About the GameZone (read this first)

In-game commentary and discussion

For those of you who are new to this family of forums (and you know who you are, don’t make me call you out), the traffic in the TalkZone often makes it difficult to have a play-by-play thread in that forum. For that reason, we provide an in-game play-by-play and commentary forum for all Astros games. It is called GameZone. It is fun, it is wild at times and it will keep you involved in the actual game. It will take some getting used to here at the GZ, it isn’t entirely like the TZ. So as a service to all clarks out there, here is a little bit of a primer for the GZ:

Who does the play-by-play?

Answer: first come, first to serve on the GZ. Usually, all it takes is calling it “I’ve got PBP today if nobody else wants it!”. Obviously, if you hesitate to call it because you’re afraid that you can’t do PBP for more than an inning or two, that is cool. But usually, the veterans know that calling it and also only doing a few innings is not frowned upon in the GZ. In fact, it helps us if several folks are willing to take on the PBP for the day. Rare are the ones who can do an entire 9 innings of PBP. So call it if you’d like, tell us how many innings you can go and do it. But if you’re new to the GZ, my advice is watch and learn from some of the vets, they’ll show you what works best.

Sample PBP

Two aspects of a typical PBP: the subject line and the body of the message. Let’s take each one at a time:

  1. The Subject Line - Use the subject line as much as possible for quick perusal by the regulars of the GZ. Typical look for the subject line if you’re doing the PBP is something like this: T3: Astros 3 - Rangers 0. That subject line tells what inning and the score. Anything that is not provided that way is considered a GZ Milo, and you don’t want that. Inning and score, subject line good. Score, subject line okay. No inning, no score, you’re a Milo.

  2. The Body of the Message - The PBP is usually a recap message more than anything else. On-going or PBP for each batter is also welcome. For some, it’s better, for others, it’s not, they’d rather get a recap. Either way works, so there is no preferred GZ method for the body message for PBP. If you do a recap type of message, just use the player’s name and what they did, like a scorecard. Example:

Grossman - grounds out 4-3, 1 out
Altuve - double to LF, man on second, one out
Carter - strikes out swinging, 2 out
Singleton - strikes out swinging, inning over

After half an inning: No score - Angels up to bat

Variations like type of pitches, pitch counts, et. al. are welcome.

(Top Tip: Create a shortcut for “strikes out swinging”, it’ll save you some serious typing throughout the season)

If I don’t do PBP, can I comment about a play or ask a question?

Absolutely. The GZ is about the two aspects of in-game happenings: PBP and color commentary. Some of the best reading in the GZ is the color commentary. Warning, it is usually raw and the emotion of the moment, so never take anything said in the GZ as well thought out analysis, it is always reactionary and that is the way it should be. It is what makes it fun.

Look at it as if you’re sitting in a sports bar with a good friend and your watching the game live and react to a homerun hit off Feldman may say some things that aren’t about a serious analysis of Scott’s abilities… but you will tend to say things about the moment. I mean it is 100% raw emotion. Hence why it is different than the TZ. What is said at the GZ usually stays at the GZ as well, no need to carry emotions over to that forum because that isn’t what the TZ is about.

Okay, enough of that, you’ll catch on as the season progresses, so have fun reading and participating. OH, and realize that rarely do we delete anything from the GZ, so if you need a recap of the game to read later during the day, feel free to wander in there and read. You’ll find the stoic PBP and colorful in-game commentary something of a pleasurable read most of the time.