Life got in the way of baseball today, as I was recovering from an extremely late night out for most of the early afternoon today. An old friend was in town, and a group of us celebrated as a group of people might when an old friend comes back for a visit. I did succeed in catching the game today in the 7th inning, when the boys were down 3-1. Figuring it was a wash and that I would have nothing but complaints, I watched it, but not with much enthusiasm. That was, however, until the 9th inning.
The Rangers sent in Frank Fransisco, their closer, to shut us down, but it didn’t work. Casey Kotchman, Rob Johnson, Jack Wilson, and Ichiro conspired to drive in one run, and then the tying run came in on a Ken Griffey Junior at-bat. Franklin Gutierrez forged the lead run off Darren O’Day (I’ve been awash in sidearmers lately, I love it), and with the score at 4-3 in our favor, David Aardsma came in for the save. Aardsma needs to give Gutz a massive hug or a juice box or something for a running leap to rob Elvis Andrus of a home run that would have sent the game into extras. It’s another of our one-run games, but that’s fine, I’ll take it.
The one thing that did bother me, however, is that this game wasn’t won on offense. It was won on bad pitching. I’m not going to complain too much; a win is a win. But I’d rather see the game won on skill, rather than luck. Skill is Gutierrez making that catch in center. Luck is walking Rob Johnson in the 9th. It happens, certainly – guys have bad days on the hill, and dole out the wrong pitches to the right batters. I guess I’d just prefer to see us play at the level that this group of guys should be able to play.
Of some degree of interest/hilarity is this little nugget from yesterday’s game. I know some people find the middle finger offensive, and that’s fine; it’s supposed to be. But I really don’t care much about this. In the short time I’ve been following this team, I’ve seen a lot of interesting things, heard a lot of interesting stories, tracked fabulous highs and soul-crushing lows. But we’ve never had anyone on the team who incites this much emotion from fans both near and far. Everyone has an opinion about Milton Bradley, regardless of what team they love. I think we need Milton as much as he needs us. It’s about time we crazied up a little, and I welcome it.
Game 3 tomorrow, before the Seattle Mariners come home for the day that I’ve been waiting for since last October. The next 36 hours cannot go fast enough!