Monday, April 1, 2013

Sunday Night Scorecard - Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros

I have embarked on a project to use a scorecard each Sunday night for the duration of the 2013 MLB Season for ESPN's Sunday Night broadcast.  In addition to learning the intricacies of the job of official scorer, this also means I will get to listen to my favourite non-Scully broadcaster at least once a week, Dan Shulman. 

Tonight's game between the Rangers and Astros should have been a wash, at least, on paper.  But as everyone was reminded tonight, you can't predict baseball.  

Bud Norris was solid twice through the line-up, yet seemed to struggle with command for the majority of the evening.  His three walks were the product of his lack of command of his fastball.  Over the course of the evening (especially to Nelson Cruz) he was able to spot his slider on the black, but the fastball was dancing all over the strike zone.  

More impressive through 5 innings was Matt Harrison.  Eight strikeouts (many of the embarrassing variety), 2 earned runs, and he looked to be in control.  

For both pitchers, things unraveled in the 6th.  Bud Norris issued a lead-off walk, and then Lance Berkman had a 1 out single.  RBI singles to David Murphy and Nelson Cruz spelled the end of Norris' evening, opening the door for "Proven Closer" Erik Bedard. 
For Harrison, he got the first two outs with relative ease, but after issuing walks to Justin Maxwell and Matt Dominguez left 2 runners on with 2 outs.  Then pinch hitter Rick Ankiel kicked off the party in Houston by depositing a ball into the right field bleachers.  

All of this romance and storytelling doesn't in fact show up in a scorecard.  Fortunately, neither does John Kruk's moderately obnoxious demeanor. 

Other notable's from this game:
This was win #4000 for the Astros franchise, along with their first win in the American League
Houston manager Bo Porter got win #1 on Sunday
Erik Bedard, listed as the 5th starter for the Astros, got his first career save by pitching 3.1 innings of 1 hit ball.

Biggest lesson I learned tonight, thanks to @drewgrof, @dlbno, @whatadewitt and @organicallyrude, the numerical position for the designated hitter is "0".  

Now I present, the score cards.  If anyone has suggestions please leave them in the comments, as this is a work in progress.  

*I'd like to thank Steve from The Baseball Enthusiast for his publicly available scorecards.  He's put together quite a collection of scoring materials that he graciously has available for free download on his site.  He can be found on twitter @yoshiki89

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