Monday, February 13, 2023

2/12/23 GGP

 Wow!  We have always said we get some of our best weather games in the winter and Sunday was no exception.  It bordered on hot in the city, which is always a rarity.  The sun was really nice for warming up those sore muscles and making movement a little easier for some of us.  There was also a really nice turnout of players, I think we had 22 by the end?  The teams were very evenly matched, and the game played out accordingly.  

Sean started for the visitors and Dan for the homers.  We jumped on Dan for 3 runs in the first inning, and then could do no more the rest of the game.  Sean was lights out as usual, cruising through the first few innings.  Mitch took over for Dan in the 4th and finished out the rest of the frames, holding us to a scattering of hits.  Pop ups ruled the first half of the game, and ground balls in the second half.

Defense ruled the day for both teams, with multiple plays to kill rallies or get the first out.  It really does make a huge difference in the game.  I wouldn't ordinarily do it, but he told me to, Tony was not one of those who had a great defensive game.  It bordered on a case of the whim-whams, each time he got a ground ball it would skip off the glove, or hit him in the wrist, or drop on the transfer.  As we all know, when that happens, it gets worse before it gets better, though he did settle down enough to make a few much needed plays.

We entered the 8th, still ahead 3-2.  Sean could have just kept going, but he is a decent sort, and allowed Satch a chance to test out the mechanics of the mound, post-surgery.  I was throwing more like a game of catch, but it felt good, no pain.  I had some trouble finding the dish for the first few pitches, but I ended up only giving up one hit in one inning.  Excited to extend my next rotation.

I had been steadfast that I only wanted to throw one inning, and Tony agreed to close out the game.  We scored no additional runs in the 9th, and so we entered the bottom of the 9th clinging to a 1 run lead.  Tony looked good in warmups and only needed a few with the sun on his shoulders, and all felt good.  Then we let a baserunner get on, and he came all the way around and scored on a Tony wild pitch.  

Tie game.  

Then up came Mitch, hits a ground ball and beats the throw to first with some real hustle.  He waits 2 pitches, then steals 2nd, except it was another wild pitch, and the ball skips and jumps and Mike N. behind the dish has no clue where it went.  He is still searching for it as Mitch takes 3rd, and then races home for an easy score and the end of the game.  

Never had that one happen before in the MBC....

Final- Homers 4-3.

Highlights:

* Anna played an outstanding game at 1st, with stretches, digs, and a tag play

* Mitch played a hell of a game and pitched a long relief game, shut us down

* Gaspar was the hitting machine of the day, including extra base hits!

* Keep your head up Tony, we all have those days.  Maybe its time to quit the cancer sticks again.

* I recorded an out at 2nd, that was right at me, but slowing, and became a footrace to see if I could get to it before the runner got to 1st.

* The return of Ed!  

* Sean made a diving stop off the mound!

* We must have an increase in defensive confidence lately, we have been making the risky but more rewarding defensive out choices e.g., a throw to third to get a lead runner rather than the easy out

* We had many opportunities and close plays, but we did not catch a single pop foul.

* I managed my first hit since October, a clean ball to the left side hole.  I only took 27 seconds to get to first base...

* We had a lot of spectators, ooohing and ahhing our plays

* Nick W made a great play in the outfield

* The return of Mike Lynch.  We were all very saddened to hear of the fire at his business, but glad that he is back up and running at a new location.  Here is the GoFundMe, if you are interested in donating.  He was very grateful and thankful to the MBC for its support.  https://gofund.me/b995e261

* Chris Powell made a fantastic grab on a short fly ball and then a perfect throw to Anna to get the double off.

* A European tourist in the stands caught a foul ball in his crossed arms, completely unaware that a ball was heading his way, it just landed there.  Glad it wasn't about 8 inches higher....

* Brian Phelps came for the last 7 minutes of the game.

* Mike G, Ed, Greg, Mike N all did great behind the dish

Enjoy!

