Just got back from a 4-3 win that the Redbirds posted over the Portland Beavers. The highlight of the game was a 3 run bomb by Rick Ankiel.
It was a very nice moment. The game was tied 1-1 and the redbirds got a leadoff basehit by their relief pitcher (don't know the guys name.. he was a sidearmer/submariner). Shumaker got a basehit and Ryan grounded into a force out putting runners at 1st and 3rd with one out. The Beavers took out their starting pitcher and brought in a lefthander with a weird leg kick delivery to face Ankeil. Rick hits the first pitch on a Pujols-esque line drive home run into the visitors bullpen. Put the redbirds ahead 4-1.
Falkenberg tried to blow the game by loading up the bases and giving up a 2 run seeing eye single, but buckled down and got out of it with a K.
My other impressions were:
Espisito may be a terrible hitter, but he is a good defender.. He has a good arm and it didn't look like runners even wanted to try to run on him. Ryan has good speed, although his 2 stolen bases in the game were gifts (The first was on a failed pickoff attempt where the 1st basemen bobbled the ball allowing Ryan to get to the 2nd, and the second was veeeeery close at 3rd). Tag Bozied has tremendous power--in his first at bat he hit this monster blast that just went foul, but he hit the crap out of it (maybe 500 feet.. no joke).
The Ankiel bomb was nice, but he also struck out 3 times on what seemed to be off speed pitches (the stadium gun was broken so I can't confirm)