Yesterday was a great day for baseball. I got to watch Lincecum pitch (and hit) against the Dodgers, Ubaldo Jimenez twirled the Rockies first ever no-hitter, and the Mets and Cards locked up for a 7 hour 20 inning game. Good stuff.
As for Tim Lincecum, there’s nobody I’d rather watch pitch. To see that little sucker get so much torque out of 160 pounds is a thing of beauty…to watch, probably not to hit. I love his focus and I especially appreciate how quickly he works.
Ubaldo Jimenez…what can I say? 98 mph on pitch 126? C’mon, that’s not fair. Effectively wild with 5 or 6 walks (although none after the 5th). It just can’t be fun facing all those arms and legs coming at you at 98…with a filthy breaking ball to boot. But what I liked the best about his whole no hitter happened this morning. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Art of Catching Tip because it’s going to focus on this event.
And the 7 hour Met – Card game, featuring Yadier Molina catching all 20 innings. Good stuff. Brings me back to June 6, 1991. Royals and the Rangers lock up for an 18 inning marathon on the toasty warm astro turf of Kansas City. I caught all 18 of that one and I’m still traumatized. If my memory serves me right, Mike Stanley caught the whole game for Texas too.
We prevailed, although I don’t think one guy on that field cared. We all just wanted out. Uncle. Make it be over. My most vivid memory of the event came late in the game, about the 17th inning or so. Rafael Palmeiro, who was 0 for 8 at this point, dragged his butt to the plate for at-bat number 9. I remember everything happening in slow motion, like we were all playing underwater. It was just pure survival. A battle of nutrition.
Anyway, up slithers Palmeiro. He fouls the first pitch off and snaps his bat in the process. Not completely in half, but as close as one could possibly come. The thing was hanging together by one or two grains. All I remember was Rafael looking down at me with these basset hound eyes and says, “There’s no way I can make it back to the dugout to get another bat…I’ve got to hit with this one…careful, it’s gonna come apart.” And sure enough, he hit the next pitch and the bat exploded and the ball rolled back to the pitcher like it was hit with a wet noodle. That was the cherry on top of his 0-9 day. Classic.
And I remember waking up the next day and nothing. Nothing hurt. I actually felt fine. It was weird. But the day after that, I couldn’t get out of bed. I would imagine that same thing will be happening to all those guys from yesterday’s game. They probably won’t feel it today, but they gonna pay over the next week or so. Trust me, that one game will take a good while to recover from…regardless of if you won or lost.