Friday, July 21, 2017

7/21/17 MBC vs San Quentin Giants

There was a game last month, but there was no write up, mostly due to the fact that it was a blowout. something in the neighborhood of 15-something a lot less.  So we had our work cut out for us.  The residual traffic from a jackknifed truck on the Richmond bridge made for an extremely long drive up, and Satch, after warning everyone about the accident, was the last person to arrive.  It's a simple man that can't take his own advice, but I thought 90 minutes would be enough time to drive 17 miles.  I was sure wrong on that one.

We got in finally, and were relieved to see that the Giants had their uniforms on already and all their equipment.  We were also impressed to see a film crew walking around, with none other than Chris "Stretch" Rich, who was paroled recently, and who was back in as the first visiting alumnus of the SQ Giants.  A nice moment, considering that it was probably about 12 years ago that we played our first game in the SQ, and faced Stretch who was probably about 44 at the time.  Elliot gave a short(ish) talk about the semblance of hope and camaraderie that exists in the baseball program, and Chris (as he would like to be referred as) talked about the circumstances around taking his wife's life and was very forthright on complete ownership of the problems that led to her tragic death.  He also talked about seeing Mt. Tam every day from the abbreviated view in SQ, and his goal to one day stand at the top.  He brought out a picture he took from the top, and pointed out where SQ was.  By this point we were all pretty antsy to get playing, since weekday games are always too short too begin with.

We went down easily in the first, and the Giants responded with 3 runs, one earned, an unfortunate thread of the game.  We answered back with a run in the 2nd, and then both sides fell quiet for a few innings.  Satch started the game, and the warm summer sun was helping to keep all the muscles loose and limber.  The first 5 innings of the game were some of the best pitching I have done recently.  My fastball had a lot of movement on it, and I was getting strikes with 2 kinds of breaking pitches. The umpire was calling a low strike zone, but it was consistent for both teams at least.

Then the wheels came off.  The Giants pounded us for 5 runs in the fifth inning, mixing gorks and dinks in with the occasional well placed single.  And we responded by booting the ball when possible, or letting it go past us completely.  Oh well.  It happens every time.

I lasted one more inning, and then handed the ball off to Carter to close it out.  After surrendering a lead off walk, Carter settled in and pitched well.  Until the 9th when suddenly our team got the mental and physical dropsies again, and they scored another 4 runs.  They concluded that they would forgo their last out int he 9th, so that we had a chance to hit one last time, which was very nice of them.

Suddenly, we started hitting, after an entire game of wasted opportunities.  Carter absolutely destroyed a ball that whanged off the left field fence, two feet higher and it would have been a frozen rope home run.  We got 3 across the plate, before the end finally came.

Final score: 12-5.  Sounds ok, if you didn't watch us play the game.


* Nick W. with a triple to score our first run.  He claimed to still be out of breath, 4 innings later

* The Giants centerfielder moved like Hunter Pence's grandpa, but he tracked down at least 3 well hit balls.

* Don got walked three times, his intimidation was palpable, I guess

* Greg played first, which was not the usual.

* Jimmy had a couple of ropes, but was thrown out trying to steal third with 2 men on (and Satch at bat.  Obviously no confidence, didn't think I could get the job done.)

* The highest hit ball in quite a while still had time to drop between Sean, Nick and Jimmy behind 2nd.

* Ruben made end of the bat contact with a nasty change-up in the first inning that spun like a flying saucer about 5 feet in front of home.  I fielded it but couldn't get him in time.  Closer examination, he had torn a 50-cent piece sized flap in the ball. To the disbelief of the MBC, I chose not to try and use the ball to my advantage.

* Every close play we tried to get at first, the runner was called safe.  Every close play that the Giants made at first, we were called out.

* Cap tip to the SQ pitcher, who threw the entire game.

* We decided that if the game was a 45rpm, it would be titled: A Whiff of Dignity, B side: Delusions of Grandeur. I think the LP will probably be called And Then the Wheels Came Off....

* We got a mercy call at 2nd, on Bird, who went past the bag and scrambled back.  The umpire was blocked by Bird's body from seeing the tag, but called him out.  Bird was not pleased.  Jimmy admitted (quietly) that if he tagged him, it was definitely after he had gotten a hand back on the base.  The top of the next inning, the same umpire called out Sonny on a play at second that he was totally safe on.  Balance, I guess.

* The camera crew didn't give us the time of day the entire time.

* Jimmy made some good plays at 2nd, but the best was just catching a line drive that a guy absolutely pissed on.  Luckily it dropped enough by the time that it got to Jimmy that he could catch it.

* Don did a great job behind the dish, called a good game and blocked a number of pitches in the dirt.

* I threw a 3rd strike curve ball that was so nasty that the umpire froze and didn't call it.  But everyone knew.  Sean especially, who was arguing from center field.

* Miles had a nice hit and performed well leading off, given that he has been in SQ only once before.

* We probably left 9 or 10 runners on over the course of the game, 2 out rally never got off the ground.

