Royals 6, Astros 4: George Springer Day is ruined

Scott Halleran

In which into every life, a little rain must fall

In baseball's most famous poem, there is no joy in Mudville. Mighty Casey strikes out.

In baseball's most famous fiction novel, Roy Hobbs strikes out.

In that new movie with Jon Hamm and the cricket players, the cricket players strike out. Or something.

As great as predestined storylines may be, they don't always work out. Life isn't some grand movie playing for our benefit.

So, when George Spinger came up with a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the 11th, it was okay to get excited. But, Springer's at-bat ended just like every other realistic bit of baseball fiction. He struck out.

Maybe there's a metaphor in there about how baseball is a game of failure. We want these players to be successful 30 percent of the time and settle for 25 percent. That implies, though, that 70 percent of the time, we're left wanting.

Maybe that one at-bat is a sign that Springer will struggle to make contact in the majors.

Maybe it was a sign that Springer isn't ready for the majors.

Or, maybe the rest of that 11-inning ball game showed just how many other holes Houston has in its roster.

Dallas Keuchel was brilliant. He threw an incredible game as Houston's starter before handing it over to the bullpen. Were this a novel, he'd have gotten the win for sure, as a soft-tossing lefty who makes good and wins the girl.

But, this isn't a movie. This is a roster with holes still. It's a roster that still has guys like Jerome Williams prominently involved. It's a roster that still trots out only one hitter batting over .250. It's a roster that needs more work than can be fixed with one George Springer.

In one game, Springer showed all that he can do. He will be maddening and he will fill us with awe. He will strike out and he will draw walks. He will score runs and he will make base running errors. He will hit for power and he will strike out. I know, I already mentioned that. He'll strike out a lot.

If this were a work of fiction, though, Springer's first hit would have been a home run to tie the score. He would have taken Jason Castro or Marc Krauss' spot, since both had two-run home runs Wednesday.

Unfortunately, there is no grand story about Springer's debut. It provided more promise and hope to the 2014 season, but no changed results. The changes may come eventually. Springer may hit eventually. Nothing will happen fast, however. After all, there still has to be some conflict to resolve in Act 3.

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