That Was a Good Game, Wasn’t It?
Sometimes, you don’t realize just what you’ve seen until after you’ve had a chance to reflect on it a little, after the emotions of the moment have passed. The Tides – Durham Bulls game of Saturday, July 9, is a good example. The Bulls won, 11-8, in thirteen innings. The game lasted over 4 and a half hours, so we weren’t able to leave Harbor Park until after midnight. The game lasted that long because Tides’ relievers Jeremy Accardo and Mark Worrell blew an 8-3 lead in the top of the ninth, so we were all pretty disappointed in the outcome. The Tides committed five throwing errors – four by Josh Bell – so we were pretty disgusted.
But over the next day or so, I realized that I was drawn into the baseball of the last four innings, paying closer attention to the game than I had in a while. In fact, it started in that top of the ninth – even if your home team is blowing the lead, it is still interesting to watch a team come back from a large deficit. In the bottom of the ninth, the Tides’ first two hitters singled, and the Bulls’ relief pitcher stranded runners on first and third. In the bottom of the tenth, the Tides leadoff batter singled and was sacrificed to second, but he advanced no further. Meanwhile, Tides’ relief pitcher Josh Rupe retired the Bulls in the tenth and eleventh on a total of ten pitches. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Tides got a one-out single; that runner advanced to second on a wild pitch. In the top of the twelfth, the first two Bulls singled and were sacrificed to second and third. The Tides brought the infield in, and it paid off when the next batter hit a groundout and the runners were frozen. And then, of course, the Bulls broke the tie in the top of the thirteenth.
It’s hard to explain to non-baseball-fans why I enjoy the game. I wish that those non-fans could have seen the last five innings of Saturday’s game. Even if they don’t know the intricacies, I can’t believe that they wouldn’t be drawn into it.