Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's not sports.... it's Baseball!

So HurdAudio made the multi-county trek to Anaheim last night to watch the Angels complete their late-season 3-game sweep of the Texas Rangers. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are seeking to cement their ticket to the post-season and if they manage to go all the way this year I suspect all the other teams will look into changing their names in the off season as a good luck mechanism. The energy was noticeably different from last week's outing between two teams that are well out of contention.
This time I watched the game perched just above the "batter's eye" (that dark green backdrop that allows the hitters to see the contrasting white balls coming at them at 90+ m.p.h.) in center field. The fountains and geysers in the "A" rock formation to my right kept an aquatic element in the overall sonic environment. The fireworks that accompanied the national anthem, celebrated homeruns and the win were launched from the fountain area and were astonishingly loud when observed from such close proximity. The smoke, smells and enthusiasm of the crowd following Bengie Molina's insurance home run to straight away center (at the base of the fountains) in the 7th inning is the kind of thing one goes to games to experience.This is the second time I've attended a game where rookie Ervin Santana has been the starting pitcher. He seemed to get off to a rough start -- throwing over 40 pitches in the first two innings and giving up two runs in the process while Edison Volquez threw just 15 pitches in the bottom of those same innings in frames lasting less than 3 minutes each. But Adam Kennedy came through with a big night. Once things were turned over to the Texas bullpen there was a steady stream of pitchers with terrible Earned Run Averages (11.25 ERA in the majors? Really?) handing out walks and giving up runs. The Rangers rely on their above average offense to overcome such miserable pitching so the key to beating them is to defeat that part of their unbalanced game plan. Though I must say Alfonso Soriano made some amazing defensive plays and is perhaps the best second baseman I've ever seen.Rooting against the Rangers seems instinctive so a 7 to 4 outcome was a pleasure. The bell would toll one time for each run scored at the conclusion of every productive offensive frame as Texas was rung up. The Angels have already won another one tonight against Tampa Bay (now they have a 7 game winning streak) and the Rangers have beat back the nearest rival (Oakland) to open up a 4 game lead. Nice. HurdAudio will have to take in the amped up intensity of a playoff game.

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