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So Katie headed out on her Girl Scout camping trip late this afternoon. After we dropped her off, the rest of the family headed out to Schaumburg where we visited Play It Again Sports and acquired a softball catcher's mitt. Katie can use this when she is catching this fall. (We measured it against Gretchen's hand, which is approximately the same size.) The rest of the team is welcome to use it when they are catching. We'll see how this goes tomorrow during practice.

This was followed by dinner at Olive Garden, which was quite good, although Julie ate very little of her kids' meal, but substantially more of breadsticks and chocolate milk. Nothing goes together quite as well as a garlic breadstick and chocolate milk, I guess.

I went back to work to try to hunt down a bug that has -- in the absence of the person who has complained about it -- completely vanished. *sigh*

And I followed the end of the Cardinals game on the ESPN website. The Cards were leading 11-3 going to the bottom of the eighth. They were leading 11-8 going to the bottom of the ninth. Then they gave up two runs to the Pirates without the Pirates actually having to get a hit. Happily, the Pirates did not get a hit before the inning ended, and the Cards ended up winning 11-10.

I understand that there will be a new pitcher in the bullpen tomorrow, yesterday's call up (who was largely responsible for the five runs in the eighth) having been sent back to Memphis tonight. I feel rather sorry for him.
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In the top of the news, the Cardinals have won eight games in a row and find themselves in a virtual tie for first place in the NL Central with the Cubs.

In other news, no one on the North Side of Chicagoland is speaking to me. :)

I have backed up the critical files on the studio computer preparatory to reloading the OS. After doing that, I discovered that the Windows 10 Creators Update has a new feature that will reload the entire OS, boot out all of the installed non-Windows applications, and leave your files intact.

I am, nevertheless, happy to have spent the time backing up the files.

But think about it! An OS that is so wonderfully stable that it now comes with its own built-in option to reload itself to clean up the trash that it's left lying around while leaving your files intact.

It's sort of the neutron bomb of operating system functions.

Windows 10 -- what an OS!

Ah, and we had the first serious softball practice for fall ball today. It went very well. Yay!

And Katie got her hair cut much shorter today.

That's the news. Time for bed!
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Looking at the baseball standings for the NL Central, I am rather surprised to find that the Cardinals are in second place, only a game behind the Cubs -- two in the loss column. In fact, the Cubs, Cards, and the Brewers (who are in third, two games back) all have the same number of wins. This is to the Cubs advantage, since they could win the games that they have in hand, but the Cardinals are still much more in the race than I thought they would be at this point.

I guess we'll see what happens.
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Softball being over for a while, I ventured down to Wrigley Field to see today's Cubs / Cardinals game. Normally, I would go to the Sunday night game instead, but the softball league's family swim party is tomorrow night. (Hmm. Ok, softball not quite over yet. :) ) It was a good game, but sadly, the Cardinals lost as the manager left Wainwright in just a little too long, followed by yet another bullpen meltdown.

Ah, well. It's not like I have very high hopes for the Cards at this point, but you never know what will happen.


Jun. 7th, 2017 08:51 pm
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The Cardinals bullpen has cacked up another lead in the late innings.

I'm thinking this is not their year...
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Look at that! While I have been running around trying to get things accomplished, the baseball season seems to have started this afternoon.

The girls are now in bed, so it is time to go see the end of the Cubs/Cardinals game. :)
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Is that I don't have to watch them play the Cubs in the first round again.

Game 1 Friday against two teams that I would be happy to see Cubs smash. :)

I would also be happy to see the Nats smash the Dodgers who were of no help whatsoever against the Giants this weekend. I'm not sure they're healthy enough to do it though.

We'll see...
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The Cardinals won tonight on a two-out double by Yadi Molina that almost certainly should have been ruled a ground-rule double, leaving runners at second and third with two outs. However, the Reds didn't manage to notify the umpires that they were interested in challenging the play in time. The folks on MLB Network are making much of the unfairness of this.

On the other hand, I saw the Cubs beat the Cardinals on a walk-off walk to Anthony Rizzo where ball four was clearly a strike, so I think I'll just call this even...
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The Cardinals moved into a three-way tie for the two NL wild card spots last night.

Sadly, they lost badly today.

