Hello again everyone from cold and rainy Michigan! When I first moved here years ago, people always used to say “If you don’t like the weather here, wait five minutes; it’ll change”. I heard it so much that it truly became cliche. So much so, that I developed my own non-summer addendum that said “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes; it’ll get worse”. That became my adage for those seeking advice about Michigan winters (which, according to my brother’s belief, comprise every day of the year here except the Fourth Of July). I never could decide if that was an adage or a cliche by him, though.
All this thinking about adages and cliches were floating in my head whilst I was digesting the results of last night’s game. As Fred has so aptly described, the game was artfully pitched by both sides. In total, though, it demonstrated why I deeply believe that baseball, in a play on words from its most famous one, is truly a game of adages.
- I’d rather be lucky than good.
While both pitchers had dominating stuff, in my opinion, the difference in the game was a positive “net luck” on the part of Yovani Gallardo. Being as he’s the reigning Silver Slugger pitcher in the NL, he doesn’t really need any luck hitting, but he got some anyway. He hit a seeing-eye very soft pop-up that landed just out of the reach of Dan Uggla for a single that started the only scoring inning of the game, the Milwaukee third. After advancing to second on a soft single to left by Lowe-killer Nyjer Morgan, Gallardo then scored when a perfectly-placed grounder by Ryan Braun just nicked the glove of Chipper Jones, slowing it down so much that Prado had no chance at a play at the plate. This was all the luck the Brewers needed, as Gallardo mowed the Braves down with hardly a whimper. When it looked like the Braves might scratch out a run late, Dan Uggla over-slid second base after easily having the base stolen. The bad luck struck the Braves.
- Good pitching will beat good hitting every time.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one growing up. Of course, having seen it empirically demonstrated literally hundreds of times kind of reinforced it as well. Last night showed examples in spades. Lowe made Ricky Weeks look lost, so much so that after one strikeout, Weeks stared at Lowe almost in awe as he walked back to the dugout. Gallardo returned the favor on Hinske, fanning him twice. And in an unusual turn of events, Lowe led in strikeouts 7-2, while Gallardo was the ground ball king, with 16 to Lowe’s 10. I’m not going to say more about Lowe, as I think I may mention him in another post today, but in last night’s game good pitching beat the good hitting of both teams.
- Baseball is a game of inches.
I had to finish with this one! A couple of inches left on each of the hits by Gallardo and Braun and the Brewers don’t score. And a very short distance to the left and a McCann foul ball turns into a home run. Suddenly the Braves win 1-0. I know, wouda, shoulda, coulda, but when two teams play a game like this it takes very little to swing the result either way.
As Fred said, let’s hope the Braves don’t run into many games as well pitched as this one. I can tell you, based on having watched Halliday many times both in person and on the tube, even at his best he’s no better than Gallardo was last night. The thing that concerns me more is the part about running into pitchers the team hasn’t seen before. We have all seen them make nobodies look like Cy Young out there. I think this team has enough quality hitters that it won’t happen very often. I guess we’ll find out tonight.
I’m off to work on my next post. But I’d be very interested in hearing what you guys think about my observations. And if you have some other maxim that you think fits, pass it on!