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A Hamburger and three donuts, Saints vs Goldeyes

Prior to the first home game being played in this series the Saints roster had quite a few changes. First, both catchers were injured on Friday August 16th in Sioux City. Dwight Childs was put on the DL, and Adam Seaman was released. They were replaced by Chris Manning, and Jeremy Mayo. Second, Brad Boyer had his contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins organization. Boyer reported to AA New Britain on Monday. Good Luck Brad! The Saints brought in reliever T.J. Hose to fill the roster spot. 

On Monday August 19th the Saints started their second seven consecutive day home stand of the year, just four days after their first ended.  The first four games were played against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The Saints started the series off with a bang, but then were shutout for three games in a row to lose the series three games to one.

Donald Blunt crossing home plate after his Grand Slam Monday

Game one of the series featured an offensive explosion from the Saints and another dominant start by pitcher Mark Hamburger. The Saints had seventeen hits (every player had at least one), three home runs (two by Donald Blunt including a grand slam), and scored fourteen runs in the game. Meanwhile Mark Hamburger stifled the Goldeyes, throwing eight innings, allowing only five hits and one run, while striking out six. The Saints won the game big 14-1. The promotion for the night was, "Braaains! It's the fourth annual Zombie Baseball Crawl" presented by Savers. For the night fans were encouraged to wear their best zombie outfits and makeup, which quite a few did. The night also included zombies, and monsters from local haunted houses and thrill parks wandering the ballpark scaring, and giving fans at the game a thrill. The Saints even incorporated their Karaoke with the Real Japanese Guy in between inning show into the night by having Seigo Masubuchi sing Thriller by Michael Jackson on the field with a large number of the zombies and monsters dancing the Thriller video dance with him while he sang. My MVP for the game is a tie between Donald Blunt (2-5, 2R, 5RBI (a career high), 2HR's) and Mark Hamburger (8IP, 5H, 1ER, 6K's)

Jay Leno impersonation contest

The second game started what turned out to be a forgettable few games in a row for the Saints. Goldeyes pitcher Chris Salamida threw a complete game two hit shutout, while the Saints pitchers gave up seven runs. The Saints lost the game 7-0, and tallied their lowest number of hits on the season. The promotion for the night was, "Headline: Late Night Host to Old for Late Nights - Jay Leno in Review". In between innings there was a Jay Leno sound a like joke telling contest where three fans were able to do their best Leno impression. But the best bit of the night in my opinion was when P.A. announcer Lee Adams announced he was leaving his position behind the mic. Conan O'Brien was introduced to the fans as the new P.A. announcer only for Lee to tell him that he changed his mind and was staying on in his position, leaving Conan high and dry again. My MVP for the night is Jose Hernandez (1-3, 2B)

Brian Kelly looking for the winner of syrup and bacon

Game three of the series saw the Goldeyes have another great starting pitching performance with no answer from the Saints offense. Pitcher Matthew Rusch tossed the second complete game shutout in a row for the Goldeyes. The Saints lost this game also by a score of 7-0, while only managing three hits on the night. The promotion for the night was, "It seems like everything's gone wrong, since Canada came along. Blame Canada!" The best part of the night may have been what happened after a fan played What's in the Bag. During the game the fan picked the bag and won maple syrup and bacon (makes sense on Blame Canada night). But after the game was finished and Stadium Correspondent Brian Kelly retrieved the prize for the fan, the fan was no where to be found. This left Brian walking around the concourse holding a pack of bacon and bottle of maple syrup scanning the crowd for the winner, a very funny sight to see at a ballgame. My MVP for the game is Mikey Mehlich (1IP, 0ER, 1K) in his first appearance after coming off the DL.

The Coach and Mudonna attempting to make up after a tiff

The series finally was played on Thursday August 22nd and saw complete games from both teams starting pitchers. Saints starter Anthony Claggett allowed only three runs on eight hits, but was out dueled by the Goldeyes Jason Jarvis who hurled a five hit shutout.  The Saints lost the game 3-0 and were shutout for the third consecutive game for the first time in their 21 year history. The promotion for the night was, "The Dollar Dance: you choose where to donate our $1" presented by TopLine Federal Credit Union. The first 1,500 fans were given a dollar bill to donate to one of nine nonprofit organizations set up just inside the gates. There was also a dollar dance during the game where fans could dance with a bride or groom, one set up on each end of the concourse, for a dollar donation. Then there was the "World's largest slow dance". This was set up by The Coach and Saints mascot Mudonna having a tiff they could not resolve between themselves resulting in Stadium Correspondent, and their boss, Brian Kelly ordering them to slow dance with each other to make up. Everyone in attendance was encouraged to find a partner and join in. The best pairing, beside The Coach and Mudonna, being P.A. announcers Lee and Halsey dancing (way too) close to each other on top of the Saints dugout. My MVP for the game is Anthony Claggett (9IP, 3ER, 3K's).

George Tsamis, Brandon Tripp, Me, Kevin, and Jim

On a tailgating note...The 10th Inning Stretch welcomed Saints Manager George Tsamis to the Stretch pregame on Tuesday and Saturday (Saturday was during the next series against the Railcats ) to talk baseball and connect with the fans. George was in the parking lot from 6-6:30 both days with us answering any questions we had, and giving us the behind the scenes workings of a American Association League baseball team. "Saints Unplugged w/ Manager George Tsamis" was set up by 10th Inning Stretch founder and fellow blogger Kevin Luckow after Kevin wrote a blog explaining his faith in George as the manager of the Saints. George's next appearance at the 10th is set for this Saturday August 31st at 6:00pm. Follow @midwaytailgater on twitter, or search the hashtag #10thinningstretch for the exact location in the lot where we will be. Thanks George, It was great talking with you!

Blog title credit to Kevin Luckow.

The Saints next home stand started the following day against the Gary Southshore Railcats. Look for my blog on the series to be posted soon.

Go Saints!