You may have thought yesterdays playoff game in the Nations capitol was exciting, but only until you stayed awake long enough the next night. The longest game in playoff history gave the Giants a second win after 6 hours 23 minutes and 18 innings. The Giants behind by 1 run(1-0) after the 3rd tied it at the top of the 9th. So it went for 18 innings until Belt belted a homer and let us all relax a bit and prepare for the next exciting game of NLDS championship. World series play early in the post season, with each manager and player eyeing that World Series ring. Another great week of baseball to look forward to.
And now for the ladies view- Loran and I planned on touring the Capitol pre-game, however we opted to do what ladies do when they are exhausted we went and got our hair done. I arrived back just in time to get Bert and head to the ballpark. We took a cab this time to avoid the problem we had the previous day. I went in to the team store after waiting about 30 minutes in line to just get in to the store. Nats fans were buying things so quickly they were wheeling racks of apparel in as fast as it was going out the door. I then had to stand in another line to get to the register to get the stamp for the passport. It snaked all the way thru the store.. I will say it was a great place to watch a ball game even being a visitor. We were treated with respect, and all the Giants fans I spoke with said that any ribbing was purely in fun. The park had families with kids so I would say it was family friendly even during a playoff game. Also the fans love their Presidents Each game 4 presidents race to cheers from the fans. The even have a website devoted to the President’s races.
We were in 114 again and saw Mark and his brother again. They were behind us this game. Russ and Terri from the Giants front office were also there. Even having a fun time at a playoff game they make sure all the fans are happy. Russ even bought Bert a hot chocolate when in was late and he saw Bert shivering. They had to work after the long game, so our sitting in the lounge at the airport seems like a walk in the park.
Bert spoke to Ryan Vogelsongs wife about the travel aspect, and I spoke to her about her handbag. She has a handbag that I had eyed online, but it was to expensive. It was great to see it in person She was also good at leading the fans to cheer the Giants on. The game was incredible and I felt for Huddie pitching in the cold with a sore hip. I didn’t think he would make 5 innings, but I guess champs step up even when things seem impossible.
The Giants fans really do seem like a Giants family, and other than 18 innings and the longest game in baseball history I don’t have much to say.
After 106 pitches in 6 inning what can a manager do? The game was far from being decided and the relievers didn’t have it- 3 tried in the 7th to no avail. So it was with the offense as well. So a sweep- always a tough outcome, no matter who is playing- is unusual.
I guess we should not be surprised, when you only need to win 60% of your games to lead a division with 97 wins. So it is that baseball is a unique sport at the pro level. Do not despair.
And now for the ladies view- We met baseball junkies at the Hilton Garden Inn and spent an hour swapping baseball stories before heading to the stadium.
Sitting behind home plate is a rare experience, and despite being a sports junkie I have managed it twice, once from our banker, and yesterday from the generosity of two Giants fans we had not met until after they gave us tickets in the front row behind home plate.
Rick and Rene gave Bert an experience he had never had. He commented that it was a totally different experience to watch a game from that perspective. For me it made 1st base seem so much further from the plate. While waiting for the game to begin we met a fellow road warrior who had driven from Ohio to see the game. She will be going to games in AZ,SD, and LA
We met Eric who was security who gave Bert his Tigers “D” pin for his cap. He asked about a friend he knew from Giants security, but lucky for us we behave and have never met any of the Giants security staff.
We got this pic from someone who saw me on TV while we were at the game.
And of course everything is better when you are in great seats including the food. I had the chicken shawarma and Bert opted for corn beef. We both enjoyed them, but trying to score and eat something as messy as a shawarma was challenging, and chicken kept falling on my score book.
This is Paws the Tigers mascot. He/she seemed friendly and kids liked him/her.
What game would be complete without a photo of our favorite players? Buster is Bert’s favorite because he doesn’t have an inflated ego, is a team player, and he is good in the club house. I like Hunter because he isn’t afraid to do things his own way, he has an incredible work ethic, and he is a bit old school with his pants.
Bert and I continue to be amazed that anyone follows our adventure. I am especially amazed that someone my daughters age thinks what we are doing is cool.
My summary of Comerica is that it is a better than average ball park. It is a shame we had the bad experience the 1st day and guest services didn’t make it right, so i would say if you can afford great seats book them since the level of service is higher. Unique features such as the Tiger carousel and the baseball ride make this park a must visit. The lack of a true club level make it not in the same set as AT&T or PNC in Pittsburgh.
