Monday, November 30, 2015

11/29/15 Cop Field

Wow, what a great day for a game.  I figured to be freezing my ass off the whole time, but instead we got sun and plenty of it.  We also managed to have an exciting game, though it was not close for much of the contest.

Sonny started for the homers and was pretty lights out after the first inning.  We scored 3 runs in the top of the first and thought we were on our way to a rout.  Sonny was cool, calm and collected the whole game and didn't do much other than get us to hit balls right to his defense, which is always a winning recipe.  He wasn't overpowering, and he didn't throw many breaking balls, but it was the most effective pitching I have seen in a while.

Satch started for the visitors and ended for the visitors.  I haven't been able to throw long in a while, and it sure felt good.  So there I was, cruising through the innings, until the homers came to bat for the second time, and then suddenly, they got wise and I got vulnerable.  Our 3-1 lead turned into 4-3 deficit in the blink of an eye (and the crack of the bat and the flub of the glove).  They scored 2 more in the later innings, with Chris Powell doing what he does best, hit and score.

The score stood 6-3 for the bulk of the game.

At first I think we didn't realize how morose we had gotten, we had a good team and strong bats, and just kept coming up with nothing.  The homers were a lot of speed and they took every opportunity to steal bases, or get the advantage on a slow play.  They also laced balls down the line to both sides, and dinked in hits between defenders.  And ultimately, that was the difference.

Tony gave us a rousing pep talk that consisted of "What the Fuck, can we stop hitting like shit?"  That seemed to do the trick, along with Sonny giving way to Daniel (who is leaving for Portland soon) for the 9th inning. We scrapped a run, stole a base, and then scored another, and had the tying run on 2nd base.  Too little too late, as they say, and down we went with a final of 6-5.

A truly strange incident was captured by Abe as he was filming an at-bat to check out his phone's slo-mo technology.  A close play at 1st -that no one had a really good look at- was captured by the phone, and the first ever MBC Instant Reply was viewed and the call reversed (somewhere in the Costa Rican jungle, Greg Snyder feels a piercing dagger penetrate his heart). 

I will post the video once Abe sends it to me, along with some more pictures.


* The homers played better than us, and they deserved to win.

* Josh (in the midst of a frustrating defensive day) managed to turn a 6-3 double play

* John McGrath came up with one of the biggest hits of the game, down the right field line

* We were out of position it seemed, for every ground ball.  We played up the middle, they pulled, etc.

* Bob, playing center field, had to chase balls to both alleys, after which he yelled something to the effect that we should heed the warning that "... Mike Trout isn't playing out here..."

* This was a game that exemplified why I try to live by the Chris Powell rule: allow for the fact that he will score but try not to let anyone else do so.

* We got out of a bases loaded jam at one point that gave us a sliver of hope

* Don and I finally got a good pitching rhythm going

* The homers refused to nibble on some very close pitches

* Sonny also came up with a crucial hit, in addition to his masterful pitching

* Richie laid down a great bunt, and made some nice plays at 3rd

* We did manage to successfully get an out at the plate on a '1 out, infielders in' situation.

* Bob had the big hit to score the 2nd run and put himself in scoring position as the tying run.

* James moved on to a new, lighter bat from the War Hammer I had loaned him.  He broke the new bat.

* Thanks to John, Bob, Don for doing the catching

S. Paige

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

11/8/15 Cop Field

Rain, we need it, but never on Sundays.

Luckily, the short morning sprinkle just wet the ground enough to keep the dust down on what was otherwise perfect autumn baseball weather.  I sent out a worried email to the group to ignore the rain forecasts, since I don't get as many chances to play these days, but my fears were allayed when we had 19 players for the day.

