Saturday, August 12, 2006
Mike Lowell is a superhero.
We all talk about David Ortiz. Schilling's had it said of him. But, jeez, what Lowell did tonight was somethin' else.
The level of despair in the Massachusetts region was nearly toxic. There's nothing that depresses a fanbase so effectively as several consecutive losses to teams that are so bad that if they were any worse they would have to be called the Pirates-minus-Zach-Duke-Jason-Bay-and-Freddy-Sanchez. In a way it's rather lovely how we all choose the same day to descend into blackness. Very strong sense of togetherness in this area, you know.
But tonight, ah, tonight. The Orioles were very helpful and obliging, and I'm glad that Loewen turned back into the Loewen we'd seen before and abandoned the Loewen who had pitched so well his last time out. I'm glad that Tejada lost his head a little in the field. I'm glad that Kevin Millar still exists.
And sweet fancy meerkats am I in awe of what Mike Lowell did.
It is not, thankfully, often that you see a guy get beaned in the head. There are three that I can immediately recall in very recent times as truly traumatic (that I've seen in real-time): the Runny Elves/Carlos Guillen incident that sparked the massive brawl (mentioned yesterday), Matt Clement of course being cruelly cut down in the
height lukewarm middle of his career, and Mike Lowell tonight.
What an awful hit. It fairly knocked his helmet clean off. Lowell went down and stayed put while Don and Remy immediately fell silent. The NESN camerapeople zoomed in on Lowell's face, where it became clear that although he was prone on the ground, his eyes were open and he was talking to the trainers while Tito pet his hair. Wicked props to the camerapeople for that. It was a great piece of video shooting and kept all us poor viewers at home from going into an immediate catatonic state from sheer horror.
Of course he then sat up, Tito still petting his head, to immense cheers. Then he stood up. More cheers. Then he started walking. Cheers and sighs of relative relief. Then he... went to first base?
Yeah. Stayed in the game and took his base. Mike Lowell is a superhero proof #1.
In the top of the third, the Cake Kid hit a foul ball that drifted over the third base side of the field. Lowell tracked it, followed it over to the left, followed it further over to the left, still running, still tracking the ball, running out of real estate, as the saying goes, until there wasn't anywhere else he could go. At which point he slammed into the short wall, gloved the ball, and simultaneously tipped head over heels into the first row of the stands. Because apparently he hadn't had enough damage done to his body yet in one game.
From the disrupted fans emerged a glove, held aloft and clenched around the ball. Out. He extricated himself from the proles, bounced back over the wall, and made his way back to his post while Fenway clapped its collective hands numb. Mike Lowell is a superhero proof #2.
In the bottom half of that same inning, while Remy talked about how some guys get hit in the head and are never the same again, Lowell calmly found a pitch he liked and tapped it off the Monster for an RBI single, about as comfortable at the plate as though his previous at-bat had been perfectly uneventful. Mike Lowell is a superhero proof #3.
He was advanced to second and then, because he's MIKE LOWELL, DAMMIT, he stole third. Which allowed him to come in to score easily on Javy Lopez' hit. Mike Lowell is a superhero proof #4.
And, of course, if you click that image at the top, you'll get a larger visual proof of Mike Lowell's superheroness. Mike Lowell is a superhero proof #5.
Things are still moderately bleak around here. Even if the Yankees lost, they're still up. And you can't just wash the taste of a Royal sweep out of your mouth, not with one game, or even three.
But it's nice to know, when your team is chugging slowly downhill, at least you've got a superhero out there, resisting all the way down.
Labels: baseball, Mike Lowell, MLB, Orioles, Red Sox