First Inning Blues


Spend enough time with other people and their individual pet peeves make themselves abundantly apparent. The same can be said for those people you sit next to at baseball games. Geoff Morrow has had to tell me on multiple occasions to not take things too personally when a leadoff hitter in an inning swings at the first pitch and weakly grounds out or pops out. Don’t even get me started on the frequency of sacrifice bunt attempts by non-pitchers early in the game.

Colleague Dave Sottile has made no secret what his No. 1 talking point and personal popcorn kernel stuck in his teeth as been this season: first inning runs. Wednesday night, Dave had plenty to get worked up about as the Senators allowed runs in both ends of the doubleheader. As you’ll see, though, they actually did something in the nightcap they hadn’t done yet this season.

So, after some research here are some factoids on the Senators’ first inning blues:

* The Senators have been outscored 126-52 in the first inning of their 122 games.

* The 126 first-inning runs by their opponents represent 20% of all of their runs scored; the Senators’ 52 runs represent only 10% of their output.

* The Senators have allowed first inning runs in 57 of their 122 games, while scoring in only 30.

* The Senators’ record in those 57 games they’ve allowed first inning runs? 17-40. Oof. If you’re doing the math at home that means they are a respectable 32-33 when their opponent doesn’t score in the first inning.

* It understandably gets much worse when they give up two or more runs in the first frame, which they’ve done 36 times this season. In those games, they are 6-30.

* If the Senators score in the first inning though they actually have a winning record of 16-14. Keep your calculators down, that means they’re 32-60 when they fail to push across a run in the first frame.

* After allowing at least a run in the first inning, the Senators have been behind for the entire game in 28 contests. In fact, the Senators never even equaled their opponent’s first inning runs over the course of the entire game in 14 of those instances.

* Neither team has scored in the first inning in only 47 of the 122 games played.

* If the Senators are trailing after the first inning, they are a dismal 13-38.

* If the Senators are leading after the first inning, they are 14-7. Great…but leading in only 21 games compared to their opponents’ 51 times has contributed to their current place in the cellar of the Eastern League.

* The Senators are merely 8-8 when they plate at least one run in the top half of the first inning while playing on the road. For comparison sake, their opponents’ record at Metro Bank Park is 20-11 when they score in the first inning.

* In those 16 occurrences on the road where they got on the scoreboard before the other team came to bat, the Senators allowed the opposition to respond in the bottom half of the inning six times. In the 31 times, the visiting team has scored at Metro Bank Park? The Senators have also scored in just six of those games.

* And what did they do Thursday for the first time all season? Despite scoring runs in the first inning, the Senators trailed into the second inning. But for the first time in six attempts, the Senators actually won the game.

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