Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. Angels - The Holy Ichiro Catch

So, today's game wasn't so exciting if you were rooting for the Mariners, I suppose, unless you were just rooting for Ichiro.

Fortunately for me, I decided to go down to the game with the intention of rooting for the Angels. Actually, my main objective in the day was to get a bunch of the Angels to sign my big blank Angels logo poster that I got last year down at Angels Stadium. So I showed up at the park around 5pm; got a ticket (wheee! BECU Family Night means it's only $10 to get a ticket in View Reserved), and then I watched the Angels' batting practice.

I stood around with a couple of other people who were also wearing Angels shirts. I even actually was wearing a Washburn shirt. Some guy came up to me and gave me a 2005 Angels schedule. The other Angels people and I stood around calling out to players as they went by... "Garrett! Hey, Mr. Anderson...?" "Hey Kennedy! ADAM! Mr. Kennedy!" Unlike the Oakland A's players, who all came by to sign stuff, the Angels mostly ignored us, or they'd make motions like "gonna bat first, then maybe come over", and very few of them did come over at all. There was a kid in a wheelchair on the field, and a bunch of players signed stuff for him, but that was about it. Scot Shields came by and signed stuff in general for a while, so I got him to sign my poster.

Ah well. After that I grabbed dinner quickly, and then went off to the bullpen to take pictures of Ryan Franklin and Jarrod Washburn warming up.

Bullpen Warmup Pictures

Oh man, Jarrod Washburn is my official new Angels crush instead of Brendan Donnelly. I mean, I kinda knew I liked Washburn, I'm always kinda partial to lefties and he was such a dominant pitcher a few years back. But damn, seeing him from only 5 feet away made me realize that he's also incredibly cute. There was something just really endearing about him; he seemed to be a little unhappy with his warmup throws and he kept muttering, "dammit!" under his breath. He has crazy deep blue eyes.

(The other people watching at the bullpen were like, "Oh, look at this girl, she even has a Washburn jersey on.")

Anyway, even just re-looking at my scorecard is a bit depressing. There was one major Mariners baserunning blunder in the first inning, where what was intended to be a double steal of Winn stealing second and Ichiro stealing home turned into a third strike and a rundown between first and second base for the third out. The Mariners managed to get a guy on third twice more after that, but never were able to drive them in.

The Angels, on the other hand, were having a pretty good day off of Ryan Franklin, who seemed to be having issues locating the strike zone. The worst is that he gave up two home runs, to Anderson and Finley, which isn't unexpected, but the problem is that both of them were 2-run homers because he'd either walked someone (Anderson, for Finley's) or hit someone with a pitch (Cabrera, for Anderson's). Actually, Cabrera got hit by pitches twice in the evening, once by Franklin and once by Mateo.

Ah, but wait. There was one major highlight to the evening.

The catch.

The "HOLY ICHIRO" catch.

The... the I'm not even going to try to explain it. Anderson hit what threatened to be another home run to right field, except Ichiro ran to the back wall, got a foot on it, climbed up, and caught the ball a good foot or two above the top of the wall. It was beautiful. It was acrobatic. It was... ah, just go look at the game report and watch the clip where it says "Ichiro steals a homer".

You see, everyone could come out happy in some way tonight. The Mariners fans got to see Ichiro make a spectacular, amazing catch, which will be talked about for weeks to come. And the Angels fans could watch some superb pitching and hitting from their players. And I got to see Jarrod Washburn and Brendan Donnelly pitching.

So, it was all good.

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