Game 14: Post…Uhhh, Suspension Notes

— I wrote before the game that the wind was going to be a factor.  Clearly, I didn’t see this coming.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game suspended due to wind, and none of the players I spoke with after the game had been suspended had either.

Just like the Stone Temple Pilots said in their great song “Plush,” so much depends on the weather.  Just ask Somerset starter Mike Thompson.

When asked how difficult it was to pitch in conditions like these, he talked about how the direction of the wind changed how he pitched.

“It depends on the direction of the wind,” he told me.

“If it’s blowing out, it’s one thing.  You really have to stay down throughout the game.  If it’s blowing in, you can get away with a lot more.  You have to try to keep that ball down and on the ground no matter which direction, and hopefully it doesn’t affect any of your location.”

Just four pitches into the game, however, Thompson left a pitch up to Rich Giannotti that quickly got out of the yard.

“Like I told Nettles, I said I could have hit that one out,” Thompson said.

“Basically, if I can hit something out, then it’s a real bad pitch.  It was just a mistake.”

Thompson said that when he pitched in Lancaster (California), he’d seen winds like this before, but games never got suspended because “it blows like this every day there.”  Thompson also mentioned how difficult it was for his outfielders, saying the wind was blowing inwards in the infield and blowing out in the outfield.

“It’s about adjustments, and hoping and praying that it doesn’t play too big of a role in the outcome of the game,” he said.

— “When that rain started coming, it was bad down on the field,” manager Sparky Lyle said. “All that dust and stuff was blowing around. I don’t what was flying around but (a storm) must be on its way. I think that was the best for all concerned, but that was unusual.”

Thompson was able to fight through the conditions and keep his team in it through 5+ innings of work, but didn’t seem to be as sharp as he had his last time out.

“He was much better last time, but I dont think you can put anything on this tonight,” Lyle said.

“It was just brutal out there.  I’m just happy we’re tied 3-3 and there’s a guy on first right now.

— That is probably the quickest I’ve ever seen a game suspended or called.  Some players were still walking off the field when Patriots PA voice Paul Spychala made the announcement.

“We suspended the game for the safety of our fans,” said McVerry, who was on the field discussing the situation with the home plate umpire after the first batter of the sixth inning.

“The wind gusts were getting to the point where we felt uncomfortable and we asked the umpires to suspend the game. They fully understood and agreed with the decision.”

Fans can exchange tickets from this game for any Patriots game this season.

— Stay tuned tomorrow for Jeff Nettles comments on his hand injury.  I will say, so as not to withhold news from you, that he told me he expects to miss 4-6 weeks, not 6-8 as had been previously feared.  He expects to have surgery Tuesday to have a pin inserted into his left hand, which is currently wrapped.

If you ask me, six weeks seems like a fair estimate.  It’s my understanding that the pin comes out after four weeks, so it’s highly unlikely he’d be able to play immediately after that takes place.

— No immediate word on who will “start” the remainder of this game, which will resume Monday at 11:05 AM.  Josh Miller is scheduled to face Dan Reichert tomorrow afternoon, while Justin Jones is opposed by Kenny Rayborn during Monday’s regularly scheduled contest.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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