Bert and Le Anne
Labor Day! More beautiful weather for 8 hours of baseball, and for most of it good baseball would also be achieved. From noon on, an interview, then we were immersed in our favorite sport- all part of the 81 away gig. To start with completion of the suspended Rockies game, gave the Giants another W. 4 runs in the opening inning of the regular game,put us at ease, as we watched for the posted results of the Dodgers game. We the lead grew to -2 in the 5th, why worry? Except there was a 6th and 7th to be played, and we looked sloppy with 2 infield errors, but again why worry when we tied it in the 9th. Romo came in to close, and had two outs, when he gave the Rockies their winning walk off run.
And now for the ladies view- Well on a positive note we won the suspended game, we got to see Aspen from MLB, we met some great Giants fans,we had good weather and we made some new friends.
On the negative note we lost the second game, and it is one of the times when I really questioned the coaching decisions. I saw Tim Hudson was running out of steam, so with a 5 run lead why not give the rookie a chance, if he gives up a run then bring in Gutierrez, and finish with Machi. I believe that things would not have fallen apart if they hadn’t given up the lead. Instead you wait until the game is in question to bring in the rookie, and put undo pressure on him. In addition Romo had pitched well in the 1st so keep giving him the positive experience, rather than bringing him in for high pressure, must pitch perfectly situations. At least until he gets his mojo back.
We had enthusiastic Giants fans next to us for the 2 games. Carla and Eamon were almost as die-hard as Bert and I. It made the game enjoyable. Yesterday Jim, Henry, and Allen were shooting a documentary on our story pre-game, so we just grabbed a brat for me and a Rocky dog for Bert. There wasn’t much to say about the food. It was average ball park fare. We hope to have better fare today. We are headed to a nursing home now to give a talk on the 81 for 93 adventure.
Bert and Le Anne
Friday July 25th Road game 50
Ok. So 3 out of 4 after 2 out of 3 add up to a road trip of 3 games over .500. Keep that up and no plans need to be made for Oct. We will be busy with the playoffs and the World Series. In fact, Le Anne and I have already canceled a scheduled trip to Dublin for the 1st week of Fall. Taking a 3 game series lead comes next, with only 9 more games to play against the Dodgers. We are full of expectation and hope.
Game 50 (last Thurs) of the 81 away still left us at a 29-20(1 suspended) record for travel games this season, an enviable account. The last 2 Philly games were bot beautifully pitched by all 4 starters. A 3-1 Giant win matched the final game 2-1 loss for outstanding pitching performances. Eleven Giants K’s were the difference over the 5 Philly strikeouts. Only 3 hits and 1 walk were the total that both teams could muster in the last 4 innings. The relievers matched the starters in their outstanding performance. So, in SF, as our current travel stop the Dodgers, and then back east to NY for the Mets, the to Milwaukee, and KC.
Now for the ladies view. I missed Dylan and Amey at the game as much as I missed a Giants win to sweep the series. This road trip was a successful one, and I am already looking at gaining on the Dodgers. We got a text during the game from our” Daughter Outlaw”( don’t worry she chose the title) telling us Kruk and Kuip had us on TV in the 4th. They caught us eating lunch, and suggested we rate the food on our blog . Bert had the hot dog and chips and I had 1/2 a cheese steak and Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries with cheese sauce at the time. Kruk and Kuip mentioned Hunter Pence’s favorite- kale.In case they are still wondering we may eat kale at home, but not at the ball park. I was wrapped up in the game and trying to get back to my score book, so hurriedly eating the fries. The game was a bit of a disappointment with Hudson being let down by sloppy play from his team mates. We hoped that we would steal another from Phillies reliever Papelbon, but it wasn’t meant to be. After the game we headed back to the hotel in rush hour traffic, grabbed our suitcases and headed to the airport in the hopes of making an earlier flight. Even though Bert has status with American, and they have absorbed US air, the US air personnel were not helpful so we waited 5 hours in the lounge and ended up arriving home a little past 2 am. I started working on hotels for New York this morning and have the 1st 3 days taken care of.
Until Tuesday when we head to NY,
Bert and Le Anne
What began as a possible bad day at the ballpark, with 3 Marlin singles opening the 1st inning for a 1 run lead, soon became another possible laugher by the 4th inning, when our guys took a 5 run lead. But it was no to be.
