It was another glorious day for baseball in Golden Gate park. A high sky with wispy clouds, a slight breeze, but plenty of sun and warmth. And with the 3 o’clock hour fast approaching we were a tidy 9x9.
As is custom for GG Park, that became 10x10 once game time rolled around, but I don’t think anyone was sad to have an inning off here and there. However, the visitors may have wished for more at bats when all was said and done.
With my shoulder feeling as good as it has in years, I decided to hop on the bump for the home team and was blessed with one of those rare days when everyone seems to find their natural defensive positions. I couldn’t have drawn up a better defensive lineup if I tried: Tony at 3rd, Chris at Short, Josh at 2nd, Sean at 1st, Ed behind the dish, and Mitch, Joe and James in the outfield. It instilled great confidence – and they lived up to expectations.
Opposing me on the visiting side was fellow crafty righty (that should be a thing, shouldn’t it? Why can only lefties be crafty. I’m trademarking it…) Sonny, who’s really been coming on of late as a pitcher by keeping people off balance. But this was not to be his (or his team’s) day.
After Bob opened things for the visitors with a squibber up the middle that somehow evaded Chris, and I ran a 3-0 count to Carter that included a 30 MPH curveball in his back pocket, the game was on lock down.
I came back to strike Carter out on a gravity ball in under the hands, and then I believe we retired 13 straight hitters after that, with a combination of pop-ups (4 or 5 of them) and ground balls that were gobbled up by a solid infield. That included a great scoop at first from Sean on one play, and Ed bolting out from behind the plate to grab a ball up the third base line, then spinning and firing a bullet to first for the out.
By the time the 6h inning closed, only about an hour and a half had passed, I’d faced 23 hitters, and the game was essentially in the bag at either 7-1 or 9-1. A rare lopsided game in the MBC that didn’t seem like it would even threaten to reverse itself in the late innings as our games can tend to do. And it didn’t.
On offense, we weren’t putting up huge lopsided numbers. We just seemed to string 2-3 hits and a few stolen bases together every inning. Tacking on 2 here, one there, three more here to pad the lead and never look back.
Sean’s bat definitely took the prime spot – as he peppered left center all game long with an inside-out stroke that was a beauty to behold. Add to that a few drives from the likes of Joe and Mitch (and I think James too – though he was more the king of the foul ball, so much so that Daniel was playing him on the line in hopes of catching one…). I’d guess we all contributed a hit or two throughout the day to just keep the line moving and keep the runs coming.
Ultimately, I gave way to the two hard throwing lefties to seal the deal, and they did just that with Sean and Gaston each dialing up a solid 2 innings to cruise us home for the win. (and yes, 6+2+2 is 10. And even then we finished before 6.)
Sonny was relieved nobly by a cast of unusual pitchers that included Ryan, Daniel and John McGrath. A virtual cornucopia of Crafty Righties™ if ever there was one. And we kept tacking on runs here and there. To the point where I’m not sure anyone knows what the final score was. (And JT wasn’t there, so we may never know…)
All in all, it was a lopsided game, but a fun one. Crisply played, mostly clean all around on defense, and agreeably extended to take advantage of the sunshine. Sounds like next week we’ll be moving on from the cozy confines of GG Park to the windy slopes of Crocker Amazon. So glad we got a good one in while we could!