Pitch Recap Series Premiere

Pitch Series Premiere Recap: Did Fox's Baseball Drama Hit a Home Run?

Put her in coach, she’s ready to play… or is she?

Ginny Baker, Major League Baseball’s first female player — and the character at the center of Fox’s new drama Pitch — has been waiting her entire life for a shot at the big show. But is she successful on the mound? We’ll get to that in a moment. First, a brief recap of Thursday’s series premiere:

We meet Ginny (Twisted‘s Kylie Bunbury) on the morning of her debut as starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres. Her hotel room is full of fruit baskets from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Ellen Degeneres, but she ignores all of that — and the news reports hyping her MLB start — as she dons headphones and heads down to get in a car with her aggressive agent Amelia (Heroes‘ Ali Larter) and awkward social media guru Eliot (The Neighbors‘ Tim Jo).

They head to the stadium, where general manager Oscar (All My Children‘s Mark Consuelos) and team owner Frank Reid (Seinfeld‘s Bob Balaban) gush about increased ticket sales and how excited her teammates are to meet her. “No, they’re not,” Ginny replies, but it doesn’t seem to bother her: From all appearances, Ginny is a cool professional who’s ready to do her job. As she says at one point before the game, “I’ve been ready my whole life.”

A series of flashbacks sprinkled throughout the hour show us that Ginny took to baseball as a very young girl, after her dad — a former minor league player — because frustrated that her brother didn’t want to play. In the memories, Bill Baker (Third Watch‘s Michael Beach) soon realizes that his daughter has something special. So he teaches her a secret pitch called the screwball, which will allow her to stay competitive with male pitchers despite not having their size or throwing power, and she’s on track for greatness. But Bill never seems satisfied; indeed, some of his coaching methods are pretty abusive.

Pitch Recap Series Premiere Fox

Back in the present at Ginny’s first game, her nerves get the better of her. It doesn’t help that everyone is comparing her to Jackie Robinson, or that she overhears the team’s jovial captain Mike Lawson (Saved by the Bell‘s Mark-Paul Gosselaar) casually calling her a joke in the clubhouse. So her big debut is marred when she throws 10 garbage pitches right away and then begs the team manager Al (The Wonder Years‘ Dan Lauria) to pull her out of the action.

But Oscar and Frank know that the Padres can’t be the team that axed the country’s first female pro baseball player, so they order Al to have her start again in five days. And after an intense practice session with her dad, a girls’ night with a teammate’s wife and a gametime pep talk from Mike — who has realized that helping her become a legend may be his legacy — Ginny gets her mojo back and smokes the opposing team. When she leaves the game several innings in, it is to a standing ovation from the crowd.

All of that’s enough to make Dad proud, right? Wrong. When he shows up on the field with her later that night, Ginny flashes back to the night she was scouted by the Padres… and how she and her father were in a horrific car accident on the way home. He was ejected through the windshield, and… yep, Bill Baker is dead, and every time Ginny sees him in the episode, it’s really just all in her head. And, as he reminds her at the end of the episode, this is no time to rest on her athletic laurels: “We ain’t done nothin’ yet.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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94 Comments
  1. it was good but i wonder how long they can keep it up before it gets repetitive & boring

    • baseball itself has always been repetitive and boring and it seems to still be doing well.

      • TraciWallz says:

        It’s actually doing that well beyond the massive individual tv deals each team suckered out of local cable channels. Comcast recently passed on ny Yankees renewal. Look at the stadiums. Most are empty. Orioles in pennant chase n player last week complained on an average of 19k showed up against Boston. Young folks have passed on baseball as it is slow n boring. 6% Af American players. Making a show about a young Af American baseball player had DOA written all over it

        • TraciWallz says:

          NOT doing that well

        • Walkie says:

          “Most are empty”. Really? Care to back that up with facts?

          • Ted says:

            There were more fans in the stands for Pitch than there are in most *real* Padres games.

