You Can’t Waste Your Opportunities
In some respects, last night’s game between the Toledo Mud Hens and the Norfolk Tides went almost exactly according to script. The first inning was a battle of home runs by Ryans (Toledo’s Strieby hit one with a runner on base; Norfolk’s Adams hit a solo.) After that, the game became a pitching-and-defense duel, with Toledo’s Fu-Te Ni and Norfolk’s Rick VandenHurk as the pitchers. Both Ni and VandenHurk successfully scattered base hits, and neither team seriously threatened until the bottom of the sixth. Adams and Jake Fox both singled with no outs. However, Brandon Snyder killed the threat by hitting a weak bouncer to the pitcher, who started a double play. The Tides’ threat fizzled. In the next inning, the top of the seventh, Toledo put two runners on base; the ninth-place batter, Max St. Pierre, hit a three-run home run to break the game open.
Each baseball game, of course, is a unique occurrence. Whenever someone tries to claim that a game is destined to follow a particular pattern, it usually deviates. On the other hand, you can look back at a game and see that it fit a pattern. Last night, the Tides wasted their best opportunity in a close game and the Mud Hens made sure they’d never get another.