The Seattle Mariners have a great bullpen. As each day goes by, this becomes less and less of a secret in Major League Baseball. In the eighth inning last night, Alexei Ramirez came to the plate and faced Yoervis Medina. This is what happened:
Now look, in Ramirez’s defense that was a nasty pitch. It is easy for fans to sit at home in their recliners and think that they could hit major league pitching.
You can’t. Particularly if the ball moves.
This is why pitching is so important. Every professional baseball player can hit a fastball, even if it is in the 90s. The key to baseball is knowing what is coming next.
That’s the challenge. What is the pitcher going to throw? Heater? The deuce? Off-speed?
Ramirez guessed, and he guessed wrong (obviously). By the time he realized his mistake, the ball was already moving and his body could not catch up.
In simple terms, his brain and his body said “Doh!” at the same time. Result: buckled knees.
To Ramirez’s credit, he smiled a little smile as he got to his feet. It has to be embarassing to fall down in front of 23,223 people. The smile says that Ramirez recognizes the reality that he was simply defeated by a worthy opponent.
You also like to see Medina just walk off the field. No gestures and no taunting. The pitch spoke for itself. Scoreboard. Out recorded. Move on.
The bullpen is nasty, the Mariners are winning and life is good for Seattle sports right now. Here’s hoping we see more buckled knees in the future.