Sometimes it’s a particularly good day for Sox and Nats fans…and not so good for Yankee and Orioles’ fans.
Sunday was one of those days.
We were at a Nats’ afternoon game that was mostly without excitement for the first eight or nine innings. Strasburg pitched well, except for one pitch (isn’t that often the case for pitchers?) where, although he struck out 10 batters over 7.1 innings, he gave up a three-run homer that broke up a tie game and put the Nats in a 4-1 hole.
Mostly the game was a pitchers’ duel (I enjoy those, but my wife, a fair weather fan — she only goes to games if the weather is fair — prefers more ‘action’). Then the Nats scored two in the 8th to come within one run of tying the game. In the 9th, boy wonder Bryce Harper, who was being given a day of rest (really necessary for a youngster like him?), pinch hit and of course slammed one out of the park to deepest center.
We had to leave the park for grandparent duties but listened on the radio (still a wonderful way to follow baseball if the announcers are good) and later followed the action on our smart phones. The game went 16 innings before a mostly unknown player, Chris Heisey, who had replaced Harper after the 9th, hit a game ending home run, almost six hours after the 1:35 PM game had started.
As if that wasn’t enough baseball for one day, after we got home, I checked in on the Sox who were playing a Sunday night game. And that was almost a repeat of what happened with the Nats, tho the Sox game only went 12 innings and lasted a mere five hours.
The Sox were ahead 5-1, then 5-3, which they held from the end of the third until the bottom of the 9th, when their new, expensive, and highly touted closer, Craig Kimbrel, got two outs before giving up a double and then a home run.
Another tie game.
More extra innings.
Finally, in the bottom of the 12th, Sox back up catcher Ryan Hannigan had a 13-pitch at bat/walk before Jackie Bradley drove in Hanley Ramirez for the Sox lead. (Hannigan scored an insurance run when he then made it home on a wild pitch.) Sox used an unheralded reliever, Heath Hembree, and held in the bottom of the 12.th
Now it was just after 1 AM (I had moved from the bedroom to the study around midnight in order not to cause my fair weather wife any more loss of sleep and to preserve what was left of my marriage), and I was a bit hyped up. So of course I checked in on the Evil Empire Yankees and was pleased to see they had lost 8-1 and were now in last place. Plus, although A-Rod drove in the Yunkee’s one lowly run, he was now hitting a mere .148.
Then I checked on the current AL East surprise league leaders, the Orioles, and was delighted to see they had lost to the Royals, 6-1.
All in all, about 12+ hours of baseball, and all good.
Some days are simply better than others for obsessed baseball fans.