Last night was one of those rude nights where life interrupts baseball. The night started at the apartment of a Neanderthal friend, whose simple hunting and gathering lifestyle has prohibited him from getting a TiVo. Fair enough, but the ridiculously exciting Warriors were going to be on at the same time as the Bonds-less Giants, and we had tickets to a concert. It was going to take some juggling.
The first thing was to set priorities. Getting a good look at Noah Lowry was the first unspoken goal, as I've had a few of these Attention Deficit Theater nights with said Neanderthal and remote. After that, the idea was to strike a balance. The Giants made it very easy on us, scoring six runs with Lowry pitching very well. The focus started to shift to the basketball game. I was yet again pleased with the new Edgardo Alfonzo -- TrimSpa, baby! -- and the pop shown by Jason Ellison. Lowry was cruising. Perfect.
When Lowry finished the sixth inning close to 100 pitches, it made sense that he wouldn't start the seventh. He had a six-run lead, and it was only April. Why stretch him now? Answer: because there are times when Alou is assbat crazy, and making sense isn't a priority. You could almost see the wheels turn in Alou's head, right after Scott Eyre hit Preston Wilson with a pitch. "If Eyre is only good against left-handed pitching...that must mean... he isn't good against right-handers!" He raced to the dugout steps with a comically labored, "noooooooooo", but was unable to stop the pitch to Matt Holliday. It was thumped into left, driving in two and bringing the game within a single run. Alou could deal with that. As he was about to make the switch, he looked at who was warming up, and had a Burns and Smithers moment with Dave Righetti.
Righetti: Uh, Tyler Walker, sir.
Alou: I thought I told you to warm up Hoyt Wilheim and Rollie Fingers!
Righetti: Uh, we don't have any of those players, sir. Actually, they both retired a long time ago.
On the other channel, Baron Davis is flipping balls behind his back, and Mikael Pietrus is hitting three-point shots as if he were a CGI creation. The Warriors were playing one of the best teams in the league, and keeping up with them.
Flip back. Walker is looking in to the catcher, trying to salvage the remains of a six-run lead.
Flip to the basketball game. People are doing backflips, sliding across floors. Balls are flying around, grown men are crying, and a sold-out arena is foaming from the mouth, trying to will the Warriors to their highest peak in just under a decade.
Flip back. Walker is shaking off the catcher, trying to salvage the remains of a six-run lead.
At this point, I don't want to see what happens if the Giants blow the game. I'm recording the game at home, and if they win, heck, it'll be fun to watch. Quickly back to the Warriors, who are just heading into a timeout. There's still time to see what happens with Walker. We didn't see the homer, but just saw the 8-6 score in the corner, with Krukow intoning, "Yeah, this is hard to believe". Whatever basketball buzz I had, the Giants are, and always will be, my first priority. The buzz vaporizes. This bullpen was going to age me, leaving me looking like a leathery 60-year old who fell asleep for a few years at a Miami beach.
The Warriors win, and we get to watch Vizquel bring the Giants within a run. At this point, we've stretched the night of sports out long enough, and needed to get to the concert. I had no problems fast-forwarding the eventual loss when I got home. While at the concert, technology started to whisper in my ear, asking if I wanted a forbidden apple in the form of internet-accessing cell phones. I hate spoiling games I'm recording, but I have to know. The cell-phone starts thumping in my pocket like The Telltale Heart. The score was right there. My friend had a quicker phone, and, as he was TiVo-less, had no ethical problems getting the score. After some stressful delays, he screamed. It wasn't a ring finger-in-the-car-door scream. It was a good one. The Giants won, and by the score, we knew it was a walk-off homer.
What a game. Everyone I had written off played a role. Jason Christiansen was a five-pitch wonder to pick up the win. Pedro Feliz started the rally off with a walk. Marquis Grissom hit the home run. Writing a daily blog about a sports team is so, so reactive. Every decision somehow is played as if it is the Cuban Missile Crisis. Every bonehead play or great pitching performance has to be indicative of something larger. That's just the way it has to be. Sometimes, however, you have to take the wrong and embrace it. Take the wrong, and just rub it about your face and torso like a fuzzy kitten. Revel in it.
What a game.