Monday, September 17, 2018

9/16/18 Cop Field

After a weekend of lil' Satch's 7th birthday parties, a well-deserved game of baseball.  Seriously, somehow he stretched his birthday into three separate parties.  Nice work if you can get it.

We had 16 players, which was also nice for a change, here's hoping that the summer doldrums are behind us and we don't have to start every game hoping that two more people will magically appear at 3:15.  And yes, I acknowledge that one of those people is usually me.

Classic match up.  Sean and Satch square off.  Toe to toe, mano y mano.

Actually it wasn't as dramatic as all that, but I got there on time this week, so I had the chance to start the game.  The most interesting part was how many new people were there.  Lattig was the elder statesman of the group, followed closely by me, Mitch, Sean, and Powell.  The MBC is changing.

On paper, our team was real strong.  I even felt a twinge of remorse that we had Powell, Mitch, and James on the same team.  That is unfair in most games.  I should have learned by now that nothing is for sure in the MBC.  What we did do was score two runs early in the game, and then not a thing after that.  The amazing part was that we held the other team scoreless for at least 7 innings, a 2-0 shutout for the bulk of the game is very newsworthy.

I felt OK, considering my recent hip-related issues, and for some reason was able to spot the fastball pretty well.  The mound was in pretty poor shape, so there were only a few places you could be on the rubber and not have your landing leg go into a crevasse.  Didn't seem to bother anyone too much though.  Sean was just a good as I was, and after 4 innings, I turned things over to Powell who kept on the same path.  Sean bowed out after 5 and a new guy entered who had not pitched since high school.  Those words were ringing in my ears like a warning sign, as we have seen a lot of guys come out and pitch after a long hiatus, blow out an elbow, and never come back.  This guy didn't do that, but I hope that he also took the time to ice his arm.  I also think we need to remember what happened at the end of last year, when new guy Jimmy pitched great one week, then broke his arm throwing a slider the next week (see write up December 3, 2017- Cop Field)

So the new guy stymied us and our defense finally broke down as Chris L. came in to throw the last innings.  He got away with it for one inning, but the 8th proved to be our Waterloo.  The homers came prepared for aggressive baseball, and helped by some errors, including at least one by yours truly, they pushed 5 runs across the board.  We tried to mount a rally in the 9th, but came up short and the game ended with a 5-2 victory for the homers.


* Again, so nice to have enough players to make it enjoyable rather than continual baseball.

* One of the reasons that we lasted as long as we did was that we completed 3 double plays, only one of which was the traditional 6-4-3.

* Powell and Mitch accounted for about 19 of the defensive outs that we made.

* Brandon made an amazing catch on a line drive from Sean, to deep right, and then had the wherewithal to heave the ball into second to double up Abe.  Abe was on his way home, thinking there was no way that ball could be caught.  No one faulted him for thinking that.

* A pop fly to short left was called fair by our catcher, in a crucial spot in the 8th.  I know it was foul because I was blocking the view of the ball from the catcher, as I stood gape-mouthed from my place at third.  I don't fault James for calling it fair, since I know he probably had no clear view of it, but it was foul.  By about 2 feet.  Oh well.

* Mike, Chris L., James did a fine job of catching

* Abe made two really nice plays in left while he was filling in defensively for the other team.

* I struck out for the first time in quite a while.  New guy was all up in my head

* Elvin is being brought up on charges in the kangaroo court for watching football on his phone during a MBC game.  He may have to represent himself, as I don't know of any other lawyers that would take such a case.

* James and Chris proved to be the only two people on the team who could get on base.  In fact, James went 5 for 5, with the first four hits batting lefty.  The last one he went righty, since his MBC batting algorithm states that if his team is behind that he bats to his strength.

* John McG made some crucial plays at 2nd for his team

* There was a huge crowd of players from the Mexican league positioned just off the field in right.  It was nice to have spectators, and they argued among themselves on a few calls.

* I went 0-3 with the aforementioned strikeout.

* At least twice we had a man on third and couldn't score him

* We also had the amazing luck to shut down the homers who had 2nd and 3rd and no outs, and did not score!

Sidebar- It should be noted that it is generally good sportsmanship to obey the defensive positioning requests of the team on which you are filling in on.  There was verbal dust-up concerning this, and--without going into specifics-- it is easier to just comply.  I know I am no one's first choice to fill in defensively, but I do honestly try to support the other team and make the plays when called upon.  The high percentage of negative outcomes (in my case) can be placed firmly at the feet of my lack of defensive skill, rather than a Machiavellian plot to hurt the opposing team.  That being said, in the same vein, we should all remember that this game is purely for fun, and no one person is ever solely responsible for the outcome of the game.