Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Odd little week on the softball diamond. Two wins, two losses, the only game I was healthy for I didn’t play in, the three I was sick during I batted .800.
First, the two losses…
George Pratt Club – 8 QUENCHER – 6
Telegraph Hill – 10 QUENCHER – 9
Those two losses drop Quencher’s record to 7 and 3, and probably put any hope of our finishing first out of reach. We’re alive mathematically, but a hard look at the schedule tells the real story.
Current three-time repeat champion Shenanigans stands at 9 and 0. We have six games remaining, they have seven, and even though our final game of the year is against them, it would be an upset if they were beat by two others before we meet. Also standing in the way are Sonny’s Pirates with one loss. They handed us our first loss of the season two weeks ago. Even if Shenanigans were to lose two games, then lose to us when we meet in the season finale, we would have to have Sonny’s lose three more along the way since they own the tiebreaker against us (also, Shenanigans and Sonny’s still have to play each other, so while one of them will get a loss there, the other will get the win.) Now add the George Pratt Club into the mix, because by beating us they upped their record to 7 and 2 (8 and 2, with another victory since then) and you see the dilemma.
The George Pratt Club (named for deceased ace pitcher George Pratt, and which I was proud to be a part of during their 2004 season when they were known as Sidewalk Café) is a good team. They were in the finals against Shenanigans last season, boast a very strong lineup, and have four past championships in their pedigree. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in losing to them, but I think most of our guys believe we should have beaten them. We had two runners erased at the plate on what appeared to be dubious calls. Score either of those runs and keep the innings going…
Well, it doesn’t look good to start blaming the umpire for your losses, even if you feel you might have a legitimate case. We lost, they won, and that’s that. We had a couple of innings to do something after those calls, but didn’t make it happen. There was also a bit of bad blood stemming from those plays at the plate, words exchanged with a few guys getting nose-to-nose for a brief time, but cooler heads prevailed. It will be a good lively series if we meet them again in the playoffs.
The loss to Telegraph Hill was more painful, both for the team and for me personally.
Telegraph Hill has on its roster five players who also play for my Sunday team, the Bombers, and the team is generally filled with nice guys, so it was a good-natured game. I really wanted to beat them, though, for both the bragging rights and because it would have meant keeping alive our hopes for finishing first. And we jumped to an 8 – 2 lead after two innings. There was little good news from then on, however, as Telegraph Hill took advantage of a couple of truly bad-looking defensive plays and they also delivered in the clutch. The main thorn in our side was my good buddy, Big Jay Atton.
Big Jay entered the game in the fourth, taking over for his uncle, Jack Atton, first as a pinch-hitter and then on the mound. We were still holding an 8 – 7 lead when he went in to pitch in the fifth, but he allowed only one hit in his three innings of work (my single in the sixth, which resulted in our ninth run following a couple of walks and a double play) and then, in their half of the sixth, he delivered a triple to right that scored the tying run. His run subsequently scored to give them the lead, he pitched a perfect seventh, and the bragging rights went to him and more power; he deserved it.
So, I said I didn’t play in the one game I was healthy, but batted well in the three games I was sick. Here’s that story.
I didn’t play in the game against George Pratt. When our full squad is available, Nate Spada catches, and rightly so. He’s a better bat, younger, faster, better arm, no complaints from me if I sit in his favor. Then, in the game against Telegraph Hill, we were short three of our starters, necessitating a move of our regular first baseman, Mike Briggs, to the outfield. Nate came out from behind the plate to man first base, and I caught the game. Nate supplied the power early on with a big home run in the first, and I went two-for-three, so that worked out OK offensively. As the game went on, though, I felt more and more like I was fixing to die.
You know that nasty feeling you can get when a bad cold is coming on and there’s nothing you can do about it but just wait for it to knock you down? That’s how I felt all day at work Friday. And I was pissed about it, too. I knew I’d be starting that night, I really wanted that game, and here I was feeling more washed out by the hour. By the time I arrived at the park, I was having a bit of trouble breathing. Once the game began, I built up a good sweat and felt better because of it. After the game, though, I hung out in the stands, watching the following game with Big Jay and other members of Telegraph Hill, and I found that when I laughed I couldn’t really get my breath too well (which is a serious problem when hanging with Big Jay because he’s a funny guy.) I had originally planned on spending more of the evening in the stands, watching the other league games, but I had to leave. I felt like crap.
I got home, took a steaming hot shower, and threw a frozen pizza in the oven. I should have been hungry as a horse, having just played and this being my first real meal of the day, but I could only finish two slices. I took some cold pills, alternated between sweating and chills for the rest of the night, and spent most of Saturday in bed sleeping.
Come Sunday morning, I knew I was the only catcher available for the Bombers (Joey Baszkiewicz was in Chicago watching the Red Sox play the Cubs.) I still felt pretty nasty, but I dressed and went to Smith Field. I expected to catch both ends of the doubleheader.
Here’s what happened…
BOMBERS – 18 Flush – 2
BOMBERS – 30 Flush – 4
I caught 8 of a possible 10 innings (both games were 5-inning mercy rules, and someone else took over for two innings), and had a perfect day at the plate (2 for 2, with 3 walks, 4 RBI, 4 runs scored.) So, for the three games when I was sick, I totaled 4 for 5 [.800], with 3 walks [OBP of .875], and had more RBI than I’d had the whole rest of the season.
I should be that sick every game.
I felt really good after the doubleheader, too. I sweated a lot, got my lungs a decent workout and cleared them of a lot of crap, and then raising our record to 5 - 1 certainly didn’t hurt. I thought I had found the cure for the common cold (your team has to win two while you get on base every time) but I got home, the adrenalin diminished, and I went back to bed. I coughed my fool head off most of the day, puked a couple of times in the evening, and here I am on Monday, home from work and typing this because I’m sick of being in bed and coughing so I figured I’d sit at the keyboard and cough instead.
If you’re reading this on Tuesday, it’s because I made it to work on that day. That’s a good thing, because we have a game and I want to play. If I’m still sick enough, maybe I can go four for four.
Soon, with more better stuff.