          • lrdslvrhnd says:

            Well, they *did* acknowledge that – bringing her in instantly boosted ticket sales for the Padres, and that went a long way towards the owner pushing the GM & manager to not send her back down.
            .
            I figure most of the show is going to be about her and the team, rather than the game. A lot of off-the-field action, not a lot of on-field action. Think about how many cop shows there are, and how boring 90% of being a cop actually is. Or medical shows, and how much time a doctor would actually spend sitting at a computer doing paperwork or whatever. Any show lives or dies on the interactions between the characters, and we haven’t really gotten that much chance to see that. Yeah, there’ll be stuff in games, it’s about baseball… but consider how much time Grey’s Anatomy, for instance, actually spends in the OR most episodes.

    • Ronald Gold says:

      I agree, it was good and I’ll watch again, but don’t see how they will keep an audience coming back each week. Didn’t catch on to the father being dead until the crash scene.

  2. Lizzy says:

    Maybe I should have seen the dad thing coming but man was I shocked. I enjoyed it.

  3. Jane says:

    Painfully cliche:
    Out of touch, profits-only focused owner (check)
    Young, slick GM (check)
    Over-the-top power female agent (check)
    Grizzled veteran catcher (check)
    Asian social media guy (check)
    Good guy team manager (check)
    Comments about her “ass” by teammates in first 10 minutes (check, check)
    Overbearing father who pushed too hard and ruined childhood (check)
    Tragic press conference (check)
    Condescending game commentary about bad performance by broadcasters that wouldn’t be that unprofessional (check)
    Dad ends up being dead (check)
    Seems the only baseball frame of reference the writers (two men) had for this were 1990s baseball movies. Disappointing that MLB went all in on this. FOX usually has a quick trigger finger on shows. Here’s hoping they’ve got one for this.

  4. Chaya says:

    As a Padres fan, what I liked best was seeing Petco’s innards. And seeing the stadium full. That’s not ever happened at a game I was at.

    • dman6015 says:

      They can do wonders with CGI now. Make an entire stadium look like it’s full of people. Maybe the Padres need to do something like that during their broadcasts.

    • A says:

      Every time I go to Petco it’s packed, packed with Giants fans. It’s like the whole Bay Area goes on a field trip together. It’s so much fun!

      Also, I love this show so much! Combines my two favorite things- baseball and girls beating boys at sports

  5. nothing against This is Us but that is how you deliver a twist. I didn’t guess the twist until halfway through the episode and for me that’s good.

    • Joel Maurice says:

      This is Us and Pitch were both created by Dan Fogelman. So he created both twists. Also the twists aren’t nearly as important as how they move on from them. Ghost dad is played out. I think there is more longevity to be mined out of the This is US twist.

  6. Rich Carroll says:

    I won’t watch again. Reality check : What male manager would pat her on the rear? R u for real with that? I’m to watch another episode as if that would have really taken place? Am I too old school? I am only 47, but that was quite insulting and bordering on disgusting. Not a fan… too bad, thought it was a good premise.

    • Greg says:

      That is a ridiculous thing to base not watching it again on… and yes its totally realistic that it would happen.

      • Kate says:

        I think a lot of butthurt men are going to find reasons not to watch again.

        • Becca says:

          The truth of that statement is painful! I really enjoyed it and I knew the second I came online dudes would be tearing it down.

          • liame says:

            Ditto. Their fragile ego’s can’t handle things like this. They’d rather see girls bouncing around in bra’s and panties on the football field. ;)

          • Lucifer says:

            I love how feminist women talk about men having “fragile egos” when they flip out over things like pink products, ads for weight loss products, pumpkin spice latte memes, air conditioning, and a NASA scientists t-shirt.

