Playing Out The Schedule
Today, August 30, was the HDL’s 16th week of the 2015 Baseball season. Fifteen times we have played match-up competition with each of the 4 teams composing our micro league. Not every week will be better than the best week we have ever played before. This weekend was an example of “Grinding out the Season”.
When I woke up Sunday, the first thing I did was check the weather radar, especially when I thought I heard thunder in the distance. But living close to Memphis airport and train tracks nearby, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.
When some green blobs were spotted on radar I was a little concerned that a few HDL players waking up to pitter-patter of raindrops would have doubts that Tobey would also be affected. So I immediately updated the blog, linked the Blog to Facebook and created a duplicate email with a message that would encourage all players that Tobey Field was “fine.”
The “Waiting Game” – Start Time delayed until players arrived
As 9:00 game time approached, the Lost Pizza Orioles were looking good but only 3-4 Lomax Dodgers had arrived. (Travis, Andrew, Lowell Hinte and Greg Bacchus). At 9:00 AM, we still did not have enough players to form a feasible game. But by 9:05 AM, Carlos Medina arrived along with a few Cardinals, A’s and borrowed Orioles players. With Bo McMinn agreeing to give it a “try”, the game started.
In many ways this game reminded me of some HDL games that we used to have back in late 70’s and early 80’s when a small nucleus of baseball players would always show-up and we would scramble to get some hung-over or over-slept players to hustle out to Tobey to give us enough players to make-up a game.
When these type situations occur, you never know what to expect the game to be. Some games end up being great and more than not, they are games that make you think, “I should have stayed in bed.”
Rosters were equally matched:
Today’s game started with Orioles’ Tim Harris reaching base on an E-6, Tim quickly stole 2nd base. Jake Hatchett walked. After John McPhail’s grounder back to Waddell, there were 2 outs. Jodie Wolfe picked up 2 RBI’s on a solid single followed by Ramon Moretta’s RBI single, but the Dodger’s hodge-podge defense threw the ball wildly and Moretta raced home to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 1st, “Birthday Boy“, Carlos Medina, and Andrew Waddell singled to put runners on 1st & 2nd. This is when Greg Bacchus bounced a grounder to Jake who flipped the ball to Jocko at 2nd who’s relay throw to Larry Hunsucker was quickly relayed to Jerry Tatum to nail Medina at home plate for 3rd out. Not bad for early morning baseball by a bunch of guys who just wanted to “play baseball.”
Waddell Arm Improving
Andrew Waddell, who has been nursing a sore arm over the past 2 months, was looking pretty good but his make-shift defense failed a few times to make routine plays and that ended up taking a toll on Andrew‘s self imposed pitch-count. With Orioles leading 5-0 going into bottom of 3rd inning, the Dodgers came back to score 6 runs on 4 hits. Travis Hill‘s triple scored Waddell and Vivas.
The Orioles continued their aggressive offense as they scored in 4th, 5th & 6th innings. By the top of the 5th inning, Andrew Waddell had to leave to attend a Fantasy Football league draft. Too bad, because the Orioles took advantage of Greg Bacchus who came in to pitch. If the Dodger’s outfielders had been positioned closer to the infield at least 3 fly balls could have been caught and that could have made for a better outcome for the Dodgers. This was a re-occurring habit that hurt several pitchers during the afternoon game as well. With wood bats, the number of hits in front of outfielders is more than number of hits over outfielders head.
The Dodgers–Orioles game was called at end of 6 innings with score of 10-8. Jake Hatchett got the “save” pitching a scoreless 6th inning. The Lomax Dodgers are expected to be back at full strength the next time they play on Sunday, September 13 at 11:30 vs the Athletics.
Orioles: Jake Hatchett – (2 for 3), 2 R, 2 RBI; Jerry Tatum – (3/4) “SB”; Ramon Moretta – (3/4) 2 RBI.
Dodgers: Travis Hill (2/3), 2 Triples!, 2 RBI; Carlos Medina (2/4); Lowell Hinte (1/3) 2 Runs.
Pitching: Orioles: Jodie Wolfe got the Win to make his record (1-3); Dodgers: Greg Bacchus (0-1) took the Loss.
Late game on Sunday – CDS Athletics vs Peterbilt Cardinals:
The Cardinals were happy to have PW Burnett available to start on the mound. PW was effective but kept saying he was not 100% and was surprised he was able to help A’s hitters to get themselves out.
Through PWs 6 innings of work he gave up 3 runs on 8 hits to go along with 7 strikeouts and only 4 walks that was probably helped by a tight umpire strike-zone.
The Cardinals opened the bottom of the 1st inning against Juan-Jose Castillo with 3 hits, again, likely caused by the plate umpire’s tight strike-zone. The big hit of the 1st inning was an RBI line-drive base-hit by Oscar Zamudio.
Trailing 3-0, the Athletics lead-off hitter in 3rd inning, Kevin Latham, doubled. Latham scored on Alex Vivas‘s double. Vivas scored on Terry Terrell’s RBI single. Athletics scored another run in top of 5th when Castillo reached base on an E6 and scored on Alex Vivas RBI single. This run tied the score 3-3.
The 6th inning was PW’s last inning and he held the A’s scoreless and put his team in position for a “W” after they scored a run in bottom of the 5th. PW Burnett’s RBI in 5th inning allowed David Neely to score for the 4-3 lead.
With PW departed, Paul Baioni got the call to “hold” the A’s in top of 7th. Paul B. walked the lead-off batter and that put the tying runner OB. base-hit by Castillo was followed by another E6 that allowed Morgan & Castillo to score and give the A’s the lead. After 2 more runs the A’s had established a 7-4 lead. Kevin High faced one batter to stop the landslide and give the Cards one last shot at their rally.
James Moroschak looked like his mis-handled grounder would be a catalyst for a rally but his decision to advance on the bad throw turned into a 2-6-3 out as Shaq tried to scamper back to first. I think Shaq forgot how tired his legs were after catching for 2-1/2 hours in the heat of the day.
With one out, that did not stop the Cardinals. Johny Gonzalez walked and stole 2 bases. Tim Wallenstrom walked and also stole 2nd base. Both runners scored on David Neely’s basehit. The rally ended when Paul Baioni K’d after Dave Neely was caught stealing.