Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hooray! 3 - 1

Tonight was blanket night. Originally, it was supposed to be me, Sherisse, Kevin, and James going to the game. Last week, I kept asking both Sherisse and Kevin when should I get the tickets. Originally, we were going to give Kevin the money to get the vouchers' from Costco. But his parents weren't able to go. Then he wasn't going to go to the game. So, I started looking for tickets online. I came THIS CLOSE to winning some sweet tickets on Ebay. Till the last minute. Grrr. And by then, James wasn't going to the game either. So it was going to be me and Sherisse. When Sherisse and I talked about what time we should leave for the game, she said it was okay with her if we left early to go to batting practice. Today comes and we didn't leave till around six.

AMAZING. INCREDIBLE. That's what comes to mind with tonight's game. First, when the players took the field to warm up ... guess who caught my attention first? No, not Russell. NOMAR. As in, the guy who has been on the disabled list since March, when he and Andy LaRoche (the two men competing for the third baseman spot) went down in the same inning. Andy isn't back yet, but Nomar is! Who got sent down to open a spot for him? Ramon Troncoso, one of the only other rookies on the team.

The top of the first inning went beautifully. Three up, three down. When Freddy Sanchez was up the bat, he fouled a ball that bounced off the ground and into Russ' mask. I wonder what was going through Russ' mind when he saw that ball coming at him. I wonder if he's used to that kind of stuff. The bottom of the third inning went even more beautifully. Nine up, five hits, four runs batted in. Furcal ended up going four for four, including a home run! He was SO CLOSE to hitting for the cycle the other night. Russ got a base hit, one that bounced off the pitcher. The best part of the first inning, and maybe the whole game, was when with no outs, Russ on second, Matt Kemp on first, Jeff Kent hits a single to right. Russ scores easily. Matt rounds second, heads to third, and realizes that he's caught in a run down! He tries to run back to second, trips and falls! You're thinking "oh no! They've really got him now." Well, when he falls, the third baseman trips over Matt. He then kinds of slides/scrambles/belly flops to get to third. AND HE'S SAFE! And while this is going on, Jeff Kent advances to second.

Okay, so the rest of the game is a blur to me now. In the second inning, Matt Kemp threw a bullet to home plate for Russell to tag out Xavier Nady! What a great play that was! Then, Rafael leads the second inning off with a home run! Sweet! The Dodgers are up, five to zero and it's only the second inning! In the bottom of the third, Nomar gets his first hit of the season. He was walked in the first inning. He gets walked again later. By this point, Loney has been up twice and sacrificed twice. He still needs a hit to extend his hitting streak to fifteen games. Penny came out of the game in the sixth inning. BTW, I got some great photos of what looks like Russell massaging Penny's shoulder! I saw it, couldn't believe it, and captured it! It was hilarious. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with Furcal on second, Martin on first, Matt Kemp hit into a double play. Russ took out of the second baseman who landed on top of him. I wish I had a picture of that. Earlier in the game, I don't remember which inning or who was up to bat ... but whoever it was hit a fly ball that landed in shallow right. Loney, Kent, and Kemp all went running for it. They all missed! In fact, I think Kemp had the best read of it, but it was a long way for him to run. And all three of them almost collided. Again, I wish I had my camera ready to capture that. But I didn't. I think the easiest inning for the Pirates must've been the bottom of the eighth when the Pirates pitcher struck out Kemp, Sweeney, and Loney (only Loney struck out swinging). After Saito's bad outing on Monday, he came out tonight! He only gave up one hit. It went ground out, strike out, double, ground out.

Tonight's "Behind the Clubhouse" video was "funniest thing on the field?" Andruw Jones mentioned falling down on first base after hitting a home run. Andy LaRoche mentioned something that happened in the minor leagues, where James Loney was throwing the pine tar to the batter and the umpire thought he was throwing the pine tar at him, and Loney was thrown out of the game. And of course, Russell mentioned when Mark Hendrickson fell on the mound. There was a YouTube video floating around once of that. It was hilarious. Mark Hendrickson is a TALL guy. What, 6'9"? Russ even mimics the "face plant". Oh, and i loved the video montage they had of Penny set to "Baba O'Reilly." Monday night's video was a Russell Martin video montage set to "I Can't Drive 55". And they had some great bloopers tonight! I've seen a lot of their bloopers that they show and sometimes they show a lot of the same stuff. Tonight's blooper montage was one I have never seen before. The best was when you see Orel stumble on the mound after he struck someone out!

The beach balls were out tonight! I think there must've been at least three or four that fell on the field. There was a little green soccer ball beach ball in right when Matt Kemp made an amazing catch near the wall. Good thing he was no where near that beach ball. If he had tripped on it, and missed the catch ... don't even want to think about the possibilities. And I can't tell you how many guys I saw who turned their free "Fleece blanket" into a fleece poncho! How did they get scissors into the stadium to cut up their blankets? When Saito came out to pitch in the ninth inning, I just cheered my head off. The little girl in front of me turned around and stared at me. And then the guy behind me asked me about my camera. He said he didn't speak much English so he asked his son to ask me about my camera. LOL if Kevin was at the game, he'd roll his eyes and say "every time." He says that because there's nearly one person at every game who comments on my camera.

Sweet. My record for the year is now 3 - 1, making it .750. Next game: May 5, against the METS. Not only do I get to see DAVID WRIGHT ... it's also the anniversary of RUSSELL MARTIN'S MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT! It will be two years since RUSSELL MARTIN stepped onto the scene, after Dioner Navarro went down. RUSSELL got the call up, and made it impossible for the Dodgers to send him back down.

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