Rockies 4, Cubs 3

The wind blew out, bringing Rockies’ home runs with it. The first two were thrown onto the field; the third Helton’s second of the night, got hit to green center, merely needing to bounce in its return to the field.

The structure on top of center field, next to its electronic peers in the upper deck, didn’t quite seem iconic. They weren’t in sync, with the legend behind the times. It couldn’t fit every Senior Circuit result, not even including every competition involving those in the Cubs’ division. Still, I didn’t need to know (though the electronic ones told me) the Bulls clinched something. I sort of minded the hockey score (1-0 in the first, the Cubs’ neighbors losing), though. Hockey is cool.

But let’s return to the green grid. It showed us four ones, once; the count 1-1, one out, Kosuke Fukudome hitting (turning thirty-four, music informed us). Super wild.

I noticed them removing the line scores for the White Sox when they finished, with just the end score left behind. But the column for the result is titled 10, in line with the 1-9 next to it!

The electronic sign directly under this didn’t impress me, either. There, I found out the Cubs’ fourth hitter got his 1,000th RBI on 4/10/10. Good for him, but did he do nothing else in the previous twelve months? Plus, their first hitter is hitting (.500) when hitting first. Still excellent, but why ()? It told us 38,261 were there, but this figure seemed quite high. They showed some promotion for keeping Wrigley green like the ivy. So, not green?

This isn’t to suggest the upper deck ones were so good. During the pre-competition music, it showed Old Glory in windy style, though wind blew plenty to begin with! It died down, though, until I could see retired numbers billowing in right field but not left. Might’ve just been some trick of my position.

The good news they showed, sort of, were digits next to the Cubs’ fourth relief pitcher; “5.59.” Not excellent, but when my scoresheet got printed, they were 8.10. He, if nothing else, showed up on the roster list. This didn’t hold for their first reliever who just got brought up from the minors, very recently indeed. This boded poorly. Though he wound up pitching fine, going two innings while conceding no runs on one hit.

Enough of the scores, then. Other things I noticed:

The Cubs’ shortstop writing stuff in the dirt before the top of the first.
The Rockies’ second hitter (fielding second, too), putting some kind of big plus sign in the box in the top of the first.
The beer vendor conversing with the guy in front of me, wondering if someone they both knew would be there for the next home series.
Five guys with instruments, moving from section to section, performing between innings.
People cheering for outfielders to throw them souvenirs. I thought they were trying to get everyone to get up, section by section. Shows where I’m from, I guess.
“95th,” doubly reversed, blinking, next to my reflection in the window, with blue light from the Red Line lighting up the city beyond.

What’s in a name?

Depends on what league you’re in.
Six circle graphs

The blue corresponds to teams whose nicknames are plural nouns ending in S (Green Bay Packers). The red corresponds to teams whose nicknames aren’t (Seattle Storm). The yellow are an awkward mixture (Seattle Sounders FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC).

ZACK Tweak

One modification to the ZACK statistic I defined last summer; I’m pretty sure you should replace x by x/2 only when you are playing your nearest competitor in a given race. Last time I said you should replace it whenever that is not the case…I think I got it flipped around.

A Rockies fan at Coors today would have accumulated a ZACK of 38, which is rather high.

Week In Review: 4/11-17

So, this is closer to how I perceived this blog going. This might occur weekly–short blurbs of interesting competitions from the previous week. Hopefully it’ll help me keep up with goings-on in cities I don’t tend to follow.

My editor helped out too.

4/11: Two perfecto-hurlers dueled in Illinois. Would it, too, be hitless? The White Sox were, until Rios’ single in the fourth. Their opponents were, too, until Kurt Suzuki’s single in the sixth. People were very excited, due to the one-hitter in progress, expressing their convictions: “2011 is the summer of the one-hitter! It’s got “ones” in it! Like zeroes in 2010, the summer of the no-hitter, you know?”

[This didn’t truly occur. -ed]

But the pitchers’ duel continued, still 1-0 into the ninth. Then, however, Pierre’s (the White Sox’ left fielder) error brought in the tying run. Suzuki would homer in the top of the tenth to win it, with poor Pierre grounding into the finishing out.

4/12: Ohio might rock–the Tribe sit in first in their division now–but they didn’t here. No, they lost 2-0, with Bourjos going deep solo (Trumbo, too). But were these homers the big surprise? Possibly to Trumbo, who hit his first. The true news story, though, involved the opposing pitcher, who…held the Tribe to one hit, Shin-Soo Choo’s fourth-inning single. Then there were lots of comments describing how this would…

[Nope, nope there still weren’t. -ed] Bleep it, you people jump to conclusions but then don’t jump to conclusions when it would be funny. Oh well.

