Tonight I drove from work to Dodd Stadium in Yantic, Conn., just 10 minutes from my office, to see the hometown Connecticut Defenders take on our AA Reading Phillies. The R-Phils won, 1-0, thanks to a nice pitching effort from Fabio Castro and the offensive star, Greg Golson.
Castro struck out seven and walked two, lasting seven innings and surrendering just three hits. He moved easily from his lightning-quick fastball to a dipping changeup. Early on he was wild; in the third inning, however, the lights at Dodd Stadium wouldn’t turn on. (Minor League Baseball … feel the excitement!) After a 40-minute delay, the lights were on and Castro was lights out. I was very impressed by Castro, who is easily the shortest baseball player I’ve ever seen.
Golson was the offensive â€” and defensive â€” star. He walked and almost went from first to third on a single, but halted at the last moment at second. In the sixth he doubled to lead off, blasting a liner off the left-center field fence. He scored on the pitcher’s bad throw getting the out at first base. Golson then showed off his unbelievable cannon. In the eighth, Connecticut had a man at third â€” Antoan Richardson, who has seven steals â€” and one out. The hitter flied one to moderate center field, and Richardson took off on Golson’s catch. Then Golson snapped off an absolute rope to backup catcher John Suomi, beating Richardson by a step for the final out.
Shane Youman was the pitcher in the eighth â€” he hit Richardson â€” and Josh Overholt finished it off for the save. Juan Tejeda and Brad Harman also struck doubles for the R-Phils.
This game, however, was all about Castro and Golson. Both appear close to ready to contributing for the Major League Phillies. It was great seeing the snappy young pitcher do his thing, and even better seeing Golson flash his talent around in multiple ways. The R-Phils are in Eastern Connecticut until Sunday; I won’t be, I’m coming home for the Phils-Mets series.