Songs of Summer, The Numbers People, Wire Walking

The first game in the series against Bowling Green was going smoothly until the 10th inning. Neither team had a run, and a pitcher’s duel was in full effect. Here were the lines for both starters:

Matt Wisler – 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 6K

Parker Markel – 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K

Nobody even drew a walk until the ninth inning. It was that kind of game.

Fort Wayne had the bases loaded in the ninth, but couldn’t get the go-ahead run in. After Wisler’s sterling six innings of work, James Jones came in from the bullpen for the TinCaps. What did he do? He retired the side in order in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

However, in the 10th, he allowed a one-out single to Drew Vettleson, and then Todd Glaesmann tripled off the wall in left-center field to drive in the run and give the Hot Rods the walk-off win.

Although Fort Wayne is out of playoff contention, the team still has a chance to play spoiler. Bowling Green leads South Bend for the second playoff spot by just one game, and there are two to play in the first half.

In case you missed it yesterday, here’s Tom Felice’s feature piece on TinCaps teammates Matt Colantonio and Dennis O’Grady, who grew up near one another in New York, and now find themselves on the same team in professional baseball:

SONGS OF SUMMER

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll (hopefully) remember that a few weeks back I’d posted a few songs that were a part of the “Song of the Summer” competition over on the TBTL Podcast site.  Entrants into the competition include “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber, “Young, Wild and Free” by Wiz Khalifa, “We Are Young” by Fun–and those are just some of the ones you’ll hear on Top-40 radio. There are a lot of indie songs and tracks you just wouldn’t hear on the radio that are included on the list, too. Someone who’s a fan of the podcast (not me) put together a Grooveshark playlist of all of the songs for your enjoyment. I know it’ll be my filling-out-my-scorecard playlist today when I get to the ballpark.

Here’s a link to the playlist, if you’re so inclined.

THE NUMBERS PEOPLE

If you’ve ever wondered about how ESPN gets such quick live stats to appear on TV during a broadcast of a sporting event, it’s because there is a near-army of people working behind the scenes to make it happen. The ESPN Stats and Information Department gets the inside look treatment from Forbes: 

“In total there are about 55 production researchers to assist in-studio and event broadcasts.  They not only provide assistance during the events, but they’ll also help prepare key notes, facts, and figures prior to the event.  They know the major storylines before the event begins, and know what to highlight once enough of the match has been played and the emerging storylines are understood.

Researchers are also found off camera on the sets of shows like SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, and soccer pre-game, post-game, and halftime coverage.  They’re responsible for coordinating the flow of any and all statistical information to the on-air talent that is prepping for the upcoming show or during the show’s commercial breaks. There is a level of trust required for the partnership between the researcher and on-air talent to work, as the on-air talent must be willing to repeat verbatim the facts they’re being fed.  To achieve this level of trust the researcher double-checks all information against ESPN-trusted sources before providing it to the talent.  Requests by on-air talent inevitably happen with little notice, and may amount to no more than a terse, respectful request for a very specific piece of data from the researcher.  It’s only after the successful wrap of a segment that the on-air talent has enough time to adequately express their gratitude.  Thus, it may seem like a mildly hierarchical working environment to those unaccustomed to it, but both the on-air talent and the researcher know they exist in a symbiotic relationship that would fail without the other party doing their job competently, confidently, and consistently.  Like S&A employees PR staff do have their specialties, but they must also be flexible enough to cover multiple sports and shows.”

Stuff like that really intrigues the broadcaster and sports geek within me. If you want to follow ESPN Stats and Information on Twitter, you can check out @ESPNStatsInfo, where you’ll get nuggets like this:

WIRE WALKING

Last night, somewhere around the seventh inning of the TincCaps-Hot Rods game, Nik Wallenda was doing something far more dangerous than heading toward extra innings. He was walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls.

Don’t look down. Don’t look down.

The last confirmed wire walk over the Falls was in 1896, and laws on the books had made any type of attempt illegal for more than 100 years. The New York State Legislature had to pass a bill specifically allowing this event.

The New York Times has a photo gallery of the event right here.

MUSICAL GUEST

Martin Solveig…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

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