    • Ann says:

      Baseball players pat each other on the butt all the time. A pat on the butt by a manager as a pitcher leaves the mound is pretty normal in baseball. The fact that he patted her on the butt seems to mean he’s beginning to see her more as just one of the ballplayers and not a girl. That’s supposed to be a good thing, right? Now, the issue of harassment might come up later… that would be an interesting episode actually. Treat her like a girl or treat her like the rest of the ballplayers?

    • John NYC says:

      Mustn’t watch any baseball: pitchers giving over the ball as they’re releived (meaning they’re starting to or on the brink of failing so they’re being replaced, on national television, in front of thousands of people) routinely get patted on the rear as they head off the mound, by the guy that’s decided they have to go and just walked out there to tell him so and ask for the ball.

      They do it to the men so his doing it to her was odds on the writers signaling that character was intending to treat her as a “major league pitcher” and not anything overly special.

      She’s paid to be a pitcher do he’s going to treat her like a pitcher.

    • dman6015 says:

      In your mind, does that mean managers who pat male ballplayers on the butt are closeted gay men?

  7. Denis Colbert says:

    This show won’t last long. Every character is a stereotype and the narration just does not add up.

  8. Greg says:

    Best pilot I watched this week, I am in and I don’t even like baseball.

  9. Kate says:

    It was extraordinarily great. I thought I would like it; I didn’t realize I would love it.

    • Katherine215 says:

      Same here! Oh my god, I loved it so much! The actress playing Ginny was excellent and I really like MPG which surprised me.

  10. Lynn says:

    I was bored. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. As someone else said, they’re all cliches. I actually turned it off after a while. I only turned it back on toward the end because I heard there was a twist and I wanted to know what it was. I thought it would be something big like she’s really a man or something but unfortunately no. It certainly wasn’t enough to make me tune in again. The whole thing is just totally unbelievable. I’m a woman so I’m all for equality and everything but let’s face it a woman’s arm is just not as strong as a man’s and if you can’t throw a fast ball at least in the 90s mph you can’t be in the major leagues.Maybe they should have made her something other than a pitcher but then she’d never be able she to hit well enough and her arm still wouldn’t be strong enough to throw people out. The whole premise is just too unrealistic for me and the characters aren’t interesting enough to ignore how ridiculous it is.

    • Ann says:

      There are several male pitchers whose fastballs reach only the low 90s. The episode showed her fastball reach 88mph. As long as you can mix a good slow pitch with a fastball and keep players off balance and “paint the corners,” you got a good chance to succeed, it really doesn’t matter how fast you can throw as long as you can confuse batters with your pitches well, and she supposedly has a wicked screwball. Major league pitcher, RA Dickey won a Cy Young using knuckleball pitches and his fastballs only reach the mid 80s or less, so your complaint about a women not being able to do it isn’t valid.

      • Ann says:

        I think if a guy who has no arm ligaments (Cy Young winner RA Dickey) can play in the majors throwing pitches at 70mph, then it is absolutely believable that a girl can do it someday too. It would take an exceptional woman to break that barrier, but it’s absolutely possible.

        • Walkie says:

          You are under the impression that all those pitchers throw is a knuckleball. No true. They still have to throw a fastball 85 in order to make the knuckle effective. A woman cannot throw 85.

          • Ann says:

            I have stated that knuckleball pitchers hit the mid-80s with their fastball. But they often through in the 70s of slower. It really doesn’t matter how fast your throw as long as you can command the pitch and keep hitters off balance. If she can consistently throw a fastball at about 85mph with a screwball or knuckleball that hits 75, that’s a 10mph difference and should be enough to keep players off balance with their swing. It’s hard to gear up for a slow 85mph fastball when you’re used to hitting 95mph fastballs. It’s even harder to be geared up for a fastball but get an even slower pitch that crosses the plate at 70mph. As far a girl not being able to pitch 85mph, that’s bull. The reason why there have been no girls so far is because most girls stop playing baseball and move on to softball in high school. But if there is a girl out there with a really good arm and a good coach to teach her good techniques, there’s no question she could build up her arm strength to reach 85mpb with training.

