DON: Top of the seventh with The KC Commoners carrying a 3-1 lead over The Baltimore Grackles. Commoners starting pitcher, Al Pepper, so far has pitched a steady game, spreading four hits over seven innings, surrendering a solo home run in the fourth. But as well as he has pitched this Sunday afternoon, fatigue may be setting in. Isn’t that right, Ron?
RON: That’s right, Don. Pepper has pitched a solid game, and that should not be surprising considering he has an ERA of 1.2 on days with the letter “u” in it. But his fastball traditionally drops 15% in the seventh inning.
DON: We’ll have to keep an eye on that as Pepper faces Steve Stubble and the only Grackle to do any damage today, Mark McDonald. But first up is Roger Mess who so far has registered three strikeouts. Any reason for the poor showing, Ron?
RON: Mess’ batting percentage traditionally drops 187% when he gets into an argument with his wife the night before. And there was talk in the clubhouse that he was sleeping outside by the pool.
DON: First pitch… Right down the middle… Mess didn’t even swing.
RON: It’s been reported that 87% of people who sleep on patio furniture get less than three hours of sleep.
DON: Pepper’s second pitch… Slider in the dirt that caught Mess swinging.
RON: The lack of concentration might also be attributed to a visiting in-law. His batting percentage drops another 80% when his wife’s mother is in town.
DON: Ahead in the count, Pepper will probably dial up the heat. Here’s the delivery… Mess postdates the swing and bounces it at the bank.
RON: Stats don’t lie, Don. You combine a visiting in-law with marital strife and you are going to have a Mess that can’t bunt a beach ball.
DON: Up next is Steve Stubble, who has doubled, grounded out and walked on a balk… Commoner’s manager, Tony LeBunk, has activated movement in the bullpen.
RON: LeBunk believes if Pepper throws more than one hundred pitches, he starts lobbing the baseball like a grapefruit.
DON: Here’s the pitch… Low and inside… That was Pepper’s 90th pitch.
RON: Another interesting stat Don: Pepper completes an astounding 7.5% of his games. Not only does that speak well of his abilities as an All Star Pitcher; it also shows LeBunk’s unwillingness to retire him.
DON: Here’s the 91st… Down in the dirt!
RON: That was Pepper’s 355th career pitch not to reach the plate.
DON: Pepper steps off the mound to gather himself… He also appears to be arguing with LeBunk.
RON: It’s no secret that Pepper and LeBunk do not get along. Rarely do they talk to each other. It’s been documented on an eight game East Coast swing Pepper only said two words to his manager.
DON: What two words were those?
RON: The only two you need to say when you are not speaking to someone.
DON: Here’s the delivery… This pitch is past the batter, the catcher and the candlestick maker… LeBunk has yet to make a move.
RON: It’s not surprising. At 6 feet five inches, weighing over 250 pounds, Pepper could easily bench-press LeBunk, who last weighed in at 175 during a yearly physical.
DON: Pepper sets up for the delivery. Here’s the pitch… Way inside… Stubble will take a four-pitch walk with no balk. And with Mark McDonald coming to the plate, LeBunk is making his way to the mound.
RON: This should be interesting…
DON: Since we have a break in the action, our staff has found some interesting trivia for you baseball fans. Are you ready to play along, Ron?
RON: Let’s hear it, Don.
DON: Who is the only player to hit a grand slam during a lunar eclipse?
RON: Was it Flake Wilson on the ’65 Vintners?
DON: Close. Wilson’s grand slam came during a meteor shower. The eclipse grand slam goes to Woody Gambaduchi of the Boston Brahmans, who on May 24th, 1956 pulled a Willie Frankman fastball over the left field fence in Dharma County Stadium.
RON: That was a tough one, Don.
DON: What about this one, Ron? What pitcher struck out his father, his brother and his college roommate during the same season?
RON: You’re kidding?
DON: The distinction goes to Flip Bronco of The Staten Island Drafters when in 1937 he struck out his father, Phil, his brother, Bill, and his former Columbia University roommate, Milt Dilson.
RON: Quite a mouthful, Don.
DON: It looks like Pepper will stay in the game for LeBunk was unable to extract the baseball from his glove.
RON: Not without a court order and crowbar is the task likely.
DON: Mark McDonald steps up to the plate. And with the only run of the game, it’s a pretty good bet that Pepper will mix up the delivery. Here it is… Way inside!
DON: Pepper sets up again, makes a wild throw that has McDonald ducking.
RON: No surprise there, Don. Pepper has a tendency to hit batters of Scottish descent. Eighty percent of all batters who have been hit by a Pepper pitch can claim 68% ancestry from the British country.
DON: Pepper does not seem dismayed. In fact, for the first time today he appears to be smiling.
RON: More of a smirk.
DON: Two balls and no strikes… Here’s the pitch… Oh, he got him this time, right in the back of the shoulder.
RON: Statistically speaking, McDonald storms the mound 87% of the time. But since he will be charging a man six inches taller than him, I have a feeling the chances diminish by 23%.
DON: It looks like with the help of security LeBunk will try to retire Pepper to the clubhouse. And with that we will take an early seventh inning stretch. Ron would you like to know what condiments are most used by the fans here at Flatbush Stadium on Thursday afternoons?
RON: Let’s go to the song, Don.