To read the headlines, you would think Phoenix had erupted in a big ball of flame and the residents had been scorched to their deaths. In a double-decker front page masthead, The Drudge Report railed: "WINTER RECORD SMASHED: 99 DEGREES IN PHOENIX..." as for the fifth consecutive day, the city broke heat records, topping 94 Sunday, after peaking at 99 both Friday and Saturday. But we're loving it. The balmy heat, even at midnight, where it's 75 degrees en route to a likely low of 65 or so, reminds us of the two trips we've taken to Hawaii, first for our honeymoon, and in an second trip the following year. And to make things better, today the A's finally won a game with us in attendance.
Both Friday and Saturday saw the A's make us roll our eyes with their incompetence. The team's starting pitchers, Joe Blanton and Joe Kennedy, gave up 4 and 5 runs respectively in the first inning, before retiring a batter. The A's of course went on to lose both contests, by scores of 8-5 Friday night and, even worse, 11-4 Saturday, when the team never even had a chance. So on Sunday, with Dan Haren taking the mound, we were more hopeful for a better outcome, but strongly considered delaying our showing up to the ballpark until the 2nd inning, as maybe we were the cause. But Haren avoided our curse, shutting down the LA Angels of Anaheim for four innings, and seeing the A's to an early 2-0 lead.
Yet the Angels came back and took the lead, holding a 5-3 margin going into the final frame. It looked like the A's were going to go 0-3 for us, but it was not meant to be. The A's came back to within 5-4, with two runners on and one out in the ninth. As we crossed our fingers, and hoped against disaster, Richie Robnett smacked a 2-run single allowing the tying and winning runs to cross the plate as fans cheered, players jumped up and down in the heat, and we headed home happy. Now, with a 1-2 record under our belt, we will see the A's for a fourth and final time tomorrow at 1:05 before heading home.
Even with the four games, we've done more than see just baseball in our stay in Phoenix. On Saturday, we carried off an unlikely pairing as my wife and I first had dinner at Hooters and then drove to the Mesa LDS temple to see the sights (arguably at both locations). The Mesa temple grounds were well cared for and the temple was beautifully lit. Tonight, we headed back to Tempe near the Arizona State campus and filled up at PF Changs and Coldstone Creamery. Unlike Saturday, which featured St. Patrick's Day revelers drowning in green beer, with some handcuffed by local police, the Sunday scene was much more serene.
It's a quick mini-vacation, but much anticipated. It will be tough to get back to the grind on Tuesday.