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Baseball Gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Xodus, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Xodus

    Xodus Member

    Hey, I'm a college writer and I was hoping I could get some feedback on a gamer I wrote earlier this week. I think it's a solid piece but I'm always looking for ways to improve. Any and all tips would be appreciated.

    JACKSONVILLE – If you take a peek at UF's schedule, it says the Gators were on the road Wednesday night.

    You would never have known it, as two-thirds of the spectators packed into John Sessions Stadium were clad in orange and blue, only to watch UF (18-5) give up a three-run lead and take a tough 8-5 loss to Jacksonville (14-8).

    Despite playing what amounted to an extra home game, the Gators' pitching staff put together one of its shakiest performances of the season. Starter Stephen Locke lasted just three innings and combined for more walked and hit batters (four) than strikeouts (three). J.K. Lacoste — who pitched just 2/3 of an inning — walked two batters and allowed two earned runs. The usually solid Josh Edmondson lasted just two innings.


    Sophomore Kyle Mullaney, who entered the season as the ace of UF's staff, threw 2/3 of an inning and allowed three runs, the second of which came on a balk. Things got so bad that Dustin Bamberg, who started the game at designated hitter, came in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and was the best pitcher of the night for UF. The senior threw 1 2/3 innings and struck out three.

    "He's going to have to give us some innings," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of Bamberg. "Some of these guys, it's disappointing that we just can't get anything out of them. For some guys it's been two or three years and we can't get anything out of them. At some point you have to give us something."

    The loss of starting catcher Buddy Munroe in the second inning may have played a role in the struggles of the Gators' pitching staff. Munroe hit a pitch off his right ankle in the top of the second inning.

    After blasting the Dolphins 11-6 on Tuesday, the Gators appeared to be on their way to another easy win Wednesday. Right fielder Clayton Pisani scored on Bamberg's sacrifice fly to center field and gave the Gators a 1-0 lead in the first inning. It was the 11th consecutive game in which UF scored the first run.

    The Gators were 9-1 in the previous 10 games with the only loss coming against Mississippi on Friday, when the Rebels rallied from an early 4-0 deficit.

    "They did a good job of playing hard the whole time regardless of what the score was," third baseman Jon Townsend said. "It would have been easy for them to fold when they got behind, but they stuck to their game plan."

    Townsend finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

    "These guys have been swinging the bat really well. I don't think you can fault them," O'Sullivan said. "You're going to have a game where you're not going to swing the bat well. That's when the pitching needs to step up, or the defense needs to step up."

    Freshman Josh Adams, a Jacksonville native, had his worst offensive game of the season. The second baseman finished 0 for 3 and didn't score or drive in a run.

    "They didn't really do anything different against us," Adams said. "Today, we just couldn't come out and swing the bats."

    Despite losing in his hometown, Adams said he wasn't taking this loss harder than any other.

    "Just because I know a lot of the guys doesn't really make a difference," Adams said. "A loss in general doesn't feel good. Being at home doesn't make it that much worse."
     
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    JACKSONVILLE – If you take a peek at UF's schedule, it says the Gators were on the road Wednesday night.

    You would never have known it, as two-thirds of the spectators packed into John Sessions Stadium were clad in orange and blue, only to watch UF (18-5) give up a three-run lead and take a tough 8-5 loss to Jacksonville (14-8).

    Despite playing what amounted to an extra home game, the Gators' pitching staff put together one of its shakiest performances of the season. Starter Stephen Locke lasted just three innings and combined for more walked and hit batters (four) than strikeouts (three). J.K. Lacoste — who pitched just 2/3 of an inning — walked two batters and allowed two earned runs. The usually solid Josh Edmondson lasted just two innings.

    (If you're going this route, why is Josh Edmondson usually solid? Low ERA? What's notable about his working two innings?)

    Sophomore Kyle Mullaney, who entered the season as the ace of UF's staff, threw 2/3 of an inning and allowed three runs, the second of which came on a balk. Things got so bad that Dustin Bamberg, who started the game at designated hitter, came in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and was the best pitcher of the night for UF. The senior threw 1 2/3 innings and struck out three.

