Texas 9, Los Angeles 7.
The smarter team tonight, on the basepaths and in the
dugout, wasn’t the one that the national scribes (and a cross-section of the
local ones) like to credit for having a leg up on the field in those
The team that’s 5-1 this season against the other isn’t the
one they all would have expected.
Neither team would die tonight. Until one of them did.
Frosty Rivera has been my baseball nemesis for about three
years now, and tonight I think he vested a two- or three-year extension on that.
On the other hand, I’ve been hard on Hank Blalock for a
while now, and tonight he earned a reprieve.
That’s a game I won’t forget for a while and that Max may
not forget ever. His memorable night
started with a 2-1 pitch to Torii Hunter that ended the top of the first,
6-to-3-to-Max, as Chris Davis hauled in the Omar Vizquel throw for the third
out and tossed Max the ball from 30 feet as he jogged toward the dugout.
Six innings later, as a 7-1 lead was whittled down to 7-4,
Max stood for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and placed his hand over his
There’s no chance my wife and I were going to correct him. The only possible response to our four-year-old’s
move was to join him, hand over heart.
It wasn’t until about 11:00, when we were halfway home from
the Ballpark, having heard the radio replay of Eric Nadel’s inspired call of Blalock’s
game-ending blast – his second homer of the game but only the first walkoff round-tripper
of his career – that Max finally conked out in the car. It was three hours past his bedtime, but he’d
been running strong on adrenaline from the way that game played out, and
When we pulled into the garage and I opened the car door to
lift him so I could carry him to his bedroom, he was fast asleep, but still
clutching that baseball that Kevin Millwood, Vizquel, and Davis had recorded a
major league out with before it was relayed his way.
So here we are, a half-game back, having treated the Angels’
best two starters badly. Tomorrow the
team rests as it awaits Tampa
Bay’s Friday arrival,
while the front office likely opens the July 2 international signing period
with a bang.
A good day of baseball, surprising in many respects, except perhaps
in the eyes of a four-year-old, a kid who has become so accustomed to the great
moments that this game has to offer that maybe they’re hardly surprising at