Baseball is an evolving game right now and in a weird situation. There is a lot of old baseball fans that do not want any changes and are more unwritten rules of baseball people. The other side is the younger generation of baseball fans that want all the excitement in baseball, but tend to complain about the sport a lot.
I am sitting here in the middle wanting the sport to be as fun as it can be while still staying as close to the old roots of baseball as they can. The two sides pulling at the MLB to change is threatening the evolution of baseball. The viewership numbers may be down, but at this point it is time to stop worrying so much about it. We are seeing better baseball now than we ever have before. If you don't like the excitement in the game won't watch because of it, then don't. If you think the games are too long and they can't keep your attention for long enough, don't waste your time then. At this point for baseball it's a choice to be with the movement or against the movement and I know all in.
The game last night between the Padres and Dodgers was the perfect example of what I am talking about because it had everything in it. The game only lasted 3 hours and 18 minutes, but it started at the 9 ET time slot and had a long last three innings. Being on so late, people were frustrated at the slow tempo the players were playing at. Cry me a river if you thought that because that game was the definition of October baseball. Stars come out in October and Cody Bellinger shined last night.
The former Little League star came up big once again by going deep in the 4th inning, and then made the play of the postseason in robbing Tatis of a go-ahead homerun in the 7th. Tempers flared after this when Machado took exception to Graterol throwing his hat and glove in celebration of Bellinger's catch. I will not get into a rant about how weird and stupid it was for Graterol to do that, but the Padres are in no stance to talk about over celebrating. I'm all for all the celebrating, but it seems like both of these teams love to do it, but don't like it when it is done to them.
This game was full of just fantastic baseball. Davies got hit around a bit and forced SD into their bullpen early yet again, but the Padres just never went away. Machado and Hosmer energized the team with back to back bombs in the sixth. This Padres team is a very very dangerous team when they get energy and emotion rolling and the Dodgers knew this. The issue for the Padres was the Dodgers are also built the same with a ton of postseason pedigree. They countered every punch the Padres had in the comeback trail.
The Bellinger robbery switched momentum and the Dodgers built their lead back to three going into the ninth. The Padres just kept battling at the plate and put a few balls in the gap on Jansen and all of a sudden it was a one run game. Joe Kelly came in with the daunting task of having to face Tatis, Machado and Hosmer with the tying run on first base. Joe Kelly effectively kept everything down to Tatis and pitched around him to put him on. Machado got mostly the same treatment, but fouled off a couple mistakes in location of two seamers. He ultimately got walked too and then the bases were loaded for the team that is nicknamed "Slam Diego". Joe Kelly was filthy and ended up getting Hosmer to ground out and save the day ending possibly the game of the season so far.
All in all, if you are not down for everything that came with that Padres and Dodgers game last night you need to just drop baseball and watch another sport. All I know is that I woke up wanting to see all of the excitement and intensity that these playoffs have right now.