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Climbing Out of a Slump

We're on just the third day of the Major League Baseball season, so it's impossible to say anyone is really in a hitting slump. MLB 11 The Show has been out for about a month, though, and one reader found his rookie struggling to get a hit, until he ended the slide the old fashioned way.

It's May in the second year of reader Asmo917's Road to the Show campaign in MLB 11 The Show. His player, Matt Gehrig (it rhymes with Asmo917's actual last name, which doesn't appear in the soundfile) made the major leagues in his first professional season. Asmo17 is a Washington transplant but an Ohio native, so when the draft sent him to the Reds instead of the Nationals he was still cool with it.

After getting a September call up, Gehrig stuck with the Reds coming out of spring training and racked up a .430 batting average in the limited time he saw through April - good enough to get spot starts at the end of the month. He promptly went 0-for-8 and went straight back to the bench. " Dusty Baker isn't known for his love of young players to begin with and I'd come up empty in some big spots," Asmo917 writes.

Career games in Road to the Show begin with batting practice if you have the option enabled, and Asmo917 does. He kept focusing on taking smooth cuts in BP, and given another shot at starting, blasted off a towering shot pre-game. Gehrig promptly went 0-4 that game, and 0 for his next 12, but still managed to stay in the starting lineup. Facing Johnny Cueto (traded from the Reds in this simulation), Gehrig in his first at bat ripped a booming shot that just died on the warning track.

"During my next at bat in the fourth, I was determined to wait on a good pitch and make a good swing instead of trying to force the issue like I had for the last 13 at-bats," Asmo917 writes. "Cueto grooved a first pitch fastball right down the heart of the plate, belt high. I had my second home run of the year, 423 feet to straight away center field.


After a 2-for-3 day, "my batting average was back above .300 and I felt like I could really start contributing to a team that was struggling," he says. "I celebrated the way all rookies should - I took some extra BP."


Here is the Box Score.

Remember, all you have to do to get yourself featured in Box Scores' Game of the Week is take a picture of whatever you've been playing - crappy cell picture will do - write up a couple sentences about why it was so compelling, and email it to me, owenATkotakuDOTcom, with "Box Scores" in the subject header. I will star all submitters, regardless of whether they are published. So be sure to include include your commenter handle, or your commenter page URL if it is different from your handle.


Now the Kotaku Sports open thread commences with the sports TV highlights for today and tomorrow. All times are U.S. Eastern.

Final Four

CBS begins its coverage of the NCAA basketball semifinals at 6 p.m. with Virginia Commonwealth and Butler tipping off at 6:09. At 8:49 is the varsity game, Kentucky vs. Connecticut.



WGN has the White Sox at Cleveland at 1 p.m. At 4 on Fox, the game of the week is either Detroit at the Yankees; Giants at Dodgers, or St. Diego at San Luis.



We have about a week until the regular season ends; Phoenix, four games out of the last playoff berth, is at No. 1 overall San Antonio at 1 p.m. on ABC tomorrow. Denver is solidly in the playoff race but has yet to clinch its spot; the Nuggets are at the Lakers at 3:30, also ABC tomorrow.



We also have a week left in hockey's regular season. Tonight's games on CBC are Montreal at New Jersey or Toronto at Ottawa at 7 p.m., followed by Edmonton at Vancouver at 10. Sunday, NBC has the Rangers at Philadelphia at 12:30



NASCAR's Goody's Fast Relief 500 races at Martinsville, Va. tomorrow at 12:30 on Fox.


Remember, you may send Game of the Week nominations to owenATkotakuDOTcom, and flag it "Box Scores" in the subject header. Please include your commenter handle for proper credit.

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