Fans had to wait 34 minutes after the conclusion of the Curve's 5-0 win over Erie to see the postgame fireworks Sunday.
It wasn't because the fireworks weren't ready to go, but because the sun had yet to set.
In a game in which spectators would likely miss half an inning if they got up to use the restroom, the Curve won their sixth straight contest. The first pitch came at 6:04 p.m., and the final out was recorded a mere 2 hours and 1 minute later before 4,378 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
"I looked up and we were in the bottom of the fifth and it was 7 o'clock; we played the first half of this game in an hour, what happened?" manager P.J. Forbes said.
To say starter Tim Alderson was effective against the SeaWolves would be an understatement. Alderson (3-1) cruised through Erie's order, throwing just 60 pitches in seven innings while not allowing a run on two hits.
Alderson said he was waiting for the SeaWolves to start taking some pitches. Still, it seemed like their lineup was hacking away at every pitch, as Alderson and reliever Kris Harvey combined to toss only 85 pitches in the entire game.
Tonight: Harrisburg at Altoona, 6:30 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP?Jeff Karstens (On rehab start from Pirates) vs.?Senators RHP?Jeff Mandel (4-2, 3.45)
"I knew they were going to be aggressive," Alderson said. "Early on in the game, I noticed they were swinging early, so it was all about locating fastballs and mixing in breaking balls, just to get them out in front. We knew we could get some quick outs, so I just took advantage of how aggressive they were."
Alderson was sharp in his second start, keeping his velocity around 90-91 mph and mixing in a slider and changeup he's been working on.
The oddest half inning in a game full of quirks was the top of the seventh.
Erie's Rob Brantly led off the inning with an infield single on the first pitch, and on the next pitch, Alderson got Jordan Lennerton to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Next, the SeaWolves' Ben Guez stepped in the box and also took a swing on the first pitch, grounding one right back to Alderson, who flipped it to first for the third out.
That's right, in one inning, Alderson recorded three outs on only three pitches and even allowed a hit.
Alderson, who had a total of five three-up, three-down innings, said he couldn't remember ever having an inning like that in his career, and catcher Tony Sanchez also noted he never saw anything like it.
"It was kind of funny. Ben Guez came up, and I told him, 'There's no way you're swinging right here; I'm throwing this ball right down the middle.' And he swung," Sanchez said with a laugh. "I guess things like that have to happen for a three-pitch inning."
According to Sanchez, Alderson earned himself a steak dinner with the three-pitch inning, which comes at the expense of pitching coach Jeff Johnson.
Here are some more oddities from Sunday's game:
n The Curve averaged an out every 3.15 pitches thrown (85 pitches, 27 outs).
n The 2 hour and 1 minute game was just 10 minutes longer than the Curve's record for shortest nine-inning game ever.
n Every out recorded, on both sides, in the eighth inning was a strikeout.
n In his previous outing, Alderson threw 84 pitches in five innings, but he and Harvey combined to toss only 85 pitches in nine innings.
n Only three batters came to the plate in 10 of the 17 half-innings.
Erie starter Ramon Garcia (2-3) had eight strikeouts in seven innings, but Altoona's offense got to him with two-run innings in both the second and fifth. The two runs in the fifth came off the bat of Quincy Latimore, who drilled a two-run homer to left field.
Key player: RHP Tim Alderson threw seven scoreless innings on just 60 pitches. He gave up only two hits and struck out three in a winning effort.
Key play: LF Quincy Latimore sent a two-run homer over the left field wall in the fifth inning to double the Curve's lead to 4-0.
Key stat: The Curve have won six in a row.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Sanchez singled, scored on Curry double (1-0); Durham groundout scored Curry (2-0).
Bottom 5th: Durham walked, scored on Latimore homer (4-0).
Bottom 8th: Grossman walked, scored on Holt single (5-0).