Thursday, May 6, 2010

5/1/10- San Quentin: 5/2/10- Moscone

We congregated in the parking lot, making sure we didn't have any of the 160 things that you can't being in now, 12 no, wait, 14 of us (Ben and Vic) trudged up the hill, already sweating in the hot Marin sun and started the process. Amazingly we were in record time, the bag search was about the same, the guard barely peeked in each bag and when the phone rang he stopped all together. I think they must have known we were good guys.

The new multi-million dollar hospital is finished, and according to one inmate, they only have one floor of medical services, the rest is fancy offices with views of Mt. Tam and the bay. Sounds about right. They still have to leave the grounds to get any major medical help, so one wonder what the hospital is used for. During the Norovirus outbreak, they closed the hospital and told the inmates that they didn't allow sick people in there.

We put on the spikes and got the word from Kent that we would be starting a little late as one cell block had not been released, and that group contained both pitchers. We threw in the outfield and then took infield, looking remarkably sharp in contrast to games past. The Giants took their turn, we spoke to the umpires about the rules of balls in the yard and the first pitch was underway. Mitch was hit with a ball in the shoulder and helmet, stole second, and came home on a single by Chris Powell. Another run scored and we ended the top of the first out in front for the first time. Sean, the cagey lefty, who was on his first trip to the Big House (that we know about) took the bump and started mowing inmates down. He kept them off balance all day, and added to his glory by going 3-3 at the plate. He had a little trouble, as we all did with the home plate umpire whose strike zone was changing batter to batter, and who was very susceptible to the frame. But he did it for both teams, so whatever. Apparently it was his first game behind the plate.

One of the main reasons we had been excited about this game as that we had cherry picked a defense that wouldn't crumble and fall at the prospect of playing at SQ, and indeed our defense was solid all day, no misplayed balls in the outfield, the only major hit that the Giants got was off Satch, and it was a deep drive, saved from being a homerun by a few feet. Our infield knocked everything down that they could, and did a really great job of keeping the ball in the infield and preventing the hungry runners from advancing just because they could.

Neither team scored again until the 6th, when we got a new pitchers to face, and took full advantage of the situation. John Nero was our lone baserunner, but he advanced carefully to each sack, and we kept getting runners behind him. Satch came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and I am here to tell you that was a bit of a high pressure at bat. Not to mention I had struck out the at bat before, and the cons on the wore were giving it to me the whole at bat. Telling me I was done, and that I was afraid to swing....1-2 before I could even figure out what the hell I was doing. I fouled a couple of picthes off, kept wide and low and sent a pitch to the right center gap, that allowed the bases to clear. A great feeling. I stayed at 1st to enjoy it, and also so I didn't get thrown out at 2nd and be a shit heel after being a star. Wise choice.

Sean gave way to Satch in the 6th, and in hindsight, I should have warmed up a bit more, I didn't throw a strike for the first 8 pitches, and when I did it was hit well. A misplayed ball at 2nd was all it took to get the Giants on the board, and the score stood 5-2. But we held them, Satch started throwing strikes, the defense capped the rallies, and made the plays that were needed. I got sweet revenge on Red, the guy who had hit the monster shot off of me, and who our entire bench was happy to remind me of when he came up again. Yeah, I recognize the guy. I employed the slower and slower defense against him, throwing changeup after changeup, and getting him to flail off balance. He battled, but in the end, I got him to swing at a dying quail of a pitch, and the danger was over. Stretch himself complimented me after the game and said he liked that approach to aggressive hitters.

Somewhere in the middle of the game, Stoner came up and got plugged in the back fo the neck, which was not what we wanted to see or hear. It was a meaty thwap, and Stoner went down, yelled FUCK! and then laid on the ground. As concerned as we were for him, his reaction was also slightly amusing, in a gallows humor sort of way (hey it's prison). He stayed down and was checked out, and the Giants got him a leaky icebag that got him more wet than anything. But we were all very relieved to see him get up and walk. And he didn't even miss his next at bat. That's the MBC spirit, play in the face of all medical advice!

We came to the 9th, they got a man on, but it was too little too late, and Johnny "Bad Ass" the catchers who looks like he could take on a Abrahams tank, flied out to Sean in left to record the final out. We had won. It didn't sink in for while, we shook hands, met for a prayer at the mound, chatted for a few minutes and then were herded out. The beer flowed at the Marin Brewing Co. and toasts were handed all around. Freedom and victory never tasted so good.


*Sean gets the game ball for excellent pitching and hitting and fielding, all on his first outing

*Greg caught the whole game, and framed some excellent pitches.

*Noah, who kept a clean scorecard and played some soccer in right field

*We had a lot less strikeouts then we usually do, thanks to some more aggressive swinging and no Stretch

*Johnny Bartlett got a hit after being robbed at the plate, and made a great stop at 3rd.

*Brian, Mitch, Stoner all had important catches in the outfield.

*It was fun to have all the inmates against us in the game, usually they want to see the Giants lose, but they were cheering pretty good for their own guys this time.

Thanks to everyone who made it out. 1-9 BABY!!!!


Moscone. Well, it was a nice day. 11 people showed up, then 12, then 11 again. We played Reykjavik 11, glad that we were able to do something but man, it sucked not having a game after the high the day before. Thanks to Vivek for bringing Matt! Other wise we might have had to have batting practice! Ouch. The game as it was, went about 6 innings, and the final was 14-8?


*Gaspar hit one through my legs on the pitchers mound. Not used to that.

*Sean had two homeruns.

*I pitched more, and needed some serious ice afterwards. And booze.

*Vivek had a monster shot.

*I finally broke the Old Pete bat, it served us well. I am taking it camping and will burn it ceremoniously.

*Thanks to Greg, Gaspar, John Spack for catching, and extra thanks to Gaspar for pitching as well

*Sean had a crafty hidden ball trick

*Finally got some good hits with the Nike bat

*Nick Smith's grunts when he hits are getting more pronounced, and more intimidating

Well, hope to see us back up to 19 on Sunday, Cop Field, 3 pm.

S. Paige

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