The Baseball Desert

Friday, July 13, 2007

Key to the game

Lots of good stuff in last night's win, but none better than the Sox' 2nd at-bat of the game:

Pedroia was 0-2 after two pitches, but four foul balls and four balls later, he was stood on first base - two on, and nobody out. The AB was key not only because it immediately bumped up Halladay's pitch-count, but also because it signalled the Sox' continued intention to take pitches until they get the ones they want.

At-bats like that are one of the reasons I love this game. Baseball is easy to love when you're watching towering home-runs and dramatic catches in the outfield, but its real essence is to be found in this one-on-one confrontation that happens 60 or 70 times a game. Those who are not fans of the game (*cough* Mrs Iain *cough*) will always ask why nothing is happening during these long at-bats. When that happens, I try to to explain that it's like some elaborate chess match, where all the previous configurations of the matchup are figured into this battle of wits where both pitcher and hitter are trying to get the upper hand for a fraction of a second, but it's hard to convince someone who isn't ready to be convinced. would appear I'm waxing lyrical about one at-bat in one game in the middle of July. Methinks I've missed baseball more than I originally thought these past couple of weeks...