Thursday, May 18, 2006

Game Update, 5/17

By Tiger Fan

Mizzou should really start paying me to attend baseball games. After last night’s 14-2 victory over Illinois at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, the Tigers are now 4-0 on the year when I am in attendance. Alden, if you’re reading, I’m sure I could rearrange my schedule if you are willing to fly me in for the Big XII Tourney. Call me.

On the Field

-Gary Arndt had quite a night, going 3 of 5 with a HR, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored. We’ll talk more about Mr. Arndt later.

-The outcome of this one was never really in doubt. The Tigers led 6-0 after the first inning and the Illini starter was only able to record one out before being yanked. I’m not an expert, but that makes for a gawdy 162.0 ERA by my math. Does it even go that high? Yikes.

-Nathan Culp started for the Tigers and was dominant in one inning he played. He should be ready to go on Sunday against Texas. In fact, the Tigers had a perfect game going through 3.2 innings and a no-hitter through 4.1. The only Tiger pitcher who looked less than stellar was Nick Admire – and he still played quite well, giving up just one unearned run even though the bases were loaded. The second run of the game was unearned after John McKee tried to kill our cheering section with an overthrow to first base after making an amazing stop at third.

-Illinois failed in its quest to record more errors than hits in the game. I believe the final total was four errors and five hits. So close.

Crazed Mizzou Fan Notes

The discussion of crazed fans pretty much has to begin and end with our five-person crew down the first-base line. Illinois seemed to have a heckler behind the plate early in the game, but he shut up pretty quickly when the Tigers jumped out to 6-0 lead. But we stayed loud throughout, particularly after we determined that this was going to be Gary Arndt Night. As the public address guy was announcing the starting line-ups, Arndt was standing right in front of us. So when they got to his name, we jumped to our feet and went crazy. He turned, laughed and had a brief conversation with Tiger Fannette (more on that later). That’s pretty much all it takes to win us over, so we gave him a loud ovation when he took the field in the top half of the inning and an even louder ovation when he came to the plate in the bottom half of the inning with two men on base. Arndt promptly hit a three-run shot to left, sending us into a frenzy. Needless to say, the tone was set for the rest of the night: Arndt was cheered every time he took the field and he responded with several solid defensive plays, two more hits, two more runs and several smiles, thumbs up and even a tip of the cap. I only hope that Arndt didn’t get too much crap from his teammates on the way home, but we thank him for playing along.

Seen and heard in the stands:

-After getting Arndt’s attention before the game, Tiger Fannette told the Tiger shortstop that she would cheer for him all game if he got her a ball (side note: He wasn’t able to get one for her, but he did hit a foul ball our way that wound up landing right behind us and bouncing away. As well as he was hitting, I’m going to assume he did that intentionally). Anyway, that led to this classic exchange:

Arndt: I’ll see what I can do… but I don’t know where the balls are. They might be in the Illinois dugout.

Fannette: You don’t know where your balls are?

**Awkward silence from everyone**

-Heckle of the Night goes to Born-a-Tiger’s girlfriend Carrie in a huge upset. There were lots of experienced trash talkers on hand, but Carrie threw down the winner when the diminutive Illinois rightfielder reached first base on a single and was chatting with the rather tall Illinois first-base coach: “I didn’t know it was take your son to work day.” Solid.

-I was a big fan of the addition of Stumpy Joe’s BBQ for Wednesday’s game. I strongly encourage the organizers of this series to pursue this in the future.

Irritating/pleasant Athletic Department Decisions

-Good work by whoever handles the tickets at the Wood Bat Classic games. Last time I complained the lengthy ticket line. No such problem this time as the box office was handing out generic tickets rather than individually printed tickets. Nice adjustment.

Probably being heard around the (Tigers’) water cooler today…

“Great game the other night Gary… but did you really have to invite your ENTIRE family to the game to cheer you on. Wasn’t that kind of embarrassing?”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Admire's run was unearned. It was a rough day, but one unearned run with bases loaded and no outs, That's not too bad.

Tiger Fan said...

Fair enough... I'll make the correction. Thanks.

Christina said...

Yeah, Gary had an amazing night and deserves every ounce of praise that's sent his way. He also has the Giants looking at him, which is great. But what about Hunter Mense? He went 4-5 with two doubles on the night. I'd say that's pretty good.

Born-a-Tiger said...

Christina,

Preseason All-Americans and members of the junior Olympic squad who hit .230 don't get much love around here...