Tuesday, June 8, 2021

6/6/21 Report from the Salt Mines (GGP)

 I was not able to make it to the game, but the first of our residency at GGP was a good one, and here with the recap is Ol' Reliable himself, Mike Lattig:

It was a beautiful day to be back in GG Park. Not just because the wind was still howling and St Marys would have been unbearable. But because the sun was shining, the hawks were flying, the old-timey game was happening - with all the fans and beer drinking that that entails - and the promise of a better field brought out a number of our old timers who we haven’t seen as much of lately. 

Namely James (kid), Rich (kids), Don (baby - as in he is one, not has one), Ben (kids - but because he’s a teacher, not a father), and Stone (kids). Also making his first appearance in forever was our once and future umpire, Doc. It was great to see him, and he didn’t look a day over however old he is. 

Sean and Sonny did the pitching honors to inaugurate our three-month run in the park, though with the sides at 12 v 12 it was clear they weren’t going to get to run the length of the game. And it looked at the outset like Sonny’s day might be more dictated by effectiveness than numbers, as the home team struck for one in the first and two in the second. But after that, our bats got awfully quiet. 

Meanwhile, Sean had it all going - stymieing the visitors with his varied arsenal and fantastic movement. Along with a complete layout grab in CF by Rich to end a threat early in the game. As Sean said coming off the mound - It took a former minor leaguer to maintain the shutout. But maintain it we did, as Sean wrapped up 5 innings of shutout ball and handed the ball to McGrath. 

This is where my details get fuzzy, but needless to say a comeback was afoot. And after two innings pitched by John, HR came in for the 8th. By the time the third out was made, we were tied up 3-3. Chris P gets the credit for holding the home team in check, with some nice defense behind him. In fact, defense was solid for a good portion of the game with a couple perfectly mission-style exception innings. (Though a quick note to James - go with a full throw on the infield rather than trying to lob it.)

I think we had a relay throw to the plate for an out at one point (Maybe Greg from LF to someone to home…), we had Urano making leaping catches and running over the shoulder grabs out into CF (shoutout to Stone for not plowing him down), as well as taking a DP himself to end an inning… Just a solid defensive day all around. 

So, we head to the bottom of the 8th all knotted. Yours truly started things and jumped into the wayback machine with a long drive into left center for a double. Sean followed with a line drive back up the box that somehow skipped by Don in CF, allowing me to score and (because he hustles) Sean to get all the way to third. After a comebacker left him still at 3rd with one out, Sean put the contact play on for himself. Only he stopped and admired the high chopper hit to Sonny at third before remembering that he’d done so… 

What ensued was the best rundown in a long time. I’m guessing it took at least 6 throws to get him Sonny to Mike to Sonny to Mike to Chris to Someone to Chris…. All that effort allowed Virgil to scoot his way to second, which we ultimately cashed in with another base hit (sorry, forgetting who got it - maybe JT?) to make it 5-3. 

That extra run would prove necessary as HR went for the 2-inning save, giving up a couple of hits to make it a one run game before stranding the tying run at 3rd with a nasty strikeout of Dan. 

All in all, an exciting and fun way to kick off our run in the park. A few other notes:

  • In addition to Rich’s impossible catch in the OF, Adam smoked one to left that HR somehow ran down. Greg went a LONG way in left to corral a drive from… I think Chris P? And Don got a great jump to snag a shot I hit into CF. All in all a great day for outfielders, who were clearly thankful to be done with Saint Marys

  • Anna’s bat has been coming around lately, and she had at least one hit, plus hard contact just about every time. 

  • As mentioned above, Urano gets a gold star on defense for multiple tough plays

  • Mike N seemed to hit a line drive every time up. Which wasn’t that surprising… 

  • Greg was looking spry in LF and at the plate, including a nice line drive to center that we’re calling a hit - even if JT got forced out at 2nd

  • Rich’s kids continue to show us that genetics definitely play a big role in athletic ability… 

  • No band this week due to a previous engagement, but hopefully we’ll see them out there next week!

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