Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Wacky Wednesday at RAP

Baseball is one of those games you can watch for years and years - and yet regularly, see something you have never seen happen before in a game. Wednesday night at RAP with the Seals hosting the Edmonton Capitals was just one of those occasions.

With the Seals batting in the bottom of the first inning, Jamar Hill was announced as the 3rd hitter of the night. Before he gets to the plate, Darrell Evans walks down from third and engages home plate umpire Azeem Jessa in a heated discussion that brings the rest of the field crew over. Hill takes a seat on the bench, and Capitals starting pitcher Kris Honel is left to keep throwing warm-up pitches for the next 8 minutes while the discussion rages.

Eventually, the argument subsides and the game returns - but not before Evans returns to the Seals bench, and then storms back toward Jessa for some last comments. At this point I'm thinking he's been tossed, but he continues past the umpire crew to his spot at third base, and Hill takes the plate for his AB. A couple innings later, an announcement is made that the Seals are playing this game under protest. If that isn't odd enough, leading off the second inning for the Seals is the pitcher, Issac Hess. Again, I'm thinking are we that hard-up for a DH that we're letting Isaac bat for himself? And in the 6 spot no less...

Sitting behind the Seals dugout, word begins to filter out as to what has happened. It seems that the lineup card submitted by the Seals inadvertently contained two Right Fielders and no DH. New Seal Gabriel Riley was supposed to start in RF, with Pedroza acting as the DH - but both were listed as right fielders. Once Pedroza batted in the first, the Capitals brought the error to the attention of the umpire, and the Seals could do nothing but remove Riley from the game, and use the pitcher to bat in his place.

Confused? Yeah try figuring it out while it's happeneing right in front of you. And who says nothing interesting happens in baseball! It could have been a critical error however, as twice the Seals had bases loaded, 1 out, and the pitcher up. Both times they struck out, and no runs scored in the inning.

Some other interesting observations from the game (and there were plenty to choose from):
  • When I was parking, my car said it was 32c. When I got back to it, it was still 28c. That's a warm night at the park! Not a breeze to speak of either, but the heat made considerably better by the Vitamin Water samples that were being given away throughout the night. Great day for that promotion!
  • The scoreboard looks great - except that it was hammered in the pre-game warmup, and the second inning score lights were out. Perhaps if you're going to mount a $400k scoreboard in the power alley, a protective screen might be a good investment...?
  • Mini doughnuts rock!
  • Isaac Hess, in his second at bat, had all of the Capital infielders right on the front edge of the dirt, the same way the fielders come in close when a girl is up in slow-pitch. Hess laced a ground ball to where the 2B man SHOULD have been, and drove in 2 runs. He went 1-4 on the day with 3 K's, but it was great to see his reaction standing on first after the hit.
  • Good fun in the bottom of the 8th when pitcher Ethan Katz was at the dish. He fouled a liner into the Seals dugout that rattled around and got everyone off the bench. As the next pitch came in, the whole team including the entire coaching staff was ducking for cover behind the dugout fence - including on-deck hitter Wilver Perez.
  • For once, I have no issues with Carlos Duncan making an error at third. I liked the guy a lot, but I don't miss the E's at 3B.
  • Man, Walter Young (Capitals DH) is huge. After getting plonked for the second time in the game, he took the inside route to first, and was walked along by the ump, as well as by catcher Matt Kavanaugh. Had Young snapped, it would have been a scene out of "When Animals Attack", with Kavanaugh caught between a momma bear and her cubs.

In all, a great game. Awesome to have Hess back at the park. He was in command most of the night, only giving up earned runs thanks to 3 opposite field hits by the capitals. Timely hitting, beautiful weather, and a good crowd on hand (just over 2400).