Kevin scored the only run in the All-Star game.
Second baseman Kevin Melillo recently returned from the Texas League All-Star Game, where he scored the game's only run. In the most recent edition of Kevin's player journal, he details his All-Star experience and gives us an update on the status of the road-warrior Midland Rockhounds.
Hello again everybody.
The last time I wrote in was about a month and a half ago before the all-star break. It seems like it's been even longer than that. Our team here in Midland just went through a tough and grinding month of June as we had only six home games.
Being on the road, and traveling by planes and buses all the time can really wear you down. We traveled from Little Rock to Corpus Christi to Frisco to Wichita, and finally finished in Tulsa. We played well, though, missing out on the first half championship by a few games to Corpus Christi who seems to have our number right now.
We keep giving them great games but just can't seem to find the big hit to get us a "W". We finished the first half 36-34, good for second in the division.
The most exciting part of the month of June was being invited to the Texas League All-Star game. I didn't know if I would have the opportunity to go, but I'm very glad I was selected to the South Division roster and named the starting second baseman.
The Rockhounds were well represented. Along with myself, Brad Ziegler, Kurt Suzuki and Vasili Spanos all had good games. Spanos made a game saving play at third and Ziegler pitched a scoreless 7th inning. The game itself was dominated by pitching. All of the position players knew what kind of arms were in this league, but we didn't know what to expect when every team's best pitcher throws an inning or two.
It was tough to find rhythm in the batter's box and look to exploit a pitcher's mistake that night. The South Division was fortunate to get on the board early with a run in the third inning after Josh Anderson from Corpus Christi drove me in on an infield ground out. That would be all the run support we needed in our 1-0 victory.
The All-Star break in general was great. The first night was a fanfest where the players would line up and sign autographs for die-hard fans looking to get baseball cards, bats, gloves and hats signed. Following the autograph session was a party and dinner at The Flying Saucer restaurant in downtown Little Rock.
What a great opportunity this was to meet the other guys in the league you play against all year long. The next day was the ball game, accompanied by the Home Run Derby. I think it's safe to say everyone was expecting more homers. Wladimir Balentein from San Antonio won a trip for two to Hawaii for winning the Home Run Derby. He hit two in the first round which propelled him to the finals against Joe Koshansky from Tulsa. Ballentein won in the finals with one homer.
It was a great time, however, and a great month in general, although I'm glad we'll have a good couple homestands the month of July, the month that I always get hot at the plate.
If anyone has questions or comments please feel free to write in and I'll try to answer them as soon as possible.
Have questions for Kevin? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your first name and your city and put “Question for Kevin” in the subject line of the email. He will respond to questions periodically throughout the season.