Through the first week of Major League Baseball I have witnessed a lot more losing than I have winning. You may think, “Hey, aren’t the numbers equal; doesn’t there have to be as much winning as there is losing?” Well, the answer is sort of.
Sometimes a team actively wins a game and sometimes a team actively loses a game. When a team wins a game they do everything right and those efforts result in a win. However what I have seen a lot of this season is a lot of teams not doing things right and as such giving away what could have been a win.
When you give away a game you should have won, you have essentially lost the game and in these circumstances, the other team did not win so much as the other team just lost. I know you think I’m crazy or an idiot, but stick with me for a minute.
Take the Brewers for example. They were able to notch their first win on Tuesday when Yovani Gallardo pitched a complete game. Previously the Brewers had lost several of their first week's games by blowing late-inning leads, all by their bullpen. Gallardo was quoted as saying “I was going to go out there, no matter what.”
And can you blame him? He sat there and watched the previous day when Takashi Saito entered the game in the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead and promptly gave up two solo home runs. Saito lost the game. Gallardo was not going to be victimized by the Brewers bullpen. He completed the ninth and The Brewers won.
On Opening Day, the Houston Astros took a three-run lead into the ninth. Their new closer Brandon Lyon was charged with the task of getting three outs before giving up three runs. He failed. As a matter of fact, he was only able to get one out and gave up four runs, the last of which ended the game. Brandon Lyons lost the game.
Relief pitching isn’t the only area I see teams losing the game. Defense has also been a guilty culprit. The defending World Champion San Francisco Giants committed five errors in their first two games. That’s an error every 3.6 innings. It cost them the series. The Dodgers seemingly capitalized on every miscue the Giants made, magnifying each mistake to a scale that everyone seemed to notice.
On Wednesday, The Cubs were playing the Diamondbacks. Chris Young hit a fly ball to shallow center and Marlon Byrd charged and dove. He missed it. It rolled all the way to the ivy at Wrigley before Alfonso Soriano got to it-and then he fumbled it. Well, Chris Young is fast and he kept going, turning what should have been a single into a two-run inside-the-park home run. The Cubs went on to lose by two runs. They lost the game.
I suppose you're wondering about how a team wins a game. Well there are some great examples of that so far this season as well. Oddly, it appears that some of the under-talented teams are the ones going out there and winning. The Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates are two perfect examples of this. Neither team has an overwhelming roster of talent, but what they both are doing is playing the game the right way and the direct result is a win. They are winning their games.
Further, from what I have seen so far it also appears as though the Texas Rangers are actively winning games. They are certainly not an under-talented team (perhaps the exact opposite) but they are executing on every level. They are the team equivalent of a five-tool player so far in this young season. As of this writing, they are 5-0.
So I’m going to assume that I have confused you in my terms of winning and losing. To clarify, teams that execute the basics and do the extra little things to give them an advantage are the teams that are going out and winning and the the teams that don’t are losing. There is a subtle difference between the two and often I don’t consider the team that won as having been the winning team; I just believe that the case may have been that the other team went out and lost the game.
I know a lot of you are probably thinking I’m an idiot. That’s okay, I completely lack the need for others approval, it’s a defect of mine. But, I do believe if you watch baseball with the win it or lose it mentality, you will see some of what I mean. Even if you do, you can still think I’m an idiot.