      • RedReddington says:

        Tim Wakefield also had a long career as a knuckleball pitcher where he pitched consistently in the mid 70s. I agree that that’s not a valid complaint!

      • Walkie says:

        So a fictional TV show showed an actress throwing 88. Please name all of the actual women who are pitching that throw that hard.

        • Ann says:

          The show is fictional. It’s not based on a true story. However, there is a well known female pitcher who consistently throws in the 80s with a velocity drop into the 70s and lower. She’s supposedly real good. Major League Baseball has written a lot about her. I think her name is Stacy Piagno. You can look her up.

      • grodri0428 says:

        Actually last year there were about 10 or so pitchers that averaged fastballs under 90 MPH. Most with ERAs over 5. The best being Mark Buehrle with a decent ERA of almost 4. To be more realistic she should be a reliever. She should also have a better pitch than a screwball. A screwball is nothing more than a backwards curveball. That would only be effective against lefties. Throwing that slowly She would need a great sinker or forkball to keep the ball on the ground and in play. Any comparison to Greg Maddux, one of the best ever is ridiculous

    • John NYC says:

      Control and throwing things batters can’t hit matters more than raw speed. There’s a fair number of pitchers that make a decent living on the edges of the plate or just off it having lost speed as their arm tired out. She’s just being portrayed as having gone right to the nasty stuff rather than the overpowering.

      Quite realistic.

    • TinLV says:

      I don’t think you watch much baseball. Throwing a 95 mph fastball is not all there is to pitching. Finesse counts,too. Being able to throw the slow stuff in the right spot gets hitters out and that’s the name of the game. I watch a lot of baseball, been watching since 1963.. and I see nothing unrealistic about the character’s abiliity to be a major league pitcher.

    • Bryan Caron says:

      The respondents are correct. Finesse pitching can be just as effective as throwing a 95mph+ fastball. It may have been mostly in the latter half of his career, but Greg Maddux, one of the best pitchers in major league baseball never had much zip on his fastball, but he was smart and new how to control a game, how to get into a batter’s head and was one of the most precise at the painting the corners of a plate. Four consecutive Cy Young awards and 18 Gold Glove awards proves his prowess.

      • Katherine215 says:

        Thank you, I was just going to mention Maddux. He’s the epitome of a command pitcher who knew how to work a batter mentally. So happy to see all these baseball fans correcting this assumption that successful pitchers are only the ones who can throw 95+.

        • John NYC says:

          Maddox was exactly who came to my mind as well! Now he was extraordinary, but that’s expected in a television character is it not?

    • Meg says:

      Tim Wakefield’s fastball was only in the 70s, with his knuckleball being in the 60s, and an even slower curve ball. Steven Wright’s fastball averages in the low 80s. If you have the specialty pitches like the knuckleball or screwball you can throw a slower fastball and still be a successful pitcher.

  11. Kathy Bergeron says:

    I really thought this was going to be much better than it was. Yeah I liked it– a little — and the lead is appealing, but when I find myself watching the clock, I know it isn’t hitting the mark. Will give it another watch next week, but not sure about it at all.

  12. RedReddington says:

    I actually really enjoyed it, which I wasn’t expecting to. I liked it better than Designated Survivor. I really enjoyed Ginny and Mike’s rapport. I hope this show makes it!

  13. Katherine215 says:

    Loved. It. Might be favorite pilot and I caught all the big ones. I disagree with the comments about it being clichéd. Sure there are baseball/sports stereotypes in there but I thought the number of people who had her back was higher than expected. I’m excited for the rest of the season!

  14. Shaun says:

    When she was pitching it looked really fake.

    • Katherine215 says:

      Uh, probably becasue this is a tv show and an actor, who is not a professional athlete, is not going to throw a zillion actual pitches for every take. Or did you actually think Kevin Costner threw all those pitches in his baseball movies?