S. Paige


Monday, January 23, 2023

1/22/23 The Alpha Game of 2023

 



It's been a minute.  I bowed out in early November to get my cyborg update, and from all I could gather, there were not many games played between then and now.  The winter holidays fell on consecutive Sundays for the first time in a while, but there was no playing that could have happened anyway.  The rain was constant, relentless, and frankly, unlike anything we have seen before.

It finally dried out this week, but all the parks remained closed in SF, save the big field at GGP.  And even that, we played with a caution tape barrier running the length of the 3rd baseline, protecting some new grass.  But we were playing baseball again, including Satch, excited to be on a field again, and anticipating a pain that gets better each day, rather than worse.  I told Greg to not let me pitch, even if I told him I could.  He agreed, that is a true friend.

Sean was in charge for the homers on the bump, and looked like classic Sean.  Nick W., hobbled by pain was still up for starting the game for the visitors, though his shoulder was acting up before he even started.  He was hoping that pitching would loosen it up.  It did not.  

Somehow we scored two runs off of Sean in the 1st inning, something I don't recall happening too often, and the RBI machine driving those runs in was Greg, the other cyborg.  I remarked that I was elated if that is what I have to look forward to.  The game was a truly a see-saw battle.  WE scored another, and then the homers came back and made it 3-2.  Back and forth it went.  The entire squad had at least one injury, Mitch took over after Nick's arm went kaput, and though he had also said his arm was blasted before the game, he was pitching well.  He even had a sub-10 inning!  I don't know where all these injuries were coming from, since we have not played ball in a month, tough holiday merry making, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the homers stayed with Sean, who had some nasty filth working for him, and they were keeping the bats alive, including Marcie with a RBI shot up the middle, and Chris Powell, who hobbled in the ankle, was still lining balls to the outfield.  Greg followed Mitch, and Brian Phelps closed out the deal for the visitors, while Sean stayed strong until he was ready to hand over the reins to Dave, who was throwing his usual high and tight gas and then for the finale, they brought in HR to slam the door.  

We had the lead, and then lost it, then retaken it, and then the homers tied it up at 7, in the bottom of the 8th inning.  They weren't done though, scoring two more runs to make it 9-7 going into the 9th.  We failed to produce another run rally, and the game ended victorious for the homers.

Highlights:

* Great to see everyone, and be seen.  

* Ice everything people, we look like the walking wounded out there

* Great pitching Sean, including a nasty changeup on a battled 1-2 count, I think I fouled off 4

* Great job behind the dish from Bob, Greg, Mike N, and Mike G

* I caught Bob's line drive to right, only because I did not have to move.  Everything tensed up, and hurt, but I stayed still and caught it.

* Two new guys Carlos and Reynaldo were great in the outfield, including 2 running catches!

* Luciano was out and playing hard

* Adam made an amazing play at 1st, in the very first inning, on a hot drive from Sean, and he made it look easy.

* Greg's bunt late in the game was an unexpected and effective play from the old tactician.

* JT arrived after the start, and promptly put on a hitting clinic

* Phelps and Mike N made a great play at home, to get a runner that was threatening our lead

* Don came out late in his cool guy clothes, and made a gift of a glass bat display to the team

* I tattooed a ball off of HR in the 8th, and only because Sean was playing center, and at about 385 ft, did he track it down.  Greg had no belief that it would be caught off the bat, and was well on to 2nd, by the time he realized what had happened.  He scrambled back but was doubled off, but not before the runner at 3rd had gotten home. The good news is that it became a sac fly, since the out at first was not a expected force play.

* Greg laid out to try and catch a pop up, almost had it!

* Bob got hit twice, a fortuitous start to the year, congrats on your multi-hit game, Bob! :)

* Phelps made a awesome play at SS, no small feat for a lefty

* The homers turned at least 2 double plays

Thanks to all that made it out, it was awesome to see everyone!

Happy 2023.