Friday, August 25, 2023

The end of the summer


A hearty congratulations to Liam McGrath on two very successful San Quentin games and one not-so-successful game.  The way she goes, boys.

The game that shall not be named was not anyone's finest moment, but before the game, he got a signed baseball from the inmates in acknowledgement of his previous complete game at SQ, with 12Ks!  A dominating performance.  My sources tell me that his most recent relief appearance was just as good.  

We are proud to have him amongst our ranks, and he has come a long way.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

8/20/23 GGP

The band was out in full force, and we had enough to play a game.  The weather was amazing, so few summer days that actually feel like summer days.  Sonny started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  

Two things are certain in a hot summer game: Pitching will be better because the muscles are warm, and Sean's back will look like a Rorschach ink blot after the 2nd inning.

Sonny was dealing, we got to him early for 2 runs, but that was it.  We could not get the ball to find a hole in the defense.  It didn't help that we also hit into 3-4 double plays, which killed every rally we might have had.  Sean pitched his heart out, and kept us in the game, but we just didn't have enough to over come.  Lil Josh came in with me to play, and he did a fine job at 2nd base, managed to get two outs, and stayed down on the grounders.  He also covered 2nd base like a 1st baseman every time there was a runner, regardless of how many times we told him he didn't have to.  It was great to have him out there.

The play that probably broke our spirit was almost great. A long drive to deep right center, and Nick Werthman on his horse.  Not a chance in hell to catch the ball, but he was running.  Then all of a sudden somehow, it was in his range, he was closing in, and it hit his glove.....and dropped out.  A collective "Awwwwww Shit" rose up.  

Our inability to match the opponents double plays, and three more almost-catches that hit us in the gloves sealed our fate.  Nick took over for Sean and HR came in to pitch, as did Mike N, and we fared a little better, bringing the score within one, but ultimately we could not retake the lead.  

We had started a little late, and we lost track of the innings, so it was the 5th about 3 innings in a row.  Even with the fudged innings, we couldn't win.

Final- Homers 5-4.


* Sonny pitched a great game, with his dog as a distraction

* Lots of double plays make for an easy game

*  2 or 3 infield fly rules called

* Mike Lynch was picking on Lil' all day, smashing grounders at him.  He was practicing his post game review as "having that 2nd baseman's number all game."

* Great job behind the dish for Rudy, Greg, Mike, all were blocking the ball well

* Lil' got 2 hits, made 2 outs, and stayed calm while fielding a ground ball to tag out Rudy, who was barreling at him

* Greg hitting in the 2 spot!

* Tony was our most consistent hitter

* There was a new guy out, who seemed good enough

* Carter spanked a ball, and made a couple of great plays, all with kids in tow

* The band sounded really good, they are expanding their tin pan alley repertoire, and getting more eclectic

* The only hit I had was my first at bat, a hit to right, then it was ground ball and pop ups the rest of the game

* HR was caught at 3rd, and it was disputed until his own team member Mitch called him out, you can trust Mitch.

* On the plus side, I am running more like a guy with a rock in his shoe, than a guy with a rock for a leg.  Progress!

* Lil' and I made it half a mile down the road, before our truck blew up, clunking sound, coolant dropped out, white smoke spewing out of the exhaust.  Anyone who wants to buy a 29 year old F250 diesel truck with a blown motor, let me know....

Monday, August 14, 2023

GGP- 8/13/23

Outside lands.  

The mere mention of it strikes fear into the heart of every player who wants to go to Golden Gate Park, but does not want to get mixed up in that mess.  Well, we took a gamble, and it paid off.  I was the stupid one for thinking that the park would be such a mess that I took a parking spot near UCSF and walked over, only to find that the park was deserted and parking was plentiful.  Damn!

We only had 12 by 3:15, and we started with an all-time center fielder, which was a new wrinkle, idea by Gaspar.  Then a few more showed up, and then Don came, and Luciano (Lucky to his friends) and we had 16, almost a real game!  

I won't dwell on the specifics, other than Sean was dealing all game.  Not in an overpowering strike out way, much more degrading, as in getting us to ground out or pop up sort of way.  Literally, we had an infield hit, a dying quail, and a dropped grounder to show for 8 innings.  It was ugly.  The new grass is like hitting a ball into pudding, everything dies.  

I was on the mound for the homers, and rediscovered a fastball with some zip on it by changing my arm angle and release.  I could put a inside fastball anywhere I wanted to, it was crazy.  The Cyborg battery, or Titanium battery (we are still work shopping the name) was in full effect. 

Most of the runs for the visitors were in the first inning, as I goofed a play at first not covering, we had a ground ball mishap, a throwing mishap, a weird pop up mishap, well, you get the idea.  2 runs scored.  We held on for a while, and then the visitors manufactured a run, and then another, and we were still trying to get a runner to 3rd.

I would like to say that we did, but alas, not today.  We finished 9 innings in record time, and played an extra so that Finn could pitch, and I could have my complete game.  Greg asked when I got weird about that stuff, and I am not sure, but I like the idea of throwing complete games whenever possible.  Everyone has to have a thing.

But here was the weird part, the visitors got their ups in the 10th and then pulled the bases and declared the game over.  Wha?  

Final- 4-0 Visitors

* Thank you to everyone who came out, it was looking grim

* Thanks to Finn and his dad! who played for the first time, and did well!

* Long lost MBC player alert!  Elvin came out to play, great to see him, and to hear that he is still playing ball in LA.

* Sean with a dominating day and Mike N with the boot on the throat in the 9th.

* For how lopsided it looked, our defense did a pretty good job

* Speaking of that, we had a interesting double play, which went 4-3-6-5, as you do.

* Bob made a great catch in center field to rob me of a hit

* There were more ground balls to the right side while I was pitching than I have had in awhile.

* The Gaspar Shift paid off again, though the new guy thought we were crazy.

* The knuckle ball was dancing!

* I finally hit one to the outfield for a hit, in the 9th, with 2 outs....better late than never, I guess

* Mike Lynch made an amazing play at third going to his right into foul territory and then firing a bullet to get the runner

* The report from the SQ game was another loss but that Sean pitched great, and it was much better game, including no errors, which may be a new record for us.