As usual, the middle innings remained unproductive. A threat in our 8th, did not materialize. Affeldt did his job as set up man in the bottom of the 8th, and turned over a 5 run lead to who else but Romo. Romo is not used to being asked to save a 4 run lead. 1st pitch, a lead off homer by Stanton, and the lead was cut to 5-2. Two outs followed, but of course we couldn’t relax. A double followed by a single cut it to 5-3. With the tying run at the plate, nails got shorter, until Pence ran down a right field blast to close it out, and send us home victorious.
We began the adventure at the ballpark with a stop at the New Era store to get the passport stamped. The clerk at the front of the store was helpful and personally stamped the passport for us. He directed us to a new restaurant which just opened so we could have a cold drink while waiting for the stadium to open. We met a father and son who were Angels fans in to watch a game. We shared our story over a cold drink.
I wanted to walk the stadium, but also wanted to get an autograph. What a tough choice. We passed by the bobble head display on our way to the seats. Bert compared their Giants bobble head collection to his; they won.
I opted to try for the autograph with no success. Our seats were great section 10 seats 23,34. We had a good view of the plate.
Billy was by the dugout all night and posed for lots of photos
We gave the pepperoni pizza from Sir Pizza a try, and it was average and at $11 was small. We also tried the chocolate chip cookies. They made Bert’s hands a mess, so if you make this choice grab plenty of napkins.
We took the 1st to games, but Romos 1st pitch resulted in a homer. You can see with his lack of confidence comes a lack of joy, and I hope he gets his mojo back soon. Tim Hudson had another good start
Well Timmy “the Freak” is on the mound today and I feel a sweep.
Bert and Le Anne
Yesterday was an unusual day. In fact we played a double-header in one game. We saw two separate games in 10 innings. One was a 6 inning match in which both starters, Hudson and Desaigne ( the Cuban rookie who shut the Giants down in SF last week in his 1st major league game) Tim held the Padres scoreless until their 2nd and 3rd hits in the 6th. The Padres then tied the game. It was an exciting pitching battle for 6. Tim was over 100 pitches, the rookie 89, when the 6th inning required relief support.
We called on Machi. They brought in Torres and Quackenbush. The next game- also exciting every pitch of the way, went from a 1-1 draw, to a 2-1 Giants lead, then 3-2 Padres lead, and tied again by our boys in the 9th, until we took it all with a 5-3 win in the 10th. The Padres needed 5 relievers, and we used 4, with Romo getting the win, Casilla the save, and Thayer took the loss.
Most memorable of all was Pence’s lead off double in the 10th, preceding Belt’s 1st homer after his return, which I believe, was also his 1st hit since returning to the line up. Today we take the series, and drive home to our next “away games” in Oakland. We will still travel, this time using Bart.
Well now the ladies take on the game. We may be able to fulfill our promise to Larry Baer and continue to be a good luck charm on the road. I am still recovering from the whirlwind game of yesterday.
San Diego is currently the Giants home away from home, and we pack Petco. It appeared we had as many Giants fans as Padres fans, but that could have been because we were sitting behind the Giants dugout. As we left for the Giants game we ran into fans we met before. I think we met Joyce and Gary in Phoenix..
We also ran into a couple we had met in Pittsburgh. I have concluded that the Giants have a much stronger fan base than I knew about. I was in the business of selling MLB apparel prior to meeting Bert, and from that would have expected an average following. I was wrong. We ran into Giants fans at the stadium and in the stadium. We got remarks such as “I know who you are” “Aren’t you the ones from TV?” and “You are my hero”. For a simple fan this recognition is foreign. At least 12 people recognized us from Kruk and Kuip’s broadcast. I do realize how lucky I am, this has been the best year of my life. It would not be the same without Bert who has seen about everything baseball related, and can tell a great story.
We were in section 112 row 15 and seats were good. I was sitting next to a Padres season ticket holder. The only downside were people were up and down the aisle constantly.
Here was a good summary of food in the park. http://m.sandiego.eater.com/archives/2014/03/31/where-to-eat-at-petco-park-home-of-the-padres-1.php I opted for the tri tip sanswich. I thought the barbeque sauce was good but the meat was not the tender juicy barbecue I am used to. For someone who has lived in Texas I would say avoid.
In summary the game was a rollercoaster, the stadium was a good place to watch a game because the Padres fans didn’t seem to mind a Giant invasion, food choices were plentiful, and most importantly we had a win. We have another game to watch, and a long drive home, followed by a game in Oakland tomorrow. If we can get the series today, it will be a breeze.
