Mets 3, Diamondbacks 0 (3rd inning)
After watching the Mets jump out to an early lead for the 4th game in a row against Arizona, I’m reminded that on Friday night, Thom Brennaman and Mark Grace both insisted that “the first inning is the toughest”, a truism that I’m far too tired to argue with. I mean, if the Snakes cannot retire three Mets hitters in the first inning, the game never ends and Brennaman and Grace are forced to eat each other’s flesh long after all paying spectators have left Chase Field.
But if this is such an accepted baseball fact, why don’t more managers employ their closers in the first inning? If you think Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Papelbon are tough in low pressure situations like the end of the game, why not use their powerful arms when it really counts —- bases empty, nobody out in the first inning?
Though I doubt Brennaman will have an opportunity to test this theory anytime soon, it stands to reason that a baseball genius like Gracie will get a shot whenever the glamour of the TV booth has worn off. Surely there must be a community college or an institution for the criminally insane that needs a baseball coach with his impressive resume?