This post contains spoilers.
The first season of "Pitch" is over, and Lord am I praying that it's not the last.
I can't even fathom this being the only season. Though I'm pretty confident that we will see a renewal, it's not a sure thing. Executive Producer Paris Barclay (more or less) agrees.
"I'm very confident," Barclay said in a phone interview. "I think Fox [Network] will come to their senses and realize they have something really special. Maybe only 4 or 5 million people watch it, but they watch it every week. They tweet about it and are very engaged. If they put the show in a nice time slot, it could have a good life."
I won't lie, I wanted that no-hitter for Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), and I wanted it for myself. I didn't care if it was cheesy. If this was going to be the last time I saw Ginny on the mound, then of course it should be with a no-hitter. I would have felt OK with that ending. Instead, we got Ginny clutching her arm as she left her unfinished no-hitter, which was followed by a shot of her sliding into an MRI machine. Add her teammate and friend Blip (Mo McRae) sitting on the couch, her agent Amelia (Ali Larter) getting on a plane, a heartbroken Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) sulking, and the Mike/Blip bromance on the fritz -- I was wrecked y'all.
The thing that killed me was that we had this poignant moment, where Ginny panicked on the mound under the weight of a possible no-hitter, and Mike jogged out onto the mound thereafter. Instead of him giving some big speech, however, Ginny cut him off and let him (and everyone else) have it. She was going to do this, and it was going to happen her way. Statistical advice be damned.
AND THEN, she makes a big play to save her no-hitter, and ends up injuring herself. Her season is over, the show's season is over, and my life is over. Everything is awful, and I kept thinking that it felt like she "paid for" her decision to stay in the game. The injury felt punitive, like an "I told you so."
Barclay made me feel better about that too.
"She doesn't pay for it," Barclay insisted. "She makes a play. There's a bunt and she snaps her arm the wrong way. Maybe her arm was stretched out? I don't see that as penance. I see that as an unintended consequence."
So here we are, at the end of Season 1 of "Pitch," and I'm refusing to believe it's the last we'll see of this groundbreaking show.
Lead actress Kylie Bunbury is on board that train as well. She chatted with me about how the show has changed her life, #Bawson and Ginny Baker's future.
espnW: Well, I watched the finale and I won't lie to you, I cried. This might be the last time we see this show.
Kylie Bunbury: There is that possibility, and that's the freaky thing. It's sad. I know there are a lot of logistics going on with Fox in terms of the show, but I think it would be such a disservice for them not to listen to their hearts. People love this show. We want to continue seeing the stories of these other characters. Oh, man, I would be so sad. I don't even want to think about it.
espnW: Last time we talked, you were filming Episode 4, "The Break," and the show wasn't set to premiere for another month. How has your life evolved since then?
KB: I've been talking about the parallels between Ginny and myself in a lot of interviews. What's cool is that by the end of the season, Ginny has really come into her own, really knows herself, is using her voice, is standing up for herself, and she's not afraid to say no. Those are the things that have changed for me as well. I've been growing with Ginny, discovering my strength, and becoming more confident.
espnW: We end the season with Ginny being rolled into an MRI. How is she feeling in that moment?
KB: She's so scared. You work for something your entire life, and you injure yourself. You don't know what the outcome is going to be. Is she out forever? Is she out for a little bit? The fact that she's even out! This is all she knows. This injury is coming at a point when Ginny was really coming into her own. Things were falling into place. She's standing her ground, and she's really part of the team now. She's proven herself as a pitcher, and then this happens. And that's life, right? Adversity comes, and it's all about ... can you get back up? So I think it's all about what's next for her, and the growth she will experience as a human being.
espnW: There is such an intense fandom around this show. What has it been like to experience that?
KB: It's so beautiful to see these fans connect with each of these characters, and to see how much Ginny has resonated with people. Some people didn't exactly know what to expect when they found out that this show was about the first female pitcher in the MLB, because they thought it would be about [only] baseball -- but this show is about the human experience. I feel like we've really connected to people's hearts.
I've never been a part of something where people love it as much as this, and I just feel so grateful. I feel so full from reading the tweets and how invested they are in the characters -- how angry the fans get, how sad they get, and how much they're rooting for certain "ships." It's really such a blessing to see and watch. If people give the show a chance, they like it, and I could not be more proud to be a part of something like that.
espnW: So, you mentioned the "ships." I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about #Bawson. How are you feeling about that relationship?
KB: What's interesting is at the end of Episode 9, you saw an immediate separation right after Lawson finds out that he's staying. I think they have strong feelings for one another, but they are teammates first. They have to do what's best for the team, and that is to not indulge in their feelings for one another. And I think that's the smart, professional choice.
I think also what's nice is teasing something that's sort of inevitable. So I'm all for teasing it. The chemistry is there; it's palpable. Basically the reason [Ginny] goes on a date with Noah (Tyler Hilton) [the tech billionaire from Episode 9], is because [Mike] doesn't want to talk about what happened between them. Ginny is open to it; she's following him around asking if Mike wants to talk about it. He keeps ignoring her, and that's what pushes her toward Noah. But then she actually starts to like him and becomes quite fond of him.
espnW: How are you adjusting to being finished with the season?
KB: We just finished shooting on Nov. 11, so I was just in the machine and working when suddenly ... it stopped. It was very odd. Luckily I had something to keep my mind off of not working -- moving into my new apartment -- but other than that, I feel a void. I definitely needed a week or two of some calm so I could get realigned and centered, but it I'm ready to get back on set already. I miss everybody.
espnW: It seems like the cast had a blast shooting this show.
KB: Yeah! I know a lot of people say it, but we really created a team with the cast, crew, writers and producers, and we're like a family. To just stop seeing everyone like that, to be cut off bluntly, was a difficult pill to swallow. But I have faith in what the show has done, and what it can continue to do, so I really think Fox will make the right decision. They better. [laughs] I know these fans will be coming at them with pitchforks.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.