The Fellas Were Raking
12:42 PM EDT on July 19, 2023
Another day, another marketing opportunity blown by the earnest simps at Major League Baseball, who apparently conspired to liquor up all their pitchers and turn Tuesday night's schedule into the company picnic—if company picnics still exist, which they don't unless companies are using them to lure the people they intend to lay off over the charcuterie tray.
And before we get too far into this, it should be noted that once again, the Oakland Athletics did not get the memo because they long ago stopped paying the wireless bill. We'll get to them.
Anyway, the scores:
Cubs 17, Nationals 3
Diamondbacks 16, Braves 13
Giants, Mets, and Royals 11, Reds, White Sox, and Tigers 10
Guardians 10, Pirates 1
Dodgers and Twins 10, Orioles and Mariners 3
Yes, it was Pitchers' Hell Night, and even though casual fans across our rotting hulk of a continent can get behind the concept of conga-line scoring, nobody at MLB thought to give the customers a heads up. In Cincinnati, the fans were treated to the end of a desultory suspended game, then an unexpected deluge, and then a sensational second game. They drenched people and then gave them the payoff, a weird sort of Gallagher show without the raincoats for the first five rows.
Oh, there were other games on the card that ended normally because even at the company softball game, some testosteroids pretend they used to be athletes and try too hard, but the eight games that played along gave the customers a night to tell their parole officers about. In those eight games, 12 teams scored in double digits, a record that goes back 129 years, when there were Boston Beaneaters, Chicago Colts, Brooklyn Grooms, Louisville Colonels, and the good Cleveland Spiders, and when baseball was just getting used to the 60-foot, six-inch distance from mound to plate after years at 55 feet.
Only one starting pitcher last night, Minnesota's Bailey Ober, lasted six innings, and only one, Cleveland's Logan Allen, allowed no runs. The 16 starters gave up more than four runs on average, and half of them allowed at least five earned. There were 62 pitching changes (and amazingly no position players pitched), an eight-run inning, a six-run inning, six five-run innings, and three four-run innings. Pittsburgh's Mitch Keller had to pitch six innings of eight-run, 10-hit ball, while Baltimore's Tyler Wells was mercifully hooked after two innings facing the Dodgers. And true to the baseball we all know, there were 141 strikeouts, an average of nearly nine per team. And six of the eight games sailed past three hours, proving yet again that it isn't time of game that's the problem with baseball, it's pace; nobody in any of those games complained that the games were too slow. We're still trying to figure out how the Royals and Tigers scored 21 runs and amassed 24 hits in two hours and 28 minutes.
It was, in short, fabulous—the kind of baseball that makes baseball worthwhile even to the too-cool-for-school mopes. In fact, if our own marketing team (Comrade Paez-Pumar's dog Rosco) was on his job, Defector would be auctioning off scorecards of each game recreated and produced by the ball-obsessed scriveners Comrades McKinney and Anantharaman, signed and dotted with ketchup stains to further replicate the scorekeeping experience. We are, of course, too late to that because we plan the way kittens do, but had MLB given us a heads-up, we could have whipped them into potentially lucrative action because their days are otherwise uncluttered by productive work.
Oh, and the A's? Feeble and out of step as always. They beat the Red Sox, 3-0, and other than the occasional "Sell The Team" chant, the game sailed by in two hours and 15 minutes of unmemorable action. The pitchers were probably sober.