Doyle Update, Photos...
Time's limited, as is energy, since I had to get up extra early on a Saturday morning to drop my wife off at the airport, so I could spend the better part of a week without my better half to help manage my darn-near-5 year old. Thanks a ton to my brother-in-law, we were able to sneak into the front of the line at Cheney last night, where everyone was there to win the early 90's Dodge Caravan that they gave away in the first inning. Oh, and they happened to be giving away autographed baseballs, too.
Speaking of autographs, I took Joey (my kid -- I'm pretty sure you knew that) down to the Rainiers' dugout to mix with those kids and adults who happen to flock that general area about half an hour before game time. Of course, since we were in the gates early, there were only a few people down there until the players started coming out (upon which there was a near mosh pit type crushing going on). Robby Johnson put on his catching gear and ran right past the crowd. As did Cruceta. After all, they had much more important things to do (like, you know, warm up). I found it quite fitting that on the night that I'd kinda regretted not printing out a large copy of this picture that I'd intended to eBay to help our fellow bloggers USSM financially recover from their massive disintegration, it was none other than the guy who caused all the commotion in the first place who was the first to stop and sign autographs. Darn -- I really missed out on an opportunity to complete a cosmic, karmic circle or something.
Figuring it was somewhat OK to gab with him as he was signing his name to stuff, I asked Doyle how the shoulder was. He reassured us that it was completely fine. Considering he was starting the game in right field, it obviously wasn't too big a deal. A conversation I had with Bavasi during the game, too, reconfirmed that. As did the picture I shot just before the 8th inning:
In the second inning, however, we all booed pretty loudly when Doyle was smacked with a pitch.
Yeah, R.A. Dickey's a knuckleballer and all that, but I'm sure it hurt. Watching him over at first, he looked so angry you just knew he was going to steal second. Unfortunately, however, Dickey and Tom Gregorio had the same thoughts, and Doyle was thrown out at second.
I mentioned that Bavasi confirmed that Doyle's shoulder was OK. Yeah, he was there last night. I ran into him on the way to taking Joey to one of his many potty breaks. Joey was asking who this 'stranger' was that I was talking to, and I told him he was "the boss of the Mariners." I probably blew it by being hypocritcal with that whole "Don't talk to Strangers!" life lesson. But, hey, while I don't really know him, and he doesn't know me, Bavasi isn't exactly a stranger. He was totally into the game, yet still able to respond to Joey's incessant attempts to give him a high-5, simultaneous to answering my silly questions. And, no, one of them wasn't "Did my 'Bavasi losing Face' blog article inspire you to dump C-Rex?"
The R's took control of R.A. Dickey early on, plating 8 runs in the first three innings (4 each in the 2nd and 3rd). Cruceta pitched well, and showed much better control. As is typical at Cheney, the umpire had a very inconsistent strike zone, and he ended up with 4 walks and 6 hits in 6 innings. He just seemed a bit more poised on the mound to me, and while I totally spaced and didn't take a picture of it, he had lots of fist-pumping moments on K's to end innings. Looked a LOT better this time around than when I saw him last.
Robby Johnson had a great night (3-4), and little Oswaldo Navarro (I SWEAR I heard the Cheney PA announcer almost say "Asdrubal Cabrera" when he came to the plate once) hit a home run.
Nice to see the R's win one. A 9-2 victory is something you can tip your hat to:
Here's the photo album.
Plus, you know, my wife's out of town, and I've gotta keep at least 1/3 an eye on Joey.