Monday, November 30, 2015

11/29/15 Cop Field

Wow, what a great day for a game.  I figured to be freezing my ass off the whole time, but instead we got sun and plenty of it.  We also managed to have an exciting game, though it was not close for much of the contest.

Sonny started for the homers and was pretty lights out after the first inning.  We scored 3 runs in the top of the first and thought we were on our way to a rout.  Sonny was cool, calm and collected the whole game and didn't do much other than get us to hit balls right to his defense, which is always a winning recipe.  He wasn't overpowering, and he didn't throw many breaking balls, but it was the most effective pitching I have seen in a while.

Satch started for the visitors and ended for the visitors.  I haven't been able to throw long in a while, and it sure felt good.  So there I was, cruising through the innings, until the homers came to bat for the second time, and then suddenly, they got wise and I got vulnerable.  Our 3-1 lead turned into 4-3 deficit in the blink of an eye (and the crack of the bat and the flub of the glove).  They scored 2 more in the later innings, with Chris Powell doing what he does best, hit and score.

The score stood 6-3 for the bulk of the game.

At first I think we didn't realize how morose we had gotten, we had a good team and strong bats, and just kept coming up with nothing.  The homers were a lot of speed and they took every opportunity to steal bases, or get the advantage on a slow play.  They also laced balls down the line to both sides, and dinked in hits between defenders.  And ultimately, that was the difference.

Tony gave us a rousing pep talk that consisted of "What the Fuck, can we stop hitting like shit?"  That seemed to do the trick, along with Sonny giving way to Daniel (who is leaving for Portland soon) for the 9th inning. We scrapped a run, stole a base, and then scored another, and had the tying run on 2nd base.  Too little too late, as they say, and down we went with a final of 6-5.

A truly strange incident was captured by Abe as he was filming an at-bat to check out his phone's slo-mo technology.  A close play at 1st -that no one had a really good look at- was captured by the phone, and the first ever MBC Instant Reply was viewed and the call reversed (somewhere in the Costa Rican jungle, Greg Snyder feels a piercing dagger penetrate his heart). 

I will post the video once Abe sends it to me, along with some more pictures.


* The homers played better than us, and they deserved to win.

* Josh (in the midst of a frustrating defensive day) managed to turn a 6-3 double play

* John McGrath came up with one of the biggest hits of the game, down the right field line

* We were out of position it seemed, for every ground ball.  We played up the middle, they pulled, etc.

* Everything was working, struck out about 6 or 7, had some 1-2-3 innings, just laid a couple of fat pitches in at the wrong time.

* Bob, playing center field, had to chase balls to both alleys, after which he yelled something to the effect that we should heed the warning that "... Mike Trout isn't playing out here..."

* This was a game that exemplified why I try to live by the Chris Powell rule: allow for the fact that he will score but try not to let anyone else do so.

* We got out of a bases loaded jam at one point that gave us a sliver of hope

* Got my first and possibly second legitimate hit with the Carter bat.

* Don and I finally got a good pitching rhythm going

* The homers refused to nibble on some very close pitches

* Sonny also came up with a crucial hit, in addition to his masterful pitching

* Richie laid down a great bunt, and made some nice plays at 3rd

* We did manage to successfully get an out at the plate on a '1 out, infielders in' situation.

* Bob had the big hit to score the 2nd run and put himself in scoring position as the tying run.

* James moved on to a new, lighter bat from the War Hammer I had loaned him.  He broke the new bat.

* Thanks to John, Bob, Don for doing the catching

S. Paige

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

11/8/15 Cop Field

Rain, we need it, but never on Sundays.

Luckily, the short morning sprinkle just wet the ground enough to keep the dust down on what was otherwise perfect autumn baseball weather.  I sent out a worried email to the group to ignore the rain forecasts, since I don't get as many chances to play these days, but my fears were allayed when we had 19 players for the day.

Sonny started for the homers, and had a rough first inning, which some placed the blame on the fact that he wasn't wearing a cap while pitching.  The baseball gods are a fickle bunch.  He lasted four innings, and the visitors hit him up for about 7 runs, which definitely were not all earned.  Our team had a case of the dropsies, most surprisingly from Adam, our stalwart first baseman.  True, a lot of the throws were less than perfect, but sometimes you get used to someone always being able to pick the bad throw, and when they don't, well, it stands out.  He certainly wasn't alone in his nightmares though, to paraphrase Duran Duran (the band, not the Barbarella character).

Sean started for the visitors, and he ended for the visitors.  That's right, Ol' Floppy Pockets is making quite a name for himself as the consummate CG man. And why not?  He pitched well, mixing it up, and getting out of the few jams we managed to create.  He held our team to an anemic 5 runs, on a day that we should have been knocking down the walls.

The first inning was a mess for both teams, and it was 3-3 going into the second, but then the visitors scored three more runs, and we, well, didn't.  And that was the rest of the game.  Satch entered in the 5th and managed to give up two more runs.  The time off helped to have a fastball, but the changeup was not working for some reason.  The slider and knuckleball on the other hand, were just fine.

The game was over before 4pm, and while we might have played an extra, the dark and the cold was starting to seep into the day, so we called it quits with a final of 9-5.


* Mitch showed up late, and somehow was given to the visitors, which I don't think was quite fair.  As usual, Mitch did it with the glove and the bat.  And took a wicked pitch on the elbow.

* Tony and Greg were on opposite teams for the first time in a long while.

* I threw a superb knuckler to Don, and Tony barked from the on-deck circle to throw one of those to him.  So I did, right down the middle, on the first pitch of the at bat, and Tony bunted.  It rolled all the way back to me, and I threw him out by 10 steps.  Apparently he forgot his request.

* I may or may not have had my first hit with the new Carter bat.  Mitch admitted he took the worst route to the ball that he could, including two complete spins, but I like to call it a double.

* John Mcgrath hit the ball very hard, and also bought new catchers gear for the team, which he strapped on and dug in for the latter part of the game.  He admitted a liking for calling curves and change-ups in fastball counts, so I knew we were gonna be fine together.

* I threw a breaking ball to Josh that spun him around and on to the ground for strike three.  His revenge was quick.

* I had a really bad day on the basepaths, even for me.  With one out, I was on third, and a ball was softly hit to the SS.  If I had broke at the crack of the bat, I probably would have made it, but I was worried that Sean, being Spiderman and all, would leap out, snare it and I would be dead in the water.  Once it was past him though, I realized that the team was going to be supremely disappointed if I didn't score with one out in a close game.  So I took off, Josh fielded it, and threw to Duane, who managed to catch the off line throw and spin to tag me before I touched home (maybe...).  I think if I had just stopped, instead of sliding, he may have waved right past me, and I could have scored, but either way, I suck.

* The other Nick made several key outs at third and left field, he was our shining defensive player.

* Tried for a SQ out in right field, and only managed to hurt Adam's finger

* Chris Powell was disappointed in all of us, I think.

* Abe bunted twice in a row, for base hits, angering us all.  Then he got eaten up at third, and all was right with the world.

* Thanks to Tim, Duane, John and Don for doing the catching

* Bon Voyage to Greg, our captain as he leaves for his jungle paradise for the next month, joined in part by Tony, who is taking a load of baseball gear to the people of Costa Rica.

* Interesting side note, the game at the other field, included a guy who hit a ball to the warm up mound on our field.  I mapped it.  Pretty amazing.   Take a look.