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Fish Cap: Miami Marlins 4, Washington Nationals 6

Discover how yesterday's baseball game relates to a 1930s illustrated children story about a train.

Marc Serota

Allow me to tell you the story of a game in which a certain baseball team had a chance at winning for all the wrong reasons, but didn't, because that would have been silly.

The Little Pitcher That Could

A little pitcher named Stephen Strasburg once worked for the Washington Nationals baseball team, throwing baseballs for a living. One September weekend, the team traveled down south to visit sunny Miami, where they would play the famously bad Marlins.

The Marlins wanted to score runs on their own, but they just couldn't. Something about a combined .292 On-Base Percentage. So they asked if a pitcher on the Nationals would please balk in two runners. "I am having the worst season of my career and I can't afford to balk anyone right now," said the 6-foot-5 Dan Haren.

Ross Detwiler shook his head. "We have less than a one-percent chance at making the playoffs, but I am still clinging to the delusion that we are contending. I'm also injured, so I probably shouldn't be playing right now."

One pitcher, the little 6-foot-4 Stephen Strasburg, spoke up. "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can," he said. And so, the little pitcher took the mound, making a pitching motion without completing his delivery. Twice. With runners at third base.


If it weren't for Strasburg's two balks, the Marlins could not have stayed within range of a victory. The 25-year-old pitched mostly effectively, allowing six base-runners in six innings pitched, while striking out seven.

The Little Pitcher That Couldn't Keep The Ball In The Park

Unlike Stephen Strasburg, Jacob Turner is 6-foot-5, and not 6-foot-4. Consequently, he hasn't lived his life with a chip on his shoulder for being so short. Strasburg has been hardened by years of perceived inferiority, building up a gritty determination to overcome his own disability. In other words - the will to win.

As Michael explained, Turner showed normal velocity and kept the ball in the strike-zone throughout the game. The Nationals simply hit the ball hard off him, which I believe is irrefutable evidence that Turner lacked the gamer mentality associated with winning.

A truly determined pitcher would have spat on the ground, clenched his fist, furrowed his brow, ruffled his shirt, shouted profanity, and then hurled a fastball at 99 miles-per-hour. This is a scientifically tested method for winning baseball games.

I know it works, I know it works, I know it works.