Is Baseball Boring?
Brooks Conrad hit a walkoff grand slam yesterday afternoon in Atlanta as the Braves overcame a 8-0 deficit to win 10-9 in the ninth inning.
Baseball is considered as boring by a lot of sports fans. I can understand where they are coming from in some games where the pitchers take their time between pitches with the exception of pitchers like Mark Buehrle who get the ball from the catcher and are ready to make their next pitch.
Foul balls use up a lot of time during a game. Some hitters may foul off five or six pitches or even more and fans are left wanting the hitter to just hit a fair ball.
Still there is nothing in sports like having your team having the bases loaded in the ninth inning with the best hitter at the plate knowing a hit will win the game and batting against the other team’s closer.
The pitcher or hitter will walk off the field happy at the end of the confrontation depending on which one comes out victorious.
I was listening to the Braves-Reds game yesterday on the radio since we weren’t at home. Tommy Hanson gave up eight runs to give the Reds a 8-0 lead in the second inning.
The Braves made it 8-1 after three innings and then the Reds scored another run in the top of the fifth inning to give them a 9-1 lead. The Braves scored two more in the bottom of the frame to make the score 9-3.
Neither team scored again till the bottom of the ninth inning when the Braves erupted for seven runs as nine batters came to the plate.
The ninth inning started with four singles and a walk. The fourth single by Nate McLouth drove in two runs and drew the Braves to within three runs of the Reds with the score now 9-5.
Martin Prado then drove in another run on a fielder’s choice grounder to Miguel Cairo who couldn’t get a handle on the ball to make a throw loading the bases.
Jason Heyward who had drove in the winning run in the previous game with a walkoff hit made the first out of the inning by striking out.
Brooks Conrad a bench player came to the plate as a pinch-hitter and drove the ball over the left field fence after Reds left fielder Laynce Nix had the ball in his glove only to have it bounce over the fence giving Conrad a walkoff grand slam as the Braves came from behind to win the game 10-9.
Conrad didn’t realize it was a home run as he rounded first seeing the ball hit the glove of Nix. He grabbed his helmet in frustration thinking he had made a long out but saw the fans celebrating and started his home run trot around the bases.
This game lived up to the old Yogi Berra adage “It isn’t over till it’s over” as this game looked over in the second inning.
However the Braves outscored the Reds 10-1 the rest of the game. It had to be a frustrating loss for Reds starter Mike Leake who was enroute to his fifth victory of the season without a loss allowing only one run in six innings with the other two being unearned.
Instead of a win Leake wound up with a no-decision. Craig Kimbrel who pitched the ninth inning for the Braves won his first major league victory.
The walkoff win was the sixth for the Braves who have two more than any other major league team.
The next time someone tells me baseball is boring I will think of this game that seemed a runaway game then turned into a close game and a win by the team that was eight runs behind in the second inning.