Last night certainly ran the full range of emotions, didn’t it? From the sheer joy of the drubbing the Sox were putting on, to the disgust of seeing it all slip away, to the elation of pulling it out in the end.
One of the constant comments I was seeing on twitter during the game related to the number of runners being left on base. In the first few innings, it was “I hope leaving all these runners left on base won’t hurt them.” Then, “See? It’s hurting them!” “It killed them.” “They were lucky it didn’t kill them!”
But, did it?
At one point, the Sox had left around eight men on, but had opened up a 7-2 lead. Can you get real upset about leaving men on base when you average a run an inning?
Some of this is a similar problem with the “grounded into double play” complaints. Just like in that case, you can’t leave a man on base if you don’t get him on base. You know how you can be sure to never leave a runner on base? Have a perfect game thrown at you. Is this what we want? Not me.
So, what are we asking here? We want runners on base all the time, and we want them all to score? Well, duh. But, let’s be realistic.
Last night, the Sox were scoring runs. They just weren’t scoring them all. Sure, they left the bases loaded. But, they scored runs that inning. And, they got enough hits to load the bases in the first place. That’s a pretty good inning if you ask me.
Now, if they loaded the bases every inning, but were being shut out, that could be annoying. But, are we actually asking them to drive in every runner that reaches base? Will not doing so come back to haunt them? Why don’t we complain that they’re not hitting a home run every time to the plate?
Why don’t we appreciate a good inning when we see it? A groundout, a single, a double, a walk, a single, a flyout, a walk, a groundball. That would leave the bases loaded. But, you scored two runs, got three hits, and drew two walks. You want more from that inning? You expect more? You’re disgusted when they don’t get more? Really? How about groundout, single, homer, pop out, strikeout. That’s a better inning because you didn’t leave anyone on base? Only two guys did anything at all. That’s what you’re looking for? If they’re getting hits and driving in runs, that’s enough for me.
Yes, I said that right after the Yanks took the lead last night too.