Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Who Threw That Strikeout at Me?

the following excerpt was taken from ESPN.com's wrapup of the game between the Reds and the Angels today.

Summary: Kelvim Escobar threw a career-high 14 strikeouts, but when he was pulled in the sixth when his pitch count reached 116, the Reds were able to jump on the Angels' bullpen and rally for a two-run win.

A long, long time ago I realized that the sports page in the newspaper was not held to the same standard of editorial correctness as the other sections. At first, it was big things that caught my eye, like listing the incorrect winner of a baseball game (crushing to a kid in the pre-internet age who walks around thinking their team has won until discovering the error.) Then, as I grew older and more wise in the ways of English, I saw more and more typos, grammar and syntax errors, and just flat-out lazy copyediting.

But one thing I thought I could count on was that the sportswriter of any given article knew the basics of the sport he was writing about. Today, even that appears to be out the window.

fight illiteracy; stick your tongue out at bad writing

The above clipping is certainly poorly written, but far far worse is that the scribe over at ESPN News Services thinks that baseball pitchers "throw" strikeouts!

"Hey Bronson, how many strikeouts did you throw last night?"
"I only threw five strikeouts David, but the opposing pitcher Escobar threw fourteen strikeouts! And he only threw one walk too!"

Upon reflection, I suppose (grudgingly) that from a technical standpoint it isn't completely incorrect to use "throw" in this context, but in the thousands of hours I've spent watching baseball games I have never once heard an announcer or fellow baseball fan say anything close to "(Pitcher X) threw (Y amount of) strikeouts."

Have you?

also: You Reds fans will get a kick out of the player pictured in the Wikipedia article on strikeouts.

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