Calamity. Catastrophe. Cataclysm. Unfortunately, the one ‘C’ word that actually describes it best might be offensive to some–if that’s you, close your eyes for a second–because last night’s game between the GIANTS and the Rockies was a clusterfuck. My apologies. I tried to come up with a word that would adequately describe the game without dropping an “f bomb“. I couldn’t think of one. You know it’s funny, I’ve heard that word used many times, and I never really got it. But I do now. Last night’s game is the textbook example of a clusterfuck.
The trouble began with the Rockies’ lead-off hitter in the 1st inning. He reached on a GIANTS error and things went downhill from there. He advanced to 2nd on a SAC fly, to 3rd on another GIANTS throwing error and came home on another SAC fly. In the GIANTS half of the 1st, Pagan hit a double and came home on Posey’s RBI single. After 1 the score was tied at:
GIANTS 1, Rockies 1
The GIANTS scored again in the 2nd when our rookie catcher, Andrew Susac, hit a solo HR. That gave the GIANTS a 1 run lead and they kept it until the 4th, when the GIANTS hit the skids. Again. The 1st Rockies’ hitter reached on a GIANTS throwing error–deja vu, anyone?–advanced to 2nd on that same error, moved to 3rd on a different throwing error, and finally, came home on a balk. The next Rockies’ hitter got a base hit, advanced to 2nd on the balk and scored on a SAC fly. At the end of 4–and the final–score was:
I suppose I could go into great detail about all the other trials and tribulations the GIANTS dealt with, but I’m going to try to keep it short–it won’t be sweet–but I’ll try to be brief.
The GIANTS committed 4 errors, hit into 4 double plays and royally ticked off the home plate umpire. To be fair, though, the GIANTS were plenty ticked off at him–and for good reason. We’ve all seen games where the home plate ump calls a pitch a ball when we thought it should have been a strike or called a pitch a strike when it should have been a ball. Peavy started chirping at the home plate ump while he was on the mound–about the calls the ump was making. The analysts and announcers all agreed–the ump decided to make it personal, and as one analyst put it: “even if the hitter had swung through it, he probably would have called it a ball.” At one point it was so ridiculous Peavy started to laugh. Nobody laughed in the 8th inning when Buster was called out on strikes for a pitch that was just above his ankles. In the 7th inning, with the count 3-2, the Rockies hitter drew a walk after taking the exact same pitch. Bochy was furious–and he got right in that ump’s face. Of course he had to watch the rest of the game from the clubhouse.
On the plus side, you gotta hand it to Peavy, in a game that was governed by Murphy’s Law–what could go wrong most certainly did–he limited the damage. The bullpen stepped up. Sergio Romo took over in the 8th and pitched a shut down inning. Jeremy Affeldt did the same in the 9th. The defense picked up too. In the 6th, the Rockies’ lead-off hitter reached on a base hit, then attempted to steal 2nd. Susac threw to Panik who tagged the runner out. In the 7th, with 2 outs, and 2 men on, the Rockies’ hitter singled to right field. The runner on 2nd headed for home, but Hunter Pence threw an absolute bullet home and Susac tagged the runner out. Of course, the home plate umpire called him safe, but after the replay review, the call was overturned and he was out to end the inning.
Yesterday’s home plate umpire is obviously a disciple of Bill Klem, a National League umpire who once said: “it ain’t nothin’ till I call it. ” The thing is–it’s true. Umpires are, according to Christy Mathewson “a necessary evil to the luxury of baseball.” Johnny Evers–of the famous Tinker-to Evers-to Chance double play combo–noted: “my favorite umpire is a dead one.” They’re about as popular as the Tax Man.
Back in April, my best friend Vickie and I went to the yard to watch a game. We took my son Ernie for his birthday and my daughter was meeting us there. The game tickets were birthday presents for Vickie and Ernie–so I made sure we had special seats. And we did. Right behind home plate.
When I say right behind, I mean the only thing separating us from home plate was the walk way in front of us, the backstop, the umpire and the catcher. In the picture, Ernie is standing on the walk way in front of the seats. While we were waiting for the game to start, some policemen roped off our area, so you couldn’t get to the walk way from our seats. I was a little concerned–I mean, what if I needed the facilities? The other problem was my daughter hadn’t arrived yet–how would she get to our seats? Turns out it was just temporary. The police rope off the area and provide the umpires with a police escort onto the field. I thought that was a little dramatic. But now I understand. I understand completely.
I’m not sure what to make of what happened at the ball park yesterday, but it was certainly a
clusterfu disaster. Too bad today’s blog post isn’t sponsored by the letter D, right?