A Very Strange Day

Yesterday definitely pegged the weirdness scale. I am not sure I can really explain it. It was kind of like going all day long and then finding out when you were getting ready for bed that you had been wearing your shirt inside out all day and nobody said anything. You’re not sure whether people were just being polite or if you were just so strange that the general population decided it was best that they left you alone. That sounds a little paranoid but like they always say, “just because your paranoid doesn’t mean somebody is not out to get you.” Yesterday should have been a joyous occasion. The Diamondbacks were returning from a 5-1 road trip through the National League West having taken series from both of their closest competitors. They were atop the divisional standings and just a couple of games away from having the best record in the National League. They would be showcasing their best minor league prospect Justin Upton in his Chase Field debut. And they were facing the last place team in the anemic National League Central division. What could possibly happen to damper this night? That’s a question I should never ask.

On paper the Diamondbacks should crush the Pittsburgh Pirates. The problem is they don’t play these games on paper. The game started well enough with phenom Justin Upton hitting his first major league triple to left center. I thought Chris Young was fast but I think Upton is even faster. The enthusiasm of the sparse crowd was lessened in the fourth inning with Micah Owings fell apart. From his Derek Jeter impression on a bunt where he threw the ball to Justin Upton in right to the Pirates hit parade it was a nightmare and it just kept getting worse. Stephen Drew had two errors in the game, one on a throw and one on a catch. Eric Byrnes may have been suffering with a case of writer’s cramp from signing that big contract as his glove quit working dropping an easy fly ball giving Pittsburgh an extra out. Chris Young not wanting to be left out decided to run up on a fly ball only to see it fly over his head to the center field wall. At times I could not tell whether this was a major league game or the losers bracket of the Little League world series qualifier. And with the Diamondbacks tanking a game while the Padres were in route to a win over the St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona’s lead would be down to a single game for the divisional lead. I sat in the stands thinking it couldn’t get any worse. At that moment I was proven wrong once again when the game paused to celebrate Barry Bonds hitting home run number 756 off Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals. I use the adjective “celebrate” loosely as the crowd resoundingly booed the entire time the clip showed on the JumboTron. Despite this accomplishment Bonds continues to polarize the baseball community. Regardless of what you think about Bonds or his ethics you have to recognize the longevity and dedication he has shown to reach this milestone.

The Diamondbacks game ended with the home team on the short end of a 3-8 loss. The one bright spot on this dismal performance came from Justin Upton who showed flashes of what makes him a special player. Besides his first triple, Upton also hit a laser line drive over the left field wall for his first major league home run and a double to the base of the center field wall. He was a single away from hitting for the cycle in his first home game for the Diamondbacks. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning he came to the plate and hit a bullet up the middle that was grabbed by Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez who threw Upton out at first ending his historic bid. Who could have imagined it would be a single that would stand between Upton and hitting for the cycle in just his fourth start in the majors? Yeah all that was lacking last night was a full moon and a werewolf and from the looks of the guy sitting a couple of rows in front of me we might have had the werewolf.

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