Although we ended up tied with Mesa at 26-12, they held the tie breaker against us. The fall season came down to the game against Mesa on Wednesday. Basically the winner of that game would clinch the division and go on to play Phoenix in the Fall Championship. Going into the 8th inning we were leading the deciding game. Unfortunately, we didn’t hold onto the lead as Slayden hit a grand slam to put Mesa up for good.
It was a tough way to end the season. It’s not often in professional baseball that you get to play for a championship and when you fall just short, it stings a little. All in all though it was a great experience. It was an privilege to have been invited and I loved every minute of it. Playing for a team that scored so many runs in every game made pitching a lot easier.
Although Mesa went into the championship game as the clear favorites(on paper), they fell to Phoenix 10-4. Phoenix has now won the league 5 years in a row. I’m not sure how that has happened because of all the great talent out here, but somehow that team seems to put it together at the right time.
I also enjoyed writing to all you fans out there and I want to thank you all for your questions and comments. Now it’s time for some time off and rest. There are only a couple months until the next season starts. Until next year, take care all!
10 Games Left
It’s crazy to think we have been here for almost a month and a half already, but we are down to the final two weeks of the fall season. With only 10 games left we lead Mesa by 1 game. Everyone who was chosen to play in this league was exciting to be here, but now we want to win this thing. We have been on a roll lately only losing 2 in the last week. Our last loss came to the Scorpions in dramatic fashion when we gave up 7 in the top of the ninth. We were trailing 16-10 in the bottom of the ninth and managed to push across 5 before a deep fly ball to the warning track ended the game.
We have a change of pace this week as we will play in three night games this week. During the World Series there aren’t any night games so that everyone can watch the WS games. Now that it’s over night games have started back up. We played one night game last week which resulted in a loss. I believe our first home night game is coming up this week as well.
The weather here in Arizona is starting to change a bit. I saw rain for the first time today here in Phoenix. The temperature has been dropping rapidly at night as well. Night games get a bit chilly which should be expected in November.
Looking back on the year, this has been a very long season. Although I had a few weeks off in between the regular season and the AFL, I had to keep my body in shape. This is certainly the first time I’ve played baseball all the way into November, but I’m not complaining. But I will enjoy giving my arm a break during the off season. Surprisingly, my arm feels great despite the stiff shoulder at the beginning of the AFL season.
Well that’s it for now. Hopefully by the next post we will still be in contention for the playoffs. Until then, take care everyone. Thanks for reading!
Guest Blogger: Brad Furnish
Howdy everyone this is Brad Furnish of the St. Louis Cardinals currently playing for the Peoria Saguaros in the AFL. I’ll get started by giving you some background information about myself. I was born in Wichita Falls, Texas and I am currently 23 years old. I graduated from Allen High School in Allen, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. I received a scholarship to the University of Nebraska, after one year I transferred to Texas Christian University and spent two years playing for the Horned Frogs. While in college I was fortunate enough to spend my summers playing for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League. I was also fortunate enough to win two conference championships and participate in two regionals while at TCU.
Happy Halloween from Peoria, Arizona. Today we had a 12:30 game against Phoenix in which we won our 3rd game in a row. The score was 11-3 and seemed to be over early. It’s not often that we see many games involving a pitching duel. However, we played in a 3-2 game against Surprise on Oct 30th. I haven’t gone back to look at the scores, but I would say it is common for one team or another to score at least 10 runs in a game. There have even been a few games where upwards of 30 runs have been scored between both teams. It is simply enjoyable to watch all these great hitters during the games. I would say it’s like facing an all-star team during every game.
I’m certainly having a great time out here on and off the field. I feel great physically after a little shoulder stiffness. There have been a few injuries here and there and I hope those guys can get healthy before spring training.
I want to thank those again who read these blogs and follow along with the AFL action. When I was growing up, Tom Glavine was always the pitcher I looked at as an idol. I wouldn’t say that we have the same pitching styles, but him being a lefty and also very successful throughout his career was always very insperational. In our system, there are a couple pitchers who have made a very quick climb including Jess Todd and Clayton Mortensen. Both of these guys have already had a lot of success after their first full year of professional baseball. Before the season ended, I was given a few things that my pitching coaches wanted me to work on. My biggest focus is trying to control my 2-seam fastball. When it comes to facing hitters at higher levels, I’ve learned that you can’t change the way you approach or pitch to hitters. Instead, I just hope to throw strikes and keep the ball on the ground.
Well thats all I have for now. I hope everyone has a great Halloween. Thanks again for the comments and questions, keep them coming.
Rising Stars Game Today!
October 24- Today is the 3rd annual Rising Stars game. It’s basically the all-star game of the AFL. It will include 50 players in the ultimate showcase of winter baseball. It starts a 7:15 MST and will surely be a great game to follow along.
Guest Blogger: Brett Wallace
Hey everyone this is Brett Wallace of the St. Louis Cardinals checking in from Peoria, Arizona. I’ll start out by giving you some background information on myself. I am 22 years old and grew up in Sonoma, California. I attended Justin-Siena high school in Napa, California, where I received a scholarship to play at Arizona State University. My three years at ASU were three of the most influential and fun years of my life. I grew a ton as a person and as a player. While playing there I switched from third base (my high school position) to first base for my first two seasons, and then back to third for my third and final season.
I was drafted by the Cardinals this year and started out with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest league where I played for about a month, and then was promoted to the Springfield Cardinals, our Double-A team.
I learned a lot during my first pro season. Playing every day and finding time to workout and condition on your own, as well as the traveling and weather, are a definite change from college. I enjoyed my time in Quad Cities and couldn’t wait for the challenge of Double A once I got the promotion.
Being in Arizona for the Fall League is a lot of fun for me, having gone to school about 20 minutes away. It gave me a chance to see old teammates and coaches again and visit some old friends before we started the fall season. Now that the season is in full gear, we continue to make adjustments, because each team has at least two and sometimes three guys at every position. We continually rotate playing time, which most of the guys here are not used to. On days that you don’t play you can take the time to work on certain skills or things in your game you want to improve upon. For me, I am trying to continue to grow as a third baseman and learn the different angles and footwork that will help me continue to improve my game defensively. Having days off allows us to focus on improvement instead of the results, which helps us grasp the concept quicker.
Overall, it has been an exciting last few months. Our team is playing really well right now and hopefully by the end of this thing we’ll be playing for a championship.
First Week of Games in the Books
After the first seven games we have put together a 6-1 record with the one loss coming tonight. There is no doubt that the quality of hitters we have is as high as I’ve seen on any team I’ve ever been on. We are averaging about 8 runs a game offensively. Our pitching is also doing a great job from start to finish. As an example of our powerful offense, on Monday we faced off against the Surprise Rafters. We were trailing going into the 8th until we put up a 9 spot to take a commanding lead. This is definitely a team that will never be out of a ball game until it’s over.
Opening Day in the AFL
Greetings fans, I will be representing the St. Louis Cardinals in the AFL blog. First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Justin Fiske and I am from College Station, Texas. I played high school baseball there for all four years and then moved onto Richland Junior College in Dallas Texas. I spent two years in Dallas and was part of a championship team in 04′. I then went to Texas State for my final two years in college. I went undrafted in 2007 after my senior year, but was still determined to keep playing. I was picked up by the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League and was soon after signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. This past season was my first full season of professional baseball and I’m excited to continue the season by playing in the AFL.