Monday, April 25, 2016

4/17/16 Cop Field

It was a beautiful day out, very little traffic, and as usual, crappy parking all around the field.  Seriously, ever since they re-did Balboa Park, it has been harder and harder to park.  The teams faced off, Satch throwing for the homers and Carter for the visitors.  Carter however, lasted one inning and then gave the ball over to Greg.  We never heard why.

I had a much better first inning than last time, which felt good.  And in general, the arm felt fine.  Except when I was pitching to Lattig, and then I couldn't throw a strike to save my life.  The same with Carter, who only was there for one or two at bats.  Both of them chose to take their walks after 7 or 8 balls in a row.  No explanation, other than lack of use and concentration and skill, that I can come up with.

We had a good group, a couple of new guys that both seemed to have some good skills, and a returning crop of new talent as well, including a few younger recruits. Gaspar was also out for the first time in a while, and made an amazing catch in right field, the first of many of his defensive gems of the day.

The game went along in a bit of a teeter-totter, 1-0, 2-1, 4-1, 5-4, that kind of thing.  I bowed out after 6 innings and gave the ball up.  Then we realized that the other team had lost a player, making it a lopsided, 9 on 7 game, so I volunteered to switch teams, since I had done all the damage I was going to.  I left the homers in a 5-4 deficit.

We had a number of people who had to leave early, so we skipped the 7th inning and moved to the 8th.  Low and behold, the team I left suddenly came alive and started hitting all over the place.  The team I joined went down 1-2-3 in the top of the 9th.

So I got to lose twice in one game.  That's something.

Final- Homers- 8-6?


* Gaspar's catch in right was the play of the game

* Elon's catch on his own team in left was a close second

* Thanks to Greg, John and Carter for the catching

* One of the new guys had an amazing arm

* In jest, I cocked an elbow out on a first pitch and it actually hit me.  It must have been chest high, but Greg was indignant and insisted that Carter call it a strike, to teach me a lesson about fucking around, I guess.  I hit the next pitch about 410 feet to left-center and had a stand-up triple.

* Greg said he didn't mind the hit, but he took exception to the triple, since I had to exert effort and actually try, he took umbrage with that display of spirit.

* Chris Powell made a great catch off of the mound

* Abe accomplished something, but was not lauded for it.

* Bob had three real solid drives, one on a pitch he had to go down to get

* Powell's defensive rehab is continuing to improve (see above) though he made another error on a routine play at SS.  We think he may be the victim of the whammy or even a malicious curse.  Its the only logical explanation for his errors....

* Parking really sucks at Balboa.

Monday, April 4, 2016

4/10/16 Cop Field

 Photo credit: AOY 2015 Lattig  

 It's been a long damn time since I got a chance to play, sorry for all the missed weeks and absence of updating on the blog.  What can you do; life has a way of getting messy sometimes.  Sunday's game highlighted that for sure.

We had 18, we had a nice sunny day, we had a nice mixture of the old and the new.  The breakdown of the teams seemed to lean heavy on our side, to the point that we considered a swap before the first pitch.  Boy, did we look like assholes for feeling superior.

I felt really good warming up, the fastball was there after a two month rest, and we faced off against Sonny, going for the homers.  He had his usual repertoire of downward breaking stuff, and we didn't fare too well in our first licks.  The bottom of the first proved to be one of the ugliest innings I have ever been a part of.  I think they sent 12 to the plate, scored 7 runs.  What was consistent for the entire game as that we got the first out, no problem, and then could not seal the deal to save our lives.  I want to point out that I felt I was making good pitches and the homers were taking me to the woodshed for gappers and line drives.  Mixed in with that was about 6-7 one inning.... misplayed pop-ups, groundballs through the wickets, you name it, we did it.

The inning was a wake up call, of the 'ice water to the face' variety, and we decided we could at least try to maintain some dignity.  We scored two runs.  Gave two back to the homers.  9-2 going into the third inning is some heavy shit.

The momentum shifts were schizophrenic, and we were turned away from two huge innings by good defense, and/or lackluster hitting.  A particularly disappointing backbreaker was James' bases loaded long fly ball that the left fielder scrambled for and then tracked down to end the inning.  We had scored 4 more by that point and had threatened to catch up.  No joy.

I fulfilled my contractual obligations to throw 5 innings and handed the ball over Greg.  Two months off is good for the arm, but not the rest of the body.  Baseball uses some very specific muscles, and they all felt like broken clock springs on me.  Sometimes a change in pitching can be a big difference.  Sorta worked.  Greg held them to 5 runs over the next four innings, though he was perplexed as I was with the hitting prowess that the homers showed.  Truly they deserved to win the game.

We kept battling, Elon came in to pitch for the homers and we worked our way to a 10-9 game.  Exciting, but short lived.  More runs were scored, and try though we did, we were unable to catch up with the homers and our last at bat, with runners in scoring position ended with a foul out to the first baseman.  Cue sad trombone.

Final Score- 14-12


* I set a Hall of Shame record, I was on base 4 or 5 times and failed to score every time

* Chris Powell probably wants all memories of this game erased, he struck out and made his season's worth of errors, luckily he was in like minded company on our team

*Elvin had a strong day at the plate, and survived being hit twice

* Our team managed to hit three guys, but each of them twice.

* We were robbed on more than one occasion by good defense

* Greg gets the honesty award for running on a spinning ball in front of the plate.  Some of us might have claimed it hit our foot or something

* All the hitters on the homers looked good

* John Nero came through for us, first he argued a fair/foul call on a ground ball down the line, and when he was brought back, he got a clean hit to right center

* Bob went for a bouncing ball with his glove and caught his shoe instead, the ball just kept on rolling

* Kyle, James' friend, playing for only the second time looked a little shaky in the field, but managed to get good wood on the ball a couple of times

* Bob had to hustle to score on a foul ball out to left.  That was how bad we were at getting timely hits

* After watching 7 balls in a row, I also watched a 3rd strike, right. down. the. middle.

* Jimmy played a solid backstop all game

* Abe proved his hitting prowess once again

* Frustration: Throwing a perfect strike, if Richie wasn't at the plate.

* I managed to avoid a collision with Duane at first, I was pretty happy about that.

* A couple of new guys (that I know of) were making plays, and getting hits

* We did manage to catch and track down Elon in a pickle for a much needed third out

*  We also had a second or third effort play to get a runner at second, after another hit

Hats off to the homers, they played with a lot more heart and talent than we did.