On Sunday, I went to my third game of the season– in Flushing, New York–after previously attending games in Oakland and San Francisco. After waiting out a cold April, I was rewarded with some nice May baseball.
We wore our Venezuelan jerseys to Sunday’s game (Aguilas of Zulia, who have some orange in their uniform, like the Mets) and were rewarded with a fifth-inning home run by Valenciano Wilmer Flores–his eighth of the season. The true highlight, however, was an RBI double by the Metropolitans’ zaftig right-handed Dominican hurler Bartolo Colón. Watching him trot his 285-pound frame around the base paths was, as they say, worth the price of admission. But no joke–Big Bart won his eighth game, still leading the NL in that category (as an aside, Martín Prado of Maracay had a nice 5-for-12 weekend in New York for the Marlins.)
The other New York nine had a forgettable weekend in Oakland, but it gave Zulia’s Black Eagle, José Pirela, a chance to play second base instead of Stephen Drew. Pirela went 1-for-3 on both Saturday and Sunday, but didn’t get to play last night against the one and only Félix Hernández as the Yankees continue up the Left Coast. Ramon Flores, who had a fine season for the Tigres of Aragua, did play and got one hit, a day after saving an NYY victory by throwing out an A’s runner at home plate.
Felix has been fantastic this year, though my friend Larry T. reminds me that I failed to mention his first loss against the Red Sox May 16. My theory is that the particular loss doesn’t really count because it was a “throwback” game honoring the Negro Leagues: the Red Sox donned the uniforms of the Boston Royal Giants, and the Mariners, those of the Seattle Steelheads, on “Turn Back the Clock to 1946” night. Hernandez tweaked his ankle and gave up home runs to David Ortiz and countryman Pablo Sandoval. Once he put back on the Mariners #34 jersey, he became his old, unhittable self and finished May at 8-1.
My theory was torn to shreds by the Yankees’ 7-2 battering of Felix last night, which included a Mark Teixeira grand slam. The King may have been bothered by the muddy mound (he refused to use that as an excuse), but at least his early exit allowed the MLB debut of countryman Mayckol Martin Guaipe of Barcelona. Guaipe pitched 2.1 innings and struck out two a day after his call-up from AAA Tacoma.