(that’s today’s game, I know it’s hard to tell)
From the time I got home until about the time I normally leave for the park, it rained and occasioanlly rained very hard. I don’t live that far from the park, and saw the “groudns crew” untrap and set up the field last time out. It seemed to me that there was no way this one was starting on time.
WRONG. I showed up five minutes before the game started, and they were ahead of schedule if anything. Peoria games are huge to the Cougars – they’re easy sell outs with all the people willing to spend much money for a Cubs logo, and I guessed they wanted to make sure everything started normal. (WRONG again, but that was a bit later.) The field was taken care of, though the seats were all wet and even had a bit of standing water in the aisles. It’s a warm enough night that it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is having a pencil if you want to keep score, and I’d forgotten in the car. It occurred to me a little later that I forget the ticket window probably would’ve had one with their scorecard, but by then I decided just to see what I could see without tying myself to a pencil for a few hours.
Besides the usual Ryno appearance, the big news was Scott Eyre being with the Chiefs on a brief rehab assignment. In a few days, he’s going to be a slight roster headache for the Cubs, but today he was ruling the single A bullpen, chatting with all the Cubs youngsters who wanted to pick his brain. I had thought, due to the earlier rain, they might just have Eyre start so they were sure to his inning or so in, but apparently that wasn’t the plan.
Would’ve been a better one than the one they had. Jose Pina, making his second start with the team, had no control, had no help from the defense and was yanked after 8 batters and 2 outs. (Something in the 30 pitch rang too, and since he only went 2.0 last time out, he must be a low pitch count.) Mueller replaced him and really wasn’t much better. Larry Cobb touched him for a home run to straight away center, as long as I remember seeing in that park, and Cobb’s not a big guy.
Anyway, the Cougars were on pace for a nice win, something needed after a mediocre start to the 2nd half. The sky was really sunny to start the game, then got a little cloudy, but there seemed to be sun just on the other side of the clouds. Except, by the bottom of the second (after a really long first), that sun disappeared. “HMMMMM”, I thought, and took a look at the weather radar on my phone. A big wave of red weather was suddenly heading our way from the northwest. I did the reasonable thing. I got up, walked over the concession stand, and got myself a hot soft pretzel. (and it was the best one of the season, because it was actually SOFT.)
By the time I got to my seat, the 2nd had finished, and after the usual between innings shennagings, the PA guy made an announcement to the effect of “We’ve been told severe weather is on the way in 20 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to get to your cars RIGHT NOW. And now, the third inning.” It’s really hard to take such a warning seriously when they just keep on playing baseball, and there seemed to be plenty of people figuring it must not be so bad if they’re not pulling the players. But the players have a dugout, there’s no cover over this stadium (yet), and I had my weather radar, so I was getting out of there.
I briefly considered doing exactly what they suggested – going to my car, hanging out there for the storm, and then going back in the park once the delay was over. But I gave it another thought, and realized hanging out in a parked car alone during a thunder storm to see Scott Eyre pitch was not the way to go. There are plenty of times I’d take the lightning over seeing Eyre pitch, I’m not sure taking both is the best idea.
The storm’s going on right now, outside of my window. It was as severe as promised for a while (hail!), and now it’s just loud and off in the distance. If I knew they’d resume the game, I think I might drive back and see if I could sneak back in. But since i can’t figure that out, I think I’m going to stop writing this post, and start watching some AAA or playing some Burnout.
Update: they just suspended the game. Yay for not staying.