Some pitchers respond to the cheering of the fans. Shane Lindsay responds to cowbells.
And not just any pasture variety noise-maker will do the trick. He's asked game management at John Thurman Field to play the classic Saturday Night Live clip "More Cowbell" multiple times when he's pitching.
The sight of Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken on the video board brings a smile to Lindsay's face and relaxes him, even while he's on the mound.
"The cowbell is always good," Lindsay said. "It keeps things light."
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He managed a smile just thinking about it, which otherwise could have been tough following Visalia's 1-0 victory over Lindsay and the Modesto Nuts on Sunday afternoon.
Lindsay (2-3,) who was roughed up for eight runs on six hits over three innings just five days earlier in Visalia, was very sharp in this outing.
He allowed a run on two hits over six innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts. But Lindsay also was involved in a wild play that produced the game's lone run.
With two out in the first inning, Visalia center fielder Gerardo Parra worked a full-count walk. Two pitches later, he got a premature jump toward second base. Lindsay stepped off the rubber and ran directly at Parra, who hesitated, then continued toward second base.
When Lindsay tried to throw to second base, the ball briefly got caught in his hand, and bounced into left field toward Jay Cox. Cox charged the ball, trying to keep Parra from taking third base, only to bobble the ball.
Parra continued home, sliding past the tag of catcher Michael McKenry.
"It just stuck in my hand," Lindsay said. "That happens, just like in some games I may walk 10 guys in a game."
Visalia starter Chase Christianson (1-4) also was the other half of that head-to-head with Lindsay last week, and also was battered. He gave up seven runs on nine hits over four innings in what became an 11-9 Nuts' win.
This time, however, Christianson's rebound start was equal to the one posted by Lindsay. Christianson went seven innings, allowing three hits and two walks while fanning three.
Neither team threatened often. Visalia loaded the bases in the sixth with one out on an infield error, a bunt single and a walk. But Lindsay struck out the next two Oaks to end the threat.
Modesto didn't advance a runner to third base until the ninth, when Mike Paulk reached on a one-out error and advanced to third when Victor Ferrante smashed a one-hopper off the shoulder of pitcher Kyler Newby and into right field.
On the next pitch, the Nuts attempted a safety squeeze, but the bunt of McKenry rolled foul just as Paulk was crossing home. Newby went on to strike out McKenry and retire Nick Haley on a ground ball to first base to end the game.
"It was just one of those nights when no one on either team swung particularly well," said Nuts manager Jerry Weinstein. "Even teams that score a lot have to create runs and find ways to score."
There might be an answer resting in the depths of the production staff's video vault.