Opening Day 2010: Blue Claws 3, Tsunami 11

Revenge is a dish best served cold, preferably around a stripper’s navel with plenty of greens to separate the sushi from the layers of Sam’s Club perfume. With this in mind John Danger Hirsch took the ball for the Tsunami on this 2010 Opening Day, intent on erasing memories of last year’s finale, a thorough spanking at the hands of the then-mighty Blue Claws, around about 22-3. Perhaps because he was uncharacteristically wearing a belt, perhaps because the color of his socks was surprisingly close to the spectrum of team colors, Danger looked the part of a new man from the beginning. Now while a cynic might say his smile was due mainly to the incredible luck of finding open service stations after midnight both the previous nights—no matter how run-down, beat-up, tunneled through and otherwise largely ignored by every other fixed-gear enthusiast the whole Mission-wide these stops may have appeared—the preferred view here is that Danger simply carried the smirk of the confident hurler, one who’d perfectly prepared his chemical foundation two weekends in a row, a hurler who knew the BCs were in for quite a surprise this go around, a man who knew that nobody or their brother cares to face an annoying lefty with three pitches to start a season. In any case, what can’t be argued is five innings of no-hit ball, seven Ks, only one base-on-balls, and zero regrets about Saturday night’s settling, er, choice for moonlight fueling. Keep it rolling, Danger! May the ghost of Whitey Ford guide you.

Oh, and there was some action at the plate, too. While Larson, Vazquez, Morton and Brill preferred to start the year off without raising any expectations, choosing to K and set the BCs up for a later-inning sneak-attack, freshly signed free agent Buestad decided to just risk a line drive to right in his first at bat and ended up scoring on Vazquez’s second-time-around double, a missile bathed in hot sauce sent screaming down the left field line that may have Coach Rowe’s significant other busy in the laundry room yet. Or at least the third basemen’s. Of course much respect was showered upon Larson for selecting to K again in lieu of a double play, keeping the bases splattered for the violent-swinging Vazquez’s Viking assault on the cowhide of a steer that clearly messed with his family.

Much appreciation was given to Coffman around the fourth inning for pointing out that the next person in a 3-ball count could move out of the way of a searing fastball, they’d get the base anyway. Only Dash and Abbott were disappointed to not have heard this earlier, both proudly sporting entirely unnecessary combat buttons after reaching 3-2.

Of course, just as any Tenderloin-appropriated Ziploc runs outs of contents sometime between the last coyote howl and the first rooster crow, Danger found himself out of bullets in the sixth inning, surrendering four consecutive lasers that reached a decidedly-suddenly perturbed and winded outfield (hey, they don’t call us Big Fat OF for nothing). Fortunately, however, Coach Everchill had a few tricks left in his own bag of goodies, immediately summoning Don Ratto from the hot corner to chuck heavy four-seamers at the Danger-adjusted lineup looking by now for loose breaking balls. Five more Ks, only two hits later, the Tsunami were headed to the 500 Club for an 11-3 victory celebration, even if only Abbott and Larson were able to attend. Word is they had no problem celebrating their accomplishments quite vocally, only finding resistance when often trying to heavily pat their own backs over and again.

Lost in the shuffle: Abbott, hitting leadoff, four vertebra fused together with public high school peanut butter, still managing a HBP (however unnecessary), BB, single, monumental foul ball, and sac bunt (again, however unnecessary, but you’ll find no judgment here!). Larson and Morton both avoiding season-opening sombreros despite the fastest two Ks possible. Ratto redefining clutch with two two-out , bases-splattered line drives for RBIs while the game was still tight. Brill remembering the size of his William Wallace before his fifth at-bat and turning the ball into an egg-white omelet the CF found on the warning track. Moreno tracking flies in right as smooth as Danger south of Market round 2 or 3 am Friday past. Dash picking it sick with the leather in his first Tsunami game, earning extra points for the high-degree-of-difficulty and perfectly-bounced throws to first, each seeming to hit the same sprinkler cover before landing softly in Brill’s big mitt. Fluffy handling a hot smash smoothly (okay, that sounds wrong) and throwing a dart to first, plus putting the best nickname league-wide into play. Chu tireless behind the plate, cannon-balling enough warm-ups down to 2nd, on the nose, that BCs stole 0 bags due to intimidation factor alone. Larson running just deep enough the wrong way into the gap before recovering to make slide-diving for an otherwise easy pop-up to left-center absolutely required. Buestad and Dash both ranging to the fence for insane grabs of foul balls In key spots. Larson teleporting from 1st to 2nd to take the team lead in SBs before fruitlessly diving a second time in center a few innings later. Rowe flawless in his signs and sent-runners. A huge net hanging over the batter’s box saving at least seven pop-outs. Best weather and field conditions we may have all season. Frankel attracting hordes of groupies as first-base coach with an attitude and an icepack under his wing. And a generally good time had by all.

Game Ball: Danger’s all the way. Please don’t get it dirty. We might need it later in the season.

More pictures from the game are here
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