River Cats win. . . eventually
“Baseball is a slow, sluggish game, with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field: This is what a fan loves most about the game.”
First off, let me get this out of the way: Your Sacramento River Cats continued Sactown’s ownage of all things Anaheim with Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory over the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of that town in Orange County that tried to steal the Kings.
Anthony "Home" Recker, who extended his hitting streak to seven games with a second inning double, had a hand in both River Cats runs. After Adrian Cardenas led off the home half of the eighth with a double, Recker smacked a single to left, bringing Carednas home for the first run of the game. The River Cats catcher later came around to score the second and final run on a sacrifice bunt by DH Adam Heether.
Trystan Magnuson (3 saves, 1.88 ERA), the fifth River Cats pitcher of the evening, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the victory for the fourth River Cats pitcher of the evening, Joey Devine (3-0, 0.00).
Now that we’ve gotten that over with, I can get to the meat of the issue: This was, without question, the worst game of baseball that I have ever had the misfortune to watch.
As Ed Abbey noted up top, baseball at its best is slow-moving, and this was not baseball at its best. This was molasses in January. As a general rule, the more action a game has, the longer it takes to be played to completion. A 12-11 barn-burner will most likely be over three hours, while a 1-0 pitchers duel may clock in at just over two hours. Action takes longer than a lack thereof.
Somehow, the laws of baseball physics ceased to exist in Tuesday’s games kitchen. We had all the slow drudgery of a slug fest without any of the excitement. We had the total lack of offense of a great pitchers duel, without the great pitching.
Through seven innings, the two teams combined for 15 strikeouts and 11 walks. That’s 26 at-bats without a ball being put into play. Through seven innings the two teams had combined for seven hits … and seven pitchers. The eighth pitcher entered the game in the top of the eighth … of a 0-0 game.
Salt Lake starter Ryan Ketchner threw 94 pitches in three innings of work. The River Cats left eight men on base in those three innings. Nine would have been a record (they tied the record for men left on base through two innings with six. This record will never be broken).
River Cats starter Bobby Cramer only lasted 3 2/3 innings. In a game that was 0-0 through seven, neither starter got through the fourth. That has got to be some sort of record.
River Cats batters saw 170 pitches in the eight innings in which they batted. There were 36* full counts. There were 67* pick-off throws.
In between the third and fourth innings, as if to mock our pain, they had the crowd pick their favorite of three Ke$ha songs. In a related note, I just found out that Ke$ha has three songs. "Tick Tock" won. Everyone else lost.
Cricket thought this game was boring.
"War and Peace" thought this game was too long.
In the middle of the eighth, I snapped.
I watched the eighth inning rally on a TV in the bowels of the stadium and listened to the top of the ninth on my way back to Midtown. If I had decided to stay in the press box, the game would probably still be going as we speak, knotted at zeros in the 112th inning (another record).
Nobody wanted that, so I took off, and set the rally into motion.
*these numbers may be wildly innaccurate