Roll the Dice, Toughest Job, Painted Pestano
Here’s how to best describe the 5-4 TinCaps win at Parkview Field Saturday night:
Having performed as Arvide Abernathy in Guys and Dolls at White Plains Middle School in sixth grade, let’s just say I’m the definitive expert on Guys and Dolls. Or not.
However one verse does stand out that really fits yesterday’s game:
“Lets keep this party polite
Never get out of my sight”
The first line: In the ten games the TinCaps and Loons had played prior to last night, half of them had been decided by extra innings. Just one blowout, a 10-0 TinCaps win on June 28, in the entire series. However, close games can bring strong emotions, with both teams constantly feeling like they can win. In the last series between Fort Wayne and Great Lakes, which took place at Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan, TinCaps’ pitcher Luis De La Cruz, along with Loons players Angelo Songco, Jose Dominguez and Manager John Shoemaker (twice) were ejected from ballgames. Not polite. Songo has since been moved up to Advanced-A, and De La Cruz didn’t pitch last night. It was a clean ballgame.
The second line: There were multiple lead changes in Saturdays’ game.
The TinCaps went in front 1-0.
The Loons leapfrogged Fort Wayne 2-1.
Fort Wayne tied the game at 3 in the fifth inning.
Great Lakes took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth.
The TinCaps tied it at 4 in the bottom of the sixth.
Finally, Fort Wayne won, on a three-base throwing error by Loons catcher Pratt Maynard in the bottom of the eighth.
Never was the game out of sight for either team.
Tomorrow on the blog: How the lyrics to Rent’s “Seasons of Love” is really just about bullpen pitchers passing time during games in which they don’t pitch.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, Mike Gallic recounts how he scored the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday night:
BASEBALL’S TOUGHEST JOB
As part of a fantastic series being done by The New York Times on the job of the catcher in baseball, David Waldstein chats with Yankees catcher Russell Martin in a piece called, “A Catcher Masters the Mind Games Within the Game.” After watching the TinCaps’ Austin Hedges get run down yesterday in a big collision at home plate, the job seems difficult enough. When it comes to having to deliver signs to the pitcher, it doesn’t get any easier:
“Sometimes, I’ll put a sign down and the pitcher doesn’t see it,” Martin said, “and I’ll put every sign down possible and then it’s like: ‘O.K., I just put every sign down. Time out. Let’s talk this over.’ “
And still pitchers and catchers can cross signals. When David Cone pitched for the Mets, he once threw a fastball to catcher Rick Cerone, who thought he had called for a breaking ball. Cerone was unprepared for the velocity of the pitch, and it rammed him in the chest, knocking the wind out of him.
When Girardi was catching for the Yankees, Pettitte once confused him in the bullpen, where the pitcher calls the pitches. Pettitte signaled he was about to throw a curveball, then started talking to the pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. When he did fire the pitch, it was a fastball, and it hit Girardi in the shoulder.
At times, confusion has caused a pitcher to throw a fastball down the middle while his catcher is standing, expecting a pitchout.
For the more sophisticated pitchers, there is the A.B.E. code, for Ahead, Behind and Even. When the pitcher is ahead in the count, the desired pitch is the first sign the catcher flashes. When he’s behind in the count, it is the second sign. When it is even, like 1-1, it is the third sign of the sequence.
I promise, no more than two consecutive days of Bob Ross-themed items here on the blog, but I just happened to come across the Twitter account of Cleveland Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano, who uses this photo as his avatar:
Well done, sir.
An additional note on Ross, by the way–he taped his show right here in Indiana at WIPB, the PBS affiliate located on the campus of Ball State.
“From 1983-1994, WIPB produced the international sensation, THE JOY OF PAINTING, with host Bob Ross. The soft-spoken Ross taught viewers to transform a blank canvas into a beautiful landscape scene, often including “happy trees,” in less than 30 minutes. WIPB is proud to present this popular program in syndication.”
Thanks to Brian Schackow for the info.
Steve Miller Band…take it away!