Scorelessness

I like keeping score. I tend to do so when I’m seeing the sport in person. It helps keep me focused. If I’m lucky enough to witness something unique, I’ve got written proof. Sometimes, I’ve tried putting dots in those little boxes to note the running count. But I don’t do so very often. There’s not much room. Count-counting isn’t big for me. This is fine. Even when I’m content with noting everything I wish to note, there’s much more I could write down to keep score.

MLB.com lets me note lots to do with every pitch. Well, it’s supposed to. Tonight, though, it didn’t show speeds, types, or “Pitch FX” (this isn’t fudging for omission purposes; its true moniker is “Pitch FX”) for every pitch. Not in the New York (NL)-St. Louis contest. I don’t put guilt on their shoulders. One of tonight’s “pitchers” is truly St. Louis’ shortstop; his sub is their pinch-hitter-turned-center fielder.

Even so, I could follow their pitches with precision. If I were in St. Louis, I would’ve most likely kept score. Or tried to. I’d use every column I’d gotten. Then I’d use box score columns, if they were there (I never return to fill in those box score columns). Then I’d squeeze it into the sides. Then…well, I don’t know. I guess I could return to previous columns. They weren’t getting lots of hits, right? Or were they? St. Louis got fifteen throughout the night; the Mets got nine.

But the point is, I would try to keep score. Every out, every inning stretching into the night, everything would count. I’d try to write it down.

“It’s scoreless.”

No. No, it isn’t.

Kyle Lohse stood in left field with Felipe Lopez pitching. Lopez threw one inning without giving up hits. Not giving up hits; so simple, even your shortstop (or guy on second or third) could do it!

Of course, this isn’t true. It might be, for short times. Then it becomes something in itself, some sort of self-destroying prophecy. You could throw shutouts, hold your opponents…without runs, but no-hitters require skill. With, quite often, luck too.

Throwing wildly–or motioning wildly to let runners move up–might help you in some sense. Relieve one level of pressure, preserve the picture of effort expended futilely. The illusion of simplicity–this whole BB thing doesn’t look very good, you know. But you might not need to be good. If Lopez could…will, of course. They didn’t know then. They were “only” in the sixteenth or so, over in St. Louis.

Most other nights, either score would shine out. Tonight, does one eclipse the other? Most likely. But both were still wonderful. To diminish the worth of either by noting the glory of the other is silly, just like deeming something “scoreless” when the score is kept. They will both be kept long into the future.

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