Low-Scoring Does Not Imply Boring
My stepdaughter is back home after her sophomore year at college. Last Monday, I worked the Rochester – Norfolk game for BIS. When I got home after the game, she asked how the game was and I said that the Tides won, 2-1. She responded “I’m sorry the game wasn’t more exciting.”
She probably would have been even more convinced that the game wasn’t interesting if I had told her that the game lasted 2:50, and that all the runs were scored in the first inning. That’s right; it was 2-1 Tides after the first inning, and it ended 2-1 Tides.
But the game was exciting. Rochester got its leadoff batter on base in every one of Tides’ starter Chris Tillman’s six innings. That meant that Rochester was always threatening to tie the game — not in the “every batter could hit one out” sense, but in the tangible sense that something was going on. Rochester center fielder Jason Repko made an outstanding, lunging, diving catch of a line drive to rob Blake Davis of an extra-base hit. In the eighth inning, with two out, Rochester’s Danny Valencia walked; Jacque Jones singled him to second. Wilson Ramos singled sharply to left field; Tides left fielder Jeff Salazar gunned Valencia at the plate (Valencia was just touching third base when Salazar let his throw go.) In the ninth, Matt “Mother” Macri singled, took second on a wild pitch, and was sacrificed to third. Repko was hit by a pitch. Matt Tolbert hit a hard ground ball to the right of first baseman Brandon Snyder; Snyder threw to second base to force Repko. The throw was off-line, but somehow Blake Davis stretched out full-body, kept his toe on the bag, and got the force-out. Even more improbably, he lifted himself to one knee, threw back to first, and somehow got enough on the ball to retire the speedy Tolbert in time to complete the double-play. Game over!
From the sublime to the ridiculous — in the sixth inning, Valencia singled. On the first pitch to Jones, he broke for second — and managed to get over halfway to second base before Tillman reacted — by pitching to the plate. Needless to say, Valencia stole the base easily. Kudos to Tillman for concentration, but not so much for the teammates who must have seen Valencia break and apparently failed to alert Tillman.