UCB Progressive Game Blog: The “Inning After”

As the annual UCB Progressive Game Blog continues, we try to move on from the train wreck of a 6th inning to the all-important “inning after.” You know, the inning after the lead is yanked away, and you try to get those runs back? Yeah. That inning.

At this point, I was irritated enough by the evening’s events — the delay, the inability to actually see the game anywhere, KMOX cutting in and out, and yes, the poorly executed 6th inning — that my expectations were quite low. With Wacha’s strong-until-the-6th outing all but wasted, I’d need a quick and easy zero, followed by a big ol’ crooked number to change the mood.

Enter, Mitch Harris.

I love everything about the Mitch Harris story. I really do. We all know it so well by now that you don’t need me to tell it again. I think it’s great that he’s getting a Big League opportunity, and he’s done fairly well. He’s done better, to be honest, than I expected. Despite posting zeros 9 of his 13 appearances, his ERA/FIP/WHIP have continued to climb as the league figures him out. He’s not been terrible. He’s just not as polished as he’ll need to be to maintain any level of effectiveness. To put it simply, I don’t feel particularly confident in high-leverage situations with Harris on the mound.

Sure enough, as I think that, he gets Jimmy Rollins swinging to start the inning.

The pitcher’s up next, which should be a little easier than, say, Adrian Gonzalez. “Should” being the operative word, as Carlos Frias casually bunts the first pitch perfectly down the third base line, just far enough away to prevent Yadi from getting to it in time to make a throw to first. Because, of course.

At least the double play is in order?

Or a first-pitch single. Sure. That’s fine, too. It was Joc Pederson, so I suppose I should be happy it was only a single.

The Dodgers seem quite content with the success of swinging at the first pitch tonight, so Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez both figure they’ll give it a go as well. First-pitch swinging — especially against a guy who isn’t particularly sharp — is one of my biggest baseball pet peeves. Yes, I know the odds of getting a good pitch to hit are high. Yes, I know there are statistics to support that. But no, I don’t like it. Especially with two guys on and only one out. Taking a pitch is far from the worst thing you could do in that spot. Here, though, go right ahead and swing away, Dodgers, and get Harris out of the jam.

Turner complies.

Gonzalez? Oh boy. Waaaaaay back in left. It’s Grichuk, not Holliday. He catches most anything hit near him these days, but this one… At the track… At the wall…

 

YES! Well. If nothing else goes well this inning, at least that was fun. (Is there anything this guy can’t chase down?!)

Thanks, guys.

Now about this 3-run deficit…

Randal Grichuk, Yadier Molina and Jon Jay are scheduled in the bottom of the 7th. Not a bad group to get a little rally going, eh?

Oh. Ok, or not. Quick 5-3 groundout gets Grichuk. Ho hum.

Yadi’s more than due for a long ball… if he can still hit them, that is. No one really seems to know anymore, what with the on-going Molina power outage.

A pair of 92 MPH fastballs, and the count is 1-1. I won’t lie, I’m still trying to process any possible reasoning for leaving Wacha in after hitting Gonzalez in the 6th. I just …

Oh, look! A base hit. Not a home run, but it’s something for Jon Jay to work with.

By the way, word from my friends in Peoria is that Jay was absolutely a delight during his rehab stint with the Chiefs. He stayed well after the games ended to sign autographs and take pictures. And that’s just what he did for the fans. He treated his temporary teammates and the staff with the kind of respect you hope for, but don’t always get. Well done, sir.

Ball in play! Oh. Right to the shortstop. Perfectly placed for the THIRD double play of the night.

Awesome. Probably could have summed that up quite succinctly. It would have looked something like this …

Sigh.

On to the 8th …

 

 

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