I’ll post it eventually. I really don’t want to relive it.
Rochester Red Wings at Empire State Yankees | 17 Apr 12
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 3-4, R, RBI, reached base in all 5 plate appearances
Francisco Cervelli 3-5, R
This is what it looks like when I’m not scoring a game from my moderately comfortable living room chair. First things first, the scorebook is the excellent Eephus League Official Scorebook, designed by the wonderfully talented Bethany Heck. I only use this book for live games. The book has room for 20 games and I hope to fill it up this season.
I live in Rochester, NY - home to the AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Red Wings. They play their home games at Frontier Field. If you took a look at the pictures, you may have noticed something odd, then: the Wings are listed as the road team. We’re very privileged baseball fans in Rochester this year to be hosting another team for a large chunk of games this season. The Scranton/Wilkes Barre (PA) Yankees are undergoing stadium renovations and have been uprooted for 2012 into Western New York. So instead of the usual IL slate of 70 home games, Rochester will be hosting 109. There’s going to be baseball almost every day this summer.
My friend Lee and I ended up at this game almost by accident. My wife is out of town on business and he stopped over to play some Xbox baseball. After we had finished a game I thought why not go see one in person? He thought it was a great idea and off we went. We walked up to the ticket window and were able to get first row seats behind the home “away” dugout. The announced crowd was 1,451 but in reality it was closer to 300, so we had no problems with space. It was clear but cold, falling into the mid 30’s by the end of the game.
Quick note for those wondering what the hell I ate: A garbage plate, shown in the last picture there, is a local specialty consisting of home fries, mac salad, two cheesburgers, meat hot sauce, onions, ketchup, and mustard on one plate. At $7.50, it’s the best deal going. A Blue is a Labatt Blue, the regional swill.
As for the game, it was actually pretty good. Tsuyoshi Nishioka was fantastic, as you can see from his line. Ben Revere played some awesome left field, making two outstanding diving catches. He was with the Twins less than 24 hours before this game, so I don’t think he was as thrilled about it all as we were. Francisco Cervelli played reasonably well for the Yanks, and the Wings pitching was solid.
If you’re unfamiliar with minor league baseball, you might be confused with just what the heck is going on with Jack Cust. Often a team will choose a K-Man, sponsored by Taco Bell. If that person strikes out, your ticket stub is good for a free taco. This, of course, engorges the fans with malice for the designated taco man, and the chants of “TACO” and “WE WANT A TACO!” rain down from the stands. Cust was no exception. So when Cust got the old “TACO LOOKING” on the scoresheet, he struck out and sent the fans home happy and with taco.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact I took home my first ever ball from a baseball game, at the ripe old age of 28. It was thrown to me by a coach after the stadium had all but cleared out (less than 50 people at the end of the game, and no kiddos whatsoever). I was pretty thrilled about that.
All-in-all, a wonderful night at the park, one of many to come this summer. Next live game should be next Tuesday, as the Syracuse Chiefs (the Nationals farm team) are in town and we want to see Bryce Harper before he goes up.
Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox | 16 Apr 12
James Shields, 8.1 IP, W, 0 ER, 5K
There’s not too much to say about this one. It was 11:05 am start - Patriot’s Day in Boston and the running of the Boston Marathon.
Shields was dominant. The Sox couldn’t get anything going against him, collecting only four hits. They had a runner on third in the 2nd and a runner on second in the 9th, but that was as close as they got.
The Rays didn’t fare much better against Bard, at least until the 7th, and they can’t even claim credit for that. Bard imploded after getting the first two outs of the inning, issuing a walk, giving up a single, and then two more walks to walk in the winning run. Why Bobby Valentine didn’t pull him, who knows? The bullpen was warmed up and ready to go.
Mike Sweeney made a great catch in the 2nd, the Rays got a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play in the 7th. And that was about it. I was really hoping for a Red Sox walkoff in the 9th to give me three straight, but it just didn’t happen.
Wow. San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers - 15 Apr 12.
Matt Kemp 3-4, HR
Dee Gordon 2-6, 2SB, Walk off 1B in the bottom of the 9th
Dodgers Defense, Triple Play
Wow. Lot to get to in this write-up. The plan was to come home from work, relax with MLB At Bat and Vin Scully, and listen to 3/23rds of my fantasy team (Kemp, Kershaw, Gordon). Then I took a look at the lineups and was delighted to see Andy Parrino was going to be starting at shortstop for the Padres… I went to high school with him! He was a few grades below me (he graduated with my wife) and I don’t think I ever talked to him, but “local boy makes good” is an awesome story and it’s great to see him get some starts.
And then it got interesting.
First things first, Kemp is a beast. I love the fact that every time he puts on a fireworks display over Chavez Ravine the crowd chants “MVP, MVP” at the top of their lungs. He’s incredible, and he deserves the adoration he receives. He started off with a single, hit a solo shot, hit another single, and then (sadly) GIDP. He’s a threat every time he steps up to the plate, and not just to go deep. He makes things happen.
