And so, Sunday came and went. It was a very important day in my softball life. Not only did I desperately need to get the taste out of my mouth from the end-of-season fall from grace of the Swingers at M Street, but I also knew tens of you would be hanging on the news of the final scores. I had, after all, promised a fabulous* prize to the person who…
Oh, hell, you know all that, right? No reason to recap or explain. Those who care, know. Those who don’t care, don’t care. Those who might have cared, but who aren’t sure whether or not they care now, can go HERE and HERE for explanations.
OK, here are some scores, but if you picked the Bombers to win, and had us scoring 35 runs, it’s best not to get all excited. I apologize, and I’ll explain.
BOMBERS - 19 Renegades – 8
BOMBERS - 16 Renegades – 15
The contest isn’t over, and nobody is a winner yet. That’s because the second game isn’t complete.
Confused? Welcome to the club. The entire league is awaiting the final score of game two. Until that second game is resolved – and then possibly a third game – the winners of the other playoff series won’t know who they play next week.
I’ll try to be succinct. That’s not my specialty, so bear with me.
Game one went the way we expected it might. The Renegades are a game bunch, but we’re a very tough club to beat this year. We pounded out 23 hits (including 5 doubles, 4 triples, and 3 home runs) and had the game well in hand most of the way.
The Renegades took advantage of three walks and a couple of infield errors, plating four runs to begin the game. We came back at them with eight in the bottom of the first. We pushed the lead to seven after the second, then nine after the third, and then finally to eleven, the final margin.
Pretty much everybody in the lineup had a good game. Leading the way statistically were Pat Atton, with two triples and a home run from the leadoff spot, and Cam Zirpolo, who had four hits and four runs batted in. Charlie Conners continued his drive towards possibly setting a number of team records, stroking two doubles and driving in two runs. Patrick Michael Pickup had a home run and three RBI. Emilio Zirpolo, who had been without an extra base hit this season, got his first in a big way, with his three-run homer putting the capper on the eight-run first inning. Pitcher Big Jay Atton notched his ninth victory of the year, tying a team record held by Jimmy Jackson since 1997.
And the second game began in a fashion that made it seem like we’d probably advance without too much of a problem. We led, 6 – 2, after two innings, and we increased our lead to ten runs by the top of the fourth.
Meanwhile, something we weren’t expecting began to happen. Members of the league that usually plays after ours started showing up. It was our understanding – and that of our commissioner – that we had the fields for as long as we needed them this week. This presented little or no problem for the other teams competing at Smith. They had wrapped their games up more quickly, with two-game victories for the Titans over A-Town, and the suddenly powerful Brighton All-Stars over the Reds. Ours was the only series still in doubt.
(At Cleveland Circle, the Moe Howard Club had dispatched the Dot Rats in two, also.)
The reason for the doubt in our series was that the Renegades were shown life and they grabbed for it with both hands. Jack Atton, on the hill for us in the second game, lost his control and gave them six walks in the fourth. Meanwhile, his defense did him no favors, dropping a routine fly and then having another ball, a single, go through the five hole of an outfielder, giving the Renegades a couple of expensive gifts. By the time the damage was done, a game that had clincher written all over it was back to a one-run lead.
And, despite it only being through the fourth inning of game two, we were smacked up against the starting time for the league that follows ours.
The Commissioner tried to give both teams a way to finish it, getting on his phone to the fields down at Cleveland Circle and arranging for us to travel there for the remainder of game two (and for a possible game three.) A few of our guys were pressed for time, though – work commitments – and we would have been in a very rough spot overall. If both teams went to Cleveland Circle, and then played the second game to completion, it would have been well past one o’clock.
After some discussion between The Commissioner, the managers, and the umpires, it was decided that the game would be picked up next week from the point at which it had been stopped. And that’s where we stand, up one game to none, with a 16 –15 lead in game two.
So, the winner of the contest is nobody (yet) and the fabulous* prize (which I decided will be a $25 gift certificate to Amazon, by the way) isn’t anyone’s (yet.)
*Prize is NOT fabulous, but that’s not too bad for very little effort. Next time I run a contest, I bet a whole bunch more people will enter. But, I’ll tell you upfront that the next prize may not be as fabulous as this one. I decided to make it more fabulous than I had originally planned just to piss off the slugs that didn’t feel it was worth their time and effort to make a guess.
(Hey, who knows? Next time the prize might be even MORE fabulous. I’m perverse in that way – among others – and I’m likely to increase the value of a prize in inverse proportion to the number of entries received. Someday, if only one of you enters a contest of mine, you might end up with me as your personal slave.)
(That might not be so fabulous, either, considering my habits and general slugginess.)
This is the most bollixed up scenario I’ve ever been a part of, softball-wise. Next week now includes the possibility of the Bombers playing FIVE games in one day. We should have taken care of business and had it done more quickly, but having the field you’re contesting a playoff series on suddenly made unavailable is just bizarre. I would have preferred getting it done, by traveling to Cleveland Circle and playing it out this week, but I don’t have a life on Sunday outside of softball. Some guys do.
Stats, through the first game of the playoffs, have been updated at the Bombers website.
For those of you who care about my performance, I caught game one and went 3-for-4, a double included. I scored once and drove in one. I would have given you some good humor describing a couple of things that transpired on the bases, but this has gone on way too long already. Maybe I’ll hit you with them next week. Meanwhile, be patient. Keep your playoff socks on.
Soon, with more better stuff.