Once again, I fudged the date on this one to make it look like I wrote it in a timely fashion. Once again, I apologize for my dishonesty.
This was the second of my California games. While the hometeam Athletics won 5-0, the real victory came in getting Anand to his first baseball game and having him not hate it. Just look at the picture — at first glance, it may appear that he’s just placating my baseball loving antics, but on careful inspection, it’s clear that that’s a man who’s enjoying himself.
The Coliseum itself was large (seats over 50,000) and empty (18,744 in attendance). Despite sitting next to the really insane fans in the bleacher seats, the atmosphere was much more subdued than the game I had just attended across the bay. But I still got my malt cup, so I was happy.
The A’s starting pitcher, Joe Blanton, took a no-hitter into the 5th, broken up by a single to shallow right by the DH, Marlon Anderson. In the meantime, the A’s had already scored three runs – one in the 3rd and two in the 4th after a pair of doubles by Eric Byrnes and Mark Ellis. They tacked on one more in the fifth, and with the Mets still scoreless, Eric Byrnes decided to rub it in by homering in the bottom of the 8th to make the final score 5-0.
Along with Anand, his fellow grad student Bobak joined us, armed with a camera. While I had to glare at the two of them for talking about their research during the game a few times, Bobak took some pretty decent pictures. Note the picture to the right: in the full size version you can actually see the ball reach Mike Piazza’s glove. I’ve examined that picture and referenced my scorecard to determine when it was taken: based on the three K’s hanging in the stands, this must have been taken in the bottom of the 4th. Nick Swisher’s at bat, the fourth A’s batter of the inning, and he walked on five pitches.