The original plan for this Sunday was to see the Reading Phillies of the class AA Eastern League host the Harrisburg Senators at 1:35 PM. However, the previous evening’s game between those teams was suspended by rain in the 9th inning with the score tied at 6. On this day, they’d resume that suspended game at 1:05 PM and then play today’s full 9 inning game afterward. I hoped that the conclusion of the suspended game would go into extra innings and last a while, giving us some “free” baseball to help offset our frustration with recent rain outs during this vacation.
There was no rain in the Reading’s weather forecast, but it was a very cold day.
Our drive to from Scranton to Reading was quiet, uneventful, and on schedule. After we parked the van at the ballpark, we took a few moments to dig into our luggage and grab additional layers of clothing to take into the ballpark with us.
There is a cozy small town atmosphere at Memorial Stadium in Reading, PA. The people who operate this team and this stadium know what they are doing. Adding to our fun was the news that this was a $1 hot dog day.
In the bottom of the 9th in the conclusion of the suspended game, Harrisburg’s center fielder made a lazy approach to pick up a single up the middle. That no-hustle play on the ball in center permitted the batter-runner to extend that hit to a hustle double, putting the winning run into scoring position. Reading managed to push that runner home later in the inning to end the suspended game. Reading won the suspended game, 7-6. No extra innings, no free baseball for us.
There was a 20 minute break between the conclusion of the suspended game and this afternoon’s regularly scheduled game.
In the regularly scheduled game, Reading scored once in the bottom of the 1st and that was the only run of the game until the 5th. Up to that point, Reading pitcher Antonio Bastardo (gotta love that name!) was mowing down the Harrisburg batters with ease. The bubble burst in the 5th as Harrisburg took a 2-1 lead. Harrisburg scored another run against a reliver in the 8th while Reading did not score again after their run in the 1st inning. The final score was Harrisburg 3, Reading 1. Box Score
Reading starting pitcher Antonio Bastardo took a tough loss, having surrendered 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings while striking out 7 batters. Bastardo was soon promoted from this Reading class AA team to the Phillies class AAA team in Lehigh Valley, and after only 2 starts there he was promoted to the major leagues. Bastardo is now pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The baseball experience at Reading was excellent. The ballpark is comfy, the staff is friendly and courteous, and the concessions are inexpensive. There is nothing to not like at the ballpark in Reading.
After the game we began our post-game drive to Sterling, Virginia near Dulles Airport, where we’d catch our flight home on the following morning.