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This Year's Model

Publication Date: February 26, 2002


This week our beloved author was to make his annual bid at sportswriter legitimacy by attempting to write a game report for the first game he attended this season. The attempt soon grew hopeless, however, and we call to the bullpen for our closer, Mindy McStudent.

So, anyway, I'm sitting around the apartment on Friday afternoon studying for my poli sci exam on Monday when Jen comes in, no, not Jenny Ball, the other one, Jennifer Samuels, and she turns off Days of Our Lives and she's like, "Hey, the baseball team's playing today, and there's this really cute guy in my chem lab that's on the team -- he's like a catch person or whatever -- and I told him I'd be there. Come with?" and I'm like, "Hello? It's, like, really, really cold out there, Jen, and I've got this to study for," and she's like, "Oh, come on, that's not till Monday and it's not that cold out there; we'll take hot chocolate and blankets and it'll be fun," and I'm like, "Whatever," but she's like, "Pleeeeease," so I figure I'll go for a little while, you know, just to clear my head from all that studying. So, anyway, we get out there and I'm like, "Oh My Gosh. It is soooo cold. Come on, let's go," but she's like, "We just got here, and it's only the fourth inning, and we've still got some hot chocolate left in the Thermos." So, anyway, they're out there running around and there's this one guy who's, like, throwing the ball really, really hard, and it looks like the other guys (not the other guys on our team, but the other team, the ones in the cute green and gold costumes) are really having trouble hitting the ball, which is probably good, 'cause that bat's got to really hurt your hands with it being that cold and all, so I'm, like, thinking that they're probably OK about it, but they look like they're getting really mad. And Jen says that they already lost one game, so it's probably 'cause of that, but whatever. So, anyway, they keep going and then it's our guys' turn to bat and there's this really big guy and Jen keeps waving at him and I guess it's the guy from her lab or something but anyway she says something about how he's real good 'cause he doesn't swing at many pitches or something and I'm like, "How can he hit the ball if he doesn't swing?" and she's like, "Well, I mean he only swings at the good ones," and I'm, like, "Whatever," but anyway he decides to swing at one and he hits it and Jen gets, like, really excited and jumps up and pulls my blanket off and I'm like, "Jen!" but she was right, he was really cute. Anyway, everyone gets all excited about that, and then the next guy hits the ball and Jen's guy runs all the way around, so everybody's really pumped and I'm, like, yelling and all, too, 'cause it was really exciting. So, anyway, after that they played a bunch more, and I think our guys won. After the game, Jen went over to say hey and he was like, "I was just waiting for a pitch I could drive. Coach has been working on my strike zone command in practice, and I'm just glad I was in a position where I could give 110% and help the team out there."

Thanks, Mindy. By the way, folks, the ISR's start up next week.

Pitch Count Watch

Rather than keep returning to the subject of pitch counts and pitcher usage in general too often for my main theme, I'm just going to run a standard feature down here where I point out potential problems; feel free to stop reading above this if the subject doesn't interest you. This will just be a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye or, on the other hand, starts where pitchers were pulled according to plan early despite pitching extremely well in close games.

Date Team Pitcher Opponent IP H R ER BB SO AB BF Pitches
Feb 16 Houston Gene Flores Southwest Texas State 5.0 0 0 0 1 6 15 16 58
Feb 16 Southwest Texas State Bobby Sawicki Houston 9.0 9 3 3 0 10 35 36 136
Feb 23 Mississippi J. R. Pickens South Alabama 8.1 5 4 4 1 8 31 33 133

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