© Chuck Duboff
The Winnipeg Goldeyes held their open house for the 2016 season on May 7th; that was followed by training camp and six exhibition games. The Goldeyes played their home opener on May 30th and after 100 games they made it to the playoffs on the final day of the season. In the first round, they were up against St. Paul and fell behind two games to one; that didn’t faze the River City 9, as they came back to win the series 3 games to 2. With the excitement building, the Goldeyes won the opening game of the championship series, 5-0, only to lose the next two games and fall behind in the series two games to one.
But, as we have seen all season long, there is no quit in this Goldeyes team. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning last night, made it 5-1, only to see Wichita fight back and make it a 5-4 game. It took the great bullpen work of both Eric Eadington and Winston Abreau to slam the door on the Wingnuts…and…with that the series is tied at 2-2.
“Hopefully we’ve got one more,” Rick Forney said after the game. “It’s not easy. It’s not the ideal situation, but if the game was easy, everybody’d be playing. We have a pretty resilient group. They’ve been okay all year … I expect them to come out and lay it on the line tomorrow.”
The whole season comes down to one game, 27 outs, and one team will be crowned champions of the American Association for 2016.
“I wasn’t nervous at all, until they threw the first pitch” said Goldeyes super fan, the ol’professor, Mickey Steen; “these guys are going to lead me to drinking…” said another great Goldeyes fan, Tara!! “I get to be a kid for another day…” said Goldeyes bullpen catcher Dan Perron following the game. “Ben fell asleep listening to the game.” My daughter Carly telling me about the kids listening to the radio. Posted another fan: “Goldeyes need to supply defibrillators for these games” “Going to game 5!!!” said many Goldeyes fans on social media.
It’s one game for the championship. Goldeyes couldn’t ask for anything better, having their ace, Kevin McGovern on the mound. I interviewed Kevin about a month ago and could just tell how much he thrives on pressure and wants the ball when the games on the line. Well Kev, not only is the game on the line, but the whole season, the championship is on the line. I know your whole family back in Philadelphia will be listening, as will all your fans back in Winnipeg. (my interview with Kevin McGovern): https://chuckduboff.com/2016/08/23/goldeyes-lose-tough-one-in-10-kevin-mcgovern-a-proud-phili-boy-talks-about-the-tough-road-hes-traveled-by-chuck-duboff/
Last Wednesday night, the Goldeyes played a near perfect game; they got great starting pitching, the table setters, Heisler and Gonzalez, got on base for the big bats and the defence was outstanding. That’s what we need to see tonight from the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Wingnuts manager Pete Rose Jr, said about the Goldeyes after the game: “They’re a great team. They’re here for a reason.”