Friday, August 8, 2008

John Armstrong and Baseball

Wednesday I sat with my friend John Armstrong and two of his friends as we watched the Giants beat the Braves, 3-2 at AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum provided the pitching highlights, scattering 5 hits over 8 innings in winning his 12th of the year. It was his 13th start this year following a Giants loss. I think this qualifies him as a stopper. He struck out eight, including the entire side in the 8th to a standing ovation.
John is an ordained minister who lives in Chicago and is a lifelong Braves fan and provided all the necessary info on his team. He even answered my attempt at a Braves trivia question: who is the only Brave to make the All-Star team his first three years? The answer isn't Henry Aaron. It is catcher Brian McCann. Braves disappointment Chuck James was on the mound, bringing a 9.91 ERA to the game, and John promised a double digit game for the Giants. I explained that the last time the Giants scored 10 runs in a game was against their wives in a celebrity softball game. The first inning seemed to ring true as James let two runs score. He only lasted four innings, allowing 3 earned runs, so his ERA dropped slightly. Brian Wilson closed it out for the Giants with yet another save.
A good crowd, almost a sellout, was on hand for what seems so commonplace these days. A midweek day game on a getaway day seems so short and to the point. With planes to catch, neither the teams or the umpires goof around. The game lasted only 2 hours, 14 minutes, but with arriving two hours early for batting practice it was a full day. The highlight of the day for the Braves came when Jeff Francoeur threw out Fred Lewis at the plate after he tagged up on a fly ball. John and I heard it on the radio - in the men's room. Oh, well.
All in all, it was a great day, one I will always remember. Thanks so much John, Don and Tyler for the memories. Box Score

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