The Let's Play Archive

The Closer: Game of the Year Edition

by TheMcD

Part 12: Update X - Why Is Everyone Always Trying To Be Deep?

Update X - Why Is Everyone Always Trying To Be Deep?

Now, let's rejoin Bobson and his plan to become a better pitcher by eating ancient candy.

♪ BGM: Pez Factory

TheMcD's Baseball Stuff posted:

Alright, I suppose it's time to talk about PEDs - Performance Enhancing Drugs. But first off, baseball, as many other sports, is full of drugs, not just of the performance enhancing variety. It would go amiss at this point to not mention that one time Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter while high on LSD (seizure warning on that video - it's about LSD, so there will be some flashing). I could describe that further, but the video, an animation based on an interview Ellis gave about that no-hitter, does the job better than I could.

But anyway, everybody was on drugs. It'd be naive to assume this is a recent development. Just because some people have some sort of wistful, rose-tinted image of what baseball used to be around the 1930s or so doesn't mean everybody was clean - if anything, you'd think everybody was even higher, because who wasn't back then? And in the same way, the usage of performance enhancing drugs is absolutely nothing new. To bring it all the way back, in 1889, pitcher Jim "Pud" Galvin, in an attempt to elongate his by then declining career, tested a concoction dubbed the Brown-Séquard elixir - a mixture based on extracts from guinea-pig and dog testicles. Sure, with modern science, we know it didn't work except for a placebo effect (and even back then it was fairly derided), and it was only a single use, but still, it can at least show that even back then, people were taking stuff in an attempt to gain an edge.

However, what we're looking at here in particular is what has been called the "steroid era", a timespan going from approximately 1993 to 2003, in which PED testing was fairly lax and usage was rampant (not that certain usages, like amphetamines, weren't rampant earlier - I could go on about the Pittsburgh drug trials and bring out Lonnie Smith and Keith Hernandez as a particular example, but that would make this even longer, and I'll just leave you with this video on the remarkable career of Lonnie Smith), leading to exploding power numbers (though power numbers these days are also going up rapidly, though that is less to do with drugs and more with the fly ball revolution, though again, if I go into that I'll be here all day) and hitters producing greatly at high ages.

The two names that probably best exemplify the steroid era, at least in my mind, are Mark McGwire (left) and Sammy Sosa (right). The two were the poster childs for the increasing power numbers, making up five of the top six all time top single season home run numbers (70 and 65 for McGwire, 66, 64 and 63 for Sosa), and they engaged in the most ridiculous home run chase ever in 1998, with McGwire and Sosa putting up their all time top seasons for home runs and ending up with the #1 and #2 most home runs in a season at the time. For more on that particular season, here's a video on the duo of McGwire and Sosa, and the pitchers they faced.

Anyway, the steroid era culminated in the release of the Mitchell Report, an investigation by US Senator George Mitchell into the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs in MLB. There's a lot that could be said about the report, but basically, it ended up with a bunch of names and a general result of "yo, shit's fucked, do something", and as a result, MLB made its testing stricted. Now, one guy in that list of names is somebody that Bobson brought up here.

Roger Clemens was a pitcher who pitched for four teams over a 24 year long career spanning from 1984 to 2007. He was one of two pitchers to pitch into the 2000s and accumulate more than 4900 innings pitched. The other of the two, Greg Maddux, experienced a slow and gradual decline over the course of his career, as you would expect from an ace pitcher that gets older. Clemens had no such decline. Here are the seasons in which Clemens placed third or better in the Cy Young award voting: 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005. He won the award seven times, including in 1986 and 2004, so two years after his debut and three years before his retirement. It's not exactly insane to think that there was something else keeping him going for all this time. Clemens, for his part, has always denied using PEDs.

To juxtapose with the elite Clemens, Bartolo Colon is a much more pedestrian pitcher as far as performance is concerned. In his 21 year career, he bounced between 11 teams, and has the honor of being The Last Expo Standing - he was the last active player in MLB to have been on the roster of the short-lived Montreal Expos. However, Bartolo is actually a quite special player. At 285 pounds of a hunk of a man, he didn't earn the nickname "Big Sexy" for nothing, and he's accumulated a fair number of moments in his career that made him somewhat of a cult hero. In particular, watching Bartolo bat was always a great experience, and is one of the chief arguments to abolish the DH and make pitchers in the AL bat as well. Bartolo got busted for testosterone in 2012 and suspended for 50 days, which is weird, because honestly, Bartolo doesn't need any testosterone, he's already all the man one could be.