  15. Bigdede says:

    I loved the show but I feel the lead should’ve been a Latina woman. As a Black woman I love seeing her on there but a Latina would’ve been more realistic since the MLB is mostly Latinos

    • Vanessa says:

      This is an incredibly silly comment. The MLB having more Latino men (many of whom are Black Latinos) than Black American men has no bearing on what race of woman might hypothetically break the gender barrier, so no a Latina would not have been any more “realistic”. Not to mention Mo’Ne Davis captured the nation’s attention a couple years ago, so again suggesting that the first woman to hypothetically play in MLB couldn’t/wouldn’t be Black is just silly.

  16. jazzyt2u says:

    I’m pretty sure most of the Latinos in MLB now a days come from other countries so unless those other countries are developing women too…

  17. I’ve never been so surprised by a show in my life. The marketing made this show look like it was going to be cringe-worthy feminist male bashing but it wasn’t that at all! It was actually a really powerful and well executed sports drama equal in quality to Friday Night Lights. They got the baseball stuff right, the lead actress Kylie Bunbury was incredible, as was Mark-Paul Gosselaar. The only weak parts of the show were Ari Larter’s overacting, and from the standpoint of a hardcore baseball fan, Ginny should have been written as a knuckle-baller; suspension of disbelief can only go so far. In any event I came in expecting this to be the worst new show of the year and destined for certain cancellation; I left thinking it was the best new series and I’m praying that people gave it a chance and it becomes a huge hit!

  18. fredd says:

    I knew they were gonna neutralize the strong black male figure somehow. Hollywood is getting pathetic at this point.

    • Ann says:

      But did you notice the TWO strong black females on the show? The LEAD and the wife of that ballplayer? Also, did you notice the other black male lead who was her teammate who convince the catcher to take the girl more seriously and help her succeed? It sounds like a well-rounded and diverse cast to me.

  19. Red Snapper says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by this. I hadn’t seen any promos for it so I didn’t really know what to expect. I decided to give it a shot and I’m glad I did. Also, my significant other enjoyed it as well and he did not seem into the premise at all when I told him. We were both pretty bummed about the dad though. It was sad. I will definitely stick with it.

  20. wordyblerd says:

    Loved it! I was only watching because I like the actors especially Kylie and Mike Beach, but thoroughly impressed by the production and snappy writing too. Hey Ali Larter! I’ve missed you. Even from the first frame, how Ginny kept herself from all the chatter about her by living in her headphones while the audience got a heaping dose of it for world building purposes.

    Hope Fox doesn’t ruin it like they’re wont to do. Great pilot. Definitely up there!

  21. Terry says:

    I really enjoyed Pitch, even though I saw the dead father thing coming about 10 minutes in. I will watch this show because I like baseball and I like the actors involved. Funny they showed her pitching, but never batting. All pitchers have to bat in the National League. Just a minor thing, but something that stuck out to me.

  22. A3rynSun76 says:

    They knocked it out of the park!!!

  23. peterwdawson says:

    Wasn’t bad but I’m not feeling it. I think it’s got like this weird mix of cliche and realism that’s kind of crosscrossing for some stuff that feels real and other stuff that just feels tired, even if it isn’t necessarily unrealistic.

  24. fred roberts says:

    I had a LOT of problems with the “baseball” in this show. The biggest one was they didn’t film an at bat. No DH in San Diego. Pitchers in the NL look dreadful hitting, and you can only do so many sacrifice bunts. There were other baseball things that irked me, hopefully they will get it right.

    • Katherine215 says:

      She’s a pitcher. What’s the point of watching her bat when we know it’s not going to be very impressive? Most NL pitchers can’t hit, so why waste minutes on something that’s not an issue? This seems like an odd thing to nitpick.

