1. After returning home from joining the guys for our weekly breakfast at Sam's, I took care of a few things at home and went to Yoke's so I could replenish my diminishing pantry. Just like a year ago -- only last year it was on Saturday -- Eddie Joe was handing out Tootsie Rolls and accepting donations for the Special Olympics, an annual fund raising effort of the local Knights of Pythias. I interrupted Eddie Joe's charitable efforts by yakkin' with him for about ten minutes or so before going in to buy groceries.
2. I settled in with some peanuts in the shell and turned on the 11:00 playoff game between Cleveland and Houston, eager to learn more about Cleveland and to watch Houston play again. I enjoy the Astros. Their team features nasty starting pitchers like Justin Verlander who was on the hill today and their offensive lineup can be explosive. As the game got underway, Ed called and said he was heading home from work and wondered if I still wanted to "go south" -- our way of saying "want to go to Worley to the casino?". I volunteered to drive and Ed and I got in some great conversation on the trip down and, once we arrived, I checked the Houston/Cleveland score and saw that Houston had erupted for two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth inning on their way to a 7-2 win.
I played a couple of machines, but my real interest was in the baseball games, so I went to the Red Tail Bar and Grill, ordered a pint of Northern Cross Stout from Selkirk Abbey, a very satisfying Irish dry stout, and drank it as slowly as possible while zeroing in on the Brewers/Rockies game. I want to see the Rockies get untracked at the plate, but it's not happening. Whether it's the Brewers' pitching that has stymied the Rockies or something else is the matter, the Rockies have been tame, especially their terrific shortstop, Travis Story, who has struck out five times in his eight plate appearances and hasn't scratched out even one measly hit. The Brewers won the game 4-0. Now I'm eager to see if returning home to Coors Field might help ignite the Rockies who have looked, at best, ordinary.
3. Back home, I seasoned chicken drumsticks and chunks of potatoes and added some leftover red onion pieces and mushroom slices, put it all in a cast iron pan to bake for an hour and had a great dinner. I tuned in to the Red Sox/Yankees game, thinking that Boston would coast to a win given that they held an early 5-0 lead. I should have known better. The Yankees chipped away at the Boston lead, but Boston hung on and defeated the Yanks 5-4. At game's end, I immediately switched over to the Dodgers domination of the Atlanta Braves and got to see the brilliant Clayton Kershaw pitch two or three innings as the Dodgers waltzed to 3-0 win.
I am having great fun watching the best of the major league teams play each other. It will be even more fun if Atlanta and Colorado can cure what's ailing them and and give the Dodgers and Brewers a better game or two at home.