Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Phil Bencomo
You'll have to excuse me, friends and family, if I appear unresponsive for the next few days. It's by no fault of mine, and certainly not my intention. I really do want to hear those sounds -- wonderful, wonderful sound -- coming from your wildly flapping lips and slightly frowning ... no, make that full-blown scowling mouth. I wish I knew what you're saying, but my lip reading skills just aren't up to par.
I can tell from your clenched fists that I haven't made myself clear. Please, let me explain, before that frustration of yours -- and believe me, I'm frustrated, too -- boils over into something rash.
If there's anyone to blame for my temporary loss of hearing, it's this man.
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OK, so perhaps the roaring of the masses wasn't that loud, but it was as close to deafening as I've experienced in ages. The wind was howling in for two-thirds of the game, turning even the hardest-hit balls into shallow fly outs. If not for the wind, Daryle Ward's 7th-inning double would have been the icing on a two-homer-day cake.
But the wind shifted late, blowing across from right field to left. There was only one place -- left field -- where Aramis Ramirez could have hit it out, and that's where he hit it.
The crowd was ready for it, and my brother, sitting at my side at Wrigley, was quick to call it. And so the roars began, and only Aramis' curtain call appeased us. The numbers easily bear out what is plain to any fan (but, oddly, not to the Giants): Aramis is The Guy you want at the plate in any clutch situation, as he proved yet again.
In late and close situations this season, Ramirez is now batting .432, with an other-worldly OPS of 1.521. Derrek Lee is no slouch himself, but Bruce Bochy must have the numbers. Again and again, Ramirez comes through. Why Bochy put the game in Aramis' capable hands is beyond me.
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Well, that's enough tip-typing from me. To the TV and Rich Harden's Cub debut I go!