Welcome to our recap of the eighth episode of Pitch, entitled “Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects”. As always, there are spoilers, so proceed with caution.
Prior to today’s Padres game, Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) has a breakfast meeting with his agent. Mike has cleared waivers, and several teams are now interested in trading for him. The agent wants to know how open Mike is to waiving his no-trade clause. As of now, Mike isn’t especially amenable to this idea. “We’ll get rained out before I ever leave San Diego,” he declares.
Mike should have known better than to tempt fate. Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) and the Padres, six games back of a Wild Card spot, are up on the Nationals 5-1 through four innings when the downpour starts, sending the game to rain delay. Hey, California could use the water.
GM Oscar (Mark Consuelos) is making his rounds when we find out that he’s seeing someone new, a woman named Natalie (Sarah Shahi). They’re keeping their relationship secret, and from someone in particular — though why, and whom, we’re not sure just yet.
Manager Al (Dan Lauria) decides immediately that he’s pulling Mike from the game. If the delay lasts longer than 45 minutes, Ginny will be done, too. Both players object, Mike even more strongly than Ginny.
Team president Charlie (Kevin Connolly) is a bit on edge about the delay. He’s concerned about the refunds the Padres will have to issue if the game is called, and is really intent on getting at least one more half inning in. Oscar explains that it’s up to the umpires to decide when play resumes, and the umpires go on the opinion of the groundskeeper. Charlie then goads Oscar into letting him berate the groundskeeper.
Ginny pairs up with her new catcher, Livan (Christian Ochoa), who’s apparently taken Oscar’s lecture from last week’s episode to heart, and is dedicated to doing prep work with his pitchers. Well… kind of. Their conversation veers off topic, and we learn that Livan’s not quite the playboy he seems: he has a girlfriend that he left behind in Cuba, and he’s remained faithful to her.
Their talk is interrupted when security informs Ginny that her brother, Will (B.J. Britt), is here to see her. This week’s flashbacks revolve around him.
Before Ginny’s MLB debut (on June 14), Will calls her to wish her luck. He claims that work — he’s started his own coffee shop — is keeping him from being there. Something’s amiss, though: Will has a black eye and stitches.
Two months later, in the present, Will’s face has healed nicely, and Ginny knows nothing of what happened to him. They agree to meet up after the game. Will says he’ll be calling from a(nother) new number. Sketchy, right?
Charlie and Oscar visit the head groundskeeper, Russell (Mark Christopher Lawrence). Charlie has done some research, and he’s found that it takes the Yankees grounds crew an average of just 28 minutes to get a game started after a rain delay. (Those sabergeeks, they have numbers for everything.) Charlie wants Russell’s crew to work that quickly. Russell doesn’t care for Charlie’s pushiness, and says he’ll take as much time as necessary to make sure the field’s safe for play. I’m Team Russell here.
Will arrives in the Padres family room and receives a warm reception from Evelyn (Meagan Holder). Amelia (Ali Larter) seems a bit less pleased to see him.
We flash back to the day of Ginny’s second MLB start (June 20), where the story behind Will’s injuries is revealed. He owes $20,000 to a business partner, who evidently took out their anger on his face. Amelia, concerned Ginny will be upset if she finds out, writes Will a check to cover his debt.
Back in the present, Mike is sulking in the clubhouse. Blip (Mo McRae) tries to get him to snap out of it, but that just annoys Mike further. He goes to have a word with Oscar.
Oscar, Mike and Al meet in Al’s office. Oscar and Al are on different pages vis-a-vis Mike’s future. Oscar thinks trading Mike to a contender for prospects is ultimately best for everyone involved. Al feels Mike’s bat, ability to handle the pitching staff and clubhouse leadership are necessary to keep the Padres’ postseason hopes alive. Mike tells Oscar he’ll give him a decision by the end of the day, but he’s now even more upset.
Needing a distraction, Mike launches a kangaroo court in the Padres’ clubhouse, in which all players are forced to defend their past offenses, baseball-related and otherwise. It’s all fun and games, until Mike and Blip call out Ginny for a TOOTBLAN she committed three weeks prior.
