The Beauty Is In The Subtlety
The local MLB Texas Rangers are having a better season than most people predicted they would. Me, included. They got off to a start in April that had everyone predicting the day the manager would get fired. Then, they had a record-breaking May and have spent most of the season winning one and losing one.
They’ve gone on a little bit of a winning streak and they’ve been a few games over the .500 mark for the last week or so.
But, as a long baseball season goes for every team, injuries are starting to mount. In our case, the injury bug has infected our pitching staff. The staff ace is having starts pushed back. The all-star just went on the injury list for two weeks. We’re bringing up replacement pitchers who aren’t ready from the minor league teams to fill the void temporarily.
With the first place Angels coming to town for four games. It’s an important series because, if their lineup routs our rookie pitchers and sweep the series, they leave town 11.5 games in front…virtually impossible to overcome by October. On the other hand, if we sweep, the Rangers climb to a 3.5 games behind…close enough to make summer in Arlington interesting.
Well, no sweeps were going to happen. As expected, the Angels pounded our inexperienced starter in game 1. Then, unexpectedly, we got 7 great innings from our 22-year-old rookie starter and won game 2.
Last night, instead of pulling up another rookie to pitch game 3, they decided to start “long relievers.” In other words, try to use 3 pitchers to get through 8 innings. And, the last of those pitchers gave up a two-run homer in the 7th inning and we’re down 4-2. This is bad because if the Rangers lose (with another inexperienced starter going today in game 4) the season could still be in grave danger as the Angels would leave town 9.5 games in front.
Well, in the 9th inning, against the Angels’ relief pitcher (who just set the record for saves before the All-Star Break, and only given up one home run all season)…
…we’re down a run with the tying runner in scoring position. We need a single to tie.
…our star player at the plate.
…game on the line.
…in effect, the season on the line.
We get this.
Precisely why baseball is beautiful. The context of an entire season makes high drama out of an “ordinary” weekday game.