Thursday, April 17, 2008

Game 5 against EB recap

On Monday we played our 5th game of the season and a game I fully expected to win. Last year, we played EB and lost 11-9 in 7 innings. This year we are a better team.

EB also had a better team, but what they really have is an obnoxious bench that chants constantly. And these chants get into the head of my pitcher, who suddenly, can't find the strike zone.

During the top of the 1st inning, my first two batters strike out looking. The umps strike zone was belt to ground and 2 inches wider than the plate. This helped EB because their pitcher was 5'5" and threw everything low. My 6'0" pitcher instead, throws everything high. My 3rd batter (and MVP) drew a walk, stole second, third and home to put us up 1-0. The next batter grounded out to first.

In the bottom of the inning, the chants started immediately and my pitcher can't find the strike zone. When she does, EB bunts the ball. They have bases loaded with no outs and I'm starting to panic. The next batter lines out to SS, but my pitcher walks the next batter. Then we get a slow roller to the pitcher for an out at 1st. Then she walks 2 more batters. We strike out the 10th batter of the inning, but give up 4 runs.

In the top of the 2nd, we get a two runners on, but EB's pitcher strikes out the side. In the bottom of the 2nd, EB's first batter walks, but the 2nd batter hits a line drive to my SS, who catches it and throws to 1st for a double play. The next batter grounds out to the second baseman. 4-1 after 2 innings.

In the 3rd, we are at the top of the order and the girls are swinging away. We put the first two batters on, and managed to score them, but didn't sustain the rally because the middle of the order struck out. We were within 1 run. In the bottom of the 3rd, the first two batters ground out. The third batter walked. The fourth batter stroked the ball into left center. My left fielder made a great stop and got the ball into 2nd in time to tag the girl out, but the runner scored. 5-3 after 3 innings

In the 4th, my leadoff hitter was hit in the butt and took first. She moved to 2nd on a bunt by my leadoff hitter. My second baseman hit a single up the middle and I waved the runner in. But she stopped at 3rd. Looked at me and then realized what I was doing. She then turned and ran home. She was out by 4 steps. The 2nd baseman did advance to 2nd on the throw home and eventually scored, but that was all we put on the board that inning. In the bottom of the fourth, my pitcher walked the first runner, who came around to score. Another girl reached on an error and scored also. 7-4 after 4 innings

As the 5th inning started, we were approaching our 2 hour time limit. I knew this would be the last inning. Luckily for us, EB changed pitchers and the new pitcher couldn't find the strike zone with a map. She walked 6 consecutive hitters. We were now within 1 run and EB went back to their original pitcher. She promptly struck out the first batter she faced. My next batter flew out to right field. The next batter walked, forcing in the tieing run. But the final batter of the inning grounded out to second base. We were tied going into the bottom of the inning.

The chants returned with a vengenance and my pitcher was out of gas. She gave up a leadoff single and then walked 4 straight batters. She walked in what would ultimately be the winning run. I called time out and went to the mound. I didn't have much to say, knowing in my heart that the game was lost, and instead focused the infield on making a play at the plate. That didn't happen. My pitcher walked in 2 more runners. I went to the bullpen (actually to the center fielder). She's the one that throws old-man beer softball style. I hoped she get some outs. Bases loaded, down by 3 with no outs. The first batter strokes a hard ground ball down the third base line. My 3B should have gotten the ball, but she refuses to a) get dirty and b) backhand a ball. It is a base clearing double. Down by six now. My pitcher is able to get three outs, while only giving up 3 more runs. Time is up and we are on the losing side...again.

16-7 is the final score. Our record now is 1-4. Tonight we play a team that is 3-0. They have thrown 2 perfect games and only allowed 1 runner to reach base in three games. Their combined scores against their opponents so far is 60-0. Pray for me.