It was the first time this season that I had been able to make it in to SQ, and am I glad I did. Somehow, miraculously, we played a really good game, and were rewarded with the victory, even if it was only 6 innings.
The most amazing stat is that we made no errors the entire game. Usually, we make so many errors in SQ that they only count the first error of the play, and we still end up with about 11. But we played it clean this time, no rubber-arms, booted grounders, lost balls in the sun, base running gaffes, etc.
The closest we came was when SQ employed the ol' hidden ball trick to get Satch at 2nd base. The only problem was that the pitcher was standing on the mound when it happened, which is technically a balk. Now I am dumb at times, but I am not that dumb. I am also a pitcher, so I know exactly what you can and can't do with the hidden ball trick. Sean took it upon himself to argue the rules, as a neutral party. I was pretty sure I was safe, but didn't want to push it. The A's pitcher was already running hot over the fact that he had given up about 8 runs in the first two innings. The umpires talked it over and I was called safe. When someone brought up the balk aspect, we squashed that, no need to throw gasoline on the fire.
The game had several moments of need for review, some with cause and some that were downright wrong. Mitch slid into third and was called out, and even the A's knew he was safe. A play at 1st lead to a long talk on whether the runner had beaten the throw.
The most egregious was James' home run, and yes, it was a home run, regardless of what the history books tell. James tattooed a ball to left that was 20 feet higher than the foul pole when it passed by. It was curving, but it was definitely fair when it went over the fence. The umpires thought differently, but they were wrong. The ball actually got hung up in the razor wire and bounced back. Here is what it looked like:
The other excitement was the first SQ run came by way of the home run, from a lefty who looked pretty fresh to the team. He rode the curve ball rotation to a opposite field hit that just barely cleared the fence. He was so excited that he was whooping and hollering as he ran around the bases, and when he hit home, he took off his helmet and gave a big exaltation and yelled SAN QUENTIN! An inning or so later, he approached me, hat in hand, and sincerely apologized for his behavior. He said he had never played ball on the outside, and didn't know that you are not supposed to show up the pitcher in such obvious ways, and if you do, you are supposed to tip your cap. I told him not to worry about it and that he should celebrate. But obviously, the elder statesmen on the team wanted to teach him the right way, which I applaud.
I went out on top after three innings, and about 4-5 Ks. It felt good, and the weather was awesome. Mike came in for an inning, then removed himself in the midst of his second. Sean took over and rode the rest of the way, both he and Mike did great jobs of keeping the hitters off balance.
Some of the team had to leave early to get back to their blocks in time, and by 7:45 were were changing shoes and walking out.
Final Score: 10(12)-3. MBC
* A great game by all involved.
* We bade farewell to a convict that has been in SQ for 47 years....Vaya con Dios!
* There was a short guy that seemed to be helping with the team, but mostly he just made fun of all of us
* The home plate umpire was not bad, but his strike calls were awesome: "Oooooooooooh.......Good Morning......Strike one!"
* Mitch and Mike both plastered the ball all day
* Don broke the bat that everyone had been using successfully, and our rallies died after that, nice work guy.
* Shallow pop up behind second base. Mitch and James rapidly converging on the play. Neither one of them call it loudly enough. They collide at full speed, with Mitch getting the worst of it. However, Mitch made the catch and held on to the ball, to the detriment of his rib cage.
* We finally managed to have a good comeback to the guards when they made the well worn joke, You only get to leave if you win
* The prison kumquats are in season, someone call Gaston
* It was revealed to me later, by an inside source that SQ employs the hidden ball trick a lot because they count on the umpires not knowing the rules about being on the mound....
* Not many balls hit to the outfield, Mitch did a lot of work at SS, as did Sonny at 2nd.
* Don caught the whole game, and as payment got some of the worst calls while he was at bat.
* Branden (SQ) lost his cross on the field, and it was nowhere to be found around the SS area. We all took turns looking for it. Then Sean randomly found it on the mound when he was warming up. Weird.
* Our record at SQ now extends for about 12 years, and I think were about 11-49....