2011: A Chiefs Odyssey – Kevin’s Number 1

#1 – Almost Perfect

There’s a line in the song “Little By Little” from the band Oasis – my favorite band of all time – that I’m thinking about while writing this blog post.  Am I thinking about it because I’m a few hours away from seeing Oasis’ former lead songwriter and co-vocalist Noel Gallagher in concert?  Maybe.  (Yes.)  But it’s applicable here:

True perfection has to be imperfect

I know that sounds foolish but it’s true

I’m not really sure what this means, to be totally honest, as I’m not really sure what a good deal of Oasis’s lyrics meant.  But – it’s true.  On July 26, in front of 4,895 fans at Alliance Bank Stadium, Columbus starter Justin Germano was both far from – and truly – perfect.

It was a beautiful Tuesday night for baseball – 81 degrees, clear skies overhead – with the Chiefs back home from a four-game road swing at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  The finale had been one of Syracuse’s ugliest losses, a 15-1 defeat that saw relief ace…er, outfielder…er, relief ace Jeff Frazier mop up with his second scoreless appearance of the year.  No reason to fret, though, as the Chiefs would see a 28-year old with an 0-2 record and 4.58 ERA in 20 games with Columbus in 2011 – Justin Germano.

(It is worth re-pointing out the fact that, yes, Germano had ZERO WINS coming into this game.  You or I, whoever you may be, seemed to have as good of a chance of throwing a perfect game as Germano did at this moment.)

From what I can remember, there was nothing out of the ordinary for the majority of the day.  I likely had a coolatta at Dunkin Donuts’ or some chicken strips from KFC.  I interviewed Josh Wilkie for our pregame show.  I chatted with my friends Alex and Krista on Gmail.  There was no reason to expect anything extraordinary about the day.

And it seemed that way once the game started, as well.  Michael Aubrey hit a laser of a ground ball in the first inning.  Chris Marrero lined out in the second.  I specifically remember thinking that the Chiefs had a couple of exceptionally-well hit outs in the first few frames.  Germano was getting outs, but looked nothing like the overpowering starter he would soon become.

But then he settled into a groove.  Germano struck out Corey Brown to end the third.  He fanned two Chiefs in the fourth.  He whiffed Seth Bynum to end the fifth.  And by that point – with 15 straight outs – I started to feel like something was up here.

The Clippers had already put a few runs on the board – and their three runs would be two more than Germano needed.  He struck out Brown again to end the sixth.  He got Aubrey on a rare sharp grounder to end the seventh.  By this point, Germano’s curve ball was absolutely flummoxing the Chiefs.

In the eighth, Chris Marrero as part of another 1-2-3 frame.  And then came the ninth.  Jhonatan Solano hit a ball fairly well – but right at center field Tim Fedroff.  One out.  Jeff Frazier flied out weakly to left fielder Jerad Head.  Two outs.  Then Corey Brown came up, and Germano fired over a couple of strikes, and then…this.

On an imperfect night – for an imperfect starter – it was true perfection, indeed.

Thanks for a great season, everyone.  Let’s do it again in 2012.

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