OK, I couldn't get through this bit about PEDs without bringing up Barry Bonds. Bonds is the second batter in the three name list of who I believe are most commonly in the conversation for greatest hitter of all time alongside Ted Williams and somebody else who I'm sure you know but I won't bring up yet because look at this fucking block oh my god it's so long already OK let's get back to this and finish it.

Bonds was a special talent already early in his career, winning MVP awards in his age 25, 27 and 28 seasons and being an all around five tool talent, winning Silver Slugger (best hitter at his position) and Gold Glove (best fielder at his position) awards several times and stealing a great number of bases. Bonds would continue his dominance after his move to the San Francisco Giants from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1993. And then 2001 happened. Bonds's 2001 season would be the season where he just straight up broke baseball by hitting an all-time record 73 home runs and establishing himself as the greatest hitter in the game right now by a significant degree. From then, he instilled a ridiculous amount of fear in pitchers, culminating in his 2004 season.

In 2004, Bonds would get on base at a .609 rate, the only time anyone has ever managed a .600 or more OBP. He would end up with an on base plus slugging of 1.412, the only hitter to ever get above a 1.400 OPS. He took 232 walks - the next closest non-Bonds season has 170 walks. And the most ridiculous stat of all - he took 120 intentional walks. More than half of the walks he took were just given to him intentionally by the pitcher. The next closest non-Bonds season has 45, so barely more than a third of what Bonds had. Bonds made opposing pitchers shit themselves, and it didn't even matter that he only hit 45 home runs. He just didn't get enough opportunities to hit more.

But of course, it would then turn out that Bonds was on PEDs as well, with him also being named in the Mitchell Report, and Bonds would be out of baseball in 2008, effectively being blackballed by the league - or at least that's the implication being made by the teams' behavior, since Bonds was still an excellent hitter in 2007 (albeit not as insane as his 2001-2004 stretch). There was a whole bunch of judicial rigmarole going on regarding Bonds's perjury about stating he never took PEDs and some obstruction of justice mixed in, but we should really get back to the game now.

For more on Bonds and the way he broke baseball in those four seasons, I recommend this video.

Fucking hell, that was a lot.

And some of those guys write for newspapers, so they gotta be smart. Well, here it goes... Wow, so much candy... They aren't even in dispensers, so I can eat a package at a time.

Bobson eats an entire package of PEZ!

Wow, that doesn't taste quite right... I wonder if PEZ can go bad.

Bobson eats an entire package of PEZ!

Oooh boy... Expiration date May 2, 1997? Urghhh... Well, these are the only PEZ I have so I should keep going.

Bobson eats an entire package of PEZ!

I... I don’t feel so... I don't feel so good...

And Bobson blacks out.

♪ BGM: Dream Sequence

...and now we're in a text adventure. Yep. Well, we are aided by the fact that we have options to pick from, so we don't have to guess what the interpreter wants. But yeah, now we're in a text-adventure-like-cum-dream-sequence. Let's check it out.


You are outside of the baseball stadium where you work as the closer for the New York Yankees. Crowds are gathered around the park because it is game six of the World Series.


There are only two films available in the Redbox: Grown Ups 2 and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. You only have enough money to rent one film.

We are given the choice between the two films, or the other option that I just have to take.


Yes, that is the correct reaction to both of those films.


The street just south of the stadium is full of restaurants, bars, and people milling about. The bar to the east is closed, and there is an impenetrable brick wall to the west.


The bar to the east appears to be closed in preparation for the game. There is a hot dog vendor parked on the nearby sidewalk. He appears to be selling hot dogs.


"Hey buddy, do you want a hot dog?"



Are you sure you want to spend your money on a hot dog?

Yes, I am! Hot dogs are good.


You purchase a hot dog from the vendor.

Now, let's check the rest out.


The bartender quickly shoos you away from the door with an angry glare. He taps on the "closed" sign and calls you a few names that won't be repeated here.

There's also something else we can do here.


There is an impenetrable brick wall west of here. Why would you try to go west?


Life is peaceful there.


In the open air.


Where the skies are blue.


This is what we're gonna do.

And yes, this is accompanied by the appropriate instrumental BGM. Well, back to the stadium and then to the other location.


You are in the New York locker room. The game is a couple hours away.


The New York locker room is full of players getting ready for the upcoming game against St. Louis. It is game six of the World Series and New York lead 3-2. There is a door to the north leading out to the bullpen and a door to the west leading back to the outside of the stadium. Near the lockers, there is a bench where you can wait until game time.


The door to the bullpen is closed; while there is no game going on, there is no reason to go out into the bullpen.

Seems like there's nothing left to do right now, so...


This will advance time until the start of the game. Proceed?


You sit down and start to eat the hot dog that you purchased from the vendor south of the stadium. The hot dog is cold, and you wonder if perhaps you should have spent your money more wisely.

This is what we in the trade call "telling you that you fucked up".

You are in the New York locker room. The game has just begun. The door to the bullpen is now open.


The New York locker room is now empty. Everyone is either out on the field, in the dugout, or in the bullpen. You should probably go out to the bullpen to watch the game, since there is no one here. And because it is the sixth game of the World Series.

Now, we can leave and go around the areas we were at earlier, but there's no point, because I screwed up. So let's finish this and redo it.


You are the New York bullpen, where the rest of the pitching staff awaits a possible pitching change.


Benches line the interior wall of the bullpen, facing a small pitching mound on one side and a replica of home plate on the other. The team's bullpen catcher stretches near the door, ready to warm up any of the remaining pitching staff once called upon to prepare for entering the game. A door to the south leads back to the stadium. You can also wait on the bench and watch the game until you are called upon.


This will advance the game to the ninth inning, when you will be called upon to face Carlos Rodriguez. Are you sure you want to watch the game?

Yeah, I need to redo this regardless.


A strange feeling of deja vu envelopes you as you realize where the game is going. You have seen this all before. 2-1 lead for New York, runners on base, and Carlos Rodriguez coming to the plate. You keep hoping something different will happen. Another runner will get on base, a batter will pop up instead of strike out--anything to change the script, however small. After all, this is a dream, right? It's not a memory or a simulation. Why would everything happen the same way? What sense would that make? Then the call to the bullpen comes, just as it did before. You can't escape the machine, even here.

♪ BGM: Terminate

With every pitch you throw, you feel the sense of dread increasing. You know what's coming. You know that soon you will be in a count where you can only throw the slider. Most of all, you know what he's going to do with the slider. You can see Rodriguez's smug face looking back at you from the batter's box, like he also knows what is about to happen. But is that possible? This is your mind, not his. Before you know it, the time has come. He's fouled off every fastball you've thrown, and laid off every slider you've run in on his hands. You have to throw the slider for a strike.



♪ BGM: Silence ♫

Rodriguez demolishes the pitch. It seems like he somehow hit it even further than in real life, though you're not sure that's possible. You watch as he rounds the bases... Could you have done anything differently in this dream? Maybe seized a bit of a psychological advantage?

Well, there's been enough hints that there's something we can do here.


At least that's what I do, but this is a bit screwed up - trying again puts me at the point where the game has already started, which is too late for me to change something I need to change, so instead, we reload entirely and start over.

♪ BGM: Dream Sequence

The critical moment is here. If we actually get a movie, we will find that we will gain some critical help in our locker room.


Grown Ups 2 is the sequel to the 2010 film Grown Ups, featuring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade. Do you want to rent Grown Ups 2?


You receive a copy of Grown Ups 2 from the Redbox machine.

Now, let's head back to the locker room and >WAIT.

You pop in the DVD of Grown Ups 2 that you rented from the Redbox outside of the stadium. After all, you have a couple of hours to wait until the first pitch. The other New York players gather around as soon as they see a movie playing. They are drawn in by the natural charisma of Adam Sandler and his wacky friends. You bond with your teammates, just as the primary cast of Grown Ups 2 learns to bond over...uh... becoming grown ups. A second time. Because it is the second film. As the film wraps up, New York starter David Wells comes up to you to thank you for the pre—game entertainment.

David Wells? That's not right. He wasn't on the team because he retired a long time ago.

This is a dream sequence, just go with it.

I, uh, okay.

David Wells sticks around after the movie is over and the rest of the team disperses to go onto the field. You are in the New York locker room. The has just begun. The door to the bullpen is now open. Your new friend David Wells remains in the locker room.


The New York locker room is now empty except for the imposing figure of David Wells. He is still going on about the nuanced themes of friendship from Grown Ups 2. "Perhaps they were grown ups all along, or maybe they needed each other to become grown ups?" he ponders. "Perhaps even we, as the audience, are the actual 'grown ups' the title refers to?"


David Wells asks if you want to go get a beer. Maybe you should go look for a place to get a beer with David Wells.



You are in an open field west of a baseball stadium with a locked front door. There is a Redbox machine that has been knocked over lying on the ground.


There is something stuck in the card reader of the Redbox machine. Do you want to take it?

We're in a text adventure, might as well grab everything (and then reload when it turns out that thing kills us).


You receive a stolen credit card! You know that it's stolen because what kind of idiot would leave his own credit card in the machine after knocking it over?

Actually, while we're at it...


The crowds from earlier have dispersed now that the game has begun. Near the road, the Redbox from earlier has been tipped over, probably by overenthusiastic fans. You wonder what kind of person would destroy a Redbox machine, which did nothing wrong but attempt to provide convenient entertainment to the public at an affordable price. This dream sequence is brought to you by the Redbox Corporation (TM). View the selection available in your area at

Good to know!


Now that the game has begun, everyone has gone into the bars and restaurants to watch. There is a specific open bar to the east, and an impenetrable brick wall to the west. David Wells is here with you.


David Wells' face lights up as you enter the bar. "Yeah, this is totally my bag," he says, though you don't entirely know what he means by that. You approach the bartender. Will you buy drinks for yourself and David Wells?

Of course!


You use the stolen credit card to buy drinks for yourself and David Wells. David Wells takes you to a dark and secluded corner of the bar, which would normally get you a little scared because he is known as a man of ill repute througout the clubhouse. But after watching the comedic stylings of Adam Sandler and sharing a drink, you understand that he is just looking for a friend. "Hey, Bobson, how about I teach you how to throw my curveball?" David Wells asks. You know that this is ridiculous--the game has already started, after all—-but you realize that you have come to trust David Wells. If he thinks he can teach you to throw a curveball... well, who are you to doubt him? You and David Wells return to the stadium, and go to the bullpen. He shows you his curveball grip, and you immediately take to the pitch. By the ninth inning, you have come to understand how David Wells used an excellent curve to make up for an otherwise underwhelming arsenal. Then the call comes into the bullpen. The pitcher on the mound is in trouble. If Carlos Rodriguez comes to the plate, you will have to be ready to face him. Could Wells' curveball change history? A strange feeling of deja vu envelopes you as you realize where the game is going. You have seen this all before. 2-1 lead for New York, runners on base, and Carlos Rodriguez coming to the plate. You keep hoping something different will happen. Another runner will get on base, a batter will pop up instead of strike out--anything to change the script, however small. After all, this is a dream, right? It's not a memory or a simulation. Why would everything happen the same way? What sense would that make? Then the call to the bullpen comes, just as it did before. You can't escape the machine, even here.

♪ BGM: Terminate

With every pitch you throw, you feel the sense of dread increasing. You know what's coming. You know that soon you will be in a count where you can only throw the slider. Most of all, you know what he's going to do with the slider. You can see Rodriguez's smug face looking back at you from the batter's box, like he also knows what is about to happen. But is that possible? This is your mind, not his. Before you know it, the time has come. He's fouled off every fastball you've thrown, and laid off every slider you've run in on his hands. You have to throw the slider for a strike.

Time to change history.


♪ BGM: Silence ♫

That's right! There is another option. This time *is* different. Now you know how to throw David Wells' curveball. Sure, you've never thrown it in a game before but how much worse could the result really be? Gripping the baseball just like Wells showed you, you go into the windup. Just as you are about to deliver the ball, you see a moment of confusion flash across Rodriguez's face. Even he doesn't know what's coming. Swing and a miss! You struck him out!

♪ BGM: The Entrance

But, of course, this is just a dream. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't change history. Except...

Indeed, you have done well Bobson.
David Wells! It really is you! It wasn't just a dream.
This is still a dream sequence, kid, but whatever helps you get through the day. Anyway, I'm here to teach you a curveball for real.
For real? I thought you said this was a dream.
You gotta quit thinking about things, kid. You're just going to get yourself hurt.

Bobson has learned the curveball!

I can feel the wisdom of pitchers past flow through my veins. Sandy Koufax. Bert Blyleven. Adam Wainwright. I now understand how to throw a pitch that will tumble into the strikezone or into the dirt. Thank you, David Wells.
You be careful, Bobson, because the curveball is a dangerous beast. With two strikes, you can throw it out of the zone to try and get the batter to chase... but before that, if you try to place it in the strike zone, you might end up hanging it. You must be careful with the curveball. Thrown in the wrong spot, it is the easiest pitch to hit.
I understand, David Wells.
Now, we will test your new pitch.
Another phantom batter?
That's right, and you should be sure to save beforehand.

Yay, more saves.

All right, time to bring the hog in for the slaughter.
Uh, okay...

We fight another one of these guys. It's really not all that different.

Time for you to return to the real world. The PEZ is wearing off.
Oh, so that's why my stomach feels like a rock...

♪ BGM: Silence ♫

Just hope they don't test my pee, because I'm definitely diabetic now.

And that's it for this segment. Next up, we'd rejoin Kami and the gang at Twitter HQ, but before that, there is something we'll go over here. We could've done something differently.

♪ BGM: Dream Sequence

Let's get the other one instead.


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is an action film that both acts as its own original story and a re-boot of previous Tom Clancy adaptations featuring the character of Jack Ryan. Do you want to rent Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit?


Now, when we wait in the locker room...

Before you sit down to wait, you put in the DVD of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to watch while you prepare for the game. You hope that the all-American heroism of Tom Clancy's classic protagonist can distract you from the upcoming game. Your teammates eventually join you on the bench to watch. When the film is over, you are approached by starting pitcher Andy Pettitte, who wants to thank you for the pleasant distraction of a mediocre but inoffensive political thriller.

Andy Pettitte? But he retired before I was even drafted by New York.

Are you really questioning the logic of a dream sequence caused by eating expired PEZ candy?

I, uh, okay.

And when we then >LOOK AROUND...

The New York locker room is now empty except for the crafty lefthander, Andy Pettite. He is still contemplating the questions of international relations raised in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. "Could Wall Street really be a viable target for a terrorist plot intended to benefit the Russian Federation? The markets are so entwited, I have my doubts, but the film was quite convincing."

With Pettitte in our party, he wants to get a hot dog instead of getting a drink. We use the stolen credit card to buy a drink, then trade it with the hot dog vendor to get hot dogs (he doesn't take credit cards).

You and Andy Pettitte sit on the curb and enjoy the hot dogs as you watch the baseball game through the window of a nearby bar. "Do you think a hot dog is a sandwich?" Andy Pettitte asks as he finishes eating.

We can either say >YES...

You reply to Andy Pettitte that, of course, a hot dog is a sandwich. It is meat placed between bread, with toppings added as desired. What part of that isn't a sandwich? Andy Pettitte is inclined to agree, but he then pontificates, "what of a burrito, then?" You tell him that a tortilla isn't bread, and that clears up all the confusion surrounding the matter. At least for now.

...or >NO.

You tell Andy Pettitte that a hot dog could not be a sandwich, because there is only one piece of bread. A sandwich requires two pieces of bread. "But what of the hoagie?" Andy Pettitte inquires. "Isn't that made with a single piece of bread split down the middle? Surely, a hoagie is a sandwich." "You mean a submarine sandwich?" you ask. "I mean a grinder," Andy Pettitte responds. "Oh, so a poor boy." "A po' boy?" "No, a hero." "You mean a spuckie, right?" "What the fuck is a spuckie?" "It's like a wedge." "Basically, a bomber." "Exactly." You and Andy Pettitte clear up the sandwich issue with enough difficulty that you forget your argument regarding hot dogs.

Regardless of what we pick...

As you finish your discussion, Andy Pettitte drops a bombshell: "How about I teach you my curveball?" It's already the second inning of game six of the World Series, but you can't turn down this opportunity. You return to the stadium and begin working out in the bullpen. Over the next two hours, Pettitte teaches you how to throw the curveball he used to offset his cutter.

Then, the rest of the adventure goes the same. After that, when we arrive in the World of Pitching...

Woah, I'm back here again.
You are here for a reason, Bobson.
Andy Pettitte! It really is you! It wasn't just a dream.
Are you a pitcher, dreaming that you are a butterfly? Or are you a butterfly dreaming that you are a pitcher?
I don't think that butterflies have come up at all during this dream sequence.
That is unfortunate. Either way, it is time that you learn a curveball.
I'm still trying to figure out this butterfly thing.
I was trying to be deep.
Why is everyone always trying to be deep? Moose, Zizek, now even Andy Pettitte.
Why shouldn't I be able to be deep?
It's... I didn't mean anything by it or anything, I just like to keep things simple.
Fine, then we'll get on with this.

And finally, after defeating the Batter from the Ether...

Well done, Bobson! You are already well on your way to mastering the curveball. Time for you to return to the real world. The PEZ is wearing off. You know, I always prefered HGH.
Oh, is that the strawberry flavored gum?
Goodbye, Bobson.

Now, whether you have Wells or Pettitte teach you a curveball makes wide, sweeping changes for the rest of the game, so of course, I spent a great amount of time and effort figuring out the optimal choice to make.

...yeah, it doesn't make a difference who you get. But anyway, that'll be it for this update. Before we go, however, something on the pitchers we just heard about.

TheMcD's Baseball Stuff posted:

David Wells was a solid journeyman pitcher, pitching for 9 different teams over his 21 year career. A control pitcher, Wells had a very low walk rate, giving up less than two per nine innings over his career. That of course meant that he never had any gaudy strikeout numbers, but he didn't need those. Wells won two World Series rings over the course of his career, one with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, and one with the New York Yankees in 1998. He was also quite a character - his mother was a biker and her boyfriend a member of the Hell's Angels, and Wells himself carried a rowdy reputation into his major league career, as a drinker that blared heavy metal music in the locker room. The best way to describe Wells is that he once pitched a perfect game... and he did it "half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath, and a raging, skull-rattling hangover" on about an hour of sleep.

Andy Pettitte was there for a lot of the New York Yankees' 90s success and was still there for their success in the late 00s, and he picked up five World Series rings doing so. He was a part of what was called the Core Four - four homegrown players that were instrumental to the Yankees' 90s success where they won four World Series titles. Mariano Rivera was also part of that group. Pettitte was never a true ace that dominated for seasons on end, but he was consistently solid throughout his career, and combined with his longevity, Pettitte pitched his way to the most postseason wins all-time (though the win is a shit stat as we've previously established). He was also named in the Mitchell Report as a user of human growth hormone (HGH), so clearly, we wouldn't want to learn a curveball off a cheater. If we did, we would've picked up the spitball. Also, we all know that Pettitte knows nothing about the trials of a closer. We all know Pettitte can't pitch the eighth inning.

Bert Blyleven is a pitcher who suffered greatly as far as recognition is concerned because he was being overshadowed by greater pitchers and pitched in small market, mediocre teams in Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and it didn't help that those aforementioned teams meant he was saddled with a lot of losses and barely managed to have more wins than losses over his career. He also never won a Cy Young award and only made two All-Star teams. Blyleven did however get a decent showing in one old-school Hall of Fame stat - World Series titles. He won two, one with Pittsburgh in 1979 and one with Minnesota in 1987. With sabermetric analysis coming to the forefront of baseball thought, taking new looks at his career with new stats revealed a better pitcher than was previously thought, and Blyleven ended up inducted into the Hall of Fame on his 14th time on the ballot.

Adam Wainwright is one of the many tragic tales of pitcher injuries. A fairly highly regarded pitching prospect, he debuted for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 (technically he pitched two innings in 2005 but whatever) and very quickly developed into a bonafide ace, with top three Cy Young award finishes in 2009 and 2010. He missed the entirety of 2011 because of ligament damage in his elbow that required surgery, which can often spell doom for a pitcher's career, but Wainwright still had some great seasons in 2013 and 2014 with some more top three Cy Young award finishes. However, in 2015 he suffered another major injury with an Achilles tendon rupture, and he was never the same again after recovering from that, posting consecutive below average seasons from 2016 to 2018, and 2019 isn't looking too much better. So this game was made before the rapid decline.

Next time: Twitter HQ.