The holidays, the stress, the travel, the sickness, it call came a'calling this December, and damn it feels good to have it all be in the rear view mirror. And what a field to play on, the West Sunset renovations have really spruced the place up. In addition to the sculpted infield and new cages and fences, there is also a clean new bathroom facility, and paved dugouts to avoid the mud pits of yesteryear. I love it! And as an added bonus, when the high school team kicks you off the field in the middle of your game, the JV field is now fully integrated for actual baseball, no more multi-purpose, no mound fields! Hooray!
We had 20 players come out, Sonny started for the homers, and Tony for the visitors. The mystery of Sonny continues, as we were baffled through the first innings, unable to score a run, or even get good contact. Tony was not in top form, but he made the pitches when they were absolutely needed, and he escaped several jams. The homers scored first, and after what seemed like a really long time, we tied the game at 1, and then managed to go ahead 2-1. There is stayed until I took over in the 5th inning. I was itching to pitch, had been since a month earlier. I didn't hit anyone, so I can say that. I did cough up the lead, and we entered the middle innings knotted at 2. Then the kids showed up, and we schlepped everything down to to the other diamond, kicked off the father and son who were minding their own business (happy ending: they went tot he upper field which was the right size for the kid) and kept on playing. New guy had replaced Sonny, but the wildness remained.
We picked up another run, and down to the ninth we went, clutching at a 3-2 lead. Luckily the homers were a little too anxious to win that game, and the first two batters swung at the first pitch, and we had 2 outs just like that. The game ended, but not the fire in the belly of the players, so we played on into extra innings. The momentum shifted for the homers, and they finally scored the tying and then the winning run, capitalizing on our mistakes.
So a nice ending for all, visitors in regulation: 3-2; homers in extra: 4-3.
* There were at least 3 leaping catches of line drives: Powell, Zuckerman, Lattig
* Greg caught all 11 innings, like a real catcher is supposed to.
* Apparently Nick W. is a catcher now too, and a good one, by all accounts
* The Nick Smith shift paid off
* I had a defensive gem of a game, including a sliding catch on a dying line drive in right (ala Matt Stone), a hot one hopper back to the mound, a diving snare of a foul ball in no man's land on the third base side, and I remembered to back up third!
* Sonny pitched very well again, but I am starting to think that it is the effectively wild aspect is playing a bigger part than previously thought.
* Greg made several good blocks, until I could figure out how to throw my curveball
* Elvin made a nice defensive play in left field, left handed
* Loren as well, in right, right handed
* Our lead may have been due to what Brian Girgus coined "Ol' Fashioned Shitty Fielding"
* The JV field boasts a left field fence, at about 258 feet? It's a tantalizing attraction. I got one chance and I hit an Oops ball through the right side of the infield. Just as I planned.....
* The homers had a lot of speed on their side, we had James and then the rest of us, which could collectively be called The Trailer.
* Between Mitch at third, and Powell at SS, they made about 17 put outs for the homers. Not hyperbole.
* Abe tried to stop a inside pitch with his hand. When will these kids learn that the thing to do is lean back, but stick your elbow out, get hit, then milk the sympathy.
* James made a great play in short left, on the run from 3rd. But it never should have been his ball.
* Dugout conversation: Why do we have so many lawyers that play with us? The founding members of the MBC were the antithesis of lawyers, the dark matter of lawyers, if you will. So what's the deal? I guess if we ever needed legal advice, we have a wide array of experts to choose from, but so far, I don't think too many people have needed tax help, or committed a crime in Santa Cruz. And why no MDs? Doctors like baseball, don't they? We have had at least two PhDs (Doc and JT) but no medical minds. No RNs that I can think of either, which would actually be more helpful.
* Thanks to Sean P for this cinematic glimpse into what critics are calling: A Perfect Start to a Failed Pitch Out: