Monday, June 13, 2011

Baseball Dragged

We had a long, slow game at baseball yesterday. It was hot to start, our pitcher struggled, and we had a few errors. Add in there that a few good hits from the other team, and things were looking bleak. When we swtiched pitchers, things got a little better, but not a lot and the game ended early, 6 innings, with the mercy rule having us down by 16 runs.

I had a better game, personally. I started at 3rd, where I picked up a hot grounder, and then was in a hurry at the end of a long inning and threw it too quick, not getting set and it was short, and not picked up by the first baseman. I also chased a short one by the pitching mound and was there, but couldn't get it off the ground. Right when I got there, it stopped bouncing and at full speed I couldn't reach it on the ground. But I had good range.

I missed a liner that sizzled through the air just above my head. Not sure I could have reached it, but I didn't react quick enough in any case. That was the extent of my third base efforts. All one inning, though I played 2 there. I switched out at second with another guy since we were platooning. Three of us carrying 2nd and third, with me getting to move back and forth and not sitting. No balls hit my way at second, but I did pick up a late throw on a steal. No play to be made, but I fielded it and got there, which I haven't done in a long time. The last two innings I took first base. The guy we normally have there has a sore knee, and wanted a break, so I jumped in and took a few throws. No major plays, but I caught the throws over there, got stretched for one and made the catch, but pulled off the bag. Not sure I could have gotten the ball without pulling my foot. I also managed to grab a bad pick off throw way to my right, above the sliding runner. Almost didn't get to that one.

At the plate things were better. I tried to beg off batting, since my practice one day this week was so so. I saw the whiffle balls at home OK, even took a couple to the opposite field, but it didn't feel great. However the manager said I should try, so I did. First at bat I saw the ball well, one a hard throwing pitcher with a nice curve. The first one was outside, breaking in, but wide. It was close and I couldn't have argued a strike, but it was a ball. I saw two inside balls, both way inside and one making me jump back. Then a fast ball down the middle that was a little high, and I couldn't catch up. I had switched to the 32" bat, so that had me a little nervous, but I was thinking another fast ball and get set to start swinging early. It was high and outside, and I walked.

The next at-bat was better. I fouled one off, then a couple balls before I topped one that was belt high, inside and it rolled to the first baseman. 0-1, BB, and I came up in the 6th, the last batter (potentially) of the game with 2 outs. The first two guys had struck out, so I had no pressure. I went in ready to swing and got a low fast ball. Hard swing, hard pitch, fouled back and the catcher said he smelled burning wood. Another pitch, another swing, same result, and this time the catcher said he wasn't kidding, wood was burning. A ball and then another strike, belt high, outside. I saw it, swung, and caught it in front of the plate, near the end of the bat, and it blooped to center. A single, pinch runner, and the game ended on the next guy.

1-1, BB, not bad, but the good thing was I saw the ball. Didn't turn the head and saw the ball hitting the bat. Felt better, and the back was fine. I think it's time to start getting to the cage or the pitching machine twice a week and see if I can improve my batting.

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