I went to the game Sunday with my sister, with tickets I bought her for her birthday. Despite getting inside the park 10 minutes before first pitch–would have been sooner if the pounding sunshine agreed better with the digital ticket scanners that had to read confirmation codes off phone screens–we made the critical mistake of trying to get food beforehand, so the White Sox were losing 2-0 before we sat down in the fifth row of the center field bleachers.
While waiting for a garishly large chicken parmesan sandwich, I spied James Shields on the monitor striking out Adam Jones with a 2-2 curve, and thought he might have some of his sharper stuff Sunday. This was a misleading observation.
It was not until a later portion of the game, upon checking my phone, that I became aware that Manny Machado had three home runs. The bleachers are mostly appealing for their inexpensiveness, and it’s fun to see the outfielders move and respond to contact, but the distance from the plate makes it very easy for the game to become a faceless wave of Orioles hitters effortlessly swatting home runs into the seats; which it became by, oh, the second inning. One of them was clearly Chris Davis, what with his exaggerated uppercut, which produced a ball that seemingly went as high as it did far, one of them was clearly Machado, who was to say that two of the others were Machado? It had shifted from “let us watch a baseball game and hope for good things” to “let’s drink beers in the sun and chill” before Shields left the game, and he threw 1.2 innings.
I didn’t actually miss a historical baseball moment at a game I attended due to complete ennui, I just almost did. I have made peace with it.
“JUST YOU AND SPANKY, TRADE EVERYONE ELSE,” hollered one importing/exporting enthusiast a couple rows behind me to Tim Anderson, after he slapped his one hit of the day. Given the events of this day alone, it could be seen as a reasonable proposal if one of the principals was switched. Jose Abreu collected three of the Sox four hits and finished a triple short of the cycle. His opposite field home run in the sixth, and the hope it provided that his power stroke has returned is probably the only events of the day I would recommended making a semi-permanent memory. Adam Eaton, on the other hand, struck out three times, but did make a leaping catch at the wall to stop the Orioles from getting six home runs.
Dylan Bundy struck out the side in the first, threw ridiculous stuff all afternoon long, and briefly provided dreams that I would see a perfect game, or 25 strikeouts, or 37 strikeouts, or some sort of memorable moment of ascent of a great young pitcher that I would retell later with exaggerated details due to both hubris and sunstroke. But no, he just pitched well.
Whatever, it is over now and we are still alive.
Team Record: 53-58
Next game is Tuesday at Kansas City at 7:15pm CT on CSN
Lead Image Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki // USA Today Sports Images