The season finale always has some excitement tied to it. Sometimes it is the excitement of the players as they prepare to head back home to loved ones. There was some of that in the air last night. But there was also a felling of pride in a job well done and a season that was enjoyed by the fans. It was nice to see a competitive team that won more than it lost. This team is just the third team in Greeneville Astros history to finish above .500 and they finished with the second best record in franchise history. Greeneville fans also claimed the attendance title for the 8th consecutive year.
The evening began with the two team awards being handed out. Jose Monzon was named the recipient of the Oscar Pedron Award for leadership and character. Previous reciepients of the award include: 2005 - P Brad James,
2006 - P Polin Trinidad, 2007 - C/1B Kyle Miller, 2008 - C Pedro Gonzalez, 2009 - CF Grant Hogue, 2010 - 1B Marcus Nidiffer, and 2011 - C Cristian Moronta.
Brian Blasik was named the team MVP. He lead the team in hits, triples, RBIs, and finished with an impressive .318 average. In the field, he only made four errors in 48 games at second base. He also showed his versatility playing five games at third and one game in left. Instead of a trophy, Blasik received a framed road jersey. A nice touch by the front office.
On to the game observations:
On The Mound
Michael Feliz was dealing. He allowed just three hits in five innings of work. He didn't walk anyone. He was efficient, using just 61 pitches in five innings. I was really surprised when he didn't return for the sixth. Some balls were hit hard off of him but they tended to be right at folks.
Christian Garcia allowed a lead off single but then got a fielders choice and a double play to face just three batters in his one inning. Brad Propst pitched around a lead off double in one scoreless inning of work. Zach Dando didn't have his best stuff. He gave up three doubles and Bluefield's only two runs.
Jordan Jankowski came into the game and did what he has done most of the year. In 1 1/3 IP, he fanned three batters. That brings his total to 53 strike outs in 32 1/3 IP. He finished six strikeouts behind team leader Francis Ramirez despite pitching 21 less innings!
At The Plate
The Astros jumped all over Bluefield starter Justin James. They scored in the first three innings to give the G-Stros an early 5-0 lead.
Angel Ibanez continued his good work at the plate going three for four. He hit .305 in the month of August to raise his season average to .264.
Brian Blasik added a single and a double to his hit total for the season. Ernesto Genoves and Ricky Gingras both added two hit nights as well.
Rio Ruiz's triple was a very close play at third. He showed good hustle on the play.
Jose Fernandez hit the ball hard but had nothing to show for hit. He lined out to center once and was robbed on a line drive to short.
In The Field
D'Andre Toney continues to make plays in center. He chased a ball hit deep to center with ease in the second inning.
Genoves threw out yet another base runner on a strike em out throw em out double play to erase a lead off hit in the third. That is three base stealers caught in the last two games.
Monzon makes things look easy in RF. That can't be said for all the guys who have played out there this year.
It was a great way to wrap up the season. Good pitching, good fielding and good hitting.
We are also getting another view of the new front office way of doing things. There are no expected promotions to teams after the season. That has been the norm in the past.
I was also told that only four players are heading to instructional league: Rio Ruiz, Lance McCullers, Carlos Correa and Terrell Joyce. That is a smaller number than I would have expected. It will be interesting to see who is joining them from other affiliates.
Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.