Since the DH debate has been boiling over yet again, let me start by saying that no one will ever convince me that baseball is a 9-and-a-half player game. That DH game may be called something, but it isn’t “baseball” to me.
One of the main reasons why we must suffer this aberration of the game was lack of offense. Well, guess what? In many games, there’s still a lack of offense. And guess what again? I’m perfectly fine with that.
I’m a big fan of crisply played, well-pitched 1-0 games. (Hey, MLB, you want to trim time from games? Not many fans will be riveted to a 3.5 hour, 12-5 mopping with nine walks when pitchers can be replaced (or not) at will.
I don’t care how long a 1-0 game takes to play. Baseball allows me to forget about the clock for a spell. Every pitch can change the outcome. Base running, moving runners and bunts matter. Every play in the field is magnified.
That’s the game the Harrisburg Senators Fan Club enjoyed yesterday on our first ever trip to Citi Field. Due to the five-borough bike race street closures, we missed the only score in the top of the 1st. MLB Network provided the highlight(?) late last night as Ryan Zimmerman’s broken bat blooper over 1st scored Jayson Werth.
Good teams seem to score runs this way more often than lesser teams. The Mets have been doing it this year. So have the Astros and Cards. In fact, St. Louis swept the Pirates this weekend in tight, low-scoring affairs on hundred hoppers, infield hits, bloop doubles kicking up chalk, and then finally a power display walk-off by Kolten Wong.
This time, it was the Nats’ turn. Two consecutive 1-0 classics, Saturday evening and Sunday, both where the only run scored in the 1st inning. The rest of the games developed with all on the edge of their seats, many standing in key situations, including us yesterday.
More to come on our trip and why the DH would have ruined this game, but remember: if you ever feel the need to convince me that the DH belongs in baseball, you can save your writing/debating prowess for another topic. Because in my math, when it comes to baseball, 9 never equals 9.5.
Brian Williams, President