It looks like true fans will need other reasons than winning baseball to go Clearwater Threshers games this season. Threshers right fielder Jhailyn Ortiz is our reason that we go, not expecting a win, but exciting play. He is worth the price of admission!
Last night was no exception as the Threshers fell to the Tampa Tarpons 8-4 on a cold, blustery night by Florida standards, 8-4. It was a battle of the the two teams with the identical worst records in the Florida State League. The Threshers fell behind early. Starter Kyle Young just did not have his best stuff.
Jhailyn Ortiz saved the day for us diehard fans. In the fourth inning he hit one of the most powerful home runs we have ever seen hit at Spectrum Field. See HERE. With a 14 mile-an-hour wind gusting to right field, he drilled a shot to left through the wind into the Tiki Bar net protecting the patrons bending their elbows from incoming long balls. The homer was the first of the season for the power hitting Ortiz, who sat out the first week of the season and is only now rounding into mid-season form.
Jhailyn was not done. He would walk in the sixth inning and score on a Jake Scheiner triple, watch HERE. Still, the best the Threshers could do all night was get the tying run to the on deck circle.
By the time the ninth inning rolled around we had enough of the cold weather and losing baseball. We started to head to the parking lot to get a head start home. First, we stopped to talk to an usher friend on the concourse up behind the visitor’s dugout and caught Ortiz’s final at bat.
We were glad we did. He hit a ball so hard just inside the third base bag that it rebounded off the retaining wall in front of the seats down the left field line. Because the ball was hit so hard, he had to pull up at first base with a single. What a nice way to cap an evening of watching baseball!
When we got home our night was not done, the Phillies were still battling the Colorado Rockies on MLBTV. You know the rest of that story. But thanks to Jhailyn Ortiz, we had a what the Black Eyed Peas would call a “good, good night” of watching Phillies baseball no matter how cold the weather or what the final scores were!