Over the course of 162 games there are bound to be a few that you would just as soon forget as a player or a fan. I think tonight’s game against the Florida Marlins in Miami would classify as one we would all just wish never really happened. It started off with a 34 minute rain delay which anyone who owns a Tivo knows is really bad. Not the rain so much but the time delay. Tivo uses the timeframe set by the network to determine when to begin and end recording. Introducing a 34 minute delay meant that the game would probably not be over when Tivo stopped recording. In the case of tonight’s game that might not have been a bad thing. This may have been Tivo’s way of sparing us the pain and misery of a 14-5 clubbing by the fish. The problem is that the most interesting part of this game was the final inning with infielder extraordinaire Augie Ojeda became the third position player in Arizona Diamondbacks history to pitch in a regular season game (can you name the other two?)
In a strange series of events I was not at home to watch this game on television. As a father of school age children this time of year is filled with meet the teacher, curriculum night, and back to school conferences. Trina has accepted “going to a Diamondbacks game” as an acceptable excuse when the team is in town but she draws the line when they are on a road trip. This is probably my fault since I used this exact example in order to justify the purchase of a Tivo so I guess I’ll have to live with those consequences. I truly thought that Tivo would work for this scenario, I just didn’t take into consideration the rain delay factor.
As we returned home from a night at the high school where I had to shadow my daughter Tiffany’s schedule (high school still sucks even after a 25 year absence); I immediately went to the computer and pulled up the box score. Something definitely seemed amiss. No it wasn’t the fact that pseudo-starter Byung-Hyun Kim lasted 0.1 inning and 17 pitches. That according to my daughter was pretty much a given. No the first thing that struck me was that Chris Snyder began the game catching, moved to first base, and ended in left field. How in the world did our starting catcher end up in the outfield? This required some more research where I found that Conor Jackson began the game at first base, moved to left field, and ended the game at third base. Conor Jackson at third, what happened? I moved further through the box score and saw that Mark Reynolds began the game at third but moved to second base. Mark Reynolds played second, what the heck? Augie Ojeda began the game at shortstop then moved to second base and ended the game pitching. Whoa, what was that, Augie Doggie pitched? My head was spinning at all of this and I was getting pretty animated there at the computer. I rushed to the family room and grabbed the remote to the Tivo queuing up the game that had recorded. Arg, a rain delay! I fast forwarded to the end and found that the game stopped recording in the seventh inning. This was not good at all. I flipped back to the Tivo menu and noticed that the Diamondbacks post game show had also recorded. I crossed my fingers and hit the play button. Sure enough the game continued where it had left off. Unfortunately the post game was only scheduled for 30 minutes so the recording ended in the bottom of the eighth inning. This totally sucks and I was getting pretty frustrated. At that moment I noticed the record light was still lit on the Tivo. I flipped through the menus and found that it was recording the post-post game show. I tuned in to watch as Augie Ojeda retired the side in order to mercifully end the 14-5 beating. After the game the announcers spoke to catcher Miguel Montero.
“He was dealing, I mean what do you want me to say? He was pounding the strike zone. He had pretty good run on the sinker, he threw a pretty good changeup. I mean eight pitches, three outs, three easy outs. He said call whatever you want. I said, ‘You can throw breaking balls?’ He said, ‘I can throw whatever you want.’ He was waiting for me to call the curveball, but I never did.”
Who would have thought that the utility infielder would have the best command of any of the pitchers who threw in tonight’s game? Maybe it wasn’t Kim that the team needed at all. What they really needed was for Augie Ojeda to be given the chance. He can work out of the bullpen and from what I saw tonight he is just as much of a starter as Kim. I say give him the ball every 5 days, it’s not like he is going to be any worse than Kim or Kennedy has been since we got them. Oh and to answer the question posed above, the first two position players to pitch in a game were Steve Finley and Mark Grace. Gracie’s performance was the most memorable as he not only pitched but he did an awesome impression of Mike Fetters. It was classic. The best thing to do is put this game behind us and hopefully get the bus back on track after a 2-day derailment.