brewers baseball and things

not even an endangered species

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wikipedia

wikipedia

I remember Evolution and Variation from high school like any other class; as an effective tranquilizer, but it was also different; thanks to questions other kids asked. “If a baby is born in water and stays there for years and years, how long before the human grows fins?”

The teacher laughed, but we were eager for an answer. Apparently, the number was to high to calculate and too impossible to fit into the equation, but he did appreciate the thought process.

I don’t know much aboout Charles Darwin and his theories on evolution. I was more attracted to his 2 year  journey that turned into 5 years around the world in a boat called the beagle. I think the main point is a species survival depends in part on the species strength and its adaptability to change.

The triple is an endangered species, but only in terms of numbers and no surprise there with stadiums no longer belly of the whale big. The ball has no green grass to roll. But players are probably just as fast as 80 years ago and hit the ball just as far. No nurture factor there. It’s all nature or shrinking outfield alleys. And anyway, a triple is even more thrilling these days with baserunners on the giddy up and balls often ricocheting like a pinball in outfield corners.

Mark Reynolds and his kin of Dave Kingman and Russel Branyon are a different story; one under possible threat of extinction or at least that’s what critics have been speculating. Reynolds hits homeruns. He also strikes out a lot. I think he set a record for most homeruns with the fewest hits in a season a few years ago.

The anti Reynolds crowd says baseball has advanced to a point that players like Reynolds have become all too predictable and in the future will have no place in the MLB. Starting pitchers no longer treat their turn in the rotation as a marathon of pace oneself. They are never alone out on the mound. The bullpen is an octopus of 8 arms ready to relieve, ready to throw with maximum effort.

Advanced scouting exposes everyone’s weakness. Pinpoint control deepens the obstacles for batters. If Mark Reynolds can’t hit a back door curve ball, then Mark Reynolds will see nothing but back door curve balls.

But pitchers still make mistakes and Mark Reynolds exploits those moments. More than that, he plays an incredibly effective first base and runs the bases as good as anyone with so little speed.

In the top of the fifth last night, Reynolds speared a ground ball and threw to second base to start an exciting 3-6-3 double play. Baseball dwells in multiple and highly invisible dimensions. There’s no telling what might have happened if Reynolds doesn’t make that play, especially with the Rockies offense.

Reynolds; zimbio.com

Reynolds; zimbio.com

Both teams were locked into a dry spell. Kyle Lohse made the right pitches at the right time despite allowing seven hits. And his opponent,  Tyler Matzek had Brewer batters out of sync with an impressive 12 to 6 curve ball. The 24-year old rookie trailed 1-0 in the top of the seventh when the game’s situation called for a pinch hitter.

It turned out to be a pinch bunt as Brandon Barnes dropped down a perfectly executed safety squeeze to tie the score 1-1.  Khris Davis led off the bottom of the seventh with his second double of the game. Mark Reynolds walked. Jean Segura advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.

Pinch hitter Martin Maldonado attempted to squeeze in the go ahead run but popped the bunt attempt foul. Strange that two of baseball’s best offensive teams were bunting in runs  or maybe not so strange; just an old medicine that still works wonders..sometimes.  Maldonado struck out. Rickie Weeks walked. Bases loaded.

Braun was then hit by a pitch to bring in the go ahead run. This is the same Rockies team that suffered a three run passed ball against the Brewers last week.  Colorado tied it in the top of the ninth on a home run by Jeff Rutledge, but there was Reynolds again to open the home half of the ninth with a hard single in the hole between third and short. Segura sacrificed him to second. Pinch hitter Scooter Gennett intentionally walked. A passed ball or rather a dropped ball advanced both runners. Weeks struck out.

Braun then lined the first pitch from Matt Belisle on a line into center field to score the winning run-Mark Reynolds. Final score; Brewers 3, Rockies 2.

The Brewers are 50-32.

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Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

7 thoughts on “not even an endangered species

  1. In a recent poll, 4 in 10 Americans believe that God made Man exactly as he appears today, less than 10,000 years ago. Science appears to be as endangered as the triple.

  2. “…Reynolds speared a ground ball and threw to second base to start an exciting 3-6-3 double play…”

    There often comes a point in these essays up to which I have been making sense of it all in my mind. Then you throw in something which trips me up. I say something like, “Huh? He THREW? I thought he was the batter!” and though I continue to be enthralled and even excited by what you’re writing, I am enthralled and even excited in a surreal landscape. Please don’t stop.
    🙂

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