Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sactown Ball

Raley Field lived up to the hype, it's a terrific venue for baseball. We sat on the lawn in right-center which was in the sun to start--how the fielders could see the ball was beyond me--but once it went down the evening was cool and pleasant. It was me, M.C., and my lovely bride, along with JC and his father-in-law Steve. Thanks again, my man, for scoring the tickets! The place was packed with crazed Giants fans eager for 2016 to get rolling. I understand the River Cats have a solid local fan base but those poor folks were overwhelmed by the orange-and-black brigades. We figured it was a win-win kind of event, if the youngsters showed some game against the big boys that just means the organization is stocked with talent! The best part of the outfield lawn is the proximity to the bullpens. We got to see Matt Cain's throwing session and Johnny Cueto's warmup. We were so close you could hear the ball "whizz" and the snap in the catcher's mitt was like a gunshot. Very cool.

Johnny Cueto is going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. He picked off three guys! I'm not sure the minor-leaguers were ready for his action. Some of the plays were awfully close, I imagine replay at the major-league level might have overturned one or two calls, but the baserunners really did look lost. He did his shimmy, his shake, his pause-and-throw, and his quick pitch. We will have to come up with names for all the moves. He also drove in a run! Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee smoked a line drive homer off Johnny to give the local partisans a thrill, and he flashed a cannon arm in the field as well. He was a former "can't miss" prospect in Chicago and Tampa Bay but his career was sidetracked by an injury in 2013 and he never got his groove back. He's only 25 and obviously talented, but San Francisco is not looking for a shortstop any time soon.

Speaking of Brandon Crawford, he hit a homer, as did Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey launched a goddamn moonshot to center with that easy, slo-mo swing of his. Trevor Brown had a couple of hits, as did Ehire Adrianza. Kelby Tomlinson started at second and I believe was the only one to play the entire game. Sergio Romo got the biggest response of any of the guys in the 'pen and he looked like he had some good stuff going. Despite the 8-4 lead Santiago Casilla closed it out. Funny, the Giants were the home team. Just goes to show the difference between the bigs and the rest--even the local lads had to be visitors in their own park! Good story about the game in the Bee. Check out the time-lapse video at the end.

That's right, we had a grand time! Rockin' the tie dye, brah! Here's a pre-game look at the field:

If you are in Sac this summer you should catch a River Cats game. Can't wait for Monday!




Zo said...

I'm loving the lyrical quality of Bochy's projected lineup.

Span, Pan;
Posey, Pence.
Bran, Duff, Bran;
pitcher, Pagan.

or, if you prefer, in haiku:

Span, Pan, Posey, Pence.
Two Brandons around a Duff,
An ace, then Pagan.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Poetic Mystic
Take us out to the ballgame
Beat fecking LA

Zo said...

Greenwich Village, 1959:

denard span, then joepan.
posey, pence.

pitchermanwhoyoupitchin'to, and then


JC Parsons said...

Wow, Zo. That was beautiful. Imagine what you would come up with if you were on drugs....