Jim Deshaies: Back in the dome when you’d get free beer if Mike Schmidt struck out. That’s the only one I’ ve ever heard targetted at an individual. Foamer night at the ballpark. Probably can’t bring that one back.
Bill Brown: Yeah that’s not too workable today, and that’s a hit into right field.
Bottom line: Foamer Night mention! Not this blog, of course, but the historical phenomenon, and that’s good enough for me. I hadn’t heard mention of the Foamer Night being tied to a particular player, that being Mike Schmidt as quoted by J.D. I was under the impression that a particular half-inning was assigned, or maybe a pitch or a batter. The idea that they might’ve picked out one player–and one as likely as Schmidt to take a mustache ride around the four bases–would take the whole affair to another level of 70s greatness.
And the kicker is that they were referring back to another conversation that they had a previous night about the sudsy tradition from the old Dome days!
It was a good night to reminisce, as there were myriad technical difficulties on the TV side, as Milo Hamilton must have kicked out a cord or twelve up in the media booth. In short, there were no commercials. Somewhere around the middle of this match-up between the Astros and the hapless Cubs I thought I sensed a change in the rhythm of the TV broadcast. Like the cut scenes to between innings were oddly long, and the two talking heads who normally arrive at the end of the game were talking to me in the middle. Shows how carefully I was listening to the audio when only at the end of the game did I learn that there were massive problems here and in St. Louis, and Mrs. Miggillicuddy in 14B couldn’t get her stories either. How’s she supposed to fold laundry without her stories?!
The game was a blowout, which the Astros have proved capable of every now and then. Jason Castro hit a three-run home run. “Castro homered!” said my wife to me, I being in the kitchen preparing some organic chicken. Dang, I thought, but heck he’s a good young hitter especially for a shortstop and hopefully I won’t take too big a hit on my fantasy team when Bud Norris gives up a few early runs. He’ll settle down. When I popped into the living room to see the play, I realized it was Jason! His first home run in twenty-seven years of organized baseball! No, it was actually his first home run of the season and his first since 2010.
The swing was solid, and it was nice to see him turn and get his big body into a pitch and pull it into the left field seats were a Cubs fan in a cowboy hat missed it and fell back first into the unforgiving–and empty–seat behind him. Matt Garza gave up the home run employing his theme of the night, the elevated change-up. Jed Lowrie homered, as did Chris Johnson when he boomed a shot over some quick skinny guy playing center field for the Padukah Cubs.
When Castro hit the ball, he knew it was gone. He was so geeked that he initiated Game Winning Home Run sequence and began to raise his fists into the air in triumph. Before he could reach full extension, though, he realized that nobody besides his girlfriend, mother, and Greg Lucas was tracking his home run drought so closely and that they might find it odd to see him celebrating so.
We won handily 8-4, riding Bud “The Ace” Norris to a victory that was even larger than it seems. Bud also happens to be the starting pitcher version of Brad Lidge. Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Slider-That-You-Can’t-See. Like Lidge, Norris’ slider, thrown at the bottom of the strike zone, evaporates just after the batter decides to swing at it. I didn’t see Bud throw a pitch that wasn’t a fastball or a slider, though admittedly I was pretty darn concerned about the fate of my chicken around those middle innings. (It turned out great, by the by, thank you for asking, and no you may not have the recipe.
On a night of Astro home runs, other notables include Chris Johnson’s mammoth home run to just right of Tal’s Hill. Off the bat C.J. knew it would leave the thickest part of the park and he watched it fly like it was a par 3. Johnson is a Daily Pass guy, wherein we all kind of know he’s like a sort of crappy player, but he is capable of earning that Daily Pass, with a massive home run for example, and it’s like ‘okay you’ve earned another pass, I guess we’ll keep you around tomorrow. But his whole career will be like that! Anyway, he earned his pass tonight.
Brian Lahair of the Cubs, whose name I will not even take the time to look up for spelling purposes, is the baseball style love-child of Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. Thome’s build and his socks, and Manny’s relaxed, coiled danger holding of the bat.
I was thrilled to win the game, and I was thrilled to hear the Foamer Night mention, if only to confirm that I am not insane. There are no two other broadcasters I’d rather have during a weird TV outage/camera situation than JD and Brownie (Vin Scully is only ONE guy so I get Vin on a technicality).