“Take away the first inning and…”
Announcers say things like that all the time, and yesterday was no exception. It always makes me roll my eyes like a daughter hearing a hilariously funny dad joke.
It’s a common thing announcers and fans say when trying to rationalize away something. I’m guilty of it as well.
Take away the first two months of the season, and Hitter X would be the MVP. If you ignore his last six games, Pitcher Y would be a Cy Young candidate. Take away the slow start, and Team Z would be right in this race.
It’s meant to find positive trends. It’s meant to inspire optimism. Yeah, he woke up late, but he’s making good time missing that client meeting.
But you can’t take it away. It happened. In baseball, everything counts.
For instance, announcers bring up Cole Hamels’s first-inning struggles. His ERA in the first innings of games this year is 7.16. “But if you take away his first-inning runs, his ERA is a very respectable 3.69.”
I checked with the MLB Headquarters in New York. Those first innings will count.
“If you take away the first two months, Rougned Odor is hitting .264.”
“Take away March, April, May, and the Rangers are in it.”
Take away those banks Bonnie and Clyde robbed and…
You can’t take it away.
“Take away the first inning of yesterday’s game, and the Rangers win 2-0.”
You can wish DeShields’s error never happened or Hamels didn’t allow three earned runs. But it happened.
And while the Rangers were, indeed, a nice 14-11 in June, and it was cause for hope, they are now 1-5 in July.
A game is like a season. You can’t ignore innings. Or months. There are no do-overs. No mulligans. Those stats guys are relentless. They just keep adding up no matter what. You can’t overlook what you don’t want to see.
Take away all the stupid things I have written here and I would be a genius.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2, 4.40) vs. Michael Fulmer (3-7, 4.22)
Game time: 12:10