games in the first half. Now, that situation and relative advantage will be reversed with 24 road games upcoming.

A Living Tribute to His Dad – The Diamonds were happy to give a warm welcome back to Yiecok Calderon last week.  In the midst of the championship race, the friendly right-fielder with the bright smile was suffering through one of life’s most difficult times: the death of his father. The team gave Calderon a ticket to fly home and be with his family for the services and mourning. Upon his return, Calderon said he wanted to play baseball to honor his father and one of his goals in life now is to work to inform the public about Alzheimer’s Disease.  That night, he hit a homerun.

It’s Easy to Find These Diamonds – The Diamonds are rapidly becoming Pittsburg’s reality TV show with expanding coverage of their games streaming online. Of course, the best way to catch the action is to come on down to Winter Chevrolet Stadium and enjoy a summer evening in the covered grandstand. $7 tickets are available at www.DiamondsProBall.com. All games can be heard live on www.Mixlr.com with Tony Schultz and Scott Macdonald calling all the action. The pre-game show “Runs!Hits!Aaron!” featuring Diamonds manager Aaron Miles can be heard ten minutes before the scheduled first pitch each day. A link to the “live broadcast” can be found on the Diamonds’ home page. Friday and Saturday home games are shown live on Delta TV which can be found at Comcast Channel 24, Uverse Channel 99 and also streamed on the City of Pittsburg website (search “Diamonds”). Sunday games and other games are streamed live by www.BayAreaSports.tv. That schedule can be found on their website.