Pitch has done the impossible: I’ve really started to care about baseball. No offense to the players and fans out there, but it wasn’t a sport I enjoyed watching. Learning about behind-the-scenes stuff through a heady television drama was just the thing to get me interested. That said, “Scratched” left me frustrated as it tried to build suspense. Is Mike Lawson really leaving the Padres for the Chicago Cubs? I almost caught a case of whiplash from the way the episode zoomed back and forth between story lines, building the drama. But at least there were no flashbacks!
News of Mike’s potential trade has leaked and it’s all over sports media. Ginny teases him she’s tired of the Mike-o-Mania, a callback to how everyone felt about seeing her face on every channel and website when she first joined the team. Despite all her good-natured teasing, Ginny can’t get Mike to confirm if he’s leaving or staying. People keep asking her about it, even the techs at the motion-capture shoot for an upcoming video game. According to Eliot, Noah Casey (Tyler Hilton) is the Mark Zuckerberg of motion capture — whatever that means — and he doesn’t hesitate to flirt with Ginny, who cracks a joke that she’s becoming the Super Mario version of herself. Noah asks her out, but she turns him down. Her life is a mess right now. It’s all baseball and she can’t really go out in public without fans asking for autographs.
Later, Ginny gets a cute video of from “Super Noah,” who needs help getting his heart back from Super Ginny. If she wants to continue to the next level of the game, she has to text him. Ginny is completely flattered and into it, but she still doesn’t accept his invitation. At dinner with Will, Blip, and Evelyn, they tease her for rejecting Noah. Evelyn argues that he’s a billionaire. Blip thinks Ginny needs to get laid. She needs a fun time; she needs to relieve some stress. Her life can’t be completely baseball, and Blip knows Ginny needs to stop devoting so much time to worrying about Mike’s fate. When teammate Butch asks Ginny if Mike is leaving, she’s surprised. Why would Butch think Mike would confide in her? She’s only a rookie. Butch says he knows they’re close. The idea that her teammates might think she has a certain type of relationship with Mike motivates her to accept Noah’s dinner invitation.
When Ginny gets there, Noah has rented out the entire restaurant and tells her she can have whatever she wants. Ginny asks for a menu, and he repeats: She can have whatever she wants. There is no menu. Noah is very smooth, and Ginny is clearly impressed. Their date progresses, but once she gets a text from Mike, she bails to see him.
There’s been so much back-and-forth about Ginny and Mike. Is this a will-they-won’t-they kind of relationship? Is it strictly a mentor-mentee thing? Ginny’s clearly nervous about Mike leaving, but why? When it looked like Mike wouldn’t play his last game for the Padres because of the terms of the trade, Ginny used her influence on the cameraman so the fans would get excited and force Al to put Mike in. I’m not sure Ginny would’ve done that for Blip, who would’ve been the best choice of team captain after Mike’s departure, and he’s her best friend.
Anyway, Mike gets to play his last game. He steps to the plate and strikes out. Not the kind of note he wanted to go out on, but his fans love him nonetheless. He chokes up as he raises his cap, but he doesn’t want to say good-bye to his teammates. He tells Ginny he’s sorry her poster boy let her down, and Ginny dismisses his self-deprecation. She was hoping he’d at least meet everyone for drinks, but he said no, so she went on her date with Noah. When Ginny gets the text from Mike, it doesn’t take long for her to excuse herself, but when she arrives at the bar, it’s just him, who does a lovely double-take at the sight of her.
The two share a beer and joke about what they’ll miss about each other. He won’t miss her feminist rants and she won’t miss his crankiness. Sure, you two, keep lying to yourselves. Mike has an early flight to Chicago in the morning, so they head out. They hug one last time and the hug goes on a little too long. They break away, then lean in again for what will surely be the hottest kiss of their lives, but Mike’s phone rings. It’s Oscar. The trade is off. Mike and Ginny step away from each other. Nooooo!
No one wanted Mike to leave. He’s good for the team. He could finally lead the Padres to a ring and Livan needs to learn from Mike’s wisdom, so Oscar forced Charlie’s hand to walk back the deal. But what happens to Bawson? When they thought they were saying good-bye, they were willing to give in to their attraction, but now that they’ll continue to be teammates, the situation could get sticky. Is Noah still an option? He doesn’t seem like he’s going to go away, and Ginny was having a good time with him. I agree with Blip that Ginny needs something other than baseball in her life; having a billionaire to date could be just the thing to keep her balanced.
While Ginny and Mike are figuring things out, Amelia is still trying to prevent Will from taking advantage of Ginny and Evelyn with his restaurant deal. At first, Evelyn is all in. She wants to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship, but she quickly finds a $72,000 discrepancy in the budget Will gives her. He explains it all away smoothly, claiming a separate ledger for publicity and kitchen equipment, but Evelyn knows something is fishy. It’s not just her investment on the line — it’s her family’s money. Let’s not forget that earlier, Noah tells Ginny that investing in restaurants is a terrible idea. They fold more quickly than startups do. The episode ends with Evelyn reaching out to Amelia to get help. In next week’s season finale, let’s hope they can get Will out of Ginny’s pockets with as little damage as possible.