Finally...some Aeros baseball to write about!
There's a couple things on my mind after the Aeros finally got the season-opener in after four days of snow delays, namely the encouraging pitching performance of left-hander Chuck Lofgren in the Aeros 6-1 victory Monday.
I feel like I've already said a ton about Lofgren, but trust me, this kid deserves it! Consider it was freezing cold Monday night (although no snow, thank you!), he hadn't pitched in a game in 10 days and he's learning the nuances of a new ball park, team and manager/coaches. Yet, Lofgren quietly and without complaint or excuse delivers five innings of four-hit ball.
Sure, Lofgren allowed a homer to Altoona's Randy Ruiz. But it was a solo shot, came sandwiched in between six strikeouts and most importantly, didn't rattle or phase him one bit.
After the game, reporters had a hard time finding Lofgren. He had quickly showered and was on his way out to greet friends and family when a young kid came up to him with a shiny black broken bat. He told Lofgren first baseman Jordan Brown had given it him, and he was hoping Brown would sign it for him.
A lot of players would have blown the kid off, or simply told him to wait for Brown to come out. But Lofgren tells his group to hold on, goes back in the clubhouse, hunts down Brown, then spends a few minutes looking for a silver Sharpie that would show up on the bat and has Brown sign it so he can take it back out to the kid. I don't know about you, but trust me when I say there are few people in this world that will go that far out of their way to do a favor for a kid they don't even know - let alone many ball players. It's more proof that Lofgren is just as special of a person as he is a player.
Overshadowed a bit by Lofgren's big night was the 4-for-4 performance of DH and nine-hole hitter Rodney Choy Foo, whose two-run home run in the fourth inning handed the Aeros the lead for good.
Also overlooked was the performance of the Akron bullpen. Newcomer Joe Ness followed Lofgren and promptly stuck out the side in the sixth. Former starter-turned reliever Jensen Lewis and closer Bubbie Buzachero continued to shut down the Curve hitters. In all, the bullpen combined for four shutout innings while striking out six and not allowing a single hit.
In all, it was avery good opening night for the Aeros - even if took four more days than expected.