The last time I went to two baseball games on consecutive days must have been about 1987. I lived in southern California, and my friend was a Dodger fan. When the Reds came to town, we two high-schoolers would drive all they way in to Chavez Ravine, terrifying our mothers, and catch a couple of games. As I remember, the Reds normally didn't fare too well, but we had fun.
Playoffs, though, that's a whole 'nother thing. Living away from Cincinnati most of my life (and compounded by the Reds own parsimonious attendance of playoff games) I had never had the opportunity to attend a Reds playoff game in anything resembling my home town. I wasn't going to let this opportunity go to waste -- heck, it might be a long time before it happens again.
Once again, we got to the park early. My wife stayed home today, and my pastor came instead. He's a lifelong Giants fan, demonstrating that Protestants have no truck with clerical infallibility. As we waited for the gates, the Blue Angels flew over.
There were a lot fewer Reds fans for Game 2 than there had been for Game 1. I didn't hear any WOOOOs at all, so you guys back in Sinsee are going to have to crank that up nice and loud. There were a few though -- a couple of #5 shirts, and a number of these:
Once inside, we hung out and watched the Reds take BP. I never saw the Giants practice -- they must have gone first, before the gates were open.
I can't tell who this is, but he was interacting with the bleacher bums quite a bit. Pastor Mark says, "Before the game, they are all, 'Mr. Ludwick, Mr. Bruce! Please throw me a ball.' As soon as the first pitch is thrown, it becomes "Yer a bum, Ludwick!'"
Still, the view from the upper deck at AT&T is awesome.
The man of the hour, Awesomeroyo:
<img src ="http://www.photographyjones.com/Sports/Reds-vs-Giants-2012-NLDS/i-vHNSj73/0/M/EOS-7DIMG1210071948-M.jpg">
If a panda swings at a junkball in the forest and misses by a mile, does it make a sound?
Ludwick and Rolen cross the plate on Hanigan's 4th inning double. This is when the Giants lost hope.
Votto singles in the top of the 5th. (Photogeek aside: gotta love burst mode!)
Former Red Xavier Nady took over in left field:
The Freak in relief:
Bronson hit every speed between 69 and 90. Here's one of those speeds.
And this one belongs to the Reds...
It was really awesome to get to be a part of this playoff experience. I tried to make the case that a no-hitter would have been more fun for my friends the Giants fans -- as it was, it was a painful blowout for them, but a no-hitter would have been a part of history. I got some buy-in, but not a lot. The first game was the most fun, because it was a roller-coaster the whole way through. The second was awesome, because it made a statement that the Reds are in fer serious this time, and are not going home without a fight.
I expect you locals to pack the house tomorrow, and bring this thing home in 3. Git 'er done!
You can find all the rest of the pictures here.