Cincinnati: no runs, no hits

Normally, you don’t pull guys in inning two. If it’s just an opportunity out of 162, you can say, “Okay, you and I won’t win today, but throw on and work through this.” You can admit that today is not your day. In spring, you might think “possibly it’s still our month”, though fall a long way down and it will sink in that this campaign is probably not yours. You might find out which squad is probably going to win. And, probably, it will win.

This rationalizing is not okay in a playoff, though. You can’t say “not today, but how about Friday?” You must think that any day is, possibly, yours.

This is what Cincinnati did, saying, “You guys want to win this, point, but our guys do also.” 2010 is not, so far, anybody in particular’s; in a month, you could say “oh, this or that squad won”, but as of now you don’t know who will win.

But still, pundits want to slap summarizing tags on 2010. “It’s for mound guys! It’s for youth!” On such an important night, though, anybody up to bat blocks all that out. You can’t win it all in your NLDS’s first night, but you can hold your own, ignoring past triumphs from your rival. You should try to.

So Halladay’s win is particularly amazing.

His skin was half-blank-and-oozing, half-in-cap-bill’s-shadow. It was a quick win, not far into a triad of digits for pitch count. Which is good–you don’t want to say “oh, it’s going to go this way, it is 2010 you know” in a bad or good mood at such an assumption. Don’t go for a brilliant night just for a brilliant night; go for a win, and find glory too.

A month or so will still occur. But now, I too am (slowly) inching towards that claim that 2010 is truly outlandish.

Walking a tight path

A high-scoring matchup is a tug-of-war, with two squads pulling on it. Lurching back and forth, oscillating first this way but now that, it’s a long war of attrition.

But that’s not our only way of pulling a string taut. It can span a gap, and walking across is its own difficulty. Mostly, it’s a group task; start walking, go past halfway, but pass your baton to a guy who can hop down, who will pass it on in turn. As that’s occurring, hits and runs wind your string back and forth until it’s not so narrow.  With room to walk, you can go slowly, calmly. Happily.

But without luck–or with much, much luck–you lack so many runs to support you. All you can do is inch across on your own skill. It’s not that far, actually. Not if you don’t stop along your way, as most do. But that stamina, to cross without pausing, is anything but common.

Or is it? This is a spring of focus and taut strings. Many can watch, now, huddling around and looking up. A wrong word could ruin things, many claim, but that might not truly hold. All of us crowd around, as if grasping tiny protruding strands.  Wanting to hold onto a bit of history. A sharp tug, possibly, could disrupt things. But all holding on, balancing your string, and pitch by pitch it works out.

To-do list

There’s more than clocks that must be cleaned in spring:
Some clocks were cleaned, but we don’t need them here.
There’s new faces to meet, all who will bring
Something different to their team for this year.

So say hello to Halladay. Don’t say
That Placido need be placid, though. Greet
Greenhorns around the leagues. Proudly call “hey”
To Justin Heyward and each star you meet.

Try your best to keep up with Garrett Jones.
Welcome back Marcum. Spring’s glories fade fast
So soak it all in before it all drones
Into no more than murmurs of the past.

Learn more of phenoms that you may have heard
Just briefly of. Say hi. Welcome a Byrd.