I talked briefly with some of the Altoona players last night after the game. Mostly I was touching base with them, and will be talking more with them prior to the games this weekend. Two important topics I did discuss:
-Jordy Mercer left Wednesday’s game in the second inning after colliding with Anthony Norman on a pop-up to left field. Jordy said that his back was sore from the collision, but that he will be fine and that it is more of a day-to-day injury.
-Jeff Locke doesn’t believe in the site’s Jeff Locke curse. For those of you unfamiliar with the curse, basically Locke performs poorly only when I’m in attendance. Here is a recap of the curse:
Games I Was In Attendance: 4 G, 18.2 IP, 7.23 ERA, 2.09 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, 1.7 K/BB
Games I Wasn’t In Attendance: 13 G, 63 IP, 3.14 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 3.8 K/BB
Playoff Game I Was In Attendance For: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Playoff Game I Wasn’t In Attendance For: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
If you think that’s bad, consider Locke’s final ten outings of the 2009 season:
7/29: 6 IP, 1 ER
8/4: 5 IP, 1 ER
8/9: 5.1 IP, 1 ER
8/14: 5.2 IP, 5 ER
8/21: 5 IP, 1 ER
8/26: 6 IP, 1 ER
9/1: 5.2 IP, 3 ER
9/6: 6.2 IP, 0 ER
9/11: 5.2 IP, 0 ER
9/17: 1.2 IP, 4 ER
Guess which two games I was in attendance for? If you guessed 8/14 and 9/17, you’re correct.
Locke may not believe in the curse now, but I’m sure he will change his tune in the middle of his inevitable 1 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K outing on Saturday due to my attendance. Or maybe the new site name will break the curse.
-If you have any questions for any of the Altoona players, send them my way (through either Twitter, the Facebook page, the contact form, or in the comments). I’ll try to get them answered at some point this weekend.
-Tony Watson pitches tonight for Altoona, and most likely Jared Hughes will see some action in the second half of the game. I’ll be providing updates on the game via Twitter, and will have some pre-game updates on the site, as early as 4:00.