Posted in Baseball, Baseball Scorekeeping, Uncategorized

World Series Game 4: Giants even series

Last night, the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals played what was the most exciting game of the World Series so far to even things up at two games apiece.

For me, the most interesting part of the game was learning that Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica writer/producer Ronald D. Moore is a baseball fan. He was keeping score throughout the game and posting pictures of his scorecard to his Twitter feed.

Kansas City still holds the home field advantage in what is now a best-of-three series, but San Francisco would seem to hold the edge in tonight’s¬†rematch of Game 1 aces, Madison Bumgarner vs. James Shields.

Whatever the final score is tonight, baseball fans are the winners – we’re getting to watch a great series that will keep the 2014 season going until at least Tuesday night.

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Keeping Score: Getting ready for baseball season

My 2012 scorebook, plus assorted pencils, pens & highlighters

We’ve still got eight days before Dillon Gee takes the ball and the New York Mets open their Grapefruit League schedule, though two of my least favorite big league teams will open the exhibition schedule with a pair of televised games next weekend.

The New York Mets' numerical roster page at the beginning of this year's scorebook

So I spent a few minutes yesterday getting my 2012 scorebook prepared.

I’m not sure why I developed the habit, but I will always try to keep a scorecard when I watch a baseball game. (If I looked around enough, I could probably find some Gene Elston scorebooks from the early 1990s…)

I now use a scorecard of my own design [PDF format], influenced by one I found that had been discarded by a local sportswriter at a New Jersey Cardinals game many years ago.

Years ago, scorecards represented the best way to preserve the details of a baseball game that you saw. Now, that function has largely lost importance. MLB.com has more detailed information about recent games than any paper scorecard could hope to capture. Retrosheet.org has play-by-play information for most games played over the past century-plus. Data for minor league and independent league games is harder (and in many cases impossible) to find, but over the past couple of years the leagues are making strides to make play-by-play data available to internet-connected fans.

Now, the memory-keeping function of scorecards is really only important on a personal level. Has your favorite team won every game you’ve been to this season? Did they just break a long losing streak of the games you’ve attended? Did your favorite player do something cool? Your scorecard is a place to keep track so you can look back later and have something to jog your memory.

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The last baseball game of the year

For many people, baseball season ended when the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated their second World Series title in the past six years. For fans in certain Arizona communities, baseball season extends into November thanks to the Arizona Fall League.

Since it debuted three years ago, the MLB Network has let the rest of the country share in the fun by televising the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game and the Arizona Fall League Championship Game. When the Salt River Rafters closed out their 9-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros, that marked the end of professional baseball in the United States for 2011.

At The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Bryan has a recap of how the Mets’ prospects fared in the Arizona Fall League this year.

My scorecard from Saturday’s championship game is beneath the jump.

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Keeping Score: Carlos Beltran’s First Mets Game

Tuesday, Carlos Beltran played his final Mets game in Cincinnati. Just over six and a half seasons ago, Beltran played his first game for the Mets in Cincinnati. I guess there’s something to be said for symmetry.

Beltran went 3-for-5 to start his Mets career on Opening Day in 2005. He had a home run and a double off of Reds’ starter Paul Wilson, then added a single off reliever David Weathers in the seventh inning.

The Mets took an early 1-0 lead as Kazuo Matsui hit a first inning home run. Matsui also hit a home run in his first at bat of the season in 2004, making him the first Met to accomplish that feat since Darryl Strawberry did it in 1987 and 1988 (or so the note on my scorecard says.)

The Reds took a 3-1 lead on Adam Dunn‘s three-run homer off of Pedro Martinez in the bottom of the first. Martinez, who was also making his Mets debut, dominated the Reds for the next five innings. He struck out 12 batters over six innings, a record performance for a Mets pitcher on Opening Day.

Beltran’s homer tied the game in the third inning, and his single off Weathers drove in Jose Reyes as the go-ahead run in the seventh. The Mets added two more runs in the inning on Cliff Floyd‘s homer to go up 6-3.

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Keeping Score: Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit

You’ve got to realize that I am not a Yankee fan, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see history this afternoon. Derek Jeter¬†surprised nearly everyone by hitting a home run to left field in the third inning of today’s game for the 3,000th hit of his Hall of Fame career.

Jeter went 5-for-5 and drove in the game-winning run as the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4. I’ve got to tip my cap to him.

(Click my scorecard images to enlarge)

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