Guide to Scoring Baseball -- Seventh Inning
Top of the seventh
Top of the seventh inning, Cardinals now leading 6 - 2. If you remember the bottom of the sixth inning, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa pinch hit for his pitcher -- J.D. Drew's Major League debut. As I indicated in that inning, LaRussa told the umpires that he was making a double switch, putting Drew in left field as the seventh inning starts, and putting the next pitcher into the fifth spot where Ron Gant was. Now that the inning is about to begin, we can see that Kent Mercker has been replaced by Rick Croushore. We write Croushore in the pitcher's section of the scorecard in the same way we replaced Trachsel in the Cardinals half of the sixth, except this time we put 7 in the inning column for Croushore. We also draw a horizontal line, with x's on the ends, above the next Cub at-bat box (Jose Hernandez) to make it clear that Hernandez is seeing a different pitcher.
The first batter to face Croushore is Jose Hernandez. He's 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored in the first inning. He takes a ball, gets a strike, and then hits the ball to right field where is it caught by John Mabry. To score this, we put F9 in his box, and indicate the first out with a 1 with a circle around it.
Next up is Mark Grace. He's 2 for 3 with an RBI in the first inning, but he grounded out to the shortstop in his last at-bat. This time he has a great at bat, working the count full, fouling off a pitch, and then having the discipline to hold back on ball four. He walks to first base with a one out walk. We draw his path along the bases with a tail at first to indicate he stopped there, and circle the BB on the right side of his box to indicate the walk. The long image on the right shows all the scoring starting with Hernandez and ending (five batters later) with Gaetti. Grace is the second box down in the image.
Sammy Sosa now walks to the plate. The Cardinal fans are cheering, but are hoping their pitcher can keep him from adding to his 58 home runs. He's 1 for 2 with a walk. He takes a first pitch ball, and swings wildly at the next pitch. He's behind on the fastball and hits a weak fly ball to left field, where it's caught by rookie J.D. Drew. His first professional put-out!
On the play, we write F7 in Sosa's box and indicate the second out with a circled 2.
Big Glenallen Hill steps into the batter's box 0 for 3 in the game with a ground out and two fly ball outs. This time he swings at the first pitch from Croushore and lines a ball past the pitcher into center field. He gets to first easily on the two-out single, and on the play Mark Grace advances to second.
We draw a line from home to first, with a little tail to indicate he stopped at second and circle the 1B for his single. In Grace's box, we draw his advancement from first to second. In the images, the result of Hill's at-bat are in very dark red to help separate them from the previous at-bats (in black) and the next at-bat (dark red).
Two men on and two out with Gary Gaetti at the plate. Gaetti is having a good afternoon, going 2 for 3 with two singles and a first inning RBI. In this inning he works the count full, and just like the previous at-bat, Croushore throws a full count ball that Gaetti doesn't swing at. Ball four! Gaetti walks and the bases are now loaded.
We draw Gaetti's path from home to first and circle BB for his walk. Hill advances from first to second and Grace moves to third on the walk. The different colors in the image should make the scoring clear.
Mickey Morandini is due up, but with the Cubs down by four runs, Riggleman decides to bring in a pinch hitter hoping to get at least two of those runs back. As pinch hitter Matt Mieske walks to the plate, Tony LaRussa decides he's seen enough of Croushore and makes a slow walk to the mound. He's calling for Lance Painter. Although I didn't keep track of which side of the plate batters favor, or which arm pitchers use, it's a good bet that Painter throws from the same side that Mieske bats from. In general, right handed batters have lower batting averages against right handed pitchers than against left handed pitchers. So a manager will often have a lefty and a righty in the bullpen warming up. After the pinch hitter moves from the on-deck circle to the batter's box, the manager will choose the pitcher that throws with the same arm.
To indicate the pinch hitter Mieske, we write him in below Morandini, with ph in the position column, and 7 in the inning column. We don't know yet whether he will take over at second base (he doesn't), so we leave some room in the boxes to write in a defensive position. We also draw a vertical line with x's on the ends across the left side of Mieske's at-bat box to show that Morandini's night is done.
We write Painter below Croushore in the pitcher's section of the lineup, and write 7 2/3 next to his name to indicate when he came into the game. We also draw a solid horizontal line with x's on either side above Mieske's box. This shows that Mieske is facing a new pitcher.
Croushore's line isn't clear at this point because he's responsible for all three runners. If Painter gives up a home run to Mieske, he's on the hook for four earned runs in two-thirds of an inning, and ERA over 50. But as it stands right now, he pitched two-thirds of an inning, got two fly ball outs, gave up one hit and two walks. There's nothing more frustrating to a manager than a relief pitcher who gives up walks late in the game.
In this game, LaRussa makes the right move. On a 1 - 2 count, Mieske hits a fly ball to the center fielder and the inning is over. It's scored F8. We write 3 in his box, circle it, and draw a diagonal line in the lower right to indicate the end of the inning.
The Cubs give up a golden opportunity to get back into the game, working the bases loaded with two outs but fail to capitalize. The Cubs got 0 runs, 1 hit, and left 3 men on base. There were no Cardinal errors. The Cubs walked 2 batters and didn't get any strikeouts. It's stretch time in St. Louis.
Bottom of the seventh
The seventh inning stretch is over and the Cubs come out onto the field for the bottom of the inning. Jim Riggleman sends Terry Mullholland out to the mound for his second inning of work. He also replaces the pinch hitter Mieske with Jason Maxwell at second base. Unlike last inning, when J.D. Drew stayed in the game at left field after pinch hitting, Matt Mieske was just a pinch hitter and doesn't play a defensive position in this game. In the last player box for the eighth position in the Cubs lineup, below Mieske's name, we write in Maxwell. He's playing second base, and it's still the seventh inning, so we put a 4 and 7 in the position and inning boxes.
The first batter in this half inning, Luis Ordaz steps in 0 for 2 with two fly ball outs. This time around Mulholland gets to a 2 and 2 count, Ordaz fouls off a pitch, and then hits a ground ball to the second baseman -- Jason Maxwell, who just entered the game! Maxwell throws over to Mark Grace for the first out. We record the play 4-3 and indicate the out with a circled 1.
J.D. Drew is up for the second time in his Major League career. So far he's 0 for 1 with a strikeout. Instead of seeing seven pitches from Mulholland like in his previous at-bat, Drew swings at the first pitch and hits a fly ball to center field. Lance Johnson waits under it, and makes the catch. Out number two. We score this as an F8, and mark the second out of the inning.
The number nine hitter for the Cardinals is catcher Eli Marerro. He walked in the sixth inning, so he's 0 for 1 with a fly out in the third. Mulholland gets strike one, strike two, and throws the 0 and 2 pitch over the plate. Marerro doesn't swing at it and the umpire rings him up. Since he was caught looking at the third strike, we record the play with a backwards K, put a 3 with a circle around it for the third out, and draw a diagonal line in the lower right corner of his box to delineate the end of the inning and the start of the next.
The inning is over. In the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals got 0 runs, 0 hits, and left 0 men on base. The Cubs didn't commit any errors and there was 1 strikeout. Cardinals still leading 6 - 2.
[ Page last updated 9-June-2005 ]