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Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 8: How to write a recap without watching the game

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Put a generic lede here, such as: Pirates put up a 3 run inning early and late in the game to complete the sweep against the hapless Diamondbacks.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I spent most of my day in meetings. Long, endless meetings. And then I realized at about 1, when I finally had a chance to snarf down the turkey sandwich I had brought, that I had forgotten to put my lunch in the fridge. The rest of the day I've been pretty hangry. Even taking all that in, though, it's pretty clear missing the game was the right choice.

But how do you recap a game you didn't watch or listen to? Well, dear strawperson, it's easy. First you pull up your favorite box score, such as one from ESPN or MLB. One with a play-by-play rundown is critical, but you can fudge it if necessary.

Now that you have your box score (I like ESPN's), you give it a quick look to see what the pre-built narrative will be. Was it that the offense was ineffective, or maybe that yet another starter got shellacked? Was it a late inning bullpen meltdown? Looking at the box score, I'd go with a combination of the last two narratives: 1) Patrick Corbin wasn't awful but didn't last long, which leads to 2) an 8th inning bullpen meltdown to put a close game out of reach.

Now that you have your narrative, you want to lead with it, then weave the other part of the game in it. Starting pitcher, offense (or lack there of), bullpen not only works chronologically, but has a nice narrative pull. Patrick Corbin struggled but didn't completely let the game get away, the offense put up some runs to get close, but then it was all for naught when Andrew Chafin let it get away.

The first part about the starting pitcher struggling feeds into an ongoing narrative, one that is representative of the series but also the season. The Diamondbacks just simply didn't have even good pitching this series, let alone most of the season. It's always good when you can connect back to your core themes.

After setting up the basic story, give a brief stat line for your chosen story. Since I'm leading off with Patrick Corbin struggling, I want to show a line that supports that thesis: he struggled through 5.2 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) off 6 hits and 2 walks, while also striking out 5. None of these numbers are particularly important or interesting, but people like numbers.

Since the reader now has learned about the starting pitching, briefly run down the scoring. This is when the play-by-play breakdown is important. If you want to talk about your team being ineffective, focus on that, or if you want to focus on your bad pitching, then focus on that. Use your Dickson Baseball Dictionary to describe the hits so that way your colorful narrative really make it seem like you watched.

Here's an example: Jean Segura walloped a ball on a rope out to deep center lead the game off with a double. He promptly returned home for the first run after Michael Bourn squared up on a meatball and hit it, al dente!, to get a double of his own. Okay, now you try, and put it in the comments.

You want to talk about the other team as well, so be sure to devote a short paragraph to how they scored.

Okay, now for the big grand finale. I've already set up that this game turned on an 8th inning Chafin meltdown, so I really want to play it up. Remember, we're trying to sell that we watched the game, even though we really didn't watch the game.

Rodriguez stepped up the plate. It was a close game, only 5-3, and Andrew Chafin dug into rubber, looking to "bear down."

It might be tempting at this point to physically describe Chafin or anyone else, but don't go down this poisoned road! You might think describing Chafin as recently clean shaven, but what if he isn't anymore? What if he grew back his moustache? Now you've revealed that you haven't watched a game in a couple weeks, if not more.

Once you've finished the game, it's just time put a bow on it. Restate your core theme, and then transition to what the next game or series will be. Voila! You've just written a recap for a game you didn't watch. No one will ever know.


Source: FanGraphs

Eating lunch: Michael Bourn (22.6%)
Not eating lunch: Jake Barrett (-27.6%)

Nearly 500 comments, which isn't bad for a random Thursday game. DbacksSkins, in a throwback to my salad days on this site in Aught Eight and Aught Nine, was the top banana with 117 comments. He was joined by: Anisha0913, Backin'the'Backs, Chelsea75, Clefo, DbacKid, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, Gilbertsportsfan, Hazzard21, Jackwriter, James Attwood, Jean Genie, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Makakilo, MrMrrbi, Oldenschoole, Re Tired, Xerostomia, Xipooo, cheese1213, coldblueAZ, david.munter, dbacks_in_vegas, hotclaws, noblevillain, nolanriley13, onedotfive, and piratedan7.

Tomorrow the Diamondbacks return home to take on the Padres, so tune in why don't you? I know I will*!

*I probably won't.