With only two more hours left in the opening season of "Pitch," time is of the essence, and this week's episode, entitled "Scratched," picks up with the whirlwind of speculation surrounding team captain Mike Lawson.
Last week it was revealed that Mike was willing to part from the Padres to play in Chicago. Maybe in an instance of life imitating art, it is revealed that Mike could soon be suiting up for the World Series-winning Cubs. While Mike seems to be at peace with the choice he made to waive his no-trade clause, the media scrutiny paired with his teammate's questions have him walking around with a personal storm cloud over his head.
Away from the clubhouse, Ginny steps into the virtual world as her likeness is being digitized for a video game. There she meets Noah, who is played by Tyler Hilton. Located at the intersection of unassuming and really forward, Noah assures Ginny that she is doing a great with the motion capture process then asking her out on a date. Ginny, focused on making it to the postseason, kindly declines Noah's offer.
After the video game shoot, Ginny and her brother, Will, have dinner with Blip and Evelyn. Naturally, Mike Lawson is the topic of conversation for Ginny and Blip, but as all four move to the dinner table, the conversation switches to Noah — who happens to be a tech billionaire. Ginny's still not interested.
Next order of business is the sports bar that Will came back to start with Ginny's money. The upside is Will has looped Evelyn in on the idea, and the downside is that Blip is rightly wary about this deal but goes along with it to keep peace at home. After the dinner, while back at her place, Ginny receives a really sweet video game text from Noah, who is not taking no for an answer.
Back at the ballpark, the chatter about Mike Lawson's possible departure has made it on to every major airway, so Mike is getting a hero sendoff whether he wants it or not. Walking to the clubhouse, Mike is greeted with applause and high fives form the Padres staff. Along the way Mike runs into Amelia, who urges him to tell Ginny if he is leaving or not.
Also in the hallway Oscar and Coach Luongo's daughter, Natalie, meet and talk about her possibly relocating for a new work opportunity. Oscar, who is more of a mechanic than a poet, butchers his appeal to Natalie to stay in San Diego, but the message was received. Oscar's next stop is to check in with Luongo and Buck on the progress of Mike's possible replacement, Livan. Luongo and Buck break the bad news to Oscar that, though he's promising, Livan is not ready to take over for Mike.
After talking baseball, Luongo excuses Buck to talk to Oscar about something else. The coach who gave Oscar his first shot offered him another opportunity to come clean about the relationship with his daughter, and Oscar struck out. Nevertheless, like every secret relationship on this show, it came to the light and we now have to deal with the fallout.
Still a little sore from her last attempt to convince Lawson to stay with the team, Ginny rebuffs the idea from a teammate that Mike would actually listen to her about staying. Then, out of the blue, Ginny sends a text to Noah taking him up on his offer for a date.
As game time is approaching, Amelia talks to Evelyn, hoping to thwart Will's sports bar idea, but is stonewalled. On the field, Mike is taking batting practice along with some zingers from Blip and Ginny. Eventually, Mike regains his all-star swing and quiets the peanut gallery. But as they're still trying to work out the final details with the Cubs, the decision is made to sit Mike to ensure he does not get hurt. Mike gets the news as he comes in from BP and is less than happy.
Fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth inning and the Padres are down to their last out, with a runner on base and still trying to keep their postseason chances alive. Coach Luongo fights it at first but he knows he has to do the right thing: Put Lawson in. The faithful at Petco Park are all on their feet as Lawson steps to take the first pitch and swings out of his shoes and misses. Next pitch, better swing but the ball dies foul. Two strikes. Lawson digs back in; a big sweeping curveball smacks the glove. Strike three, ball game over. Mike Lawson goes down looking.
Still, the crowd demands a curtain call for their hometown hero. After the game, as the clubhouse is clearing out, Mike sits in front of his locker still in his uniform. Ginny comes by to wish him well on her way out. Mike is snide and brushes her off without saying goodbye. Blip, who has become the de facto team captain, sees this interaction and calls Mike out for his actions. Mike gristles and before recognizing his error and calling for Blip, but he is already gone.
Now only Mike and Livan are in the clubhouse. Livan approaches Mike to say goodbye. Mike, now back to his senses, offers Livan one last lesson about teamwork, which Livan seems to actually take to heart.
Coach Luongo is talking to Natalie in his office when Oscar comes in. All three are at their wits' end for different reasons. Coach is tired of being micromanaged, Oscar is tired of not feeling like he has his coach's support, and Natalie is tired of being stuck in the middle of these two men whom she both cares for. In one sweeping motion, Natalie tells her dad and her boyfriend the truth they cannot seem to tell to each other: They agree that the team should keep Mike Lawson. Also, she is taking an international job opportunity. Both statements leave the men stunned, but somewhat relieved.
Ginny meets up with Noah, who has commandeered a restaurant so they can eat and talk out of the spotlight. Meanwhile, Evelyn meets with Will to go over some discrepancies in his business plan, but Will plays it cool and talks Evelyn off the ledge. Back at Ginny's date, which is going well, she loses her composer when she gets a text from Mike. It's the 11th hour and the deal for Mike has not been finalized as Oscar and Charlie haggle over details. Then Oscar finally says what he feels about the team needing Mike. Charlie makes it clear that by not trading Mike, Oscar has hitched his boat to Lawson.
Ginny, of course, leave her date with successful, funny, and non-baseball player Noah to meet Lawson at a bar. Ginny and Mike share a few laugh and a few stares that last a beat longer than they should. As the night is wrapping up Mike walks Ginny to her taxi and then as they embrace for a goodbye hug they pause and lean into a kiss and at that moment the phone rings. It's Oscar. Mike takes the call and in complete disbelief tells Ginny, "The trade fell, though. I'm not going anywhere."
Just when we thought this show would not present any new storylines because there are about a dozen that need to be resolved in next week's season finale, they drop a double bombshell. Mike is not leaving — and how can he and Ginny work through what almost happen?