The 'Rakers survived a shocking last-inning injury to stalwart outfielder Mike Gale to overturn the Brown Sox 16-13 on Thursday on Field 1 to move to 3-1 on the season.
The Men of Muck went into the top of the seventh inning, clinging to a narrow lead and trying to close out the win. Gale fielded a Brown Sox fly and threw the ball back into the infield. The next thing anybody knew, Gale was heading to the dugout, his right ring finger contorted in ways to awful to describe. Somehow, he had dislocated his finger on the play. Muckraker Nation was in shock.
Fortunately, noted Friend of the Muckrakers Joe DeLoach was on hand and was able -- after attending to some personal business -- to drive the stricken Gale to the Kaiser emergency room in Walnut Creek.
The Muckrakers recovered from that turn of events, and were somehow able to close out the Brown Sox, with the ballgame ending on a Sox strikeout.
There was more good news for the 'Rakers. Mr. Gale has recovered nicely from the injury, and his status has been raised from "doubtful" to "probable" for Thursday's 6:15 game on Field 2.
Last Thursday's game was eventful enough, even without the Gale near-tragedy. There was Bob Brindley, making his 'Raker Fall League debut, blasting a liner out of Field 1, only to fall victim to the "over-the-fence out" rule. There was the Brown Sox shortstop, nailed in the face by a bad-hop grounder and forced to sit out a couple innings.
There was Luke Abbott slugging a three-run homer in the third, and Gale tripling in Aris Garcia in the sixth.
But mostly it was all about the Muckrakers lustily swinging the bats as they had not yet done this Fall League. Every 'Raker had at least two hits and the team pounded out a total of 24 safeties. Rick Hurd also made his Fall debut, going 3-for-5 with a pair of ribbies.
It all added up to a victory, and a great relief when it turned out they hadn't lost Gale for the season. It was like it was all meant to be.