Happily, the Mets lost too on a great game-winning home run saving catch for the final out of the game.

And the Dodgers are leading the Giants early.

Fingers crossed. :)
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Today was the longest day of the year, as the calendar flipped over into summer. It was also the first appearance of the Cardinals at Wrigley Field for the year, so it was a fine day to go down there and watch a baseball game.

Happily, the Cardinals won. This makes very little difference in the current standings, but it was nice to see them win at Wrigley for a change. :)

Sadly, the free shuttle bus to the remote parking is worth every penny that I paid for it. It took me fifty minutes after the game to advance to the corner of Addison and Sheffield; it was over an hour after the game ended when I finally got on a bus. Many people were behind me. (I suspect that many people joined the line nearer the front after I finally managed to make my way to the end of the line. They need much more line control than they actually deploy, given the space that they're trying to line us up in.)

And, of course, it's always pleasant to spend an hour or so ten feet away from a couple of fellows who were making up for not being able to smoke in Wrigley Field. *sigh*

But the Cardinals won, so...
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Let me start by saying that the Cubs played a good game.

Now, I have been going to Cardinals games since 1964, but I have never attended a Cardinals playoff game. And since they were playing the Cubs and I was able to get playoff tickets due to having had Cubs season tickets for over 20 years, it seemed like the time to do so. :)

If only Mike Winters, the home plate umpire, had not decided that the lower third of the strike zone was the sole possession of the Cubs pitchers. A Cardinals pitcher might throw the ball there, but it would not be called a strike. And since the wind was blowing out, down was where you wanted the ball to be.

But instead, the Cardinals were forced to throw the ball up, because Mike Winters was not only unable to call anything resembling the rule book strike zone for the Cardinals, but he also happily called a much more normal strike zone for the Cubs pitchers.

The results were about what you would expect, as the Cubs set a record with six home runs and won the game 8-6.

It is possible to win a game when you are the victim of an umpire like Mike Winters. But you have to be a much, much better team than your opponent to do so. And as banged up as they are, the Cards can't manage that.

I understand that this will sound somewhat like sour grapes. But if you're interested, here's the strike zone plot for the game.


(Note that the Cardinals were given some outside strikes up in the zone. That is, however, not where you want to be throwing the ball, because if you miss "up", the ball has a nasty tendency to leave the ballpark. *sigh*)
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The ISFiC Press book for this year's Windycon is at the printer. And there was much rejoicing!

Although they dropped the first game of today's double-header against the Pirates, the Cardinals won the second game and have dropped their magic number to zero, clinching both the NL Central division and the best record in the majors.

There was also much rejoicing about this. :)


Sep. 28th, 2015 10:13 pm
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Oh, man.

I am just a little bit of a Cardinals fan. Thus, I was very happy last night when Jake Arrieta and the Cubs managed to take at least one game of their series against the Pirates. This helped, given the way that the Cards closer, Trevor Rosenthal, had blown up in the ninth inning earlier that day, as it brought the Cards magic number down to four.

So the Cards/Pirates game was on TV tonight, which meant I was going to end up watching it. And the Pirates found pretty much every possible way not to score.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, were using the classic method for not scoring: don't hit.

And so it came to the top of the ninth inning and the Pirates closer came on in a 0-0 game. With one out, Carpenter singled. Then Jay singled, and Polanco and McCutchen mishandled the ball just badly enough that Carpenter scored from first to give the Cards a 1-0 lead. Then Reynolds homered. 3-0.

Out to the mound came Rosenthal.

And he gave up a leadoff hit. And a walk. So now the tying run came to the plate.

And there was a strikeout, a mid-deep fly out, and a line out to the first baseman.

That would be three outs and an exciting save.

The Cardinals magic number is down to two.

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Given the opportunity to reach out and -- if not wrest the first wild-card spot from the Pirates, then at least to get asymptotically close to it, the Cubs have instead dropped the first two games of this critical series at home.

They have managed to clinch the second wild-card spot, backing into it when the Giants lost last night, but it would be nice to be seeing a bit more carpe diem out of them.

It would also be nice to see the Pirates lose some games, because a three-game lead for the Cardinals remains uncomfortably close, especially with Carlos Martinez going down with a shoulder sprain last night.