Ginny claims it was a hit-and-run, and Mike missed the sign. Mike argues that it wouldn’t make sense to call for a hit-and-run with Ginny on second (he’s right). Ginny asks Omar (Jason Canela), who was on first base at the time, to verify her claim, and he does. Mike gets ornery, and recess is called. Ginny only makes matters worse by trying to apologize.
Will, who’s given up on the coffee shop, is pursuing a new business idea: a sports bar chain called Scroogie’s (so named, we can surmise, for Ginny’s screwball). The first location will be in San Diego. Will and Evelyn are discussing a partnership when Eliot (Tim Jo) brings Amelia some bad news: Will’s still got debt, and creditors are looking for him. Amelia tries to intervene, which Will does not appreciate. In a power move, he calls upon Ginny to prove that she’s on his side.
Ginny stops her workout to see what Will’s emergency is, but it turns out he just wants her to confirm — in front of Amelia and the Padres’ wives and girlfriends — that she’ll be an investor in his business. Ginny takes Will aside and admonishes him for putting her on the spot. Will then reveals the previous incident with Amelia.
Omar apologizes to Mike and Blip for the kangaroo-court debacle, and confesses that he’s got rather strong feelings for Ginny. Mike and Blip cannot abide by this. Mike tells Omar that his feelings can’t be real, since he barely knows Ginny. As Mike runs through a list of all the things he does know about Ginny, his demeanor changes. When Mike says “You don’t have feelings,” it seems he may be saying it as much to himself as he is to Omar.
Ginny and Amelia track each other down. Ginny’s mad that she’s been kept in the dark and tells Amelia that she doesn’t want to have to choose between her and Will.
Charlie — who, for a smart guy, often behaves remarkably illogically — has a new brilliant plan to lobby the umpires not to postpone the game. He tries to get Oscar to take him to the umpires’ room. Instead, Oscar takes him to the batting cage. They discuss Charlie’s move from Silicon Valley to baseball.
“I learned that if you study the data long enough, it’s like you can predict the future,” Charlie explains of his job’s appeal. Charlie’s in this because he likes to feel in control, but Oscar reminds him that he’s not the unstoppable force he thinks he is, and there are some objects he just can’t move — not the rain, not the groundskeeper, and not Mike Lawson’s feelings. (Oscar’s swing isn’t great, by the way, but Charlie’s is horrendous.)
Charlie may not be able to control the rain, but it’s finally let up, and the Padres have 20 minutes to get ready. Ginny will take her place back out on the mound.
(Oh, remember Oscar’s secret relationship from earlier? It turns out that Natalie is Al’s daughter. There’s sure to be some drama there!)
Mike having feelings for Ginny has been hinted at a few times throughout Pitch‘s run, but he’d been in denial about it up until the end of this episode. When he realizes this, he tells Oscar he wants to be traded, and to the Cubs. Congratulations in advance to 2016 World Series champion Mike Lawson.
In actuality, though, I would be very surprised if the Mike trade goes through, despite what the trailer for next week’s episode suggests. This is Pitch, after all, and there’s always some kind of last-minute twist. Readers, what do you expect?
- Mike notes that there have only been 17 rainouts in 46 years in San Diego. I’m not sure why he’d know that number offhand, but he is correct. There have only been two rainouts at Petco Park (most recently in July of 2015).
- With all the talk about weather, I was hoping for a reference to Mike Trout’s meteorology obsession. (The perfect time would’ve been after Lawson asked “Do I look like a meteorologist?”). Alas, I was disappointed.
- Blip mentions that it would really be something if the Cubs broke their curse. My report from the future: it sure was, Blip. It sure was.
- While prepping with Livan, Ginny mentions going over heat maps a few times, which is kind of fun. That’s not something you hear discussed in many TV shows.
- This episode helped to clarify the show’s timeline a bit. Ginny made her MLB debut on June 14th, and we’re now in August, which means we’ve covered about three months so far.