Monday, July 16, 2012

The End? The Beginning?



Quencher 2012
Front: Josh Lebron, Jim Sullivan, Michael Curradossi, Jason Scarfo
Middle: Nate Spada, Bob Carlson, Leo Evriviades, Mike Briggs, Ryan Caswell
Back: Jesse Carlton, Steven Mills, Adam Feinstein
Not Pictured: Jim Lambert, Todd Weil, Adam Senter, Joel Mendez


My season is over at M Street. It's a bit disappointing, as any ending to a season by loss in the playoffs usually is.

The Warehouse - 9 QUENCHER - 4
The Warehouse - 12 QUENCHER - 2


We ran into a buzzsaw in the form of a pitcher named Joey Magee. He was outstanding. We led the league in many offensive categories during the regular season, and that included the most important one, runs scored. He limited us to 4 hits in the first game (one was a grand slam by Ryan Caswell, in the first inning, but we only managed a single hit in the six innings that followed.) Meanwhile, his teammates did the job, offensively and defensively, and all we could do was tip our hats to them. They won, they deserved it, they move on, we go home.

The Quencher guys were a kick to play with, in all regards. They're good people with great senses of humor, always gave it their best shot, and never did anything to make me less than proud to be counted as one of them. Good bunch of talented ballplayers. If I end up playing with the team again, or with any of them in some different situation, I'll count it as a blessing.

My most special thanks go to Bob Carlson, the guy who keeps it all together as coach. He offered me the chance to become part of this squad at a time when not too many others were clamoring for my services. He also gave me a role as his co-coach (I hope that's not too strong a term for my contributions) and I very much enjoyed discussing strategy with him, making out line-ups, keeping the book, doing stats, coaching bases, and all of the other stuff that goes into running a team.

I had a few personal highlights that I'll savor. Catching Steve Mills' first shutout of the season was a kick. And, in that game, I had a perfect night at the plate against a pretty tough pitcher (I had a single and was hit by a pitch. Hey, at my age, I'll brag on any perfect night.) I faced my good buddy, and teammate in other leagues, Big Jay Atton, and had a 2 for 3 night against his team. As a matter of fact, I had the only hit Big Jay gave up - a single in the sixth inning (my other friend, Jack Atton, was the starting pitcher.) In other games, I had a couple of plays at the plate that were fun, resulting in outs and getting my uniform dirty.

Well, enough about the end of that season, I guess. Time to let it go. I wrote something else about it, and specifically about my final at-bat, over at the M Street Softball League website, and you can read it HERE. I think some of you will find it entertaining.

Final QUENCHER Stats

Now it's on to the beginning of The Bombers playoff run (I hope.) We entered the weekend at 6 and 4, third place, and it appears we'll make the playoffs unless some sort of absolute calamity takes place. What happens after that? I don't know. This team has the ability to go all the way, but it also has the ability to keep itself entirely frustrated. The talent is there, but sometimes it's not being harnessed, you know? Here's hoping this week we kick some ass and get my mind back in a nicer place after the losses at M Street.

See you after the games.

***************************************************************

Dot Rats - 6 BOMBERS - 5
BOMBERS - 17 Dot Rats - 10


With the split, our record goes to 7 and 5. We dropped from third place to fourth.

Our road to the championship became clearer. What I mean to say is that it's clear what we have to do to get there. We need to win our set against The Renegades next Sunday. Then we need to win two games in the round robin tournament that comes at the end of the regular season (top four teams play each other, bottom four play each other, and then everyone is seeded. If you're in the top four, you can't drop out of that bracket because of the results in the round robin, nor can you move up from the lower bracket.) Four wins out of five will get us second place, good for a first-round bye. Then we have to win our two playoff series. Simple as that.

Nicely pitched game by Jack Atton in our opener, but we just couldn't score the runs to back him up. We had four in the first inning, looked like we might romp, but no go. My contribution was to loft a can of corn to right center as a pinch hitter in the seventh. As poetic justice, I was pinch hit for in the fifth inning of the second game after going 0 for 1. So my total day was five innings caught, 0 for 2 at the plate. I am not feeling any better about my skills this morning, but it was nice to get that win in the second game. I just realized, as I was going over the stats for both my teams, that it was the first win for either of them in July.

