Last night was going to involve baseball, interwoven with studying for a test and creating a presentation, one way or the other. I was fully intending on watching Daisuke Matsuzaka make his Fenway debut (only for that to become The Felix Hernandez Show with his one-hitter), but instead, my buddy Greg managed to land free tickets to the RiverDogs last night.
It was an easy decision to go to the game, my first of the year. We sat in Section 102, on the first row, right down the first base line, directly adjacent to the Dogs’ bullpen. I enjoy sitting near the bullpen as I have a fascination with the art of pitching, so that was a real treat.
With my glove, I was also charged with saving the family of about 8 behind me from any foul balls that may fly in our direction. One landed a few rows up, but that was it for the fouls — generally, they find a way to avoid me.
One of my favorite things to do at the game is to have them take my speed readings with the radar gun. Again, this is an odd quirk of mine — I always like to know how fast I can throw, despite the fact that I have not spent a moment on anything resembling an organized baseball team at any level.
I threw a total of 27 pitches last night at the gun. The fastest I registered was 54 MPH. Sad, especially considering last August I was hitting 70 consistently (which is actually quite amazing considering how scrawny I am). Needless to say, my shoulder hates me right now. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to stick to websites or something. :)
As for the game, the RiverDogs beat the visiting Asheville Tourists 5-3 doing it the good ol’ fashioned way, with good, timely hitting and excellent pitching.
It was a fun night, and hopefully a sign of the summer to come.