A few game notes from the NLDS action in each game 1.
1. Momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. After rolling over the Reds behind an outstanding performance from Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh sent A.J. Burnett to the hill against the Cardinals in the NLDS. Burnett fell apart and St. Louis cruised to victory. Momentum for the Pirates over.
Lesson: each day is new. Yesterday may have been great or awful, but praise God for a new start today.
2. Striking out less is a good thing for your offense. Just ask the Cardinals, who had two total strikeouts in game 1. There are certainly worse outs than a strikeout (see “Routine Double Play”), but St. Louis proved that avoiding outs is a good strategy (imagine that). They walked several times, waited for good pitches to hit, and let Burnett beat himself.
Lesson: this isn’t about taking a conservative and scared approach to life, but there is certainly wisdom in not being merely a “free-swinger” and getting yourself out. Take time to ask God for wisdom, to discipline yourself, and to avoid habits that lead to self-defeat.
3. Clayton Kershaw is good. Really good. And he wasn’t even sharp last night. Dodgers’ lefty Kershaw is in a class all by himself. He is other-worldly, proving it by mowing down the Braves without his best stuff. In seven innings, Kershaw struck out 12, allowing only one run. Atlanta never really had a chance.
Lesson: sometimes, just stand and applaud greatness. Remember that the next time you check out what God put in the night sky. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but God is, well, there aren’t words to describe His greatness.