Monday, April 14, 2008

*Sigh* 2 - 1

So close. It was 3 - 4, Dodgers winning, with one out to go in the top of the ninth. Saito had come into the close out the game. It went: one out, one single, one strike-out, another single. Then comes Nate McLouth. He hadn't gotten a hit yet, and his hitting streak was in danger. Well, it wasn't in danger anymore. He homered to the right, driving in not only the tying run, but two more insurance runs. With Furcal, Ethier, and Kemp up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, you'd think we might have small chance, right? If anyone followed the game, you saw them go out 1 ... 2 ... and Matt Kemp swinging at the third strike for the final out of the game.

And what a game it was. Now that I told you how it ended, I'm going to backtrack and tell you the beginning of my third game of the year. Nina and I got there for batting practice. We hung out in the left field corner for a bit. Then I thought I spotted Steve, and we made our way to where he was. By the time we got there, he was gone. There was a long line of kids by the dugout for autographs. When the Dodgers headed in after batting practice was over for them, only ONE player stopped to sign some things. Mark Sweeney. He asked one of the kids what they were waiting for, and I guess they said him, because he said "Me? You were waiting for me?" Here's a link to the picture of Mark signing things. As I said before, I'm going to post my pictures on a separate blog. After batting practice was over, I needed to look for an Advance Ticket window to get tickets to Wednesday's game. I had been bidding a pair of tickets that ended at 5:30. And I was winning... up till the last two minutes! On our way there, we're stopped by one of those booth people. He was cute. He asked us if we went to games often, if it was a girl's night. When I said I brought my friend and that no one else could come with me, he said to call him and he'd come. Of course, he wasn't serious. After finally getting him to realize that he was wasting his time telling us about a deal that we were going to refuse, we went to the Advance Ticket window to get my tickets.

Then, it was time to get some food before going to our seats. Knowing that my seats were in the second row of the Top Deck, I knew I wasn't wanting to get up during the game to get anything. Someone had some chili cheese fries that looked good. But, we ended up on the Reserve Level and getting garlic fries. My friend wanted some frozen yogurt, and it turned out that she knew one of the employees. As I was paying for her yogurt and our soda, the employee noticed we didn't have any Dodger dogs and asked us if we were got them yet. We said no, and the employee slipped us each a Dodger dog!

We got to our seats. Turns out, some of the guys around us bought the same ticket plan. Looks like we've got our own little Top Deck crew. One of the girls behind us cheered for Andre when Matt Kemp caught a fly ball in right. She didn't realize it was Matt in right and Andre in left. That's okay. Kevin did the same thing last year with Nomar/James. He thought Nomar was still at first base, when Loney had been playing first for... a few months. The guys were talking about third base, and they were trying to remember who played third base before Nomar. My friend spoke up and said it was Betemit. The guys behind us said she ought to get a beer for knowing that. When we told them she was underage, they said they'd get her two. She jokingly asked if she could get one of those light-up cups. (BTW, neither of us drink). In the second inning, one of the Pirates hit a home run that landed in the left field pavilions. It got thrown back, of course. The in the Dodgers' half, Russell hit an infield single. He advanced to second on what the scorer's called a balk. Then he advanced to third on a passed ball. Andruw Jones, who's average during that at-bat was only .100, hit a grounder and was thrown out at first. But since Russell was on third, he was able to score a run!

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kuroda got himself a double and his first Major League RBI. They had to call time for someone to run his jacket out to him. I had noticed that before. I saw a picture of Kuroda on base, but he had a jacket on. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Russell got up to lead off the inning. He ran the count up to three and two I think when he popped one up behind home plate. It looked like an easy out for the catcher. It probably would've been an easy out for Russell if he was catching. But somehow, the catcher missed the ball and it was scored an error. On being given a second chance, Russell gets himself another single. Even though there were no outs, the following three hitters failed to A) advance him, or B) bring him home. Jones and DeWitt both flied out, and Sweeney grounded out. And that about brings us to the end of the game.

My friend, like her father, tends to rag on players (or the team) when they're not doing well. I know we all talk about when they're not doing well. But they tend to really criticize them, like if all they ever do is play horribly and lose every game. It's like they forget that they CAN win and they CAN play well. It just so happened that tonight, the offense got off to a late start and Saito blew a save. That happens. Okay, so the offense gets off to a late start a lot. But like one of the guys who was sitting with us said, at least they didn't get shut out. As for Saito blowing a save... it happens. How many saves did Trevor Hoffman blow in the first week? And what about some key saves Trevor blew last year? Like the ones that probably would've taken the Padres to the play-offs? The players get mad at themselves when they lose. They don't need us pounding on them too. Okay, so a little pounding doesn't hurt. But whenever she (or her dad) starts getting in on a player, I always feel like I have to defend them. Kinda like I feel like I have to defend baseball when people say it's the worst sport. To each their own.

For example, she harps on Troncoso, saying he's the worst, she doesn't like him, et cetera, et cetera. Why? She saw him pitch ONCE. It happened to be the one game where he gave up two hits, two walks, and four earned runs. Since then? he's only pitched once and he gave up three hits, two earned runs, and one walk. Before that? He pitched in four games, gave up only three hits, and no runs. The one game where we got to see him pitch, he pitched a perfect inning. And then there's Scott Proctor. Same story there. She doesn't like him either. Not including today, he's pitched in five games. Other than one game where he gave up four hits (two of them were home runs), four runs, and a walk ... he gave up two walks in two of the other games, and pitched perfectly for the other two. She tends to judge them very harshly on ONE bad outing. Her favorite phrase is "what's [insert player's name]'s problem? Why is he doing this and doing that?" Remember when Broxton had a tough patch in the second half last year? Every time he was called up to pitch, she was like "oh no, he's pitching! He's horrible!" It's funny. It's like she expects the Dodgers to go 162 - 0, but her dad expects them to go 0 - 162.

It's interesting. I was just on Yahoo's Dodger page. The top three leaders in batting include Andre Ethier and James Loney in three of the categories (home runs, average, and RBIs). Rafael Furcal is in two, and Kent is in one. Though I don't think the stats are updated for today yet.

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