Games » Boston Red SoxApr11
Get it? Royals? Blue collars? Yes, it’s just this kind of sophisticated humor you’ll get when you hire a comedy professional to cover baseball.
Anyway, Podsednik was at the plate, runner in scoring position, 3-1 count. Major league hitters would pay to swing the bat in 3-1 counts. They’re hitter’s counts. Counts where they know they’ll get something they can lean on…but the Royals were down by five.
So Podsednik took. He knew the Royals needed runners. He went to 3-2 and eventually walked. That’s an unselfish, professional attitude and should be commended. Getz and Kendall play the same way. It’s not that other people don’t, but these new guys have provided leadership by example in the first week.
Here’s hoping that attitude rubs off on some of the guys who swing out their asses (is that the right plural of ass?…I’m thinking this might come up again) when the Royals are down by three in the ninth.
If you hit it far enough, do they let you run around the bases three times?
A little inside baseball
I didn’t have time to write this up in my last set of game notes, but Saturday night in the fifth inning Zack Greinke had just given up two runs and still had a runner on third with one out. Pedroia, arguably the Red Sox best player, was at the plate.
One of the strategies in this situation is to put the batter on first, setting up the double play.
First pitch, Greinke drills Pedroia.
I’ve been hit by pitches in the mid-eighties (velocity, not the year) and it hurts. I can’t imagine what getting hit by a pitch in the mid-nineties feels like…wait a minute, yes, I can…it would hurt a lot!
Baseball etiquette demands that you act like it doesn’t bother you, but it’s not only like getting punched really hard, it’s like getting punched really hard by a fist that’s spinning incredibly fast. It’s got a stinging, ripping-into-your-skin quality that’s unlike anything else…and I’ve been hit by a lot of stuff.
The weirdest (and kind of cool thing) is, you not only get a purple and black bruise that will turn yellow and green over the next few days, but the seams of the baseball are clearly visible throughout the process! (Wow, Doctor, I had no idea I had such strong hidden feelings on this subject).
Anyway, back to our story: the question for Pedroia is did Greinke drill him to save three pitches? Some pitchers have been known to do this. If so, how do you retaliate?
I’ve got no clue if any of this was going through Pedroia’s head. All I know is in the next half inning on a double play ball, Pedroia took the throw from short, tagged second and dropped down (threw from a low angle). This puts the ball right at the runner’s head. They tend to get down in a hurry if they want to keep their face attached to their head.
If I were playing in that game and did that after getting hit by a pitch, the message to the other team would be, “So, you wanna play rough?”
No, wait a minute. If I got hit by that pitch, I’d still be in St. Luke’s, having a baseball extricated from my liver.
In any case, Greinke then hit Scutaro in the seventh, when there was no strategic value in doing so. That’s a case where hitting one guy can upset a team, but hitting two shows you’re really just having control problems.
I wonder what hitting three means?
Areas of My Expertise
I’m sitting at Kauffman, doing my job two innings into the game, and my phone rings. It’s Mike Fannin, editor of The Star.
“Dude, (yes, he talks like this) meet us at the right-field foul pole.”
So, I pick up my scorebook, grid sheet and bag and start walking toward the outfield, trying not to miss a pitch as I dodge through the crowd. I get to the right-field foul pole, no Fannin. I’m trying to call him back, score the game and stay out of people’s way at the same time. Finally he calls me, “Where are you?”
I tell him I’m at the right-field foul pole and where the hell is he? He tells me he’s right there, but I’m right there and he’s not. We bicker like an old married couple and finally I say, “What’s wrong with you? I’m in right field, directly underneath the Stroud’s chicken sign.”
Which, of course, is in left field.
Now try explaining to the editor who hired you because of your supposed “inside baseball” expertise how you’ve made this mistake.
All I can tell you is filling out this grid and a scorebook at the same time, without missing a single pitch, while people ask what exactly it is you’re doing, is difficult and distracting. Doing it while walking through a crowd and looking for somebody is on par with driving, talking on a cell phone, and having Linda Lovelace (Google her, kids, you won’t be sorry) perform an act on you that is illegal in some of our less enlightened states…you might have a crash.
And I did.
I’ve told my editors I’ll eventually screw something up. There are a lot of categories and sooner or later I’ll miss something or transcribe it wrong. When that happens, we’ll fix it as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, could you tell me where they keep the other right-field foul pole?