The Dodgers jumped out to a 4-1 lead early and it looked like it was going to be smooth sailing, until Kershaw imploded a bit and let the Padres right back into it thanks to Hermida’s great pinch hit appearance. And aside from some sloppy scorekeeping, things looked to be smooth sailing right into extra innings until the Dodgers swung some momentum to their side big-time.
They turned a Triple Play, or as I noted, a “TRIPLE PLAY!” It was a bit controversial because it looked like the batter had been HBP when the dodgers began to toss it 2-5-6-3 around the diamond to start collecting outs. The Padres players weren’t even trying to stop it; they all thought the play was dead (especially Bud Black, who got tossed arguing it). Instead the ump ruled that the ball had made contact with the bat near the batter’s wrists, the play stood, and it was awesome. Never thought I’d randomly tune in and get to score something rare like a triple play!
Dee Gordon, who regularly couldn’t get on base if it was made of pure gold with a “FOR FREE” sign next to it, came through in the bottom of the ninth for a walkoff single, the second straight walkoff game I’ve scored. It was a great game to score. I got very lucky.
Also, I tried a new score card from Squaretender. I loved it, especially having both teams on one sheet, except for one major issue: the scoring boxes are teeny-tiny. Like, microscopic. None of my pencils had a sharp enough point to write in the box, so I ended up using a .4mm needle-tip Hi-Tec-C pen. Hence the sloppiness. I don’t think scoring in pen is for me.
Houston Astros at Miami Marlins | 13 Apr 12
JD Martinez 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1st ever HR at Marlins Park
Gaby Sanchez 3-5, RBI, Walkoff 2B in the bottom of the 11th
Two main thoughts.
- I hate scoring NL games. I’ve only done it once before and it’s just a pain - five pinch hitters for Houston! Seven pitchers for Miami! Look at all those lines. It’s a lot to keep track of.
- What a game. This happened to be the MLB.tv free game of the day so I thought I’d tune in and work on my scoring. I had three hours to kill, so why not? I ended up having to leave after the 9th, listened to it on the At Bat app, and got back in time to watch Gaby Sanchez’s walkoff double. Hell of a game.
JD Martinez, a local boy from Miami, hit a two run shot in the top of the 8th to tie the game at four. Marlins Park, besides being kind of a monstrosity, is a home run sucking black hole. There were a lot of flies that would’ve been homers at a park like, say, Great American. Marlins Park, however, crushes the hopes and dreams of sluggers, and probably will all season.
Always love a walkoff. I almost didn’t want this one to end. I got back to the video just as Sanchez’s long fly hit the wall in left.
Heath Bell looked awful. At one point he had thrown something like 14 straight balls, walking the bases loaded with 2 out. He managed to work his way out of it but it was ugly. He lost the strike zone like a sock in the dryer. Thankfully it wasn’t a save situation and it didn’t cost him, but I like Heath Bell so I hope he isn’t in for a rough season. Also terrible: Jose Reyes with two errors.
Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox - 22 Jul 11
Dustin Pedroia 3-3, 2 R, BB, SB
Matt Carp 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
The Red Sox are my team and Felix Hernandez is supposed to be my top fantasy pitcher (it’s Clayton Kershaw these days), so this game was a good one to watch. Only King Felix wasn’t so studly. The Sox cracked him in the 7th, sticking him and Gray with five runs.
Jared Saltalamacchia’s name is impossible to fit on a scoresheet, much like every jersey he’s ever worn.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo shot in the 3rd and that struck me as a portent. It was, but for the team, not for him. The Muddy Chicken, The Laser Show, Dustin Pedroia went 3-3 with three singles and a walk. Solid game for him, he got on base every plate appearance and scored two runs. He also swiped 2nd in the 3rd.
John Lackey pitched seven solid innings and picked up a well deserved Win, Papelbon saved it. There were nine first names that started with J in this game, four for Seattle and five for the Red Sox.
Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins - 21 Jul 11
Justin Verlander W, 9K, 1ER, 8.0 IP
Jhonny Peralta 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Nothing too tricky here, which I appreciated with this being only my second time scoring a game. Peralta’s shot in the 8th was a monster blast! Into the upper deck down the line in left. I kept hoping he’d be able to get up in the 9th and go for the cycle, but Martinez flew out to end the Tigers’ game.
You may notice that Joe Mauer was playing first. The play-by-play guys were saying that Drew Butera has sort of become Pavano’s personal catcher, and they expect Mauer to play first on the days that Pavano pitches. You may also notice the smattering of 3U across the Tigers’ score sheet. Mauer played great defense last night, including a diving stop that some seasoned 3’s aren’t making. I was impressed with him at first and that’s undoubtedly where he’ll finish his career.
Jim Thome was terrible. Verlander was working him into full counts and then getting him to swing. He was 0-3, 3K, BB.