Monday, April 23, 2012

First win

My first baseball game of the season, after a month layoff of not practicing due to travel and work. The second game of our season, after the first was a loss. It was a night game, 7:30, which I don't like. As a kid I always looked forward to night games in little league, but as an adult, especially one in his 40s, it's hard to see and I don't like it. It was really bad as we started playing as the sun was behind third when looking from first. I threw a few balls over there which were hard to see, and then got one thrown to me from the foul outfield and looked right in the sun.

I decided to sit out hitting at first since I hadn't seen a ball or a pitch in a month. Plus I've been too busy and not enough stretching, throwing and other stuff. I ended up platooning with a guy at third, which would have netted me only 4 innings of play, but I also did an inning at first, so I got 5 innings in the field. That was a slight mistake. During warmups between innings, the third baseman short hopped one to first. I reached out, and the ball hit a rock, bouncing at an angle, hitting the edge of my glove, and then getting me in the lip. A small cut inside, but it only bled for a minute, however it still hurts this morning, a nice fat lip.

Almost a second one as well. I batted in the 7th, first guy, first pitch from a hard throwing lefty with a nice curve. I was looking curve, and he threw a fastball that was up, in, and tailed in on me. I saw it late, leaned back, and when it came higher, I came backwards, letting the bat end fall as I lifted my arms. The ball ended up sliding past my cheek, went inside the crook of my elbow, and glanced off the bat. A close call for me.

What was surprising is that the umpire pointed for me to take a base. I told him it hadn't hit me. My team was saying take the base, but I insisted it hadn't hit me, and they had a good time joking I couldn't tell what happened. We were about to get started again when the shortstop came in and said the ball hit something. The umpire told him he called a hit batter, I said it hadn't hit me, so it was ball 1. I could understand the guy being upset, but I wasn't going to admit anything without him asking me directly. It ended being a non-issue as I saw 3 straight low, outside balls and walked. I ended up coming around on a single and a double to start a 6 run inning that put us in the lead.

We managed to hold on, going into the 9th up 7-5, giving up a run on a very hard hit fly that our left fielder reached up for, got in the glove and then dropped as he spun around. One run scored, and with men on 2nd and third, we got a bouncer to second, that short hopped to first, but the first baseman caught and we won quite dramatically.

A good game, glad to be back out there, but I need some swinging and throwing practice.

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