The day started out warm and balmy with some nice cloud cover - which may have contributed to us staying at a reasonable 10-on-10 for the first time in a long time.
Two old-timers took to the bump to get things started, with Greg firing for the home squad and Johnny doing the honors for the visitors. To Greg's dismay, that meant he started against a top 4 of Mitch, Johnny, Rich and Lattig (as I go third person for a minute...). Not the lineup he needed to face coming off the error-induced drubbing he took a few weeks ago. And sure enough, we quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st.
Johnny, on the other hand, seemed hell-bent on turning in the first shutout that the MBC has seen in quite some time. The one glitch? In about the 4th inning or so that cloudy sky had morphed into a grayish white glare that threatened even the surest of hands and eyes. Yours truly fell victim with two outs and none on, when Adam hit a little humpbacked liner to second that should have ended things, but instead wove its way in and out of the sun before I made a final, futile last second stab at it once it reappeared to my left.
The homers followed with a few solid knocks, and all the sudden it was a 5-2 ballgame... But that's all Johnny would yield until an inconsequential ninth. Between then he got help from Jason's ability to fend off the sun in center, Rich's ability to glide around at shortstop and fire balls to first, and Mitch's ability to suck up anything hit his way, including a spectacular sliding catch in center.
And while Johnny was spinning his magic, we kept the runs trickling in. The most impressive knock being Rich's wall banger off of Brian after he looked surprisingly uncomfortable for a few pitches. A fact that Greg ill-advisidly pointed out before Rich launched a 370 foot line drive. The lesson there: Don't poke the bear.
I'm not sure what that made the score, but it was a lot to 2 before another 2 out rally in the 9th led to 3 or 4 runs for the homers. And, as seems custom and since it was a mere 5:20 when the 9th was completed, we moved on to the 10th where both teams got a couple of runs but nothing of consequence occured...
Lesson there: Sometimes 9 is enough. (Ed. note: Some of us would play through to Monday morning if given the opportunity, but I know I may be in the minority here...)
I'm old and tired, so I don't remember many details beyond that. A few for the history books and blooper reels:
* Dennis fell down while backpedalling to catch a pop up, but his achilles was fine.
* There were at least 4 balls hit to right field off of Greg that should have been caught, but were lost in the sun and fell for 'hits'. That seemed to be Rich's gameplan until Brian came in...
* Speaking of Brian, he lasered a couple the other way, proving the value of "Hit it where it's pitched"
* Johnny and I connected for a strange 4-1 putout of Greg on a ball that seemed destined for right field. Which proves the value of the pitcher covering on anything hit to the right side.
* We all made it home safely with another game under our belt. Which proves the value of knowing your limitations...
Dennis "300+pints and counting" Briskin had his own description of his swan dive:
AOY 2011 Brian "Lefty Stonez"Phelps had these gems to contribute:
* Greg vs Johnny, Johnny donned a #75 retro Mission jersey and pitched like a retro Zito.
* Once again the sun played its part. I nearly caught a ball, hit by Rich, right near Dennis after he lost it in the sun. I also could have made a play, from the mound, behind 1st base after Dennis and Adam lost a popup in the sun.
* Greg made a Willie Mays catch after taking the fateful first step in.
* I had a 15 pitch battle with Rich. After 14 pitches in, Greg (catcher) says "I've never seen you rattled". After tapping the glass, Greg calls for a fastball and Rich puts one off the wall. Thanks Greg.
* The Homer's defense let this one get away.
* The new Greg murdered the ball. One went over my head, so I went oppo the next time up and put one over his head. Then I pitched to him and he crushed me.
* The Visitors had a murderous lefty lineup. Rich, Lattig, Rojas.
Ed. Note: One final aside to the league players, please remember that this game is the only one that most of get to play for the week, and we would like to be able to play as much as possible. This game, while not registered in any official capacity, also isn't a league training session.
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