‘Pitch’ 1×09 Review: ‘Scratched’

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I want to say that last night’s episode of Pitch was one of my favourites all season. It kind of was. I loved it, up until the very end. Scratched was emotional, it resonated with me personally, the characters were all believable and I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of it.

That said, I can’t help but feel a bit cheated with how the episode ended. I understand why the writers did it, but I don’t think it was the right choice.

This was a beautiful, emotional episode about Mike Lawson saying goodbye to San Diego and to his teammates. Flipping the script so that he didn’t actually leave undermined everything that the episode had been building up to. Mike’s emotional goodbye to the Padres means so much less now that it wasn’t actually a goodbye.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a fantastic episode, and I understand why the writers wanted Mike to stay with the Padres. I’m assuming he’s going to come back for another season and maybe win a World Series then. But I’m just disappointed that such an emotional episode ending up being for nothing.

One Last Time

 

This is the scene that got to me the most. This is why I felt cheated at the end. Mike standing on the sidelines as the crowd chanted his name, stepping up to the plate for one last go before the trade, saluting the fans one last time. 




I’ve been in those stands. Not literally, because I’m usually watching from my couch, but I have watched my favourite players play their last games with my team. In the last game of the 2014 season, I teared up as I watched Jason Spezza, a guy whose face was on two different posters in my room, finish his Ottawa Senators career with one of the most beautiful shootout goals I’ve ever seen. Later the same year, I got chills watching Daniel Alfredsson, literally the first hockey player I ever knew the name of, take his final lap around the Canadian Tire Centre.

As sports fans, we get so attached to our heroes. We watch them for years, and we dream of one day seeing them win it all, knowing that we followed them throughout their entire journey. Seeing someone leave the team like that is emotional for us too.

When such an iconic player leaves, we want closure. Nobody wants to see their favourite player leave without getting the chance to say a proper goodbye. We don’t want to suddenly realise that the last game we watched was actually the last time we’d ever see that guy play for our team. We want a chance to thank that player for everything they’ve done for us, and that’s always more meaningful when they’re still playing for the team.

Infidel

In this episode, Mike was faced with the most heartbreaking decision: would he rather retire a lifelong Padre or a World Series champion? There’s no guarantee that he’ll get the World Series if he leaves the Padres, and it’s possible, if improbable, that he gets both, but that’s pretty much what the decision boils down to.

If you’re not a sports fan, it’s difficult to understand just how important this is. It’s so rare for an athlete to stay with one team for so long. If they accomplish it, they basically become a legend in that city. Their legacy will always be with that franchise. They become synonymous with the team. To change that would be to taint their image forever. Once a star player nears the end of their career without winning it all, panic sets in as everyone realises that this player has to win a championship within the next few years, and if they have to do it with their current team because to do with any other team would be so unspeakably wrong that it would never feel the same.

I did not cheer for the Detroit Red Wings when Daniel Alfredsson signed a one year contract with them. Despite the fact that they were never actually serious contenders, I couldn’t stand the sight of my favourite hockey player of all time wearing a different team’s jersey. The idea of him lifting the Stanley Cup with them was downright repulsive. He had to win one with Ottawa. It was Ottawa or bust.

The ultimate sports legacy is to bring a championship to a franchise you spent your entire career with. Mike Lawson wants to do that so badly, but it’s starting to look like less and less of a possibility.

Bawson

Here’s some proof that Ginny has evolved as a character over the course of this season: she actually went out on a date.

I like Noah. He’s not a perfect match for Ginny, but he’s cute. I also love that Ginny was willing to step a little bit outside her comfort zone by accepting to go out with him. He’s nice, understanding and completely smitten with Ginny.

But alas, it was not meant to be. A text from Mike prompted Ginny to walk out on the date to join her teammate. They bantered about what they were going to miss about each other and, yeah, it was clear there were some romantic feelings there.

I’m not against the idea of Bawson, exactly. I don’t mind them getting together, they clearly have great chemistry. I’m just kind of apathetic toward Ginny and Mike as a couple, which isn’t really how I’m supposed to feel about TV relationships. I wish I shipped them, but at the moment I really love them as friends and really don’t care about them as a couple.

Will is still shady AF

 

Okay, so let me get this straight: Will has gone against everybody’s advice by opening a sports bar. He has borrowed Amelia’s money, Ginny’s money, and now Evelyn and Blip’s money. He is a terrible business man banking off his sister’s success who is going to screw EVERYBODY over very soon.

It turns out Evelyn is starting to have reservations too. Unfortunately, it’s already a little late for that because Will has already used her money to buy kitchen appliances for this restaurant that everybody knows is going to fail.

I feel bad for the guy, but damn is he lucky to be surrounded by smart women.

Livan’s head is bigger than a baseball stadium

I honestly think that the best argument for keeping Mike in San Diego is Livan Duarte. I adore this new catcher, but I know his type. He needs a mentor, a solid veteran to play behind, or he’ll end up crashing and burning in spectacular fashion.

Right now, Livan has incredible talent, but needs to settle down and learn a bit of humility. Playing behind Mike for a little while allows him to do just that. It also gives him the chance to make mistakes, which is a part of learning to play professional sports. If you make him the only catcher on the team, his development will be screwed up and it will end very badly for the Padres.

Random Thoughts:

  • You have no idea how often I hear the phrase “mathematically we’re still in the playoff race but everyone knows it’s a long shot.” So many flashbacks.
  • I appreciate Evelyn wanting to do something with herself and not constantly rely on Blip.
  • “Then win one with us.” I didn’t realise Ginny was such an optimist. Girl, the world isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
  • “Hashtag I don’t give a rat’s ass” made me laugh out loud. Thank you, Pitch writers.
  • I really appreciate how Mike’s supposed last game as a Padre didn’t go that well. Sometimes you don’t get the storybook ending, and that’s okay. The fans are still grateful that they got a chance to say goodbye.
  • Mike likes to pretend he doesn’t care, but he was absolutely falling apart at the idea of leaving this team.
  • Natalie Luongo is a total badass. I couldn’t really bring myself to take about her storyline with Al and Oscar, but I definitely liked her.

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