After each half-inning, I am going to write what was on my mind. There will not be much editing involved because I want the reader to understand the swing of emotions a high-stakes sports game evokes. More editing leads to a more detached post. Feel free to skim, much of what follows will probably be irrelevant to the outcome of the game.
Top of the First (2-0 Braves): The Braves just scored twice, but I only slammed the table once. If the Braves blow this game open, it will be interesting to see whether or not I continue to watch. There is nothing worse than the getting beat up by a bunch of skinheads from Atlanta.
Bottom of the First (2-0 Braves): Stranding Crawford at second was a bummer, but the home plate umpire stole the show. An umpire should not let his ego affect the game. This means not setting arbitrary parameters for the strike zone. Nobody benefits from an altered strike zone. A pitcher pitches a well not because the strike zone is big, but because he has confidence with his pitches. Likewise, a batter hits well because he is zoned in on the pitcher. The umpire should play not part in the batter-pitcher dichotomy. Whenever they try to make an impression on the game, it just comes off as a cry for attention.
Top of the Second (2-0 Braves): I was too busy ranting about umpires to watch the top of the second.
Bottom of the Second (4-2 Dodgers): Watching sports is much tougher than playing sports. One minute – Skip Shumaker getting called out on a ball – the world is putting all its effort into making sure your team loses, and the next minute – Carl Crawford hitting a three run homer – everything seems to come together for a moment of clarity. The viewer has no control over any of this; their emotions are tied to the game for good and bad. The same things an athlete does to stay mentally intact (deep breaths, positive thoughts) should also be employed by a dedicated sports fan for a (relatively) stress-free viewing experience.
Top of the Third (4-4): If Hyun-jin Ryu would of:
a) kept his foot on first base
b) threw to first instead of home
the Dodgers would still be up by at least one run.
Bottom of the Third (6-4 Dodgers): I understand baseball is a slow moving sport, but this game is something else. It’s taken an hour and forty-five minutes to play three innings of baseball. Assuming the game doesn’t go into extra innings, I’ll be sitting here until 12:16 AM.
Top of the Fourth (6-4 Dodgers): Is it still too soon to make Jason Heyward jokes? Back in August, Heyward got hit in the face, and his jaw broke. He now wears a special helmet to protect his jaw, that makes him look like an angry storm trooper
Bottom of the Fourth (10-4 Dodgers): At what point, as a Dodgers fan, is it acceptable for me to stop watching this game? I love the Dodgers, but I do have to 70 pages of Jay-Z’s Decoded to read.
At this point, the remote was commandeered, and Sunday Night Football was put on. I’m hesitant to give concluding remarks on the game, being only the fourth inning. If the Dodgers go on to win, Ryu should not get any credit. It has been all offense tonight, highlighted by ugly pitching on both sides. If the Dodgers go onto lose, I am going to need somebody to sedate me. It will be interesting to see who the Dodgers have pitch tomorrow night. Even though Ricky Nolacso is scheduled to start, Kershaw is fully rested, and knows how to get the job done and put the Braves away. Nolasco’s last three starts were poor, and no Dodgers fan wants this series to go five.