Game #11

Game tonight ... Same mistakes. Same result.

... Sick of watching pitcher after pitcher throwing nothing but junk and hit everything but the strike zone, I've been trying to build my confidence and state-of-mind for the prospect of stepping back on to a pitcher's mound -- something I did on quite a few occassions during my little league days (and something I was becoming pretty decent at toward the end of my previous playing days -- or so I'd like to believe ...) ... So with some prodding from a couple other teammates, I got the courage up tonight to tell Coach before the game that I was willing to take the mound in relief if he needed me ...

He appeared to take the suggestion seriously, and I would've bet at that moment he would take me up on it ... he never did.

So once again, I took my perch out in right field. The good news is I started, and played the whole game ... I got one ball hit to me, a liner that dropped a few feet in front of me. I fielded it cleanly and tossed it in. The only time I touched a ball all night -- aside from warm-ups, of course.

In the batter's box, it was more of the same. ... Much of my problem is that I'm just not watching the ball all the way in. Coach moved me up to sixth in the lineup tonight -- the highest I've batted this year -- but I didn't give him much reason to keep me there.

... My first time up, I swung at the first pitch -- a fast ball right down the middle -- and missed it. I swung and missed the second pitch as well, and was quickly down 0-2. But I wasn't going down easy. I hung in there, getting ball one, high, and ball two, low and away, and fouled off a couple pitches. But the guy eventually got me on a nasty change up, and I was walking back to the dugout ...

In the meantime, some timely hitting by the rest of our lineup and some decent defense kept us somewhat in the game... In the fourth, I stepped to the batter's box with one out and a runner on first. I took ball one, high, and then swung at the second pitch, hitting a soft roller to the right side of the infield and getting thrown out at first. I had sacrificed the lead runner from first to second, although I nearly beat out the throw to first too ... I was kept in, however, as a pinch runner for the guy I had just sacrificed over to second -- you can do that in our league, if the runner is a catcher, pitcher, or just plain bad baserunner ... so, with two outs now, I took a big lead from second and watched the batter do his own battle with the pitcher, fouling pitch after pitch. Eventually, he popped one into shallow centerfield, and by the time it dropped, I was already rounding third and heading home to score ... nice.

That was as good as it would get though. Down six runs, we started taking our at-bats in the bottom half of the last inning (it was getting too dark to play ...). One after one, we were hitting hard liners into the outfield and ground balls back up the middle. Guys were scoring. Suddenly, we were within a couple runs and had a runner on second -- with two outs -- when one of our guys hit a hard shot through the hole on the right side. ... Runner scores from second, but the batter -- who must've momentarily lost his mind -- tries to extend his easy single into a double and got absolutely canned at second base.

Last out. Game over. We lose by one.

What a crock.

Here's the rest of the games ...

No comments: