2013 UCB Progressive Game Blog: The Fourth Inning
For the sixth consecutive year, the United Cardinal Bloggers, one of the premier organized blogging communities in all of baseball, will be conducting one of their signature projects, the progressive game blog. This year, the organization has selected the May 4 game in Milwaukee for their focus.
As is the case every year, each blogger is assigned a portion (usually an inning) of the game. The blogger will not only describe the action but will use what happens in that portion as a jumping-off point for other ideas and topics. Each blogger will link to the previous portion and the next portion of the game, forming a circular chain that will allow people to see the game through various eyes.
Following the third inning over at Pitchers Hit Eighth, the fourth inning comes to rest here at i70baseball.
Ho Hum Pitcher’s Duel
The progressive game blog almost always begins with the excitement of a fantasy baseball draft. The writers anxiously await the official press release from UCB founder Daniel Shoptaw to tell us what inning we have drawn. The storylines flow through our heads ahead of time as we look forward to our inning and anticipate what we may be able to write about.
Imagine my thrill when I drew the fourth inning of a Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. A game that pits Adam Wainwright against his counterpart in blue, Yovani Gallardo. Drawing the fourth inning when two aces are taking the mound is not a desirable position as you would expect both hurlers to be settling in and a fairly easy inning to flow from either of them.
That’s exactly what happened.
The top of the inning would see the Cardinals send the heart of the order to the plate, with cleanup hitter Allen Craig due to leadoff. The Fox Sports announce team was kind enough to remind the fans at home that Craig has not produced a home run this season, though his runs batted in should more than make up for the perceived lack of power. Craig, who has been impressive with runners in scoring position, did not have that luxury when leading off the inning. After two quick outs from Craig and Yadier Molina, a struggling David Freese stepped in and produced his second hit of the ballgame. Jon Jay ended the inning with the next at bat and an uneventful top of the fourth came to a close.
Wainwright took to the mound in the bottom of the fourth finding a groove that many were worried wouldn’t exist today after a nearly disastrous first inning (you can read about that inning over at Aaron Miles Fastball). Shadows were creeping in and Wainwright was taking advantage of it as it put the Brewers down in order.
Material for a blog post is hard to come by when pitchers are performing well and the game is simply moving along. One of the biggest points to take away from the fourth inning is the fact that David Freese seems to be finding his stroke and driving the ball. Over the last few games he has been hitting the ball with authority and you can tell that he is starting to come out of the slump and timing issues that have plagued the beginning of this season for him. Additionally, seeing Wainwright settle in, especially after struggling early, and produce shutout innings to keep his team in the game makes it very apparent why he is the ace of this staff.
Stay tuned and check in with On The Outside Corner for the fifth inning of this year’s Progressive Game Blog.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
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