Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ode to the McDouble

THE GAME: Angels vs Mariners

Felix Hernandez taking on the Angels on a Saturday night? Hell yes, I'll stay in and watch that one. 

I was talking to one of my best friends a couple of weeks ago about McDonald's. (There was a commercial on TV at the moment.) She said that, while she doesn't eat there very much, there is a particular breakfast item that she loves. 

I confessed that while I also do not think much of the place, I love their McDouble. Something about the flavors just works together for me. 

"I think it's the rehydrated onions," I told her. "I've been using them myself on burgers I cook at home lately."

"You should try to recreate the McDouble with the beef from that butcher you love," she suggested.

That seemed like a good idea: make my own version of the McDouble - similar to what I did with the Big Boy in February.

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 
  • I made a thinner patty than I usually do when making burgers, as the McDouble does not contain very much beef. 
  • Georgia's Gourmet Tomato Ketchup is probably the best tasting ketchup I have ever had, so I used a smear of that. 
  • I took one tablespoon of dried onions, mixed it with one tablespoon of water, heated it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and let it rest for 15 minutes. 
  • I also enjoy the pickles that McDonald's uses, but of course I like Bubbies better. 
  • This was a fantastic burger. I never would have guessed that what I love most about the McDouble is actually the room-temperature ketchup and rehydrated onions. Now I know. 

NOTES ON THE GAME: 
  • This is King Felix's 51st start against the Angels - more than he's faced any other team. (Although he's faced Texas 50 times.) Only Jim Kaat ever faced the Angels more times (57). Felix is 16-16 against the Angels, though he has been much better against them in the last three or four seasons than he was earlier in his career. 
  • Mike Trout has faced King Felix more than any other pitcher in baseball, and Trout has hit him hard: in 76 at-bats, he has a .382 average with 13 extra-base hits, including 7 home runs. (Though Felix has struck out Trout 24 times, more than any other hitter.)
  • Albert Pujols in his prime was one of the greatest right-handed hitters to ever play the game of baseball. But his prime was a long time ago. The Angels are paying him 26 million dollars this season and he is currently batting .050. 
  • Vin Scully used to tell an anecdote that he would watch Sandy Koufax throw one pitch and think Wow, he might throw a no-hitter today. I saw Nolasco's first pitch and thought Wow, he looks like shit tonight.  
  • I swear on my mother's life, I was in the middle of writing that last sentence when Nolasco gave up a home run on his ninth pitch of the game. 2-0 Seattle... and there hasn't been an out recorded yet. 
  • Felix struck out Trout looking on the 14th pitch of the at-bat, which was definitely fun as hell to watch, but that 14th pitch was right there for the taking. You fight through 13 pitches only to take that meatball, Mike?
  • Turns out that was a little bit o' history: In Felix's fantastic career, he has never thrown 14 pitches in an at-bat before. In Trout's already-legendary career, he's never seen 14 pitches in an at-bat before. 
  • When the Angels traded for Andrelton Simmons, I thought it was a bad move. I was spectacularly wrong. Almost every game he does something that takes my breath away. He might be the best defensive shortstop I have ever seen. This was just awesome.
  • With two outs in the 4th inning, the Angels chubby catcher decided to steal second base on a 2-0 count. Predictably, it failed. I have no idea what the hell that play was. 
  • Nolasco gave up two runs after only 9 pitches, but here he is now at 75 pitches and he hasn't given up any additional runs. He's been much better than my first impression. 
  • Trout is 0-3; Pujols is 2-3 with a single and a double. You can never predict baseball. 
  • Nolasco has made it through six innings - the first Angels starter to do that this season. 
  • Mike Trout comes through with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 7th.  
  • Cam Bedrosian picks up a 5-out save for the Angels. After watching Trout, and Simmons's defense, watching Bedrosian blossom over the last 12 months has been the biggest joy of being an Angels fan. 
  • Well, now that I think about it, those three things have been the only joys over the last 12 months. Whatever. The Angels have a legitimate closer now for the first time in almost a decade, since K-Rod was in his prime. 
  • Seattle is now 1-5. I wonder if Jerry Dipoto is considering quitting on this team, too. 

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