Wow! We have always said we get some of our best weather games in the winter and Sunday was no exception. It bordered on hot in the city, which is always a rarity. The sun was really nice for warming up those sore muscles and making movement a little easier for some of us. There was also a really nice turnout of players, I think we had 22 by the end? The teams were very evenly matched, and the game played out accordingly.
Sean started for the visitors and Dan for the homers. We jumped on Dan for 3 runs in the first inning, and then could do no more the rest of the game. Sean was lights out as usual, cruising through the first few innings. Mitch took over for Dan in the 4th and finished out the rest of the frames, holding us to a scattering of hits. Pop ups ruled the first half of the game, and ground balls in the second half.
Defense ruled the day for both teams, with multiple plays to kill rallies or get the first out. It really does make a huge difference in the game. I wouldn't ordinarily do it, but he told me to, Tony was not one of those who had a great defensive game. It bordered on a case of the whim-whams, each time he got a ground ball it would skip off the glove, or hit him in the wrist, or drop on the transfer. As we all know, when that happens, it gets worse before it gets better, though he did settle down enough to make a few much needed plays.
We entered the 8th, still ahead 3-2. Sean could have just kept going, but he is a decent sort, and allowed Satch a chance to test out the mechanics of the mound, post-surgery. I was throwing more like a game of catch, but it felt good, no pain. I had some trouble finding the dish for the first few pitches, but I ended up only giving up one hit in one inning. Excited to extend my next rotation.
I had been steadfast that I only wanted to throw one inning, and Tony agreed to close out the game. We scored no additional runs in the 9th, and so we entered the bottom of the 9th clinging to a 1 run lead. Tony looked good in warmups and only needed a few with the sun on his shoulders, and all felt good. Then we let a baserunner get on, and he came all the way around and scored on a Tony wild pitch.
Then up came Mitch, hits a ground ball and beats the throw to first with some real hustle. He waits 2 pitches, then steals 2nd, except it was another wild pitch, and the ball skips and jumps and Mike N. behind the dish has no clue where it went. He is still searching for it as Mitch takes 3rd, and then races home for an easy score and the end of the game.
Never had that one happen before in the MBC....
Final- Homers 4-3.
* Anna played an outstanding game at 1st, with stretches, digs, and a tag play
* Mitch played a hell of a game and pitched a long relief game, shut us down
* Gaspar was the hitting machine of the day, including extra base hits!
* Keep your head up Tony, we all have those days. Maybe its time to quit the cancer sticks again.
* I recorded an out at 2nd, that was right at me, but slowing, and became a footrace to see if I could get to it before the runner got to 1st.
* The return of Ed!
* Sean made a diving stop off the mound!
* We must have an increase in defensive confidence lately, we have been making the risky but more rewarding defensive out choices e.g., a throw to third to get a lead runner rather than the easy out
* We had many opportunities and close plays, but we did not catch a single pop foul.
* I managed my first hit since October, a clean ball to the left side hole. I only took 27 seconds to get to first base...
* We had a lot of spectators, ooohing and ahhing our plays
* Nick W made a great play in the outfield
* The return of Mike Lynch. We were all very saddened to hear of the fire at his business, but glad that he is back up and running at a new location. Here is the GoFundMe, if you are interested in donating. He was very grateful and thankful to the MBC for its support. https://gofund.me/b995e261
* Chris Powell made a fantastic grab on a short fly ball and then a perfect throw to Anna to get the double off.
* A European tourist in the stands caught a foul ball in his crossed arms, completely unaware that a ball was heading his way, it just landed there. Glad it wasn't about 8 inches higher....
* Brian Phelps came for the last 7 minutes of the game.
* Mike G, Ed, Greg, Mike N all did great behind the dish