GNABRT Day 68 & 69 (combo) – Braving the home run


GNABRT map - day 69We bring you a double-header in today’s Great North American Baseball Road Trip blog post.  First, we catch up with the Braves game from yesterday that ended so late I could not get to the post.  Then we talk about the return to the GNABRT roots.  In both cases, “home run” played a critical role.

The game:  Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants.  The Giants are in contention in their division and for the wild card, as befits the reigning World Series champs.  The Braves are just stinky.  Not awful stinky, but stinky enough to have no shot at the playoffs.

As expected, the Giants got out in front quickly.  They scored 6 runs on 6 hits, with every run scoring on a home run (two solo homers and two 2-run homers).  The Giants starter was mowing down the Braves hitters.

In the bottom of the 6th, the Braves finally broke through on a 3-run homer, making that the first 9 runs in the game via a homer.  The Braves ended that streak by adding another run.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Braves crept closer on yet another homer (that’s 6 in the game so far).

Only down one run going into the 9th, the Braves had to hold the Giants.  Instead, they gave up a run making it an improbable two-run deficit against the Giants’ closer.

Somehow, they managed to tie the game up on the 7th homer of the game, a 2-run shot knotting it at 7 and providing free baseball.  Of course, I had a 10+ hour drive the next morning that I would need to get up at 4:30 am, but neither team seemed concerned with my sleep deprivation.

Especially since the 10th and then the 11th innings went by with the same score.  Sadly, in the top of the 12th, the Giants best hitter drove in a run to put San Fran up 8-7 going into the bottom of the 12th.

With a runner on, up came the Braves’ hopeful 3rd baseman of the future.  Only 12 days into his pro career, he was hitting an anemic .216.  Crack!  The most exciting play in baseball, a walk-off home run.  The 2-run shot won the game 9-8 for the Braves and the team mobbed the kid at the plate.

The GNABRT is now finished with its non-Florida trip at an impressive 19-9 record for the home teams.

The tab:  Ticket, $44; Parking, $10; Soda, $5.25; Cracker Jack, $4.75; Total – $64

I got to my friends’ house in time to squeeze 4 hours of sleep in (more like 3 1/2) and head out for a straight run on I-75 to the Turnpike and home.  I took one bathroom break and, yes, went over the speed limit for the last 150 miles or so.  So my 10 1/2 hour drive turned into 9 1/2.

I turned on the water and searched for my house keys (buried in my large suitcase).  My house was hot…too hot.  Turns out, the A/C was not cooling.  I looked at the circuit breakers and turned on the water heater but didn’t notice anything awry.

Later on, I would discover that I had actually turned off the water heater breaker because the breaker below it, the A/C compressor, was actually in the off position.  It’s possible I hit that one by mistake back in May and for 2 1/2 months my A/C did nothing but blow its fan (yikes).  I’m sitting here now waiting to see if that’s the case or if the A/C simply wasn’t working (if it cools down in the next few hours….D’oh!).

After doing some quick unpacking, doing some weeding, cleaning both toilets (bathrooms complete tomorrow) and suffering a cold shower, I headed out to Publix where I picked up a 5-lb bag of my beloved and much-missed grapefruit, one of which I will juice tomorrow morning.

Another sad discovery I made upon my return:  sugar ants.  Ugh.  Those minuscule little ants (we called them tile ants) that are impossible to squish and show up in massive quantities.  I haven’t had an invasion in a long while.  I dropped a few beads of the “Terro” goop and hope that will nip them in the bud fast.  Ugh.

Miscellany of days 68 & 69:

– Throughout the entire GNABRT, I have not met an unpleasant or rude individual.  Even the smelly, wide-body guy in Baltimore was at least polite and amicable.  There was a man at the Braves game who was as close to a jerk as I would see on the trip.  He was loud, redundant and constantly standing and blocking the view of people in my section.  Meh.

– As mentioned in an earlier post, I have had unbelievable good fortune with weather.  So, of course, it started raining at the 10% chance Braves game.  It rained hard, too, but only for a short while and the game was never delayed.

– I ran out the door without breakfast this morning and when I stopped for gas just short of the Georgia state line, I thought to buy some milk and eat some Oreos I had in the car.  But then I saw, just a couple of containers down from the 2% milk, Bordens Dutch Chocolate milk.  My kryptonite! So that’s what I had instead.

– That meant I basically had no food until I got back from Publix, roughly 12 hours after I left this morning!

– I was especially pleased to ride a good portion of the trip with the windows down.  That part between when it was above 77 and below 86, which was a few hours of travel.

– My cough seems to be a little less noticeable.  I hope my return to multivitamins, Vitamin C and GRAPEFRUIT! will improve my health.

– According to my properly calibrated scale, I gained no weight while on the GNABRT.  I suspected as much when I came in so much under budget on food.  The “bad” food put a damper on my overall appetite.

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