The Thing About 100 MPH Fastballs

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an awesome Sunday afternoon at the ballpark. Today, dear reader, I want to write about something completely different: An awesome Tuesday evening at the ballpark. My youngest son and I went with his Knothole Baseball team with tickets purchased through The Kid Glove Way, a charitabler organization that has partnered with the Cincinnati Reds since 1949 to ensure that local youth have equipment to play baseball & softball, regardless of their financial situation.

redlegs

The weather was perfect, and my Reds got off to a great start: Leadoff batter Billy Hamilton hit one into the left field corner for a triple. Now, this would have been a double for most any other player – proven out by Reds’ sluggers Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips, who both hit balls in almost the exact same location as the night progressed, and both ended up on second base. But not Hamilton…he’s FAST – the fastest runner in Major League Baseball by most accounts. If you have the opportunity to see this guy run in person (he IS coming right along as a hitter, so the odds are increasing), I highly recommend it…television doesn’t do his speed justice.

The rest of the game dragged on in a pitcher’s duel…not the most exciting spectacle in the wide world of sports…but the crowd took notice when Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman started warming up in the bullpen. “The Cuban Missile” caught a line drive in the eye during Spring Training, which fractured his skull…thing about a 100 mph fastball; it goes the other way just as hard if the batter turns on it well. It was cool to be there for his second game back after recovering from that serious of an injury.

So there we were, top of the ninth inning, score tied 1-1, and Chapman strikes out the first two batters. The Padres’ Chase Headley came to the plate, took a ball, fouled one off, and drove the next pitch over the left field fence. Thing about 100 mph fastballs…

The Reds’ offense came up short in the bottom of the ninth, and they lost. It was still an awesome night at the ballpark with my son, though.

The thing about 100 mph fastballs reminded me of the thing about open ended compressed air blow offs: there’s no way to generate an air flow with a higher force, but that’s not always a good thing. They’re loud, unsafe, inefficient, and wasteful of your compressed air. Conversely, EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products, such as our Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives and Super Air Amplifiers, are all specifically designed to use MUCH less compressed air, meet OSHA standards for dead end pressure and permissible noise exposure  and still produce a highly effective air flow for blow off, cooling, drying, etc. Sure; the air flow from these products doesn’t have the force of what you get from an open pipe, but the fact that these engineered products entrain so much “free” air from the surrounding environment into a laminar (as opposed to the open pipes’ turbulence), high velocity flow, make them an ideal choice for most any air blowing application. Not to mention, they’re also much quieter, and ensure compliance with OSHA directives concerning the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.

The Reds will be in and out-of-town for the rest of the season, trying to solve the different equations for beating different opponents. We’re here every day, looking to help you solve your unique compressed air applications. Batter up!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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Not Just Another Day At The Ballpark

Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.

We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.

Notice the Braille at the bottom.  I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.
Notice the Braille at the bottom. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.

The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.

To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.

My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair