Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Is What You Get When You #ScoreWithKeith

Over the past few weeks, SNY has given its viewers an extra reason to watch their telecasts of late-season Mets games by allowing them to score with Keith Hernandez.  No, we're not talking about scoring with him the way he wanted Elaine Benes to score with him in a classic episode of Seinfeld.  We're talking about the opportunity to win Keith's scorecard - the one he meticulously fills in using an assortment of colored markers during every Mets game. 

This past Friday, the cast and crew of Studious Metsimus decided to try our hardest to score with Keith.  To win an autographed scorecard, we had to provide the 17th correct answer to the question "how many Silver Sluggers did I win in my career?".  While everyone else searched his page for the answer, we already knew that Keith won a Silver Slugger Award as a member of the Cardinals in 1980 and took home a second Silver Slugger four years later as a member of the Mets.  Therefore, without wasting any additional seconds, we tweeted the following response to SNY.

Within a few minutes, we had a direct message sent to us by SNY congratulating us for being the 17th correct answer.  After a shocked thank you response and an exchange of the address of the Studious Metsimus batcave (don't you wish you knew what it was), we watched the rest of the Mets game, which ended when Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt hit the schmidt out of the ball for a walk-off homer.

The game might have ended in nightmare fashion, but the following morning, SNY's Twitter account confirmed my wonderful dream had indeed come true.

After a few moments channeling our inner Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, we spent the next few days going stir crazy waiting for the scorecard to arrive.  Well, to quote Keith Hernandez's boothmate, "It.  Has.  Happened."

Lo and behold, we give to you our #ScoreWithKeith prize - an autographed game-used Keith Hernandez scorecard, in living (and lots of) color, as shown off by our Studious Metsimus models, Iggy and Joey Beartran.  (You may enlarge the photo by clicking on it.)

The scorecard is of the May 16, 2013 contest between the Mets and Cardinals - a 5-2 victory by the Mets at Busch Stadium.  The side that was autographed by Keith has the Mets' lineup.  The other side (not autographed) features the Cardinals' lineup.

Anytime a team is held scoreless, Keith writes a "0" on the linescore (top center of the scorecard) in pencil.  Whenever a team scores in its half-inning, Keith writes the number of runs scored in ink.  Hernandez also writes a player's career hitting statistics against the day's starting pitcher on the left side of the scorecard, highlighted in purple next to the player's name.

Note the colors used on the scorecard when the Mets were batting during the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.  Hernandez used yellow for all but one batter (David Wright) in the seventh.  He used blue for Wright's at-bat.  Keith also used blue in the eighth and orange in the ninth.  Now take a peek at the top right of the scorecard where Keith lists the pitchers used by the Cardinals.  In particular, look at the relievers used by St. Louis.  Randy Choate is highlighted in yellow, while Fernando Salas is in blue and Joe Kelly is shaded orange.  Therefore, Choate pitched the seventh inning in relief of starter Adam Wainwright.  When David Wright came up to bat, Salas relieved Choate.  Salas retired Wright and was allowed to pitch the entire eighth inning.  Kelly then came in to pitch the ninth.  It's so easy, all you kids out there can follow it with ease!

Interestingly, Keith does not write a batting average the way it is normally seen in a boxscore.  For example, Cardinals' starting pitcher Adam Wainwright had allowed a .245 batting average to opposing hitters entering the May 16 tilt versus the Mets.  But instead of writing it that way (.245), Keith wrote it as 245%.  Hernandez also writes an "x" in lieu of the word "for" when talking about a hitter's performance at the plate.  He made note of the fact that Daniel Murphy was in an "0 x 17 slump", but was "11 x 17 vs. St. Louis", meaning he was 0-for-17, but was 11-for-17 against the Cardinals.

Keith also writes various notes on his scorecard to help him during the telecast.  For example, he made a small note at the top right of the scorecard that Wainwright had pitched a no-hitter for 7⅓ innings in his last start.  He also wrote Wainwright's won-loss record in 2012 (14-13) and the fact that he missed the 2011 campaign because of Tommy John surgery.

Hernandez's penmanship in quite legible, and his use of markers, pens and pencils in a variety of colors make his scorecard very easy to interpret.  Clearly, we have no quibbles about his scribbles.  (He did misspell Matt Holliday's last name, leaving off one of the Ls, but his fundies were still excellent.)

We'd like to thank Keith Hernandez and SNY for the opportunity to score with Keith.  We hope all our readers get the opportunity to do the same before the season is over.

Here are some more photos of the scorecard, as shown off by Joey and Iggy, and some guy in a Mets jersey who decided to photobomb one of the shots.  Once again, you can enlarge any of the photos by simply clicking on it.  Enjoy!

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