While a pitch count of 100+ hasn’t prevented Johan Santana from working into the 9th inning at Shea (Mets lead, 9-1), a temperature of 105 degrees has caused damage to the box office receipts of the PCL’s Dodgers affiliate.

There’s about 200 people —- including yours truly — watching the Las Vegas 51’s, winners of 4 consecutive, take on Felix Pie and the Iowa Cubs. Despite the sparse attendance , a lucky couple was upgraded to cushy front row seats, by virtue of their winning the 1-800-Pack Rat Sweepstakes.

It’s a fairly shitty prize considering the front rows are empty (and offer no shelter from the sun).

After Mitch Jones’ 3-run homer over Cashman Field’s RF wall opened the scoring, the tannoy announcer solemnly intoned, “today would’ve been Leo Durocher’s birthday.”

Isn’t it still?

The 51’s sold about 16 thousand tickets combined for Friday’s win over Omaha and last night’s 13-8 defeat of the Cubs. 15 degrees cooler + leftover Brad Penny bobbleheads makes a huge difference, apparently.

(addendum : a fellow patron suggested with a straight face that today’s Arena Bowl might be a drag on ticket sales. It’s entirely possible, much as I believe the ballpark will fill up just as soon as church service have completed.)

(update dos : 51’s 8, Cubs 7.  Despite blowing leads of 3-0, 6-4 and 7-6, the hosts closed to within 4 1/2 games of division-leading Sacramento. Vegas SS Chin-Lung Hu — greeted in each plate appearance with The Who’s “Who Are You?” , was 3 for 3 and scored 3 runs, the last of which being the game-winner.  Hu worked out a walk against Kevin Hart, moved to second on a balk and eventually came in to score when John Lindsay drove a ball to the warning track with the outfield drawn in.  Given a round of sincere applause by Cubbie fans — possibly suffering from heat stroke — Hart fired his glove into the Iowa dugout. I’m pretty sure his glove was traveling faster than whatever he threw to Lindsay).