As an experiment, at a local amateur collegiate league baseball game last week I tried near-real-time text-messaging the action to my Twitter account. It was, perhaps, partially successful in telling the story of the game. For the record, below are the half dozen raw tweets along with a more human-readable narrative.
The game was between the Alexandria Aces and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, held at Blair Field in Silver Spring on Sunday 1 July 2012. The Cal Ripken League offers a detailed score with play-by-play description of every pitch. Son Robin kept score also and has his own on-paper record of the proceedings. Note that this was a special 7-inning Sunday game that started early, 5:30pm, since there was no electrical power at the field after the heavy storms on Friday night. Various errors in my tweets have been corrected by reference to the official record.
|1st inning: Alexandria 6, K, 4-3; #TBOLTS 2B, RBI 1B, 1B, 2x steal lead runner out, BB, 1B, 6-4 FC RBI, F9||In the first inning the Aces hit a line drive out to the Thunderbolts shortstop, strike out, and ground out to the second baseman. In their half of the inning the Thunderbolts hit a double, followed by a single which scores a run, then another single, after which an attempted double steal fails and the lead runner is put out. A base on balls is followed by a single and then a grounder to the Aces shortstop, who throws to second and gets that runner out while another Thunderbolt run scores. The last Tbolt batter flies out to right field. At this point the score is Aces 0, Tbolts 2.|
|2nd inning Alex F8, BB, F8, F8; #TBOLTS P9, 4-3, K --- Thunderbolts lead 2-0||The second inning is uneventful, as the Aces fly out to center field, get a walk, and then fly twice more to the busy Tbolt center fielder. The Thunderbolts in turn pop out to right field, ground out to the second baseman, and strike out. The score remains 0-2.|
|3rd inning: Alex BB, 1B runner to 3rd, RBI 1B, Sac 1-3, IBB, 3RBI 2B, RBI 1B, F9, PB, F8; #TBOLTS 6-3, K, 4; score Aces 5 Tbolts 2||The third inning is less happy for the Thunderbolts, as the Aces draw a walk followed by a single that advances the runner to third base. Another single scores the run, and a sacrifice bunt advances the remaining runner. An intentional walk — in general, statistically foolish — loads the bases and is followed by a double on which three more Aces cross the plate. A single brings home the Ace on second base, after which flies to right and center field end the Thunderbolts' suffering. In the bottom of the frame the Tbolts ground to short, strike out, and line drive out to second. Score now: Aces ahead, 5-2.|
|4th inn Aces F9, F9, 5-3; #TBOLTS K2-3, 1B, 1B, K, RBI 1B+T, 9; score 5-3 Aces leading||The top of the fourth is peaceful with two flies out to right field and then a ground out to third. The Thunderbolts strike out but then two singles in a row are followed by a strikeout, a single that scores a run, and a fly out to right field. The Aces now lead 5-3.|
|5th Aces HR, BB, 1-4 CS, K, 3U; #TBOLTS K, 1B+E9, RBI 1B, F9, 4-3; 6th Aces 4, K, F9; TB HR, E6T, SAC 1-3, 9, 1B E6T run, 1B r to 3rd, 5-3||The fifth inning begins with an Ace home run, a walk which is followed by the runner caught attempting to steal second, a strikeout, and a grounder to first. The Tbolts strike out, then single with that runner advancing on an error by the Aces right fielder. Another single knocks in the run, and the inning ends with a fly to right and a grounder to second. In the sixth inning the Aces go down in order with a line drive to second, a strikeout, and a fly to right. The Thunderbolts hit a home run, get a runner on base due to a shortstop throwing error, advance the runner on a sacrifice bunt, fly out to right field, and then score a run on a single accompanied by another Ace shortstop throwing error. A single advances a Tbolt runner to third but the inning ends with a ground out to third. The score is now tied 6-6.|
|7th inning Aces K, 4-3, HBP, 1B, 2RBI 2B, 1B, PF4; #TBOLTS 1-3, 5-3, 6-3 - final score Aces 8 runs 8 hits 2 err, Tbolts 6 runs 12 hits 0 err||The Aces begin the seventh inning with a strikeout and a ground out to second. But then a batter is hit by a pitch, advances on a single, and two runs score on a subsequent double. A single is followed by a pop fly to second to end the Aces' turn at bat. The Tbolts go down in order, grounding back to the pitcher, to third, and to short. Final score: Aces 8, Thunderbolts 6.|
Note the impressive data compression that baseball scorekeeping syntax permits!