Friday, May 20, 2011

Alliance Bernstein: 10, Blues: 7

(This week's recap brought to you by Michelle Lipinski)

It was a sunny, temperate day when the Blues took home field at Central Park’s Great Lawn to battle Alliance Bernstein. This Alliance was an unknown entity, other than a 1-3 record and a fairly innocuous team name. Apparently, they are research-driven financial advisors.

The Alliance bats wasted no time and the Blues allowed two runs in the first inning, but came back quickly with three bottom-inning runs from the top of the order. That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game—a back and forth battle with no end in sight. As usual, the Blues defense was strong, with some great plays by the Gator, David, and Brian, all of whom made it look easy in the infield, and some great outfield catches by Taylor and Coach Ozzi, among others.

The Alliance had a strong top of the line-up with some seriously scary hitters, and scored one or two runs every inning up until the end of the 5th. By then, the score was 7-4, Alliance, and it looked like the Blues might not be able to recover. But the Blues mounted their attack at the top of the sixth, with two defensive innings of three-up, three-down. The Blues’ bats also came alive, starting with an impressive homerun by Taylor which caused the Alliance to run into another field’s outfield, and brought the Blues dugout to their feet. This Alliance was not impenetrable. The Blues bats gained back those three runs, and the game was tied in an exciting bottom of the 7th rally.

The Blues kept pressuring the Alliance through a scoreless 8th inning. Then stuff got real in the 9th. The Alliance bats could not be silenced, and three runs were scored. Despite a valiant effort during the Blues’ last turn at the plate, including some impressive rips from Jessica and Alina, those three extra runs proved to be too much, and the final score went to the Alliance, 10-7.

And so the Blues fought hard, yet victory was denied—very much like the game preceding it. Things could have been worse. The Coaches, though not overjoyed, expressed pride in the team’s efforts. No one could walk from the field away feeling very much like a loser.

After the game, the Blues retired for their first visit to Jake’s for the season. On their way from Central Park West, a few Blues ran into a living legend. (Perhaps, after this chance meeting, we should question the innocuousness of a team that uses the word “Alliance” in its name.) The Legend’s words to us were studied, if brief: “May your bats live long and prosper, Oxford Blues.”

If you want to check out some pictures from the game, Coach Repino posted some here. They’re especially good if you happen to have a foot fetish. Of course, that’s a personal matter.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Debevoise & Plimpton: 15, Blues: 14

After last year's shellacking in Morningside Park, D&P were hungry for a rematch against the Blues. They clearly wanted a win. But the Blues made them work for it. With several Blues players absent and some showing up late/leaving early, it wasn't the easiest game to manage. Players were asked to go outside their comfort zone in the field. Alina held it down at 1st base while Hurley moved back to his old stomping grounds in left field. And Jessica Chesnutt earned her rookie stripes behind the plate.

D&P got off to an early lead which had the Blues trailing 9-2 early in the game. But unlike your mom, the Blues do not go down easy. Battling back with smart hitting and hustle on the basepaths, a pair of 2-out rallies gave the Blues an 11-10 lead in the 5th.

D&P battled back with a few runs in the late innings, leaving the Blues with a 3-run deficit in the last inning. The Blues were able to make it interesting in the bottom of the 7th and brought the score to 15-14 with 2 outs and the tying run on base. There was no one the Blues would rather have at the plate than Joe "The Gator" Cognard, but alas, this one was not meant to be. But we all agreed that on the upside, we shot Osama right in his fucking eye.

After the game, there was a lot of talk about moral victory. And if such a thing exists (it doesn't), the Blues definitely earned it. Knowing they'd have to work extra hard to fill in for missing teammates, the Blues were all heart, making the smart plays and hustling for every single out.

Afterwards, the Blues headed over to the Bull Moose for some Cinco de Mayo/We Killed Osama celebrating. Seems like it was just a few days ago we were there showing this guy a good time in New York. (Seriously, who comes to NY for a weekend and spends it in a dive bar?)