Welcome to Baseball in French, Lesson 8. Previous lessons can be found here.
Today's term is le blanchissage.
In English, that translates to "laundry" or "washing". What's the baseball translation?
Here's a trio of Expos pitchers who posted quite a few shutouts.
Steve Rogers: 37 shutouts as an Expo.
Bill Stoneman: 15 shutouts as an Expo, including 2 no-hitters.
Dennis Martinez: 13 shutouts as an Expo, including a perfect game.
Or, an impressive number of loads of laundry??
The French terminology confuses me. Does it mean the pitcher washed the other team out? Put them through the ringer? Hung them out to dry?
I can picture a broadcaster making that call after the final out.
And Steve Rogers has hung Atlanta out to dry today, folks!
Bill Stoneman has washed the Phillies out!
But this might be a better explanation: At some point while putting the post together, I discovered that in soccer, when a goalie shuts out his opponent, it's customarily called a "clean sheet". (i.e., a clean scoresheet—no goals were marked down.) So maybe le blanchissage is a creative extension of the clean sheet?
I don't know. I tend to think that a true "clean sheet" for a pitcher would be a no-hitter. Or a perfect game. But maybe that's asking too much.
In any case, it's an interesting phrase. And it adds to the lexicon. You know, terms like "he blanks the opponent" or "he puts up a goose egg", or something like that.
So I like it. I also like the laundry connection to the phrase "hanging a team out to dry".
How about you readers and baseball fans? Does le blanchissage work for you?
Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading.