Friday Gourmet, Wine & Angels: Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. Yuck.

Thursday’s game was an exercise in frustration. Josh Beckett was dealing but the Angels had a very few opportunities early on and couldn’t capitalize on them. Tyler Chatwood’s start was okay and would even be considered good if he hadn’t walked five batters, the last of which proved costly. The Angels could have scored more runs after Torii’s 7th inning homer tied the game up. Erick Aybar could have been content with a double. The bullpen could have kept us in the game. And the extra innings heroics could have worked out. The umpires also could have made better calls – not all of the close ones were bad. Dustin Pedroia was safe at home *resigned sigh*, but at third? Only if running five to six feet outside the base path to avoid the tag is suddenly Kosher. Oh well, that was the fourth run and didn’t matter. They would have won with three. Fans also could have been classy and not thrown money at Carl Crawford. Or, to sum it up another way, after the game, I decided that helping my husband snake the drain pipe for the washing machine was more enjoyable than watching the postgame show. But I still had high hopes for Friday when we would send Dan Haren to the mound…oh boy.

This week’s Friday Night Ritual (wine, gourmet for varying definitions of gourmet dinner and the Angels game) spread: triple mushroom risotto with pancetta accompanied by a bottle of Cypher Winery’s Peasant, a lovely take on a French field blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Tannat and Counise that tastes like plums and black cherries with hints of nutmeg, vanilla and anise. Making risotto was a therapeutic decision. After the tense extra innings drama and unsatisfactory result of Thursday’s game, I was anxious in the hours leading up to this evening’s game and, trust me, spending half an hour stirring, stirring, ladling, stirring, carefully judging texture and stirring some more is oddly calming. And it turned out well, if I do say so myself. Which was good because, the way this evening’s game went, starting it anxious might have proved fatal for the throw pillows.

Dan Haren wasn’t dealing tonight, which is bound to happen from time to time, and the rest of the team wasn’t backing him up consistently. Not with run support and not with defense either: a Wells bobble, Peter Bourjos with one highlight reel play and one blooper reel play, a Mathis passed ball and not a bloody one of them capable of hitting with runners in scoring position until the 8th inning. Not exactly a recipe for success. Okay, the safe call on Saltalamacchia at third blew goats, as did several others, and then he scored the first Red Sox run on the next hit. Demoralizing? Yes. But that was not a reason to fall apart for two innings. Bad calls happen. That’s baseball. So get productively angry and get the next guys out.

And yet, we still almost pulled it off. Timely hits in the 7th and 8th innings, and an equally timely Saltalamacchia passed ball – darned nice of him, really, after that call at 3rd 😉 – finally put the Angels on the board and brought us within one run of catching the Red Sox. Then, it was the ninth inning with you know who on the mound. Ugh. Hank Conger got a hit though. In a déjà vu moment, we had hopes that Howie Kendrick could stick it out through another battle and get a hit this time. Who knows what might have been if Paplebon hadn’t benefitted from such a generous strike call on the second pitch. Howie may well still have struck out…but he might not have. Oh well. Who knows what might have happened if the guys had settled down immediately after the botched call in the third, or if Bourjos made the catch instead of blowing it, or if Wells had made the other catch for that matter.

So, am I panicking or even particularly worried? No. It’s only two games. It’s April. They can’t win all 162 no matter how much I would like them to and even quality players will have bad days, sometimes all at once. Am I annoyed and kind of deflated feeling? Yes. I am tired of getting beaten by the Red Sox, especially when they are playing good baseball but hardly unbeatable baseball. We should have won this one. Oh well. At least the wine and risotto were good.

So, guys, can we go get ’em the next two games? Yes, their pitching is tough but this is hardly an impossible request.


  1. redstatebluestate

    First of all, I did a double take on reading the title… I saw the first letter of the title and then the last word and somehow smooshed them together and voila! Vulgarity! As for how to beat them in the games coming up, wear Cleveland Indians jerseys. It works!

  2. robsanto

    Oh, the Coulda – Woulda – Shouldas.
    It still amazes me how bad calls can sink a team for several innings, and bad calls (that go your way! – those happen too…) can be enough to get the bats going. You’d think a pro would be used to that… but on the field, they’re just too close to the game to take things philosophically.
    There’s an awful lot of fans out there repeating the same mantra – Thank goodness it’s April.

  3. invariablybaseball

    You had me at risotto. It’s paramount to Homer Simpsons “MMM Dohhnut.”
    Risotto was made popular in the U.S. by some famous chef in Boston. I was realy surprised you made it for dinner friday. About the Angels though, what can I say? Boston looked hungry on Wednesday and were bound to put some wins up on the road. Dont feel too discouraged yet though. Like you said its April, and you dont have the cursed offense my A’s have. Two nights in a row, shut out.
    PS: J/k about the risotto/chef/Boston thing.

  4. blithescribe

    Mark – Yeah, that was a brutal game too. Guess both our teams will have to rally and win today.
    Mike – Yeah, no kidding. Well, you know their opening week record wasn’t really how their season was going to go.
    Jane – Too many missed opportunities indeed. Hopefully they were just tired from the road and slept well last night.
    Jeff – Too funny. In any other forum, that would have been the word I used. Noun, verb, adjective. Darned useful word really, especially after plays like these. Regarding the Indians jerseys, yeah, no kidding. 🙂
    Rob – And we’ve had a few of those bad calls go our way too this season, ask the Jays, so you’d think…Oh well. That’s baseball and it all evens out.

  5. blithescribe

    Jon – It’s all clear to me now. I thought I was okay when I avoided that land war in Asia, but apparently I still fell victim to one of the lesser known classic blunders – never serve risotto when the Red Sox are in town. Yeah, the A’s aren’t performing to expectation yet this season. Like Boston though, I can’t imagine that what you’re seeing now is your season, it’s just a rough patch…which is welcome to continue until next weekend, by the way. 😉
    — Kristen

  6. blithescribe

    Catherine – No kidding. *sings* Rock-a-bye Red Sox, in the treetop… Nope. Doesn’t seem to be working. And someone seriously needs to stop playing the Keystone Cops theme music for our outfielders. Sheesh.
    — Kristen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s