Another day that was- but still one we could do without. We had a better than .500 road record, but the losing streak is trying hard to catch up. To keep ahead we have to reverse engines, and return from Phoenix with some smiles. We would have been better off if the thunderstorm hadn’t stopped and the tarps didn’t come off the field, for only a 20 minute start delay. We can’t even blame it on the DH necessary because of the AL home team. Their star pitcher Sale, maintained his 9.5 K’s per 9 innings with 7K’s( 6 of which were swinging) in 6 innings. Our usual late inning surge, made the game exciting, taking us from 7-2 to within 1 with the tieing run on base and none out. But is was not to be. We must reverse this weekend; of course we will!
And now the ladies view- Well I don’t know where to begin. We planned on getting to the stadium early and taking a tour of the front offices, if only the weather would cooperate. It was raining cats and dogs and we opted to wait until it was just plain rain and a hope that the game would go on. We got a break in the downpour, and went as fast as Bert’s legs would carry him until we reached the redline train. The train had lots of Giants fans and we all has high hopes that Huddie would be the hero and bring the boys from the bay back to their winning ways.
We met a couple of White Sox fans outside the club level and we talked about our trip. Our seats were in section 340 row 2 club level and so we knew we could escape if we had a rain delay. The white sox club area was in the upper tier of clubs with couches, TV’s and nice restrooms. Because we arrived just before game time we didn’t have time for exploring. Service at the club level was good except for no usher and we are spoiled at home by Helen ,our usher at AT&T park. She has our seats dry if it is wet, she finds us seats in the shade if it is hot, and makes sure we feel like family. Our seats were wet but the White Sox fans being veterans of US Cellular handed us enough paper towels to get the seat dry and we still had our St Louis towel to get them really dry.
It was lunch time and Bert had his usual hot dog and I opted for the waffle chicken sandwich dripping with syrup. This was a surprisingly tasty combo, but messy enough that I would advise eating it when you had time to sit at a table. The game gave me hope that the Giants will return to the wins and almost managed a great come from behind victory. I had to check out the lady’s room and as usual when I make that trip the Giants do great things. This time Perez got a hit.
While in the lady’s room I met a lady from Truckee named Melissa who was visiting her daughter in Naperville. She recognized me from Kruk and Kuip broadcasts. I returned to two men on base and the start of the Giants near victory. I got a text from my daughter telling me she was sick and she had a temp. Student health was closed so I googled an urgent care clinic and she said she would head that way. I put my phone in the cup holder so I could get updates from her about her health. After the game I wanted to get back to the hotel before the next storm and I rushed us out of the seats. We went down the elevator and ended up in the white sox offices.I decided to snap a shot of Bert by the desk and then by the 2005 World Series trophy and reached in to my purse. I ended up grabbing Bert’s phone and taking shots with it. I then went to snap a shot of Bert in front of the stadium and reached for my phone and realized I must have left it in the cup holder. I left Bert sitting outside the stadium while I dashed back inside and was escorted back to our seats by a nice guy from the front office who assured me I shouldn’t be concerned. We got to seats and no phone. At this point I dashed back to Bert frenzied about my daughter not being able to reach me. I sent a text from Bert’s phone to mine and requested that whoever found my phone please call Bert. One minute later a call from Melissa from Truckee who had seen that I left it and she had started to text my contacts. I was at gate 4 and she was at gate 5, so we met up and I was able to find my daughter had a virus but nothing to worry about. I gave hugs to Melissa and her family, and we beat the storm back to the redline.
We met more Giants fans on train,shared our 81 for 93 trip info, then dodged sprinkles getting back to hotel to get the luggage. I met one gentleman who worked at the Intercontinental and he recommended it for our next visit to Chicago. We learned we had a gate change and went from terminal B to terminal C. We had 15 texts regarding gate or delays while waiting for flight and ended up dashing back to terminal B only to find we had no crew. We met two interesting guys while waiting and got a chance to learn about a new site called hoteltonight.com and hope to meet up again on our journey. I am writing this on the plane and hope to make it to the hotel by 2 am. The lightning and chop have made for an interesting flight especially because I am looking at wings and watching them light up with lightning creating a charged light around the wings. We finally landed and made it to the Hyatt. This number game 34 and 35 of 81 trip is not for wimps.
Bert and Le Anne