The Sounds Should Be Able To Get A Good Chemistry Going
By Kili Hood
The Sounds returned from a tough road trip, dropping 6 of 8 games against the Round Rock Express and the Omaha Royals, hoping to return to their winning ways at Greer Stadium. Fans turned out in pretty decent crowds, considering the unrelenting heat and humidity from Mother Nature. In fact, both Friday and Saturday night yielded over 7,000 fans. They were rewarded, both nights walking away with wins, and the Sounds wrapping up their ten game homestand with a 6-2 record, with the doubleheader on Thursday night against Memphis being rained out - Mother Nature strikes again.
While the Sounds record has suffered a bit, the team has actually performed quite well, considering the roster is quite different from the last homestand. In the past two weeks, the pitching staff has changed dramatically, with the team losing three starters and three relievers due to call-ups to the big league club. Sounds pitching coach Rich Gale, who has over 20 years of professional baseball experience, admits that while transition has been difficult, it’s all just part of the game. “You prefer to have the changes where the guys are going up to the big leagues, to Milwaukee, but you have to learn to handle it, be flexible, and shift on the fly,” explains Gale.
In fact, that is what minor league baseball is all about - the development and transition of players as they try and make it to the majors. And that, Gale admits, makes all of the struggle and adaptation worth it. “The best thing is to tell a guy he’s going up for the first time, for the very first time. That’s a wonderful thing,” Gale says, with a smile on his face.
As the team adjusts to an ever-changing pitching staff, the offense has been bolstered by the return of power hitters Mat Gamel and Brendan Katin. Both Gamel and Katin had spent significant time on the disabled list, Gamel recovering from a torn lat muscle, and Katin rehabbing a torn meniscus.
Gamel, who has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Sounds, is just happy to be back in uniform. “It's just good to be playing again. I got hurt in the beginning of Spring Training, so it's just good to be back," he says. Gamel, who spent time the past two seasons with the big league club, is hoping to get back there again this season.
Katin, who is in his third season with the Sounds as well, is still waiting for his chance to break into the big leagues. Despite battling injuries and the extreme heat and a struggling team, Katin is determined to stay focused. “It's just part of the game. It's a long season, has it's ups and downs. I'm just hoping to get my shot, get called up to Milwaukee this season," says Katin. While he's in Nashville, however, Katin enjoys getting out and enjoying the live music scene.
The good news is that it looks like the roster is going to stay put for the most part for now, so the Sounds should be able to get a good chemistry going and get back to their winning ways.
The Sounds are headed out of town once again, this time for a quick four-gamer with in-state rival Memphis, before returning to Greer Stadium for a seven game homestand against the Round Rock Express and New Orleans Zephyrs. The upcoming homestand features some special off the field promotions, including the return of The Famous San Diego Chicken, and the Principal Financial Fan Fest.