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The Sounds need to win the “hard third” ones.

April 18, 2009

Sounds Baseball by kwmcnutt.

No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games.  No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games.  It’s the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

That’s great insight from a seasoned skipper of baseball. Let’s see how that has applied to the Sounds so far this year.

I call what Lasorda is talking about as the “other third” as the “hard third”.

Let’s say the Sounds automatically lose three of their first nine games.

And let’s say they automatically win at least three. So of their first nine games they are 3-3.

What about the other three this year? The “hard third”?

Let’s look at those.

The reason the Sounds are 4-5 – anot over .500 – is because they have lost a few games (and innings)  they should not have if they want to be competitive in the Pacific Coast League this year.

Why are they not as competitive as they need to be, and should be?

Simple.

Mistakes, miscues, errors, bad plays, inning blow-ups . . .  at the worst time.

It’s having two outs in the inning and then walking the next batter. Then a single leads to the runner in scoring position.

Instead of shutting down the opposition at this point by a strike out, a well-pitch fastball that leads to a ground out, or the final out being caught along the first base foul line; the entire inning begins to crumble.

Another walk, a hit batsmen, a fielding error, an overthrow. Two more runs score. Three more. You look up to the scoreboard and you just shake your head.  How did they score eight runs in the night?  Twelve runs in the fifth?

No one expects their team to win them all. Heck, we even expect to lose at least a third of them. But somewhere in the middle (the “hard third”), between mediocre and great – is good.  A good team will win 50% of the games that seem to not be that important when there are two outs and a runner on first. A great team will win two out of the hard three.

The Sounds have learned the hard way that a failure to execute in the “hard third” has resulted in a season starting record of 3 wins to six losses.

To get this season on track and to at least be a good .500 team in 2009, the Sounds need to seriously think about the hard third.

This is why baseball is such a great team sport.  It doesn’t matter if one brusier smacks a 430 foot solo home run over left center if another player in the next inning commits a throwing error allowing two runners to score; or a pitcher walks the first batter who then scores after a single, followed by a wild pitch.

Good teams win half of the “hard thirds” and a great team wins most of the “hard thirds”.

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