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Game Thread #125: On the Brink

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You know what's frustrating about baseball?  We've all played sports in our lives, and we all think we have a pretty good idea of how it works.  Since most of us are competitive but not that good, we can turn on the juice when it really matters, and coast the rest of the time.

That's why people are so married to the ideas of "clutch" and runners in scoring position and "close and late" and all that mumbo-jumbo, despite whatever the stats say about it.  If we were playing beer league softball and were pitching the ninth inning with a one-run lead, by golly we'd nail it down or be ashamed of ourselves for not pulling it off.

I'm usually pretty good about not falling into that kind of thinking when it comes to MLB--it helps that I am a lot worse at baseball than other sports, so the chasm between, say, me and Craig Counsell is even bigger than it would've been if I had topped out in high school.  I know these guys wouldn't have made it this far if they were chokers, and there's not a whole lot of time to try extra hard in the point-whatever seconds it takes for the ball to get to home plate.

But, I get really wrapped up into being/rooting for the underdog.  I thrive as the underdog when I'm playing tennis, I like being the underdog in business, and not infrequently, I win despite viewing myself as the underdog.  So, I fully expect that when the Brewers are the underdog (as they are these days) that they'll gut it out, man up, [insert third cliche here], and get back in first place.

Then I take a step back and realize that that makes no sense.  Maybe they will.  I hope they will.  I hope Doug Davis gives up thirteen walks tonight, five of them to Rickie Weeks, five more to Johnny Estrada, and three to Yovani Gallardo.  But really, are they going to draw those bases-loaded walks because of an extra dose of half-game-back adrenaline?  Probably not.

Anyway, go Brewers!