Dear God, what a day!
I know that we are all screwed in the long run with climate change, but to have a day in November in SF, where it is 75 degrees and playing baseball. Hard to refuse. It was also my birthday game, one of two weekends of the year when I get a hall pass to play, no questions asked. I even made it there before the first pitch, so that was something.
We ended up with 17 players, which was also nice. I started for the visitors, and Lattig for the homers.
I will get the big news out of the way early. I Madduxed the hell out of that game.
9 innings, complete game, probably about 75 pitches. I think I struck out 3, walked 3.
Having not thrown in about 8 weeks, I was happy to get 3 innings, and then tried to give up the bump to one of the other pitchers on the team, but they all wanted me to stick with it. I was helped immensely by a stellar defense. I think we had two errors the entire game. Usually it's a good game when we limit it to 2 errors per inning.
Around about the 2nd inning, I started feeling the vibe, and my team did too. The warm weather, the easy plays, the general looseness. I was not throwing anywhere near 100%, but the hitters were either failing to square up, or my team was playing in the right spots. Batting practice fastballs can be great, if people are popping them up.
The other thing that really helped was every inning, other than the 9th, we got the first batter out. That makes such a big difference.
Lattig on the other hand, couldn't buy a break for the first few innings, we dinked the hell out of him, and the score stood 8-0 after the first few frames. The homers were sneaky though, they started building a come back, one run per inning, until it was 8-4 going down the final stretch. There were back to back doubles at one point, and Mitch was a thorn in my side the entire game, to the point that limiting him to a single was considered a successful at-bat.
Nate had come in for the homers, and all our scoring dried up. He was dealing, and we were flailing. The defense stayed strong, however. With the continued support of my team, all feeling the vibe by this point, we squashed a rally in the 9th, and the game was ours. We played an extra inning, Sean dealing for us, and since it was only about 3:30 by that time.
* Nothing better as a pitcher than a defense you can count on
* Our game saw some smoked line drives, Don, Matt, Tony, Urano, Sean, Mitch, James in particular, I recall.
* Adam pulled a few throws out of the deep dirt at first to save us
* Tony made an amazing grab on a ball at 3rd, we didn't get the runner, but the play was enough
* Tim was also hitting the ball hard, each time better than the last
* We had a couple of near collisions at first base that were a little scary
* Speaking of, one actual collision in left field, youngun' Matt raced out from SS to get a fly ball, Bob raced in. Matt called for it, Bob sort of slowed down, and then they collided. Bob took the brunt of it, but seemed fine. We calculated that there were 400+lbs involved in that mishap, so lucky that all were ok. Sean was racing in from center, but managed to avoid the calamity.
* Lattig requested a double play, to get out of a long inning, and I promptly hit into one.
* Matt charged a ball at SS, picked it and fired it to Adam, who almost had his glove knocked off with the force. Maybe from 17 feet away, we don't need to throw it quite so hard
* RBI Ed never had a chance for an RBI. But he did start the double play.
* I struck out James twice on the exact same upstairs fastball. His timing may be off, since he has not been able to come out much lately either. Probably the only way I was able to do it.
* Nate had the unenviable play of the "too high pop up" in the infield, and as he slowly backtracked, hit the unevenness of the mound, and lost it.
* Thanks again to everyone that came out, it was a great one!