Friday, December 11, 2009

I Scored! May 6, 2000

This is what made Pedro Pedro. There was no such thing as a bad ticket if Pedro was on the mound. You can almost hear season ticket holders groan when they look at the schedule and see an early May game against the woeful Devil Rays. How are they eveer going to get rid of that ticket? They certainly don’t want to be at that game. Scalpers probably threw those tickets in with purchase. But, as you get closer to the game, and the rotation starts to clear up, and Pedro looks to be on the mound, everything changes. What was a ticket you’d have trouble giving away becomes one of the best tickets you can get. After all, on any given night Pedro could make history.

A couple things jump out at me when I look at the scorecard. First, look at the bottom of the order. Manny Alexander at third base, and Andy Sheets at short. Has there ever been a more pathetic left side of the infield? I don’t remember why Nomar wasn’t playing in that game. I hope it wasn’t another case of the manager resting the best players when Pedro was facing Tampa. It happened to Pedro a lot. The managers would rest players when facing bad teams, figuring Pedro wouldn’t need many runs. And, that was true. He didn’t need many. He did need at least one though. I also don’t know why it was Alexander instead of Valentin or Veras. But, that’s who the Sox went with that day. Frankly, look at the whole order. That was a pretty sad collection of nine guys. Remember, this is a team that was in the ALCS the year before. Unbelievable.

Second, I goofed in the ninth inning. Some people denote flyball outs with the F-8 designation. I assume it would contrast with an L-8, for a line out. But, other people use the F designation for a foul out. I had started out my scoring career using the former technique. I decided not too long ago that I couldn’t figure out when a fly ball turned into a soft liner, into a liner. So, I started using the F for a foul out. As you can see, sometimes old habits die hard. It’s also an example of how a scoring system evolves over time. I stopped using information that wasn’t helpful to me, and started using information that was more meaningful.

It’s very clear from the top of the card that the Sox lost a close one. That’s what makes the bottom of the card so gut wrenching. Pedro’s line almost makes you cry. Nine innings pitched. Six hits, one walk. (For the new fangled math fans out there, that’s a 0.78 WHIP.) That went along with SEVENTEEN strikeouts. Pedro Martinez tied his career high in strikeouts, gave up one run, completely dominated the game…and lost! Which co-ace was able to do that to poor Pedro? I bet many of you remember that it was the immortal Steve Trachsel. That’s right. Not exactly the result I was expecting when I went to the park. As you can see, the Sox could only muster three hits of their own. Pedro was outpitched, and beaten by Steve Trachsel. Incredible.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

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