First Half Comes to a Close, A Burger for the Ages

I think it was the band Bon Jovi that has some lyric about being halfway there, right? However, in this case, it does make a difference if we make it or not, because the playoffs start in September, soooo, kinda important to be there for that. HOWEVER, there is just one more game to be played before the All-Star break, and that, my friends, is today’s 1:00 game in Comstock Park, Michigan.

It’s a beautiful day here in The Wolverine State, and Justin Hancock is making perhaps his last start in a TinCaps uniform this season. Think about it…even though he’s not an All-Star (which is a travesty), his numbers show that he’s been one of the best pitchers in the league. He’s 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA which, by the way, is the best ERA for starting pitchers in the Midwest League. He hasn’t given up a run, earned or unearned, in his last two starts, and looks like a guy who, in his second year in the league, deserves to be promoted. Today will be his second start against West Michigan in the last three outings for him, and the last time he faced this team he went  a season-best seven shutout innings on June 3rd at Parkview Field.

To think about the growth he’s had as a pitcher from one year to the next, here are his Midwest League stats from a year ago: 0-4, 6.95 ERA and 20 BB/23K in 33 2/3 innings to what he’s done this year is remarkable. Here’s to hoping the TinCaps will get him another win today.

A win today would also only better the team’s 42-26 record, which checks in as the team’s second-best first-half record in 21 years. The only better first half was in 2009, when the championship team won 45 games. In the second half of ’09, the TinCaps won 49 times, meaning that this current first half is the third-best half in franchise history.

Today’s game broadcast begins at 12:40 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com. John Nolan and I will have the call, and hope you can join us then.

A MASSIVE CHALLENGE

One of the staples of crazy ballpark food here at West Michigan is the Fifth Third Burger. Here’s what it looks like:

Yes, it is served in a pizza box.

Yes, it is served in a pizza box.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Doctors: Look away!

Doctors: Look away!

Here is my broadcast partner, John Nolan, attempting to eat the Fifth Third Burger between games of a doubleheader:

He ain't gon' make it! (He almost did)

He ain’t gon’ make it! (He almost did)

John began at 3:10 and had until 6:30 (we went on the air at 6:40) to finish the challenge, but only finished 3/4 of the burger. All in all, a pretty valiant effort. Here’s what was left at the end of the night:

Mmmm...cheesy!

Mmmm…cheesy!

Congrats to John, and to his cardiologist, who is about to make a lot of money when we get back to Fort Wayne.

PODCAST

To hear my chat with Jose Valentin from today’s pregame show, in which we discuss his “fun” first half, the injury status of some players on the disabled list, and his plans for the team in the second half, listen to today’s TinCaps Report Podcast:

MUSICAL GUEST

R.E.M….take it away!

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

MCsig

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