Sonny started for the homers, and had a rough first inning, which some placed the blame on the fact that he wasn't wearing a cap while pitching.  The baseball gods are a fickle bunch.  He lasted four innings, and the visitors hit him up for about 7 runs, which definitely were not all earned.  Our team had a case of the dropsies, most surprisingly from Adam, our stalwart first baseman.  True, a lot of the throws were less than perfect, but sometimes you get used to someone always being able to pick the bad throw, and when they don't, well, it stands out.  He certainly wasn't alone in his nightmares though, to paraphrase Duran Duran (the band, not the Barbarella character).

Sean started for the visitors, and he ended for the visitors.  That's right, Ol' Floppy Pockets is making quite a name for himself as the consummate CG man. And why not?  He pitched well, mixing it up, and getting out of the few jams we managed to create.  He held our team to an anemic 5 runs, on a day that we should have been knocking down the walls.

The first inning was a mess for both teams, and it was 3-3 going into the second, but then the visitors scored three more runs, and we, well, didn't.  And that was the rest of the game.  Satch entered in the 5th and managed to give up two more runs.  The time off helped to have a fastball, but the changeup was not working for some reason.  The slider and knuckleball on the other hand, were just fine.

The game was over before 4pm, and while we might have played an extra, the dark and the cold was starting to seep into the day, so we called it quits with a final of 9-5.


* Mitch showed up late, and somehow was given to the visitors, which I don't think was quite fair.  As usual, Mitch did it with the glove and the bat.  And took a wicked pitch on the elbow.

* Tony and Greg were on opposite teams for the first time in a long while.

* I threw a superb knuckler to Don, and Tony barked from the on-deck circle to throw one of those to him.  So I did, right down the middle, on the first pitch of the at bat, and Tony bunted.  It rolled all the way back to me, and I threw him out by 10 steps.  Apparently he forgot his request.

* I may or may not have had my first hit with the new Carter bat.  Mitch admitted he took the worst route to the ball that he could, including two complete spins, but I like to call it a double.

* John Mcgrath hit the ball very hard, and also bought new catchers gear for the team, which he strapped on and dug in for the latter part of the game.  He admitted a liking for calling curves and change-ups in fastball counts, so I knew we were gonna be fine together.

* I threw a breaking ball to Josh that spun him around and on to the ground for strike three.  His revenge was quick.

* I had a really bad day on the basepaths, even for me.  With one out, I was on third, and a ball was softly hit to the SS.  If I had broke at the crack of the bat, I probably would have made it, but I was worried that Sean, being Spiderman and all, would leap out, snare it and I would be dead in the water.  Once it was past him though, I realized that the team was going to be supremely disappointed if I didn't score with one out in a close game.  So I took off, Josh fielded it, and threw to Duane, who managed to catch the off line throw and spin to tag me before I touched home (maybe...).  I think if I had just stopped, instead of sliding, he may have waved right past me, and I could have scored, but either way, I suck.

* The other Nick made several key outs at third and left field, he was our shining defensive player.

* Tried for a SQ out in right field, and only managed to hurt Adam's finger

* Chris Powell was disappointed in all of us, I think.

* Abe bunted twice in a row, for base hits, angering us all.  Then he got eaten up at third, and all was right with the world.

* Thanks to Tim, Duane, John and Don for doing the catching

* Bon Voyage to Greg, our captain as he leaves for his jungle paradise for the next month, joined in part by Tony, who is taking a load of baseball gear to the people of Costa Rica.

* Interesting side note, the game at the other field, included a guy who hit a ball to the warm up mound on our field.  I mapped it.  Pretty amazing.   Take a look.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/11/15 Cop Field

Nothing better than back to back Sunday ball playing.

Mrs. Paige has been very generous is allowing me to make up for some lost time with the team, and I am loving every moment.  The game on Saturday featured the best weather that we never actually experienced.  Seriously, about 6 blocks to the east, it was sunny and hot and clear.  At the field, it was foggy and humid, and slightly windy.  Weird weather.

