It’s been just about forever since I’ve been to SafeCo – at least, with the last game I was at being way back at the beginning of the month, it sure feels like forever – and now I have three in less than a week (this upcoming Friday and then the Saturday afternoon USSM annual visit to the park and if you don’t have tickets for this already, why the heck not?) so the last week of school will also be a super busy baseball week, and I could not be happier about that.
Today my game partners were Conor and my friend Cynthia, who is normally a Sounders fan, but she does enjoy a little day at the Safe every so often. We were the first and pretty much only people in the Pyramid beer garden for about a half hour around 11am, and when the wind got to be too annoying for us, we took off for the more protected grounds of the stadium.
When we got to the bullpen area to grab another beer, Jason Vargas was warming up in the bullpen. He was followed by Garrett Olson and Sean White, and then David Aardsma, who threw for a little while, then did dry runs with his back to everyone, air-throwing. There is a name for this practice which I cannot immediately recall – if you know, please refresh my memory.
After the pitchers took their shots, they all disappeared back across the field. Luke French and Carl Pavano took a few on-field warmup tosses before getting into their respective bullpens for the real deal.
Then there was some hugging, and it was hamburger and bleacher time for us. I know the pen has done this since John Wetteland came here, but it always makes me think that perhaps the spirit of Mike Sweeney rubbed off a little on these guys:
The game was not much to write home about. It was won by the Ms 2-1 with a pretty decent save by David Aardsma, and an actual pitcher’s duel between French and Pavano. In fact, French lasted 7 full innings, and only gave up 3 hits, including a home run to Michael Cuddyer, which was caught by a guy wearing a Joe Mauer t-shirt the next section over from us. Brandon League had a relatively solid (and somewhat lucky) 8th inning, and Aardsma got out of the 9th with a swift double play from second to first to seal the win on a Michael Cuddyer grounder.
Chone Figgins pulled that one thing he does where he goes for a hit between first and second, then drops it – something he’s done far too much this year, seriously – but then redeemed himself by doing this. I try really hard to not hate on Figgy, but he makes it difficult. There are a lot of people who want him traded as soon as possible. I’d like him here at least one more year, to see if it makes a difference. I’d really love to see Angel Figgins, rather than 2010 Mariners Figgins. The glimpses of that we’ve seen this year have simply not been enough; I want him to stick around and prove us all wrong.
Today was also my first game seeing Matt Tuiasosopo in left field. There was nothing impressive for him to do this afternoon, but it was at least a different view than the normality of Michael Saunders or Ryan Langerhans. I found myself wishing that we could see him make a good play or have a great at-bat, but no hits came his way, and he went 0 for 3 today, so my hopes were dashed. It looks like he’ll see more playing time in that part of the field this year, however, so maybe eventually we’ll get to see something great from him. Langerhans replaced him in the top of the 9th.
David Pauley dukes it out with Ervin Santana and the Angels tomorrow, and the game is at 7pm, so I will be able to watch it. Finally. Twenty more hours of school, then I am free to take it easy, spend the month of September looking for work and taking in as much baseball as possible, and trying to salvage a little bit of my summer.