I'll mention a couple of other folks who deserve mention. Tom Resor had a fine day, with two home runs and 9 RBI. Drew Atton broke out of a hideous slump to crack a two-run double in the late going of game two, after which we broke it open.

(Clutch hit by Drew, but I also want to give some props to my man Ron Johnson. He was going to be inserted as a pinch hitter for Drew, but he convinced Jack to keep on batting Drew, instead, and then Drew came through with his big blow. Nice bit of team by Ron there.)

Joel Kershner had a couple of doubles and a triple, and he also played some fine SS. Big Jay was his usual self at bat, getting four or five hits. Robby Costello threw game two and helped himself with a three-run homer in the sixth. That was the one that put it totally out of reach for the Dot Rats, and he cruised through a one-two-three to end it.

I suppose I should note one cardinal sin I committed yesterday. I was called for catcher's interference when I reached for a pitch and the batter swung through my glove. Dumb. The ring finger on my glove hand was already hurting due to the fastballs I was catching from Steve Mills on Quencher and then Robby, so I go and stick it in a position where someone can smack it with a bat from the other side. Red and swollen this morning. Not broken, but I would have deserved it if it was. That's the second time I've had that called on me in my life. You'd think once would have taught me my lesson, but no...

BOMBER stats

For those of you who can't help falling down into a disappointed heap when you see that I've written about softball again, I promise something totally devoid of sports in a day or two. Hang in there.

Soon, with more better stuff.



17 comments:

Hilary said...

I am hanging in there. ;)

Michelle H. said...

Ice up that hand and keep on being that game player your teams need.

Michelle H. said...

Great article over at M Street. Time does come full circle between you and Joey Magee.

Uncle Skip, said...

I was thinking the other day, the most fun a catcher can have is to beat a runner to first base when backing up a play. It really freaks them out.
It's been like forever since I could do that, but I get almost giddy when I think about it.

Stephen Hayes said...

Well, there's always next you. I'm sure your team will do much better now that I'm rooting for you.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Hey, you know me, this could be Sully's World of Sports blog and I'd be here faithfully.

Sorry about the hand, though. Catcher's Interference? Yikes.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

By the way, and only marginally on-topic, I just finished a great book called "Don't Put Me In, Coach" by a 4-year benchwarmer on the Ohio State basketball team, Mark Titus. GREAT story, hilariously written, and from the perspective of a walk-on scrub. Very unique concept. You might want to check it out . . .

If I were God... said...

I'm much more of a football guy. The NFL kicks off its preseason soon. I'll be watching my NY Giants defend their title. They won it in strikingly similar fashion a few seasons ago too. You Boston boys may have heard? heh heh heh

Matt Conlon said...

Best of luck, Jim!

Craig said...

Bummer. . .

But hey. . . Go Bombers!

We spent most of the weekend at 7M's ballgames; his team was in a double-elimination tournament, and the way it played out, they had two games on Saturday, and four on Sunday, and ended up winning the damn tournament in 90+ temps both days. Hats off to the boys, but that was one of the more brutal days of parental-supporting I've ever done. . .

Winning run in the championship game scored in the bottom of the last inning of regulation, on a bases-loaded suicide squeeze, with 7M scoring the winning run. Very cool for him. . .

silly rabbit said...

Win or lose, there is nothing like the company of good people in a combined effort with the goal of winning a competition. Go Bombers! And Quencher... that's a tough one but you're a great looking bunch of guys!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Sorry to hear about Quencher but hopefully you all keep your eye on what's required to get into playoff contention with the Bombers. If nothing else it sounds like you're having fun with it this summer despite the highs and lows of playing. Fingers crossed you make it in!

Buck said...

Yeah... GO BOMBERS!

Jeremy said...

Sorry about the Quencher season ending that way. Hopefully the Bombers will make it through the playoffs. Sucks about your finger too.

messymimi said...

When it is someone i know, or a team i like, i read every word, and i did.

Hope your finger feels better quickly enough for you to participate in 5 out of 5 wins (i'm ever hopeful for you and your team).

lime said...

sorry for the loss but so glad you had such a great group of guys as teammates. that's the thing i enjoy about your softball posts, the love you have for your guys.

Barbara said...

Go Bombers!