Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Something You've Never Seen Before

There's an old line about baseball: "You go out to the ballpark every day and you'll see something you've never seen before."

It's probably a wee bit of an overstatement, but last night's game at AT&T Park was truly historic. Before some fans had even found their seats, the Minnesota Twins had scored 8 first-inning runs against the Giants. The 8 straight hits to start the game marked a first in Giants history--New York or San Francisco. And Giants starter Madison Bumgarner became the first pitcher in over a century to give up 9 hits without recording two outs.

If you bleed orange and black, this was not a pretty thing to watch. But if you take the long view as a baseball fan, you should hold onto your ticket stub. Of the tens of thousands of ballgames played since 1900, this one was unique.

For Bumgarner, a young guy with tremendous promise, this game may turn into the kind of scar that serves a purpose. As soon as the last out had been recorded, Bumgarner was telling reporters that he'd absorbed a lesson: when you leave pitches over the plate, big league hitters will hit them.

To be sure, Bumgarner could have been out of the inning with less bloodshed. There was an infield single in there, a couple of ground balls with eyes, and a ball that dropped fair by inches down the left-field line. But there are no mulligans in baseball.

The Giants are struggling right now; the loss knocked them out of first place in the NL West. With their anemic offense, this game was truly over before they even came to bat. Yet the beauty of baseball is this: today or tomorrow, it could just as easily be their turn to make history.

You never know what you'll see at the ballpark.


John G said...

Your latest podcast episode was somehow sped up by about a factor of 2 between recording and posting on iTunes.

Stan Bunger said...

Yes, John, it's our new attempt to deliver all the content in half the time (or, alternatively, twice the content in the same amount of time).

Seriously--thanks. Something went awry in the encoding/uploading process and we'll get ti fixed ASAP.