On Saturday night, in defiance of yet another gray, decidedly unspringly day, I decided to make milkshakes. We had ice cream leftover from a birthday event, and the Phillies were starting at home early in the evening after a day off. After spending the day buried under blankets and grading, too, it seemed like a good time to manufacture something to make the day feel like a weekend.
As I scooped ice cream into the blender and splashed in some milk, though, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez got off on a less-than-ideal foot—again. I contemplated the bowl of Easter candy sitting on the countertop and threw a few pieces into the carafe. Dark chocolate rabbits the size of my thumb, filled with caramel, would somehow help. But as I punched the button, the blades hissed but nothing spun; in Philadelphia, a wild pitch plated Derek Dietrich. All told, it took twenty-six pitches for Velasquez to make it through the top of the first, just a week after falling short of the fourth against Atlanta. I shoved at the ice cream with a butter knife, tried again. The ice cream moved, a little, and the candy I’d neglected to chop into smaller bits bounced abortively.
By the time I finished jimmying and adjusting and finally managing to turn the various parts into a drinkable whole, the countertop was speckled with caramelly dregs and the bases were full of Phillies. Maikel Franco came to the plate, and Dillon Peters had an even worse inning than Vince Velasquez.
Like the chocolate-flecked confection I scraped into my glass, the rest of the game was decadent, excessive, for the home crowd. Aaron Altherr, stifled at the plate in these early games, hit a second grand slam against Peters. On Carlos Santana’s jersey, pine-tar patches smudged like burnt sugar, sticky enough to lift his jersey each time he tapped the bat to his shoulder and nothing at all to get in the way of a three-run homer in the fourth. Rhys Hoskins did Rhys Hoskins things. Vince Velasquez righted the ship and made it through six innings; the whole game only required two pitchers, which feels like particular luxury in the face of the six needed for Velasquez’s previous start and Gabe Kapler’s whole first pass through the rotation.
By the time Jorge Alfaro rocketed a pitch into the Marlins’ bullpen, it was more than too much. But runs, like milkshakes, can’t really be saved for tomorrow, and sometimes, as after long stretches of deprivation, it’s all too delicious to want to.
Torey Lovullo came out to fight the umpire yesterday, and wound up in a donnybrook with the opposing catcher, Yadier Molina, instead. Molina: “(Lovullo) called me a m—–f—– twice. If you’re going to call somebody that, you better be ready to fight.”
This is implausible. I do not buy it. Accusations of fornication do not carry the weight they once did, particularly in the rather vulgar confines of a baseball field. No, something else occurred. Something truly dastardly. The key moment, as Lovullo points in the general direction of Molina, is depicted here:
Some people just don’t know how to take a compliment.
It’s pretty bad, sure, but there was no reason for Lovullo to even bring it up. Why did he do that?
True enough, but what’s the relevance in this particular case? It’s a low blow.