For those of you who think baseball is boring, try this next time you watch a game. Watch the way the pitcher circles around the mound when he gets to a 3-0 count. Watch how fast the batter raises his hand when he’s set in the box and the pitch takes to long to come. How quickly the catcher tosses his mask and scampers backwards when the ball gets away.
As slow as the game seems to be going for the viewers, it’s actually humming at a very steady pace in the players head and the ones that can slow it down are the ones who make it in the big leagues. Today I could feel the tension in the crowd ratcheting up as the Brewers who had entered the 8th leading 8-1 gave up 5 runs and had runners on the corners with two outs and Paul Goldschmidt coming to the plate. I could feel my abdomin and calves start to tighten as I started to drum my fingers on the table next to me.
The Brewers have been great in these situations more often than not this season and that is exactly why they are still holding on to the top of the division in spite of coming into the season with only mild expectations. Their bullpen has been a question mark all season and after being abused and over used lately, Manager Craig Counsell was hoping to be able to just use one pitcher for both innings but was forced to use three in the 8th alone. However, when “Goldy” hit a soft liner to center field to end the inning, I felt my muscles start to relax. My heart was just slowing back to normal pace when Domingo Santana who had hit a Grand Slam earlier in the game came up and hit a bomb to center. It was ruled a ground rule double but just like that, I was back on the edge of my seat.
The ninth inning was unadventurous as Jerad Barnes slammed the door on Arizona and the Brewers left with a morale boosting win. The scary part for opponents is that the Brewers are just now start to define their identity and build some chemistry.