I was thrilled Friday morning that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution printed the box scores from major league baseball's two old-fashioned pitchers' duels the day before.
That's a pleasure that print newspapers have not yet lost to Internet news sites like the Athletic. Box scores are available online, but they don't give the joy of perusing a box score in the newspaper over a cup of coffee.
Day baseball in late summer. Box scores the day after. A good momentary escape from the nation's political nightmare.
Keeping the Philadelphia Phillies close to the first place Braves in the National League East, emerging ace Aaron Nola outdueled the Nats' topgun Max Scherzer Thursday afternoon. The Phis' 2-0 win stopped a four-game losing streak. While the Nationals recently traded away Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams, they still have enough talent to make a late run for the playoffs.
With no playoff significance but of compelling interest to baseball fans, San Francisco's longtime stalwart Mason Bumgarner edged the Mets' hard-luck young star Jaccob DeGrom 3-1 in New York's Citi Field Thursday.
Reading those games' box-score pitching lines re-enacted a ritual I've followed since the days of Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, and Sandy Koufax.
While Nola, Scherzer, Bumgarner and deGrom all had excellent performances, none accomplished a complete game, a rare occurrence these days. I love it when a pristine complete-game pitching line shows up in a box score, which now happens only a few times a season.
One of baseball's best hitting pitchers, Bumgarner drove in the Giants' second run with a double.
While I loved the newspaper box score, an online site provided a great baseball quote from Bumgarner about his hit:
“I don’t know if I felt like I had a good chance to get him,” Bumgarner said. “But a swinging bat is a dangerous bat.”