We missed our game in June, due to the Warriors game 6, which the inmates said they would rather watch than play us. We tried not to take offense to that. So there we were, on Saturday morning, the freezing wind whipping and and fog curling over the coastal range. The guard at the gate tried to throw a scare into us, saying that they would cancel the game if the fog came in any more, and started to block the guards' view of the yard. That would be some fog....
Only nine brave souls were present for the MBC, but we were a determined bunch. We were also a error-prone bunch. Needless to say, most of our outfielders preferred to play any position other than outfield. That's what happens when you staff a team with 4 second baseman. But we made the best of it.
The real surprise of the day was the ranks of the SQ team had been decimated by people quitting the team, most notably Dewey, the fireballing pitcher. I wasn't the only one that probably was relieved that we would be facing someone, nay, anyone, else.
The first play of the game was marred by one of the most egregious bad calls we have experienced inside. Powell hit a ground ball and beat the throw by a step and a half. The field umpire called him out, and I guess the plate umpire didn't see it. But everyone else did, and we have never had so many players from the other team come over and apologize after a bad call...The umpire must have had somewhere else to be; he was replaced in the fourth inning.
Satch started for the MBC and went the distance. It was probably a 150-170 pitch endeavor, I'll get to the details in a second. It was great that we actually got to play 9 innings, for some reason I thought that yard time had to be done by 1pm, but apparently, it is the soccer game that ends the baseball prematurely on Saturdays. And the soccer players never showed up. One thing that did show up was a gusty wind that blew dirt into every crevice of the game, and several times an at bat had to be stopped so the dust cloud could pass through, and every one could make sure that they could see before the game was resumed.
Long story short, we made a lot of errors and walked a few, and the other team walked a lot of batters, and made a few errors. So we both played a less than clean game, but it was a great time! Other than when you think you got an out locked up, only to watch it clang off the glove. The scoreboard official gave us a tally of 7 errors for the game, but I know it was more than that. Ed, in particular, had a rough day, and by his own admission made two errors on one play, but only one error was counted on the board. So that is the kind of defense we had. That being said, we had some great plays as well! Abe made a double play on a weird ground ball to third, he tagged the stealing runner just before the base and then threw out the batter. McGrath had about 14 opportunities at second base and successfully completed 11 of them. I will take those percentages any day of the week. Powell went to the hole a few times and made some great grabs. Richie....I don't think he had a ball hit his way all day....
We fell into a deep hole the first few innings, and the score was about 8-1, but slowly crawled our way out of the mire, and with the help of the erratic pitching and some timely hitting we made a valiant comeback to what we thought was an insurmountable lead. Going into the ninth inning, the score was 16-12. No problem, we thought.
Needless to say, the final score was 16-15, with the tying runner on third base and the winning run on first. Phew.....
* Everyone on the team contributed something.
* Chris had our first hit, regardless of how it was called.
* At one point, the scoreboard showed us with 10 runs on one hit (the first real hit was Duane)
* Speaking of, Duane had a bum ankle, and watching him swing,he would wince each time he missed it. Then he would get on base, refuse a sub, and steal second and third. We were all confused.
* McGrath made the most of some very squirrly plays at second.
* The wind played hell with pop ups all day
* But the knuckleball worked great with the wind
* Abe was the victim of the hidden ball trick at second, after having a great hit.
* I had a single and a double, but the only RBIs I got were on a fielder choice which scored 2.....
* Between the bad call, the other bad call on tag play at first, Powell was convinced the umpire had it in for him
* The new rule is that no ball is considered dead in the outfield, except if it hits someone or gets lodged somewhere.
* My line for the day: Nine innings pitched, probably about 14 hits, 6Ks, and 4 walks ( I may have boasted 2 walks elsewhere, but 4 is more accurate). No hit batsmen, which may be a first for me in SQ. In fact, neither team hit anyone.
* We were lucky enough to get an out on a interference play when someone in the dugout picked up one of our many throwing errors at third.
* Struck out twice, which is always fun. The second on a perfect out of the strike zone breaking ball. I would say at least I swung, but no one would say that if they saw the swing....
* The SQ team has some awesome new uniforms and hats. Hope we can purchase some at some point. For those of you that gave money to Ed already for a SQ hat, hopefully he remembers who you are....from 3 years ago....
* The fourth pitcher SQ used was great, they should have brought that guy in sooner.
* I had about three comebacker balls that I came within an inch of catching, I heard them buzz by, but just couldn't grab em!
* The best part of the SQ game is playing a hardball game against a great group of friendly competitors. The worst part of the SQ game is the hour on either side that we all wait for the SQ uniforms and gear to be checked in and checked out. There has to be a more efficient way.
Here is a link to the write up of the season opener, courtesy of Marcus Henderson, who sat with us for most of the game, and kept us abreast of the news of the Q:
Don't look back,