      • Beacuse in The National League it becomes a part of the game. Say she’s a really bad hitter now she’s coming to bat where an RBI is needed. But she’s pitching a great game. Do you use a pinch hitter and take her out or take a chance at the plate. This is one of those moments where coaching is a lot more strategic. On a TV show it makes for good drama or even suspense. Hell, they could even have a sexist pitcher trying to bean her. Lots of writing opportunities.

  25. Jason Waren says:

    Saw that twist 85 MPH away. So obvious.

  26. Lala says:

    Awesome…I’m hooked

  27. Indy race lady says:

    Best show IN tv, Bravo to FOX.
    For having the courage to create and air such a powerful show.
    Thx for making a way in pro sports for women. Hell yeah we can play baseball like the guys!
    It what inside that everything!
    Fox hit a home run with this one!

  28. liame says:

    Loved it. The acting and chemistry is an all around A+. Kylie Bunbury is a beautiful gem that has a bright future ahead. Dad’s death had me in tears. Great start and I can’t wait for next weeks episode.

  29. Walkie says:

    The premise is so ridiculous that I couldn’t get around that to enjoy the story.

  30. theaspeaks123 says:

    Ok, this might be nitpicking, but couldn’t they cast a woman with a little muscle to her arm and shoulders. She looks more like a model with those skinny arms

  31. grodri0428 says:

    Disappointed. I been looking forward to the show after seeing the trailer but i was let down. There’s only one likeable character in the entire show, the catcher. The agent is especially horrible. Its a bit unrealistic too. To be more realistic she should be a reliever. Throwing as slow as she does, She should also have a better pitch than a screwball. A screwball is nothing more than a backwards curveball. That would only be effective against lefties. Throwing that slowly She would need a great sinker or forkball to keep the ball on the ground and in play. Any comparison to Greg Maddux, one of the best ever is ridiculous. They also never showed her batting that would have been a big deal too.

  32. Louise says:

    Congrats Hollywood, something different. Mark Gosselaar has a chance for a Emmy with this, I didn’t even recognize him. A very well done and a tip of the hat to ‘Six Sense’ at the end.

  33. Vanessa says:

    The premiere was great. Kylie Bunbury did a really good job, MPG’s character was likable, the relationship between Ginny & Amelia as well as Ginny & Evelyn were great. The other roles and actors (Blip, Oscar, the manager and the pitcher Ginny replaced (can’t remember his name but he’s played by Naya Rivera’s husband)) etc. all filled out nicely as well. Definitely going to keep tuning into this one.

  34. Thomas says:

    I just didn’t get it

  35. Alyson says:

    Loved the show, my favorite pilot I watched this week. This show made me cry unlike This is Us and I thought the twist was much better on this show since it wasn’t hyped at all unlike the twist in This is Us.

  36. coneyro says:

    OMG….I didn’t see that “Sixth Sense” ending coming. .. Can’t think of one thing I didn’t like about this show. 💕

    A real feel good, family orientated program… Next episode can’t come fast enough..👍

    • WillyB says:

      LOL I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t see it coming either! Although I’m torn between the twist versus if he were alive and was like Tiger Woods’s dad, which would be worse? Having him as an extreme father or not having him around at all? This does avoid her getting all the answers from him and force her to rely on herself AND hey, her teammates (the ones that come around). Did anyone else notice the Saved by the Bell references? Not sure if they were intentional, but I had a laugh.

  37. BenM says:

    I was genuinely shocked by how much I liked this show. I don’t think the marketing did a very good job. I expected hokey. Honestly, I don’t think it’ll last, but the first hour was good.

  38. Cdl says:

    Hard to enjoy a baseball show with so many baseball errors, not the least of which is that she’s throwing a circle change not a screwball.

  39. Ginger La Rose says:

    I really enjoyed the show and hope it is a big hit. Good actors and since I like baseball makes it fun to watch. My husband played many years ago and it is the only sport I understand.

  40. Kalan says:

    I’d rather watch paint dry.