Moyer vs Hultzen vs Rain vs Felix Night

If it’s not one thing…

I honestly would have had a post up last night about last night’s Moyer vs Hultzen Rainiers game down in the fair city of Tacoma, but technology was conspiring against me! First, my laptop wouldn’t recognize the .jpg files from my camera, then it said that I needed to download updates, then it said that I didn’t have enough memory. Thanks, Macintosh! I deleted a handful of screen shots, emptied the trash, and gave it a shot this morning, and everything worked like normal. I have no idea what that was all about, but it’s fixed. Now I just have to worry about the upload space here, something I am still having problems with. I have already deleted every image from 2008 and 2009, so hopefully nobody’s reading those old posts. I know you’re not.

So last night was a lot of fun, in spite of being rained on  a little, and the Rainiers collapsing under the weight of their own bullpen. It was a packed house, with over 7,000 tickets sold, and people standing outside the stadium or sitting on the hill to the west, looking over the wall at the game. Su and I were even sat in back of the Black Hills Youth League team, and they were extremely well-behaved (I had my doubts when the lot of them ran up the stairs at their seats in front of us), though severely underprepared for foul balls – I think they had maybe three baseball gloves for 20 kids! But they were adorable and seemed to be having a great time.

So this was my first time seeing Danny Hultzen in action in person or otherwise, really. He looked small on the bump, and pitched about that way, too. He finished the night at 4 innings, having thrown 90 pitches, but only giving up 3 hits and one run during that time. I didn’t catch Jamie Moyer’s pitch count after his five innings (it was 85), but Moyer actually gave up 7 hits and three runs. Unfortuantely for the Rainiers, Moyer’s relieving staff was far more on top of their game than Tacoma’s was, combing for 6 more hits and only one more run. Steven Hensley, Steve Delabar, Brian Moran, and Josh Kinney were definitely not as fortunate or apparently skilled against the Las Vegas 51’s hitters. Las Vegas’s defensive players were also far more effective than Tacoma’s; in fact, after Moyer’s last inning, the 5th, he actually shook the hand of and hugged right fielder Moises Sierra as they walked back into the dugout, to the sound of raucous cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd. I was a little bummed that they didn’t let Moyer go back into the 6th, then ceremoniously pull him after the first batter or something. Sure, it would have been showboating, but it definitely would have let the crowd on hand know for sure that he was done for the night, and since this may be the last time Moyer is in the presence of a fanbase that adores him so much, it would have given me  some  of us time to get photos of his walk back to the dugout. But it was what it was, and I can’t complain too much. Minor league game or no, I finally got to see Moyer pitch a live game, and that was what I went down there for.

I would go into further detail, but there is nothing I can really tell you about the game itself that a look at the box score can’t. What I can tell you is that this was an event, in the biggest sense of the word. I have never seen as many people standing outside the stadium trying to get a glimpse in as I did last night. There are the occasional couple of kids who hang out over on the hill where the track is by the high school and watch, but they rarely stay for the whole thing. The atmosphere there was electric from the minute we got there at 6pm, and didn’t cease to be so until after people realized that Moyer wasn’t coming back for the 6th. They even ran out of ketchup near one hot dog stand about 15 minutes after the gates opened! To their credit, though, most of the crowd stuck around for an inning or two more, before the light rain that had been plagueing us all night long turned into a bit of a heavier downpour. Su and I moved up to the last row under the outcropping in our section, but a lot of people simply had to leave or risk getting much wetter than even the hardiest Northwesterner can usually deal with. Fortunately, it stopped soon, and Su, who had been listening on and off to Mike Curto’s broadcast of the Tacoma game, changed the channel as I read about the injury to Franklin Gutierrez at the hands of the Red Sox via just about everyone on Twitter.

So there we sat, watching and talking a little smack about the game at hand, while Su listened to the Mariners game and reported back what she was hearing. We chatted a little with a couple in front of us about Safeco Field’s Diamond Club seats (something I am really going to have to start saving for), and watched the Rainiers attempt a hopeless rally in the 9th against a 51s team that had already scored 11 runs against them. Su announced  the winning hit by John Jaso, and we mocked freaking out for a second or two, then trudged back to the car after the final out of the Tacoma game, a sad little Mike Wislon ground out. And during all of this, I was texting a co-worker who couldn’t make it various high points of everything done (or not done) by either Hultzen or Moyer. By the time we were able to get out of the stadium and get to the car to drive back, my phone battery was in dire need of charging. Busy night!

I am really happy I went, but actually kind of bummed out about missing the Mariners game, because seeing Felix fired up (which I am 100% positive he was) is absolutely one of my favorite things in baseball. I still have to look up Casper Wells stunning catches when I get home (because here at work we use Internet Explorer, which hates all things internet, ironically enough), and I am really hoping the best for Frankin Gutierrez. Is there anyone more plagued by Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Luck than Franklin Gutierrez? The guy just wants to play some  ball, and we just want to see him play some ball. I don’t think that is asking for much, Universe!

I will be back later with pictures and probably a few more thoughts, but for now I have to get back to work. As Alex Liddi might say, Ciao!

 

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