I got an instant message from a co-worker at about 2:00 saying a friend of hers had an extra ticket for tonight’s Angels-A’s game. Yes, even though I had made the 80-plus-mile round-trip to Anaheim for games Tuesday and Wednesday, since my rule is to never turn down a last-minute baseball invitation (especially when the ticket is free), I made the trip again.
One storyline in this game was that it was Dallas Braden’s first start after his perfect game last Sunday. He needed to retire the first three batters to break Catfish Hunter’s A’s record of 29 consecutive batters retired — and Braden retired only the first two. The game did become a pitchers’ duel, with Braden battling Joe Saunders, and with the difference being the Angels’ big 6th inning.
Both pitchers went the distance, just as in the Angels-Royals game Levi, Jason, and I saw last May in which Zack Greinke went up against Joe Saunders. Same result: a complete-game win for Saunders.
Let me highlight this fact: Joe Saunders has pitched exactly two complete-game shutouts in his major-league career. I have seen both of them live.
Finally, almost two months after the promotion started, the Pepsi iTunes caps have shown up in Los Angeles, so I no longer have to risk a Big Gulp spilling in my car in order to try to win free music.
Even though I didn’t try to cheat by tipping the bottle to look under the cap (because I don’t want to get banned from 7-Eleven), I won a free song on my first try today. With it, in honor of this trip and my unintentional namesake, I purchased Joe Cocker’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Catfish”…
Even Billy Martin grins
When the Fish is in the game
Every season, 20 wins
Gonna make the hall of fame
Yes, there is going to be a “baseball songs” playlist available on my iPod on the trip. Right now it’s almost entirely filled with the tracks on both of the Rhino Records “Baseball’s Greatest Hits” compilations. I also already have “What Bothers the Spaceman?” by Mono Puff, as well as a certain song that’s playing during a current “Sportscenter” promo, which is no doubt one of Dan Rivkin’s favorites. If anyone has other baseball song suggestions, pass them along. Extra points for naming songs available in the iTunes Music Store.