I started for the visitors again and Carter started for the homers.  We were quickly into another hotly contested affair, and the score was close for the first couple of frames.  This week however, the defense, that looked really good on paper, failed to live up to its potential.  In one inning, I think there might have been 4 errors.  I know it grew more incredible each time the ball clanged off a glove.

Misplays aside, the game wasn't a blow out, I bowed out after 6 and Sean came into pitch the rest.  He did well, but made the mistake of leaving one in the wheelhouse for Mitch, who got all of it and matched with his speed, made it good for a two run home run that was our death knell.  Carter gave way to Storm and then Daniel, but the damage had been done already and the visitors were never able to mount an effective comeback.

Final score- 7-4


* Our defensive woes aside, we turned a sweet double play and almost turned another

* In what has become tradition, Lattig and Adam traded great plays at first

* Tony had a rough day, bad hops and miscalculated grounders and he hit the hell out of a ball only to see it go directly to the right fielder

* Milo and Theo helped organize the gear, then were distracted by electronic gadgetry and the skate park.

* I struck out twice, and popped out to 2nd. Obviously I need to come out more

* Some more nice catches in foul ground

* In the ill-fated inning, we were given a charity out by virtue of a infield fly rule, and yes, the ball was dropped

S. Paige

Thursday, October 8, 2015

10/4/15 Cop Field

It was glorious to be back on the diamond.  The last month has been pretty brutal, to the point that Sunday's didn't even register that I was missing baseball.  But all that is in the past and there I was. With the Giants final game on the radio on the drive in, I left with high hopes, since they led 3-0 going into the 8th.  I was spared the final until after I had my own baseball fix.

We had a lighter crowd than usual, and recruited four players that were out to enjoy themselves after a earlier league game.  I never got their names proper, but I think it was Danny, Timmy, Sammy and Donny....or something.  More players showed up after we started and by the end of the 2nd inning, it was 11 per side.

I threw 6 innings, gave up some runs in the first, on a crushed ball, a bad bounce, a misplayed fly and a few choice singles.  It felt like a lot more than 2 runs, but that was all it amounted to.  Our own hitting, against Sean, was about the same, and we forayed through the middle innings locked in a struggle at 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 4-3.

I am proud to say that I provided the much needed go ahead run on a first ball swinging double, that if I wasn't so out of shape and generally slow, would have made it to third.  But I still scored, so who the hell is a general idea of where it went, so you can get an idea of why I need to play more often to fine tune my running game....

I handed the ball over to Greg for the 7th, with the score 4-3, to take my turn on the bench, cuz that is what you are supposed to do when you have 11 guys (Sean and Tim, I am looking in your direction).

Well, long story short, the homers scored to tie up the game, and then they scored again to take the lead.  One of the new guys came in and threw an inning, not bad.  I don't know why it felt like a blow out, while we were playing, but it was actually a really good game.

We tried our best, but our best wasn't good enough, and the homers won 5-4.


* Several great catches in the outfield, mostly by Mitch, who was relegated to right field most of the time, since the new guys were oblivious.

* Elvin got a early Christmas present from Ed on a 3rd strike call

* Visitors made a great relay to get a runner at the plate

* I don't think I would have near it, but I didn't even try for a foul ball at third, and I am sorry for it

* Nero was the subject of a series of close/contested calls, all of which went against him.  I think it was getting to him.  But that ball was foul.

* James had a crushing hit to left that took a first bounce that was about 15 feet in the air. Drought conditions.

* Both teams made some nice plays in foul territory.

* Lattig played a great 1st base and was hitting in his usual frustrating style

* Sean hit a inside the park home run, the first bounce was wicked, the new guy never had a chance.

* Game went real quick, several innings were 8-10 pitches only

* The cops came to ask us if our SUV was the one parked in the red zone.  The cop actually said "We know you guys, and we like you, so we wanted to make sure that it wasn't your car, before we ticketed it."  Wow.  The MBC is respected by the Man.  Does that go for or against our credibility?

See you out there soon.

S. Paige