Well, this week sure didn’t go as well as last week. Our record is now 7-4, which is still good enough for second best record in the league. We have been playing really good baseball as a team, and the games we have lost, we feel that we had plenty of opportunities to win.
Our Wednesday night loss to the Scottsdale Scorpians was a game of high anticipation with Bryce Harper playing in his first professional game since being taken as the #1 overall pick by Washington Nationals in the 2010 MLB draft. I know the game was covered pretty well in the media but I thought it would be interesting to give you guys a player’s perspective. In one of the first few innings, a ball was hit to the right field wall, where Harper was playing, and he had his first chance to make a play. After picking the ball up at the fence, he fired a low line drive throw to the cut off man that had many of the players talking about how impressive his arm was. It was a very strong throw. While Harper was walking up to the plate for his first at bat, everyone was anxious to see what he would look like facing a professional pitcher. He took a hard swing at the first pitch that he saw, and popped it up to the shortstop. After going one for four with a double, and a few hard hit balls, it was pretty clear that he had some pop in his bat.
With the addition of a few new pitchers to the team, they have decided to move me to the bullpen and on Thursday game against the Scottsdale Scorpians I had my first appearance. I came in to the game in the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead. After a good fourth inning, I ran into a little trouble in the fifth. I gave up a one out single, and after an errant pickoff throw where the runner advanced to third base, the runner scored on a ground ball error to first. Altough it was an unearned run, it is still a run that goes against your team. Luckily it didn’y hurt us too much as we went on to win the game 4-2.
After starting the last year and a half with the High-A and Double-A teams for the Angels, it is a pretty easy transition for me to the bullpen. I was in the bullpen since I first signed with the angels in 2007. The Angels wanted me to become a starter half way through last season so I could develop a few offspeed pitches that could help me make it to the big leagues. After finishing the 09 season fairly strong, the Angels dsecided to keep me as a starter for 2010. When I was informed that I was coming to the AFL, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to start or relieve. But after doing both, I have to say I enjoy getting the ball more often as a reliever. Call it competitive nature, but I just want to be out there as often as possible to help my team win.
Hopefully we will come out next week and get back on the winning track. And now that I’m going to be coming out of the bullpen, I will have more of those opportunities to contribute. Even though this league is to show off your individual skills, everyone still wants to win more than anything. Because when it comes down to it, winning in this game isn’t an individual effort. You play as a team, you win as a team and everyone gets recognized for it.
I’ll see you guys again next week, and let you know how the team and I are doing. Thank you for stopping by and next week’s entry I will get to all of the questions and comments that have been left over the last couple of weeks.
Hello again everyone,
The last time that we talked, I was just getting to know my new teammates, and boy am I glad that they are on my team. Im just glad I don’t have to pitch to these guys! We just crush the ball. Throughout the first week of games we are 5-1, and we have really been playing well.
Our first game was against the Phoenix Desert Dogs and our starting pitcher, Brad Holt, started the AFL season out right with three scoreless innings. He really set the tone for the whole team with his outing. Our pitching staff as a whole did a very good job only giving up 3 runs, and in this league that is awesome. My Angels teammate, Jeremy Moore, put the final stamp on the game with a huge homerun over the left field fence in the ninth inning, and we ended up winning 8-3. It was a really a good way to start the season with a win where the whole team contributed.
In our second game, the Desert Dogs got the best of us with a 6-3 win, but we came back the next day with a chip on our shoulder. Our hitters were on fire. After a big nine run inning in the fourth, the game was pretty much under wraps for another Solar Sox win. We won the game with a final score of 11-6, and like I said, I am so glad I don’t have to face our hitters. They just don’t stop hitting and producing runs.
Thursday was my first start, and man was I nervous. I wasn’t nervous because it was my first start, but because I know how important performing in the Arizona Fall League is to all of the players here. It’s a very big opportunity just to be invited, and everyone that is here is at (or near) the top of the list in their respective organizations. Unfortunately, the game didn’t really go as well as I hoped it would, but I did have some good things come out of it. After working out of a small jam in the first and putting a zero on the scoreboard in the second, the third didn’t go so well. I left the ball up in the zone to a few hitters and ended up giving up four runs. If you do that against the hitters in this league you will get hurt and give up runs. The hitters want the pitch up so they can drive the ball and sure enough that is exactly what happened to me! After tying the game at five in the eighth inning, we went to extra innings. Brandon Wood (Angels) hit a walk off double that scored three runs in the bottom of the 11th and a win for the Solar Sox.
After going 5-1 in the first week, I can’t help but think about the Mesa Solar Sox being the last team standing when all is said and done. With the hitting and pitching we have, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that we could’t win it all. But, it is still early and a lot of baseball left and we all know that anything can happen.
Well, that’s all for now. Don’t forget to ask me any questions you all have, or share anything you want to share about baseball. I’ll do my best to answer back as quick as possible. Thanks for the golf course suggestions!
See yall next week.
My name is Ryan Brasier, and I’m in the Los Angeles Angels organization. I’m here in Mesa, Arizona with the Mesa Solar Sox playing in the Arizona Fall League, and I’m here to share my fall league experiences with you. So please, fell free to check in every week and ask me questions about anything you might wanna know regarding the Fall League or myself. We’re here so you guys can get a feel on how the Fall League is treating me or which beautiful Arizona golf course I’m going to play on our Sunday off days. By the way, if you have any good suggestions on golf courses let me know, because I’m always ready for a new challenge. So here we go.
So to start with, I’m from Wichita Falls, Tx, where I was born and raised. After high school I attended Weatherford College where the Los Angeles Angels drafted me in the 6th round as a right handed pitcher in the 2007 draft. In my first season with the Orem Owls I was fortunate enough to win a Pioneer League championship with an awesome group of guys. I have been lucky enough to move up a level every year, and after i spent the 2009 season with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes I got promoted once again the next year. I spent the whole season this year with the double A Arkansas Travelers. I was a starting pitcher all year, and being able to be a starting pitcher in the AFL (Arizona Fall League) is just awesome! From what I hear, the AFL is a very tough league made up of some of the minor leagues best players, and I look forward to facing the tough competition.
For now, thats all i have. I’ll be back next week with a update on how we (the Solar Sox) are doing, and hopefully i have a few interesting stories on the first week of games.