    (By the same token, what makes Mullaney the ace?)

    "He's going to have to give us some innings," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of Bamberg. "Some of these guys, it's disappointing that we just can't get anything out of them. For some guys it's been two or three years and we can't get anything out of them. At some point you have to give us something."

    The loss of starting catcher Buddy Munroe in the second inning may have played a role in the struggles of the Gators' pitching staff. Munroe hit a pitch off his right ankle in the top of the second inning.

    (A quote from someone -- a pitcher, pitching coach, etc. would really help this point. I think this deserves expanding.)

    After blasting the Dolphins 11-6 on Tuesday, the Gators appeared to be on their way to another easy win Wednesday. Right fielder Clayton Pisani scored on Bamberg's sacrifice fly to center field and gave the Gators a 1-0 lead in the first inning. It was the 11th consecutive game in which UF scored the first run.

    The Gators were 9-1 in the previous 10 games with the only loss coming against Mississippi on Friday, when the Rebels rallied from an early 4-0 deficit.

    "They did a good job of playing hard the whole time regardless of what the score was," third baseman Jon Townsend said. "It would have been easy for them to fold when they got behind, but they stuck to their game plan."

    Townsend finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

    "These guys have been swinging the bat really well. I don't think you can fault them," O'Sullivan said. "You're going to have a game where you're not going to swing the bat well. That's when the pitching needs to step up, or the defense needs to step up."

    Freshman Josh Adams, a Jacksonville native, had his worst offensive game of the season. The second baseman finished 0 for 3 and didn't score or drive in a run.

    "They didn't really do anything different against us," Adams said. "Today, we just couldn't come out and swing the bats."

    Despite losing in his hometown, Adams said he wasn't taking this loss harder than any other.

    "Just because I know a lot of the guys doesn't really make a difference," Adams said. "A loss in general doesn't feel good. Being at home doesn't make it that much worse."

    All in all, I liked the way you tied in the lede graf to the second, and generally, this reads well. The points I made were holes that you left that need to be filled.
     
  3. Xodus

    Xodus Member

    Thanks. As soon as I wrote that graf I thought I should have asked someone if the catcher getting hurt contributed to the poor pitching.

    As for Mullaney, he's not the ace anymore. He entered the season as the No. 1, but after two bad starts he's been used as a reliever, with mixed results. I've already written advances and game stories that delved into his struggles and his fall from the rotation. In this instance, I thought it was only necessary to remind everyone that he was the ace without having to document all of his struggles once again. Especially since he was just one of many pitchers who stunk it up.

    Thanks again for the feedback.
     
  4. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I didn't like UF as the first reference to Florida.
     
  5. Xodus

    Xodus Member

    That's the style at my student paper. We're not allowed to write "Florida" unless it's in reference to the actual state. I'm not in love with that rule either.
     
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I read this story, and I have no idea what happened during the game.

    How was the three-run lead blown?

    Any big hits? Any big errors?

    Maybe a lot of the info about the pitching staff could have been used in a preview story?

    Don't get too down on what I just typed. Those are the things I would look for if I was a student at your school, and I picked up your paper to find out about the game.
     
  7. Xodus

    Xodus Member

    Yeah, I regret not having a bit of play-by-play on how JU made their comeback. The pitching staff has been an area of concern for the Gators all season and this their worst performance, so I went with that angle. If I had more room to write I would have definitely gotten some in there.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    All in all, a good effort. I've seen much worse from college students and part-timers. If I was your editor, though, I definitely would have switched ledes to the DH coming into pitch - which I know isn't necessarily rare in college baseball, but it would work thanks to the quote from the head coach.
     
  9. Xodus

    Xodus Member

    Thanks. About Edmondson he was never a starter (and I don't think what I wrote implied that he was) he has just been Florida's best reliever throughout the season.

    Thanks for the feedback
     
  10. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Yeah, I misread the name.
    In that case, I still wouldn't say Edmonson is usually solid.
     
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    A reliever lasting only two innings. Seems like a long enough outing to me.
     
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