Sunday, April 29, 2012
What an amazing night at the Yard!
Tonight those of us in attendance got to see the best player in baseball hit a walk-off home run to deep center on a night that featured everything. Young Stephen Strasburg had a strong night, as did our own Chad Billingsley, a pitcher's duel that we all expected and looked forward to. And we got to see Bryce Harper make his major league debut, which was somewhat memorable considering his late-game RBI double and strong throw from LF to almost nail Jerry Hairston, Jr. at the plate. At least the lad wears his stockings the way they were meant to be worn.
But Matt Kemp. Wow. As I stood there and watched, joining so many others who hadn't left the Yard yet, I saw Matty drop behind in the count on a called then a swinging strike. But even then I told myself that, Kobe-like, Matt could work his magic at any given moment despite pressure and adversity. The fact that he then yanked the 1-2 pitch 429 feet was impressive and powerful, then, but not surprising. I remember standing there thinking that this guy is so good, he can hit one out seemingly at will. And he did.
As I mentioned in the PGT, the Dodgers in-game production folks did a great job afterward in that they didn't immediately queue Randy Newman's "I Love LA." Instead, they let the crowd chant "MVP! MVP!" repeatedly for quite some time first. So many people were still there, and we relished the moment. It was truly an emotional experience with the crowd chanting and Matt reaching through the netting behind home plate to touch his mother's hand.
Let's cherish these moments while we have them. Dodgers move to the best record in the National League and go for a sweep of the Nats during a day game tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'll be back to earth before then. Nomo, I think you're scheduled to be out there so let's keep the Sons' unbeaten record up, ok?
UPDATE: Saw an interview with Bryce Harper, who was asked about not making his debut at home. He had some very classy things to say about Dodger Stadium and what a great, historic place it is, and so he was fine with it. Well said, young Harper!