"I knew it was going to be a circus with A-Rod and the home run thing. I didn't come out and have a good first inning." -Brian Bannister
Ha. That's gotta suck. No one's there to see YOU. Until Arod hits that 600th, the opponent is 100% immaterial. Everything is. The whole game is just a stage for him, every at-bat is just another step closer to getting to Arod's at-bat.
Think about it. Every time he comes up, the pitcher gets tossed a special "600" ball. "Here you go, do your worst, but realize that with every pitch, you risk becoming the guy who gave up a landmark hit to one of the most controversial players of the game. What you do right now isn't important. It's what you don't do that is. Either you get him out or make him famous. And only the 2nd one means a damn thing."
To Bannister's "credit" sort of, he didn't let Arod take him deep, despite having a bit of history of it. On the 27th anniversary of the PINE TAR GAME, Bannister threw all his energies into just not being the guy who gave up the 600th. Mission accomplished.
Unfortunately for the Royals, the was the first and last thing he was successful at. In barely over 4 innings, he threw 85 pitches and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits. Conversely, our resident loose cannon showed admirable control, shutting out the Royals until the weirdass tornado watch became tangible inclement weather.
An hour and a half later, Gaudin was on the mound, (despite Burnett's pleas to go back out there) and the Royals were trailing by 4.
Cano's 3 run triple in the 1st came after BB loaded the bases (bad move). Posada plated him. "RBIs are special," he noted. Uh, yes. Yes, they are. I guess. (Who uses the word "special" like that?) THAT ribbie was special, because it was his 1000th. That makes sense. But saying ribbies are special is like saying Stolen bases are romantic.
Also, I love that AJ begged to go back out. It made me think of this game I went to in 2006 against the Mutts. A monsoon interrupted Mussina's 1-hitter game going on, and I was huddled with the rest of the left field bleachers for 53 minutes before the game resumed. (You don't realize how inordinately valuable it is to have alcohol in the bleachers now, until you think about games like that.)
Moose is pretty laid back and flexible, so the comparatively brief delay barely fazed him at all. Nope. He gets flustered if the game doesn't start on time, so bullets have left guns slower than Johnny OCD leaving that game.
AJ was on a mission. A redemption one. After slamming his fist into the lineup card (not slamming pies too hard, McCarver), he apologized to basically everyone in the free world to the point where you were beginning to think, "Wait, he's apologizing for the fist thing, right? That's all, right? Not the oil spill or middle eastern tumult?"
He got his win tonight, with 3Ks, 0BBs, 4 hits, and no runs. GOOD AJ! Controlled AJ! Not resembling a lit Roman Candle AJ!
The Royals only run came when Bettancourt drove in Betemit. More B names. It's annoying, KC. You gotta mix it up or you're gonna be like me when I insisted on making uber-specific themed mix CDs in college. Like "Moon Songs." I didn't even like half the songs on it, but if it had the word moon featurely prominently, it got the green light.
The Royals probably don't even like half the B-team, but they already had made the decision to focus their segmentation on that.
However, tomorrow's start is B-free. But he's also no stranger to homerun-giving-upping. Specifically, big homeruns.
Hm. A day game. 3 days before his birthday. Familiar pitcher. Home game...
It's gotta be tomorrow. If he doesn't do it tomorrow, then it'd be cool if he could do it either on his actual birthday, or on August 6 (against the Sox). Can you picture a better way to celebrate 600 than that?
Alright, I'm signing off for the night. The Natural-esque dramatics of the weather have ended, and it's time to go back to work.
My stupid ipod dock broke, and it is literally the only thing loud enough to wake me up in the morning. Without it, my only recourse is to pay someone to throw water on me in the morning, stay up all night to avoid not waking up, or sleep in the office because then it's impossible to be late for work.
Or do internet research on the loudest alarm clocks in existence and hope the 24hr CVS sells one.
My money's on me picking the most ill-advised option of the lot.