The Tale of the Elusive Scoreless First Inning


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The Scoreless First Inning is ever so shy
Forever skulking about in the gloom.
The Scoreless First Inning will resist a try
To draw him out of his dark little room.
Although he may seem to be quite good friends
With many a pitcher on many a team
On his choice alone his appearance depends
And a most choosy friend he is, it would seem.

He will not come out! He will not be drawn!
No matter how desperately you cajole
There is no amount of guile or brawn
That can convince him it’s time to come out for a stroll.
His presence determines our losing or winning–
Not every time; slightly less than routinely.
Yet how we all yearn for that Scoreless First Inning
To boost up our team o so brightly and cleanly!

You will find he is quite a prickly chap.
You will find he is very easy to offend.
It matters little how much you cheer or you clap,
He either will or he won’t choose to be your friend.
This fact, alas, has been made very plain
To one of our very own Tiger right-handers.
Jeremy Bonderman is the poor fellow’s name,
And it’s his pitching that suffers from First Inning slanders.

He has been polite, he has tried to be kind.
He has offered up food and lots of small gifty stuff.
Still he finds himself very much hurt and maligned
By the Scoreless First Inning’s repeated rebuffs.
I’m sure there is little Bonderman would like more
Than to pitch a first inning without any hits.
Alas for the Tigers (and alas for the score)
Upon this ambition our First Inning friend spits.

No one is sure exactly how he has offended
The Scoreless First Inning to such a degree.
His routine now simply must be upended
If he has any hope of ever breaking free.
The Scoreless First Inning is ever elusive
When Bonderman comes ’round poking and prying.
It’s sad the relationship’s grown this abusive,
But in baseball, they say, there’s simply no crying.

6 responses to “The Tale of the Elusive Scoreless First Inning

  1. I am in amazement. I am overcome.
    Nobody ever needs to write a single word about Bondo’s first inning struggles again. The book has been closed.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    Obviously my original comment didn’t go through. Rats.
    This is awesome. Especially the creepy little Edward Gorey-ish lurking baseball.

  3. Wow! Incredible post!
    Bonderman has a first inning BAbip of .421 this season (MLB average BAbip is around .300 right now) and his first inning HRA as a percentage of Outfield Flyballs is around 16% (MLB average is around 10% right now).
    It seems like JB has been very unlucky in first innings so far this season, and that his luck in the first inning is bound to improve.
    But probably not until after he’s traded in the offseason for Adam Eaton.

  4. […] Roar of the Tigers | MVN – Most Valuable Network

  5. …ya know what else is elusive? Amphibrachic tetrameter! Truly a lost art. My hat is off to your mad prosodical skills.

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