Cubs Lose

Sep. 23rd, 2015 11:38 pm
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I went down to Wrigley Field tonight hoping that the Cubs might clinch a share of a playoff spot before the night was over. It didn't happen, as they lost 4-1 to the Brewers.

On the other hand, I've learned as I yell at the screen when the Cardinals are playing that every team has a night when the bats go cold.

In other Cub-related news, the Cubs management really needs to figure out how to handle line management for the Rockwell shuttle when there are 30,000+ people at the ballpark who are not leaving way before the end of the game. When you're in line (having fought your way there through the crowd) and the line doesn't move forward at all as four buses leave, this suggests that people are joining much closer to the head of the line than to the end.

What we have here is a failure to queue.
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After a brief reversal of fortune for a few years, the AL has resumed dominating the All-Star Game, winning tonight by the score of 6-3.

The last NL manager to win an All-Star Game was Tony LaRussa, who wasn't even an active manager any more. *sigh*
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I had tickets for tonight's Cubs/Cards game down at Wrigley, so I headed down (a bit later than usual) and arrived about 20 minutes before the first pitch. I'd forgotten to grab my bottle of soda as I hurried out the door and I wasn't particularly hungry, so I just settled into my seat to watch the game.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a collection of dinks and dunks for the first two runs, followed by the rarity of back-to-back triples for the next two runs. This didn't last.

The Cubs scored twice, then three more times on a bases-loaded double that somehow resulted in Molina being thrown out of the game. I'm still not sure why.

The Cardinals wriggled out of a jam in the eighth, so it was 5-4 Cubs going to the top of the ninth. Two outs were quickly recorded, but then Carpenter drew a walk, and Peralta hit a two-strike liner into the left field bleachers to give the Cards a 6-5 lead.

The Cards then retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth on a couple of nice defensive plays, Rosenthal gave up a two-out double to Russell, but then struck out Fowler to end the game.

It rained pretty much from the second inning on. There was a bit of heavier rain at the beginning, but it then settled down to a playable, if constant, mist. Personally, I suspect the early rain knocked a possible Peralta homer down to a fly to the wall, but how would you know?

Mist, however, didn't seem to keep the last ball he hit in the park...
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I had made plans to go down to Wrigley tonight with Gary Ehrlich, who is in town for a conference.

And then, contact with the enemy happened.

First, I was a watering, sneezy mess, pretty clearly a head cold and not allergies. I took an Actifed to dry things up a bit, but I felt pretty punk. I suggested to [ profile] daisy_knotwise (who had gotten up early for the cleaning lady this morning) that maybe she could go to the game instead.

It was not a lack of enthusiasm for seeing Gary that was a problem on her part; it was the same damned cold.

And then the Cubs canceled the game on account of rain. It hadn't actually started raining, but the forecast was for abject misery, only to be compounded by the shortage of urinals at the park.

I am looking forward to going to a game with Gary some other time.

Almost any other time will be better. :)

Cards Win!

Oct. 7th, 2014 09:06 pm
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I was working this afternoon on a bunch of code that I'm cleaning up and following the progress of the Cards / Dodgers game sporadically on my home computer and my smartphone. When the Dodgers scored twice in the sixth to take a 2-0 lead, I was worried. But it was also 6 PM, so I decided to knock off and go watch the end of the game on TV.

And the Cards failed to score in the bottom of the sixth. But in the bottom of the seventh, a single up the middle by Holliday that was just out of the reach of Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, followed by a line single up the middle by Peralta on a ball that just ticked off Hanley Ramirez's glove, was then followed by a three-run homer by Cards first baseman Matt Adams. And the 2-0 deficit was a 3-2 lead.

The top of the eighth was pretty straightforward; the bottom of the ninth less so, but 3-2 was the final score and there was much rejoicing in St. Louis.

Next up: Giants or Nationals.

The Cards are seeing a lot of those teams in the postseason (as well as the Dodgers).

I think there's a reason.
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I am foolishly watching tonight's Cards / Dodgers game. (I say "foolishly", because the Cards only did well last night when I wasn't paying attention.)

So far, that luck's holding, because the Cards trail 2-0 and have only one hit. On the other hand, the hit was in the most recent inning, so maybe the luck is thinking about turning around...


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