Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gimme Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Last night was HurdAudio's first time attending a National League ballgame in this still unfamiliar geography. It was the Colorado Rockies versus the LA Dodgers at Dodger Stadium where Jeff Weaver pitched a complete game shutout in just two hours and thirty-three minutes. I was impressed with his delivery style and the precision of his timing as he settled into a steady groove of 9 strikeouts. I don't understand why the Rockies hitters didn't try to do more to break up his rhythm. There's some talent on that cellar-dwelling team (Roy Holliday in particular) so I suspect they will improve in future seasons. Injuries have played a major role in the Dodgers fate this year as they've lost too much talent to make a good run this time around. The NL West is a strange division this year with the Padres sitting on top even as their record fluctuates between losing and an even .500 mark. Dodger's Stadium is an older ballpark from the 1960s. It felt smaller than other parks I've been to. The sound system isn't integrated into the structure like it is at Safeco Field or Angel's Stadium. Instead, an imposing stack of speakers projects into the stands from just beyond center field. The modest crowd was fairly low energy but did manage to erupt appreciatively whenever a run was scored in this lopsided 7-0 victory.

An elderly vendor selling ice cream noticed my Mariners ballcap and stopped to talk about the Seattle he was born and raised in and how much he'd love to see that ballclub win a championship during his lifetime. This was completely consistent with the relaxed energy running throughout the experience. Getting outside and watching this game played competitively is always a pleasure.
The angle was also new for me this time around. Sitting at field level right at the foul pole on the third base side the metallic mesh seemed to tell a story of decades of games and batting practices through a series of baseball-size indentations. Foul and fair balls would frequent this part of the stands allowing me to watch the professional defensive work of some major league outfielders up close. There were no homeruns in this particular game.

The evening chill that crept in early let one know that the regular season is winding down with the end of summer. Hopefully there will be some local playoff games to attend this year.

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