4/13: Bonds found guilty of obstruction of justice. [Not defensive obstruction, which occurs when fielders illicitly impede the progress of runners. This is difficult to pull off from left field. -ed] Though, he stole lots, once. Possibly he could run in quickly enough. The point is, this didn’t occur here.

4/15: MLB honors Robinson. This seems to occur pretty well in to the spring. Not beginning in the common month helps. The new website, I’m 42, includes Tweets, pictures, videos, but no Deep Thought. [Well, discussing the end of the color line is deep thought, I suppose. -ed]

Quiet, you.

4/17: The Twins choose their new closer. Once more. Considering how much bullpen strength they got themselves the previous summer, this should not present problems for them. Wonder how much more they’ll wind up with before this summer finishes? It could be lots.

Non-lipogramatically, new sidebar link: Value Over Replacement Grit, some great baseball stuff (involving lots of wordplay!) from Humbug alum dianagram. Scrabble fans, check this out.

Giants 5, Cardinals 4

What has St. Louis in common with San Francisco? NL squads, towards our point, but first off, an similarity that’s almost obvious (if you know no Spanish, possibly not so obvious, but too bad. Spanish is cool). San Francisco is Spanish for “Saint Francis” (it was originally a missionary town), and St. Louis honors King Louis IX (a saint, shockingly). It was part of “Louisiana” (in honor of Louis XIV) back in Louis XIV’s day.

So, adopting a historical approach, you can pick out a third commonality. San Francisco is now what you might think of if I say “oh, this is a far road trip for Atlantic coast guys, having to go way out to such a faraway town.” Sun motion (okay, our world’s rotation) allows Pacific day matchups to start towards Atlantic night. It’s about as far as you can go.

But back in…okay, not Louis XIV’s day, but not our day, San Francisco had no major ball club. No, a far away trip for NL squads would go to such a far-flung municipality as…St. Louis. (Junior Circuit inhabitants had Kansas City to visit.) With transportation and communication so slow, you could not, as you can now, turn on your radio and go “aha, it’s still light out (or dark out and lights function!) in San Francisco.” Nor could you log on to MLB.com and go “oh, it’s still light in San Francisco, it’s not a night affair, but it’s in inning what?”

And today, you can. And I did. And it was not that day’s champion of duration; such an honor was to go to Colorado vs. Pittsburgh (14 innings, not 12). But–thanks to St. Louis’ marathons last campaign? a possibility to follow Giants during day? such a synchronicity of towns?–that was what I would follow along.

At this blog’s birth, I didn’t know what sort of stuff I would put up but “woo, sports talk!” But I think I was imagining short summary blurbs. “Around divisions: Manny quits, marathon matchups, odd occasions, and stuff.” That didn’t totally pan out–odd occasions, right, but not so much summary stuff. I don’t know what 2011 will bring, and it’s sort of hard to dig through six-plus days’ worth of information to find cool blog topics. But I’ll try to find out.

Not a parody

This is not a parody about how bad a month April is.* (It is also not an April Fools’ trick to point out how silly a month April is.)

April is a good month for starting to play sports in, although this is not a law or anything. If a March hoops thing can spill into April, so too can a sport that historically starts in April start in March. And if Australia was to host a division of pro play, possibly officials would say “no, starting in April will put lots of action in cold months, that is dumb. How about a plan that will put our finish in April? That’d work.” Why, football (not U. S. football, football in locations that wrap up playing football in May) wraps up in May in many locations. Um. As you just found out. But go with it.

This plan for 2011 had a goal of wrapping up so that our final two months will not contain any play. That’s okay, I think. For as July drags into August, you might not think too much about tacking on a final month (marginal worth and all). But in snowy months, thinking “Ooh, in March official matchups start! I can’t wait!” is a good twist.

This is also not a parody about how good or bad Friday is for starting a campaign. It sounds normal at first: don’t play Thursday, but do play Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday’s a road trip day as usual. Oh, you might say that your first day of play shouldn’t go too normally–bring out bunting and stuff!–but spring training is around to work out kinks. On day 1, you should hit your ground running.

And also, if you want to watch a parody about Friday, many URLs can show you such by now.

And this is not a parody about how good or bad 2011 is. For all that’s shown up in print (Bonds’ trial, Citi financial mishaps), and for all that April won’t automatically spark thoughts of “starting month!” now, most of this campaign still waits for us to watch and find out.

*Although I can put in random annotations anyway.

Non-lipogramatically (as several of you know by now), I have a Twitter account now; my latest Tweet will appear on the bottom of the sidebar. Feel free to ignore it if it’s not your thing, or “follow” EmberNickel if it is.