I’m so sorry for the gap between entries… moving plus new job plus family stuff made for very little time for baseball. I only attended three games in the month of September. But I’ll get the blog goin’ again… starting now:
So, on the eleventh of September I headed out to Angel Stadium with Michelle to watch the Halos take on the Seattle Mariners. Of all AL West teams, I think I like going to Mariners games the most. They’re a lot of fun to watch.
The crowd was light when the gates opened at five after five:
I ran in and spent the first round of Angels batting practice in the right field seats. I didn’t snag anything up there and at the end of the round I walked down to the foul pole in right field. I wasn’t there more than a few minutes before I snagged my first baseball of teh day. It was a foul hit by an Angels righty. It landed a few sections to my left. I was running for it along with a few other people and the ball took a crazy bounce toward the section I was in but a few rows further from the field. Then, it ricocheted off a seat a section to my left, then took a bounce and headed my way. I ran up a few steps and grabbed it of the ground as it slowed down between sections 134 and 133 in the fifth row. First of the night–and 267th of my life.
That was it for the home team’s half of BP. After the Mariners started warming up I got my second baseball of the day from relief pitcher Jamey Wright.
It was a pretty standard toss from about twenty feet away after I couldn’t extend out over the fence to make a catch. The ball bounced over to Jamey and he lobbed it my way. I gave that ball away later in the evening to a young Angels fan.
Note to everyone: Pay attention during batting practice. From my vantage point near the foul pole I watched a middle-aged guy in the front row of the pavilion get smacked in the head by a BP home run. It literally went bat to head.
Knocked his glasses off, he fell to the concrete, ushers and security took him away–he walked off under his own power so that’s a good sign… but PAY ATTENTION!
After batting practice I got shut out at the M’s dugout but I snagged ball #3 on the evening from Erick Aybar on the third base side after he finished his warmup throwing just before the national anthem.
Michelle and I had seats in the upper level and we decided to sit up there so I could try to snag a foul ball.
With Felix Hernandez and Ervin Santana pitching, I figured guys would be fouling a ton of pitches off. I was right–but it didn’t help me get one of ’em.
The Angels were up 5-0 after five inning s and 7-0 after seven innings. The highlight of the night was watching Santana mow down the Mariners and also getting to see Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo (two up and coming prospects) get their first at-bats of their careers. Conger made contact… but struck out.
Trumbo whiffed on three pitches and looked bad doing it.
Hernandez is a tough assignment for your first MLB at-bat, I guess.
Santana was shutting out the Mariners for seven and a third spectacular innings before giving up a home run to Ichiro with two men on. That ended his night. The bullpen did well to help bail him out and earn Santana the win.
Since most of the fans had left in the seventh… I convinced Michelle that we should head down to the dugout. She lingered back near the concourse but I spent the eighth and ninth innings with this as my view:
And here’s a picture of Jose Lopez fouling a ball into the dirt and off toward first base a bit:
And here’s a picture of that very same baseball in my glove:
Taa-daa! Kevin Jepsen threw him a fastball that Lopez barely got a piece of. I took the photo, then put my camera down and, well… Ball #4 on the night and my 270th of my lifetime!
Over to the right is the ball and the point of view from where I was sitting. It happened pretty quickly and I was lucky to get a shot of the foul in action. Luckily, it wasn’t a line drive or I might have gotten clocked–it took a nice bounce though.
And just for kicks, here’s a shot of Ichiro batting:
That’s for Tim and Todd.
By that point at least half of the fans had left. It was And there were fireworks after the game. Michelle and I walked to the car and passed by the staging area… this was a much better fireworks view.
I’d only go to two more games this season–both at Angel Stadium–and by now you know the Halos didn’t make the playoffs… not even close.
But we had a great time and I added four baseballs to my total. A night well spent.
Always glad to see the home team pound out a win.