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Feedback on baseball gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Den1983, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Hello all: Was wondering if any could offer critique of the last baseball gamer I wrote. Any and all takes would be much appreciated. Thanks!


    It was only a matter of time, but when Carroll finally took advantage of Sharyland's mistakes on Friday night, they did so methodically.

    And all that did was allow senior O'Shea Dumes time to finish what he started: putting the clamps on the Rattlers' 27-game winning streak and placing his team one win away from next week's regional finals.

    Four runs in an opportunistic fifth inning was all the No. 2-state ranked Tigers needed against the No. 4 Rattlers, snapping a pitcher's duel via a 4-0 decision in Game 1 of their 5A regional semifinal series before a crowd of approximately 1,100 at Falfurrias High School.

    Game 2 is slated for 2 p.m. today at Falfurrias, with Game 3, if necessary, 30 minutes after Game 2. After playing in a plethora of elimination contests already this postseason, the righty Dumes — who allowed just one hit, struck out three and walked two — is intent on not seeing another do-or-die this time around.

    "We're going to come out with a high intensity because we know we've got to take care of business," he said. "No one wants to go to a Game 3. That's just the way it is."

    What looked to be a defensive gem quickly turned into a mess for Sharyland (31-4) and a gift for Carroll (30-4).

    The Tigers had let Rattlers left-hander Eric Gutierrez (8-2) get away too much with poor location. When Gutierrez displayed that again in the fifth, Carroll answered.

    Gutierrez hit designated hitter Andrew Heitkamp to lead off the inning before Julian Salinas hit into a sacrifice. Jason Franco was walked – Gutierrez's sixth at that point – and that brought up projected future first round Major League Baseball draftee and University of Texas signee Courtney Hawkins, who was intentionally walked.

    All that did, however, was produce a grand opportunity for Trey Rodriguez, who drilled a two-run single over the right side. By the time the dust cleared in the fifth, the Tigers had compiled two more runs off an error and wild pitch.

    Gutierrez allowed just two hits, but walked seven and struck out four. Time and time again, he went deep into counts. Through four innings, he had thrown 62 pitches.

    "He's a really good pitcher, (but) he was a little wild early," Carroll coach Lee Yeager said. "It looked like he lost a bit of his command tonight. We were able to get the bases loaded, put some pressure on him, and were able to get the big hit that made the difference."

    It was a different story for Dumes, as he mostly pitched to contact and allowed his defense — particularly senior third baseman Josh Cruz — to make fantastic plays.

    "My defense is the main thing," said Dumes, who improved to 10-1. "I was able to throw my pitches and my defense did the rest. I know I can trust my defense. I just tried to hit my spots and throw my pitches.

    "That's all you can do. Let the baseball take over."

    Dumes was one out away from a no-hitter when Mario Vela notched a single with two outs in the seventh inning. Still, he was far from disappointed.

    "As long as we win, that's all that matters," he said.

    Prior to the Tigers' pivotal fifth, the lone highlight was a gorgeous bomb by Hawkins, who launched a shot to deep left field, approximately 400 feet, which fell barely foul. That shot woke up the crowd, though neither team delivered on the scoreboard until two innings later.

    Hawkins walked twice (once intentionally) and dribbled into a fielder's choice. He was able to see precious looks with runners on base thanks to a switch by Yeager before the game, putting Franco in the ninth slot and putting Salinas in Franco's usual eighth.

    The swap paid off. Franco walked twice to set the table for the lethal Hawkins.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    In the lede, anytime you use the name of the school, use "it" instead of "they". Only when you refer the school by a nickname do you use "they".

    Name the position of the player you mentioned in the second 'graf. Why should the reader care about him?

    I noticed you used the phrase "all that did" twice. Read over your story when your done and avoid re-using phrases.
  3. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    All good points. Thanks. The funny thing is that, re: your first point, I did in fact have the "Carroll Tigers" in there to where "they" would have been appropriate. But the desk took out "Tigers" and forgot to change to "it." Stuff like that happens, but that's actually one of my pet peeves.

    Good catch on "all that did." I hate re-using phrases.
  4. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Is plethora necessary? What constitutes a plethora, which means overabundance, of elimination contests this post season? Pretend I'm picking up your section for the very first time and have not followed either team through to this point. How many times have they faced elimination this season?
    To me: After playing in X elimination contests already this postseason, the righty Dumes — who allowed just one hit, struck out three and walked two — is intent on not seeing another do-or-die this time around.
    Is stronger. No need to pussyfoot around something like this, it leaves questions that you likely don't have space to answer later in the gamer.
  5. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Never say "prior to." Ever!
    What is easier and leaner? "Before."
  6. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Too many cliches. Let's take the first two grafs:

    Avoid leading stories with subjects and verbs such as "It was." That's uninteresting. Lead with the action. And the cliches hurt specificity and slow down the story. Here's a possible rewrite of those two grafs, using mostly what you wrote:

    It's not perfect; that would actually make a solid nut graf instead of a lede. But it avoids the issues discussed above.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    You glossed over Dumes WAY too much.
    Guy takes a no-hitter to two outs in the seventh inning, in a playoff game against a team that's 31-4 and had won 27 straight, and you barely mention it until the last four paragraphs? That's the lede, not an afterthought. You dissected the losing pitcher's performance way more than the guy who flirted with the no-hitter and seems to be the star of the game. I do like the detail you went into with Gutierrez's outing, but you should've focused more of that energy on the winning pitcher.

    This would've been a good place to use an anecdotal lede. Focus on Dumes, his effort, his reaction and the nut graf. Wrap it up with a quote, follow with the series information, then either go back to Dumes or move on to Gutierrez and the effect the labored outing had with Carroll getting to him in the fifth inning.
  8. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I appreciate all the insight.

    As far as the last point, re: Dumes, I just thought he wasn't that dominant, though the numbers obviously suggest otherwise His defense did most of the work, and perhaps I should have elaborated on that more. I agree with the fact that his outing in general was pretty much buried.

    Great points, Versatile. Until now, I never realized how cliche-heavy I was early. Definitely something I need to improve upon.

    Thanks again to all who read and critiqued.
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