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Soup of This Day #20: Now That Ain’t Working, That’s the Way You Do It…

June 21, 2011

Suits of armour
It’s only ok to hit the batter when they’re dressed for it – Photo: Quinet, 2011. Quinet is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

If you’re a pitcher, hitting the batter with one of your throws is bad. If you’re a member of the Padres bullpen you might want to write that down. That’s bad, with a ‘b’, an ‘a’ and a ‘d’. The opposite of good.

I know this because in my brief baseball career I hit someone. I wasn’t pitching to be fair. I was catching and I hit a runner in the shoulder with just a hint of deflection onto his head. This had nothing to do with the fact that after he hit a single he flipped the bat into my face. Nothing at all. Sheer coincidence it was. Anyway I hit him, which would be a not-insubstantial feat, had I been trying to hit him, as he was on the wing between 1st and 2nd. But I wasn’t trying so it was just good bad luck.

Sadly there was some disagreement at the time about the nature of my intentions. Actually, we would have cleared benches, but we didn’t have benches and it gets pretty hot down here so enthusiasm for an all-in dust-up wasn’t high. Instead, we decided to convene for a post-match review later in the afternoon. The review was a solemn affair conducted with a maturity and wisdom that might have otherwise seemed beyond a rabid mob parliament of 15 year old kids. It was held under the pergola that abutted the school library and whilst it featured a lively debate, it did reach a firm but fair conclusion. I am pleased to say now that the fight review cleared me of intentionally hitting the runner. Furthermore, the consensus was that the runner could jam the bat where the sun don’t shine perhaps more judiciously place his bat after a hit next time. But hitting the batter was bad. We did agree on that. On that we should be clear.

This event signaled the end of my catching career. A good thing too because I only wanted to play for the Red Sox and they have 2 decent catchers right now so I would just have mucked things up. They had no need of my talents against the Brewers on Sunday in Game 3 of their Interleague series at Fenway.

Tim Wakefield got things underway nicely, keeping Milwaukee quiet in the first. Something the Sox bats had no intention of doing themselves. Ellsbury scored off an error, Youkilis bludgeoned a 3 run long shot and then Ellsbury in his 2nd go doubled in 2 and it was 6-0 after 1. The Brewers pulled back 2 in the 2nd but this was cancelled out by a Pedroia solo shot and an Ortiz RBI sac grounder, both in the 4th. Pedroia added another via a sac fly in the 5th and it was 9-2 in favour of the Sox. Make that 11-2 as Scutaro hit a 2 run bomb in the 6th. There was time for the Milwaukee outfit to pull 1 back in the 7th but Gonzalez (again) cancelled that with a RBI single in the bottom of the same inning. Dan Wheeler shut them out in the 9th after 99 pitches in 8 from Wakefield. It finished 12-3 to the Red Sox and Wake is another win closer to the record for most wins for the Red Sox and is just 3 off of 200 all career. A milestone passed in-game for another player was Gonzalez’ (again) triple – His 1000th hit. Nice.

Which brings us to the Padres this morning. For a time in this game it looked like the Sox were playing charity ball. They stranded so many runners in scoring positions that a support group was formed just behind the mound. For all that effort, across 4 the Sox had 3 runs via a Big Papi RBI single, a Big Papi RBI double and, breaking up the streak, an Ellsbury RBI double. At the same time Andrew Miller kept things sort of under control in his first start. Until the 6th.

The Padres pulled 3 back off a tiring Miller in the 6th before Albers got them out of trouble. On to the 7th and watching the game via out of the corner of my eye I watched the Red Sox get the go-ahead via a Gonzalez (again) RBI double. They then loaded them up again only for… hang on… what the hell?

Bases loaded and Frieri hits Scutaro on a full count. Ok. Bit of a gift but you take em. So bases loaded and Varitek takes a hit off the shoulder on a 2-2 count. Ok. We’ll take that too but are you guys serious?

Apparently so for Reddick singles and brings home 2 more. Bases loaded again and this time Pedroia gets 4 balls and another walks in. At least he wasn’t hit.

Gonzalez (again) now with a 2 run double. Didn’t he bat already this inning? Youk with a single that brings in 2 more. And finally, we’re done. 10 runs, 3 of them walked, 2 of those from hit batters. 2 from hit batters is like the time I got 2 free jugs of beer because they were clearing the taps. Money. For. Nothing.

And your chicks for free. Apparently.

The Padres pulled back 2 over the last and the Sox added another but to be honest I really stopped paying attention. It finished 14-4 and the Sox are now 5 and 2 in Interleague play and 44 and 28 for the season.

Most importantly they didn’t need to sort things out under the pergola that abuts the school library post-game, instead the Sox took the freebies that the genuflecting San Diego handed out. This is good because I don’t think the pergola is there anymore and I’d hate for the Padre’s bullpen to have a fight debate with Big Papi.

Hitting batters is bad.

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