I stayed up late and watched the Diamondbacks game vs the Padres. I don’t expect a lot to cheer about this year, but baseball is funny. It’s one of those games that takes a long time, and it seems like not much happens. When it does, it can be spectacular. Last night was one of those nights.
Zack Greinke is an aging superstar pitcher. The fan boards all complain about how we’re paying him too much, etc. I’ve seen it too, the reduction in velocity, but there’s been an adjustment in trickiness.
His opening day start against the Dodgers was a disaster. There have been a few of those over the years too. Last night wasn’t one of them.
During the off season, Manny Machado landed what was then the biggest contract in baseball history. His record lasted a few days anyway. It was the Padres that gave him the big money.
The first inning looked like another sub-par performance for an aging pitcher. I’ve been watching baseball since the 1960s, and I’ve seen it before. Greinke is a professional, and somehow he managed to shake it off.
By the time he left the game, he’d struck out ten San Diego Padres. A stellar night by anyone’s standard, but wait there’s more. This is the National League, and they play real baseball here. This means pitchers have to bat just like everyone else.
Greinke hit two home runs last night, and the first one had two guys on base ahead of him. While this has happened over the years, it’s a pretty noteworthy event.
Bonus, it was Machado who struck out to end the game. Greinke, our starting pitcher, now has more homeruns in Petco Park than Manny Machado who calls it home.
Machado is a bad dude all around. His antics in last year’s World Series are pretty memorable. Trying to step on the first baseman’s ankle to injure him, and possibly change the outcome. Failing to run when he hit the ball, because he assumed it was a home run and wanted to showboat.
Last night he stepped on our catcher to prevent him from fielding a fly ball, then dropped his bat before the man’s feet intending to trip him so he might drop it. It worked, our guy failed to make the catch. The umpire called him out for interference. It was sweet.
So today, I’m not firing on all cylinders. I got up late. My critiques need attention, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get there today.
Do I regret not forging ahead with one of my stories? Not-one-bit, to be honest with you. Last night was worth it. It may be years before I get to see something like that again.