Writing > A weekend of baseball

April 23, 2012: A weekend of baseball

Diablos Rojos del México 2 Pericos de Puebla 5
7:00pm Saturday April 21, 2012
Time: 3:11
Attendance: 2,979

Diablos Rojos del México 8 Pericos de Puebla 2
12:00pm Sunday April 22, 2012
Time: 2:42
Attendance: 2,939

I watched the first five innings of the Yankees-Sox game on Saturday afternoon, flipped over to watch the last three innings of Humber's perfect game, flipped back to see the Yankees get back to within one run of the Sox, and then had to leave to go to Foro Sol for the Diablos-Pericos game. I was kind of hoping that the days fun baseball would continue with a Diablos victory. But, after Friday's win, one that they didn't particularly deserve, things evened themselves out on Saturday. Ten hits, two Pericos errors and three walks all combined to create just two runs, both of which came in the late innings. Puebla made the most of a shaky fourth inning by Roberto Ramirez: he gave up a double to third baseman Alberto Carreon, hit second baseman Fernando Alejos with a pitch, center fielder (and former Marlin and Astro) Reggie Abercrombie singled, and DH Luis Suarez homered. Ramirez gave up the fifth run in without giving up a hit. He hit Abercrombie, who stole second, got to third when Suarez grounded to second, and catch Cesar Tapia sac-flied to right.

But, it was one of those games. A truly horrible home plate umpire, calling all sorts of shit for strikes (I was sat pretty much directly over him and pitches that would've plunked Prince Fielder's belly were being called strikes). Pericos short stop Francisco Lizarraga was ejected for arguing one of the calls in the third. My favourite moment of the game, though, came in the top of the ninth: Pericos left fielder Eliezer Ortiz comes up with runners on first and second, no outs. He pops up a bunt to the fast approaching third baseman Oscar Robles who spots the runner way off first, and the first baseman not particularly near the bag, so he runs across to first himself. Unassisted double play.

I don't often have the time or desire to go to all three games of a series, but it was nice to do it for the first time this season. Sunday's game started at noon, which seems awfully early, but it was a nice sunny day, and a couple of friends and I had organised to go and sit in the concrete bleachers beyond left field. Tickets behind the infield, where I normally sit, are 70 pesos (US $5.30); tickets in the left field bleachers are just 10 pesos (76 cents). It's the first time I've sat in the bleachers at Foro Sol, and the first time I've been in the bleachers since watching a Yanks-Jays game at the old Yankee Stadium in 2007. It's a pretty nice experience. Not many people around, but nice sunshine, a couple of Modelo Especials, and it's fun to watch the outfielders more closely. And, refusing to sit down, nervously leaning against the metal railing above the outfield wall just along from me was a ballhawk kid. It made me happy to see the first home run of the day fly past him, and an older dude snag it off the stairs. I'm not a fan of ballhawks.

The Diablos got off to a good start, something of an oddity this season. Runner on base, boom! Carlos Valencia two-run home run in the first. Runner on base, boom! Leo Heras home run in the second. A couple of beers in the bleachers, four Diablos runs, and my pals arrived, but a mix-up over which section we'd be in was my good fortune. I'd forgotten to bring sunscreen, and my arms and neck were roasted. Spent the rest of the game back in the shaded infield seats. A well-pitched game by the Diablos. Arturo Lopez gave up two runs in the fifth, but apart from that, zeros all the way. The Diablos had a big eighth: four hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, and it was 8-2. Which is how it ended. Interestingly (..?), eight of the Diablos' 24 outs game from batters grounding out to the pitcher.

Total attendance for this Friday to Sunday three game series was an incredibly depressing 7,877.