* Carter made a great play at third, on a ground ball that looked like it was going to be a tweener

* I think I had two hits, one I can be proud of, and one that the third baseman admitted was coming too fast for him to do much with, and 2 RBIs.  The first at bat I tattooed a ball to dead center, that anywhere else in the outfield would have been gone, but the damn center fielder tracked it down.

Next SQ game August 12, against the Giants again.

S. Paige

Monday, July 10, 2017

7/2/17 Fourth of July Doubleheader- GGP

One of my favorite traditions is the doubleheader, and not just because it is twice as much baseball on a Sunday.  It is a time when we see players that have not come out in a long while, the games are usually a little more competitive, and we have yet to not fill the ranks for teams for both games.  Given that the last few months have seen a real drought of players, that last point cannot be stressed enough.

Game 1:

Sean started for the visitors and Greg for the homers.  I was late, and came in the bottom of the first, and missed the squeeze play that scored the first run of the game for the visitors.  The teams were about 13-13 or so, which meant plenty of time to warm up.  For at least the second year, Sean was resplendent in his red uniform.  He threw 7 innings, and dug a huge hole in the mound, not cool.  James took over for Sean and had a 1-2-3 inning. Greg went 5 strong for the homers, and handed the ball over to Satch for the rest of the game.

Bottom of the ninth.  Game score was 7-6.  Lead-off single, tying run is on base.  Stolen base! Lead-off man / tying run is on second with nobody out! Mike Lattig, who later admitted he did not know the stakes, does not do what he would usually do (sac bunt) and instead swings away and pops up to the infield, one out.  Next batter: ground out to short, runner advances to third, sacrifice, 2 outs, Sean on 3rd base, Ken from the Ramblers up.  Three straight fastballs, and the game was over, the BBQ ready to begin.

Game 2:

Satch started the second game, having only thrown 4 in the last game and determined to get some use out of the old soup bone.  Nick W. started for the visitors, much to the surprise of most, who didn't know that Nick was a pitcher.  But he has a good fastball, and keeps in in the zone, very effective over the 5 innings he threw. Ed, with arm in sling, went behind the dish to call the balls and strikes.  While it was great to have him involved, Ed, by his own admission thinks he may not be umpire material, after letting slip that calling this game reminded him that he needs to get his optometrist prescription filled.  And he may have been intoxicated.  But he didn't do that bad....

Cavalcade of pitchers in second game: Tony followed Satch, then new Mike, then John Carey for the homers.  Lattig after Nick, then Ryan then Loren for the close opportunity.

While the pace of the game might have been a little slower due to the food and libations, it was not the dropsy-fest that sometimes is the case.

The 9th saw the visitors up by a run, 8-7, with Loren, in tow with girlfriend, looking for the save opportunity.  Unfortunately, Satch had something to say about that.  A single up the middle, to be exact.  Then Loren forgets that he should be pitching from the stretch, Satch takes 2nd uncontested.  Takes 3rd on a fielders choice, and then, with John Nero up, scores on a wild pitch to even the score.  Homers don't score again, and we decide that tied after 9 (for the second year in a row!) is a good place to end the day.  Happy Freedom Day!

Highlights (with suggestions from the team):

* Mitch had the defensive play of the game with a long run from SS and a Willie Mays-style over the shoulder catch

* Wesley, Charlie and Thomas all present as the new generation of MBC players, start dates 2020+

* Duane made some great plays at SS

* New guy batting with shinguards on

* John Carey manufacturing a run by stealing 2nd, 3rd and then coming home safely on a passed ball

* Game 1: Visitors scored 1 in the first and two in the second.  Ken had a long double in there somewhere.

* Satch hit a long one over James' head in the first game, with the Shoeless Joe bat, which has finally splintered away enough to be retired, so long old friend.

* Johnny Bartlett solid at 3rd base, like he had never left

* John Carey was effectively wild pitching the 2nd game, no one digs in on a hard throwing kid with control issues

* JT's recent batting average dipped below to .800, but continues to tear up the offense

* Ed was hit in the beans by a errant pitch from Lattig, luckily he was drunk enough that it didn't hurt too much

* Sean and Tony presented the best dressed award to Johnny.  The stipulation is that Sean never actually got the trophy from Tony, until this year's game, so there is up to a one year delay in transfer of award.

* No Best Improved or Horsheshit Cocksucker awards.

* In a bold and asshole-ish move, the AOY contingent voted to withhold the award this year, as no one truly broke the barrier of AOY-ist behavior.  This is a good sign in some ways.  I will divulge some of the contenders: Don, for being a Yankee's fan, a steady SQ player, and a roustabout.  Sean, for dependable SQ service and a nice lip caterpillar, McG for stealing with 9 run lead so he could leave the game early, Satch for sending emails every time he knows he can play in a vain attempt to plead for adequate attendance, Elvin, for refusing to entertain the notion of sliding, and Tony and Greg, cuz they think the whole thing is stupid, and it would be fun to see them tell us to stick the award where the sun don't shine.

Pics from John Nero and Video from Ryan: