An eight-hour bus ride after Sunday’s 9-4 loss to Everett went by a lot faster than I thought it might – as the lone true off day of the season in Boise was looming ahead for the Hawks. Though the DVD Player went out on the bus, listening to a lot of the guys play cards and listening to the Cubs-Cardinals game on my phone passed the time – as did taking various pictures (including this lonely road near Thorp, WA) en route to the Treasure Valley.
The off day was truly that, and I spent it with my best friend – my bride, who I don’t get to hang out with much (without the three-year-old) during the 76 game season. We spent some time in Boise, shared a Big Jud one-pound burger (didn’t come close to eating it), at look a slow walk on the Greenbelt – Liza got to see the Caven-Williams Center and the blue turf up close. That night, we went downtown Boise (for living in Caldwell – it doesn’t happen much), taking in a lot of the night scene – including fun at the Piper Pub, Cafe Ole, and Fattys. Some players played golf, others floated the Boise River, while skipper Mark Johnson took a drive to Cascade, over to Stanley, and down through Sun Valley – a drive he described as AMAZING.
Back to work the last two nights – a big seventh inning outburst, capped by a huge three-run double by Reggie Golden, lifted the team to a Tuesday win, then great pitching prevailed in a Wednesday 3-2 Hawks decision. Paul Hoilman hit his league leading 11th homer of the year, while Ben Wells went five innings to get the win, with Kyler Burke at one stretch retiring 10 of 11 men in relief.
2 IS A LONELY NUMBER: Four different players this season have worn jersey #2 this season – with Oliver Zapata being the newest person in the club. Vismeldy Bieneme wore the number on opening day before he was injured (sent to Mesa and subsequently released), Kyung-Min Na wore the number next (then sent to Mesa), followed by Jesus Morelli (who was just promoted to Peoria), and now Zapata.
ROTATION CHANGE: The Hawks have changed their starting rotation for this series, as Yao-Lin Wang will pitch Thursday vs. Salem-Keizer, followed by Jose Rosario on Friday, and Austin Reed on Saturday. Su-Min Jung has been relegated to the bullpen, while the piggy-back system (Wang-Rosario, Jung-Cam Greathouse, Reed- Jin-Young Kim (who was sent to Mesa)) has been scrapped for the time being – except for Wells and Burke.
VOTE FOR GREATHOUSE: Vote for Hawks pitcher Cam Greathouse in MILB.com’s Minors Moniker Madness contest – trying to see who has the best name in the minor leagues. Also up for a vote is former Hawk, Matt Szczur.
STRIKEOUT RECORD: Hoilman has 66 strikeouts this season – 40 away from the Northwest League record held by current Cubs baserunning and outfield coordinator, Lee Tinsley, who fanned 106 times in 1988 for the Southern Oregon A’s – learning how to switch hit.