I love baseball. Always have. Yet with life being as it these days – dad, spouse, employee, dad again – I rarely make much of an effort to sit down and watch for any extended period of time. But I miss it. The rhythm of baseball gives me comfort and peace. So I made a deal with myself, to watch an inning a day for the duration of the 2017 MLB season. The daily dairy won’t deliver much in the way of research or analytics – there are enough high quality experts out there with an academic grasp of the sweet science – but I am hopeful it can provide some mildly interesting observations about a game that has given me so much.
April 18, 2017: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves
Bottom 4. No score. Braves at the plate. Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals. I like what Scherzer once said about pitchers needing Tommy John surgery. His basic point – if I’m recalling correctly – was that the longer a pitcher survives without major reconstructive elbow surgery the more likely it is that the player avoids surgery all together. This line of logic contradicts conventional wisdom which states that there is a direct correlation between number of pitches and arm injuries. This makes Max Scherzer a “pitch count truther”.
Freddie Freeman walks. Runner on 1st. No outs.
Nick Markakis singles to center. Runners on 1st and 2nd. No outs.
Classic Markakis. Fouls off a bunch of pitches before blooping a base hit just beyond the reach of the outstretched infielder. Brandon Phillips tries to bunt (twice). I’m sorry to sound my age but a Major League hitter should be able to get a bunt down.
4-6 fielder’s choice. Runners on 1st and 3rd. One out.
I think that’s Eddie Perez coaching 1st base for the Braves. I remember when Perez was Javy Lopez’s backup and Greg Maddux’s personal catcher.
6-4-3 double play. Three outs. No score heading into top 5th.
The Braves announcers like the new stadium. I like the Braves announcers. They remind me of a simpler time when the only games on tv were Atlanta games on TBS.
Matt Wieters doubles to left field. Runner on 2nd. No outs.
Passed ball and Wieters advances to 3rd. The ball bounced hard off the brick backstop all the way into catcher Kurt Suzuki arms.
Wilmer Difo singles. Wieters scores. 1-0 Nationals. No outs.
Scherzer sacrifice bunt. Runner to 2nd. One out.
Adam Eaton singles to center. Difo scores. 2-0 Nationals. One out.
Eaton caught stealing. Two outs.
That was strange. Adam Eaton stopped running halfway down to second and Brandon Phillips threw him out diving back into first.
Anthony Rendon walks. Runner on 1st. Two outs.
The Atlanta fans are booing pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. Or maybe that’s Bryce Harper. Foltynewicz has a lot of tattoos on his right arm. Can an opposing team complain to the umpires about a pitchers tattoos being too deceiving?
Harper walks. Runners on 1st and 2nd. Two outs.
Murphy flies out to deep right center field. Three outs. Nationals lead 2-0.