Playoffs, round 2: Fun and done

Wednesday night's game sure was thrilling ...

But today, the fat lady started singing for us in the third inning.

We lost our playoff game today, 11-3. And that means our season is over.

You won't hear any complaining from me, though. I love my baseball and it's a fantastic way to get out of the house, get some exercise and hang out with a fun group of guys every Sunday ...

But by mid-August, I'm so ready to have my Sunday afternoons back. To relax, take a nap, putz in the yard, spend time with Kates and Phoebe. As I sit here tonight, I feel like an enormous weight has been taken off my shoulders.

In today's game we were facing a team that ended the regular season with a 4-10 record. But coming in, they'd won three of their last four -- and that included handing the first place team their only loss of the season. ... We won both of our regular season matchups with them, but the games also were close as we struggled to hit their pitching.

Remember, we hadn't been doing a good job of stringing together our hits down the stretch, either.

We got on the board with a run in the first inning, but they came back with three in the bottom of the inning and never looked back. For a time, their pitcher couldn't throw strikes and we capitalized on a string of walks, but a 5-3 score was as close as we came to overcoming the deficit.

Nor was our defense as crisp and tight as Wednesday night. Even our steady shortstop made an error today -- that hasn't happened all season.

Add to all that, the umpires made a few calls that our team didn't agree with. Frustration boiled over. Tempers flared. And, well, as soon as that kind of stuff starts happening, it's tough to come back.

I ended it with an 0-for-2 day at the plate along with two walks. I popped out in the first and eighth innings and walked in the fourth and sixth innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, our final batter fouled out to the first base side. Someone on our bench said it was a fitting end to the day. … We shook hands, and that was it. That was our season.

Looking back on it, I couldn’t be happier with this summer’s campaign. It was undoubtedly the most fun I’ve had playing in this league, and the most talented team I’ve been part of in those four years. Sure there were disagreements along the way, but I always attributed those to our passions for the game and our confidence to win every game … In the end, we won and lost as a team.

I’d like to think playing on a good team helped me play better, too. Statistically, this season arguably was my best …

.368 average, with 14 hits, 10 runs scored, 11 RBIs, 4 stolen bases, 3 walks and 9 strikeouts in 13 games. There also was that double, RBI and run scored that were later struck from the record books in the lightning classic of Aug. 9.

My walks were way down and my strikeouts were up slightly … I’d like to think that’s from a combination of batting leadoff most of the season, getting more plate appearances and being more aggressive with my bat. I went down swinging on eight of those nine strikeouts.

Here’s a complete look back …

Game 1: 3-3, stolen base, 2 runs scored (14-4 win)
Game 2: 0-2 (12-2 win)
Game 3: 1-3, run scored (11-4 loss)
Game 4: 1-4, 2 RBIs, run scored (12-5 win)
Game 5: 1-3, 2 runs scored, RBI, stolen base (11-8 win)
Game 6: 2-3, 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs (15-14 win)
Game 7: Did not play (We won 5-0). I went to the Brewers game instead.
Game 8: 0-3 (22-1 loss)
Game 9: 2-4, two runs scored, stolen base (8-6 loss)
Game 10: Did not play (We won 11-4). I went camping instead.
Game 11: 1-3, 2 RBIs, and some key defensive plays (10-5 win)
Game 12: 1-2, double, RBI, run scored. But all of it was struck from the record books by lightning.
Game 13: 0-1, RBI, walk, sac fly (16-3 loss)
Game 14: 1-4 (6-5 win)
Playoff, game 1: 2-3, RBI, stolen base (1-0 win)
Playoff, game 2: 0-2, 2 walks (11-3 loss)

Look back at seasons of ...

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