Last night, I froze at "Whatever They’re Calling It This Year" Park in San Francisco in the hopes of getting an opportunity to see Eric Byrnes, even just as a pinch hitter. As my regular readers know, I don’t like the idea of Byrnesie being a pinch-hitter, but I figured the likelihood of his getting the start against Jason Schmidt rested somewhere between slim chance and fat chance. So I brought my binder of Eric Byrnes Pitch Count Reports along, in the hopes of being able to fill in at least one PA when Schmidt was done for the night.
But it was not to be. I got to see Jeff DaVanon strike out looking, strike out swinging, ground out to short, hit into a 4-6-3 double play and let an Omar Vizquel flair to center drop in front of him for a single. I know the faster, more aggressive Byrnesie would have grabbed it off his shoe tops. BTW, in his last two dozen plate appearances, DaVanon’s now 3 for his last 23 AB’s, (one hit was a double) plus a walk, 2 K’s, 2 runs scored and no RBIs. If I’ve got the math right, that’s a .130 BA, .167 OBP and .174 SLG. Can we say this hot hitter is not so hot anymore?
I got to see right-handed pinch-hitter Andy Green strike out on behalf of Jason Grimsley in the 7th. And yes, I did catch a glimpse of Byrnesie; he was sent to the on-deck circle for Johnny Estrada while Shawn Green was batting with two out in the 9th and the game already 10-2 Giants. (Can you say "out of reach"? I know you can!) I figure "Mechanical Mel" might have been throwing a sop to Byrnesie’s local posse. Green struck out and that was that. But if your eyes were pointed at the right place at the right time, you could see that Byrnesie looks good in the black uni. Too bad he doesn’t get to get it dirty more often these days.
Instead of Byrnesie, I got to see plenty of Barry Bonds. And one thing I saw was him not being able to run well. He hit a double that might have been a triple if hit by a faster runner.
Today Bonds didn’t play. It being the day game after a night game, and him being an injury-weakened veteran and all. But Byrnesie got the start and got an RBI single off a right-handed pitcher in the 4th. (Did you notice that, Mechanical Mel? An RBI Single off a righty?!)
In the 9th inning, the score was tied 2-2. And Randy Winn, who was playing LF instead of Barry, robbed Shawn Green of a double in left center with a great sliding catch that I listened to while walking the last way to work. Then up came Eric Byrnes, who entered this game batting .410 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI lifetime in "Whatever They’re Calling It This Year" Park, and he earlier had that RBI single. True Elation, which I define as a Byrnes multi-hit day with at least one RBI, was just a measly single away.
Eric sent the first pitch he saw from Giants closer Armando Benitez, another RIGHTY, screaming towards the left field bleachers. But Randy Winn, a former basketball player, made a great leaping catch, like he was crashing the boards. Winn later called it the best catch of his career. Hey Winn, didn’t someone tell you that the NBA playoffs are on another channel?
That was out number three. And right after the commercial break, Mo Alou hit the walk-off homer. I was still a block away from work when my hopes for an extra-innings Byrnes AB were dashed.
Winn robbed Byrnesie of a homer he really needed. His stats needed it; his ego needed it. Heck, I needed it. I’m still thawing out from last night.
If Barry had been playing left, chances are good he couldn’t have made the two great catches the fleeter-footed Winn did. A Byrnes 2-run homer would have made the score 4-2 and Alou’s solo shot would not have been the gamer.
Even without Green aboard, I’m thinking that Byrnesie needed that homer. Mechanical Mel is under some delusion that Byrnesie can’t hit righties.
Where’s Barry Bonds when you really need him?
Kellia " Winn, you stole a homer from Byrnes and True Elation from me." Ramares