May 19, 2013
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Friday, October 09, 2009
And That Happened: Division SeriesDodgers 3, Cardinals 2: Look, I know all you Cardinals fans want to kill Matt Holliday right now, but (a) your guys may not have made the postseason without him; (b) he did hit a homer in the game; and (c) Ryan Franklin still had to walk Casey Blake, give up a single to Ronnie Belliard, walk Russell Martin, give up a single to Mark Loretta and deal with a passed ball in order for the game to go bye-bye. All of that said, This is still the picture of the postseason so far. In other news, you had two Cy Young Award candidates pitch the first two games of a playoff series and you're still down 2-0? Welcome to the the world of the late-1990s Braves, Cardinals fans! UPDATE: I lodged this same Braves comment on Facebook, and the great Mark Armour weighed in thusly:
Did you know: the 1995-99 Braves (a) had the best record in the league five years in a row (matching the 1949-53 Yankees) and (b) won 9 of their 13 post-season series. An incredible team with a fine post-season record.
That's great and all, but my response: "Who ya gonna believe Braves fans, the well-respected baseball historian stating what are no doubt accurate facts, or your irrational, Jim-Leyritz and Livan Hernandez-hating hearts?"
Rockies 5, Phillies 4: Cole Hamels allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings and then high-tailed it to be by his wife's side in the maternity ward. But I think the most amazing thing about this game is that Charlie Manuel used two of his three options to start Game 3 -- Happ and Blanton -- as relievers. Blanton pitched an inning of relief because, hell, I don't know why. He hasn't done it in three years, and when he came into the game, every single member of the Phillie bullpen had at least three days rest under their belt thanks to Cliff Lee's CG on Wednesday. Then, having used Blanton, he turns to Happ, who was promptly knocked out on a comebacker. Is Manuel that afraid of his usual relief corps.? I guess not, because he used a bunch of them eventually. Thirteen pitchers in all between these two teams, and 3:41 for a nine-inning game. Heidi's labor probably didn't last that long. Oh, one other thing: it snowed in Denver yesterday and there's a chance of it again on Saturday. Not exactly Pedro Martinez's element. Happ pitched college ball at Northwestern and based on the Big Ten baseball I've watched, there's no doubt he has pitched in snow before. Too bad he's not available.
Angels 5, Red Sox 0: Based on what I'm hearing via Facebook status updates, angry emails, and generalized chatter in the winds, Red Sox Nation is none too happy with the umpiring of last night's game, particularly as it came from C.B. Bucknor. Very little of this chatter mentions the fact that none of the controversial calls -- Hunter walking in the third, Youkilis' "missed" tag on Howie Kendrick in the fourth inning, Youkilis stretch in the sixth -- came in innings in which the Angels scored. Fair? Oh hell no. Those missed calls led to extra pitches by Boston pitchers that weren't helpful by any means. But maybe the Sox' complains would be better taken if they had managed to do thing-one against John Lackey. Quote from the game story: "the noisy Orange County crowd didn't seem to be anticipating disappointment while clacking its ThunderStix and easily drowning out the surprisingly small Boston fan contingent on a slightly chilly night." Holy crap, they're still doing the ThunderStix thing out there? I went to an Angels game in 2003 and it was played out then. Angels fans, take it from a Braves fan: you don't want to continue to be identified in the world by a group cheering thing that, while possibly amusing when it started, grows more and more ridiculous as time goes on. No, ThunderStix will probably never be as bad as the Chop, but you don't even want to be half as bad as that, OK?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:41am
Jim Atkins said...
Geez, counselor- Hunter crushes a Lester mistake, Lackey sucks it up and pitches a gem, and all you have to say is thunderstix are passe? The umpiring did bite, (on both sides) but how about a little credit where credit is due?
Posted 10/09 at 07:43 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
From MLB.com -> Weather: 65 degrees, clear.
Yes, definitely a real weenie-shrinker! Better make sure those windows are all shut and let those cats in by 10!
Posted 10/09 at 07:48 AM
I’ve been reading Shyster a while now, Jim, and I can tell you that ain’t the priority. At least not for non-ATL teams. Can’t believe John freakin Lackey shut them out.
Curious, what did you all think of the broadcast for BOS-LAA? Particularly play-by-play man Don Orsillo (Buck Martinez - no desire to discuss him)?
Posted 10/09 at 08:06 AM
I’d love your take on Wainwright’s “white towels shouldn’t be waved” comment. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgerthoughts/2009/10/white-towels-not-being-waved-during-hollidays-error.html
Even though I loathe the Cards, I can now secretly pull for them if the Twins managed to somehow pull off their David-Goliath series and they can meet in the WS. Then, Adam, you can discuss unfair blindingly white surroundings.
Posted 10/09 at 08:58 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
I think someone even mentioned—I can’t remember where—that they weren’t even waving the white towels when the Holliday play was happening. More generally, it strikes me as a first class whine. You don’t want to play Game 2 in a hostile land? Finish with the better record.
Thinking more about it, does anyone remember back in the mid to late 80s when NFL quarterbacks used to be able to step out from behind center and get an official time out if the crowd was too loud? I have this image of Steve Fuller doing this, like, ten times in a row when he played for the Bears. Even got an official to warn the crowd to be quiet. Thankfully, football got past that, put on their big boy pants and started to deal. I think baseball players should do the same thing.
Posted 10/09 at 09:03 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Oops, OK, it was the linked article that mentioned the towels weren’t being waved. My bad.
Posted 10/09 at 09:04 AM
It wasn’t just a time out for crowd noise Craig. If the crowd “ignored” the “warnings” to be quiet, the home team was assessed a delay-of-game penalty. Stupidest rule ever.
By the way, I know it meant nothing - really, nothing - but that call on Youk’s “non-tag” of Morales was maybe the worst call ever. Not the biggest blown call - obviously, not even on the radar - but the most obviously factually wrong call ever. What in the world was the ump looking at?
Posted 10/09 at 09:13 AM
Rob in CT said...
Either I’m more sensitive to it nowadays (or HD shows it better), or umping has gone downhill. I suspect the former.
The worst I’ve ever see was the “Willy Bloomquist” play at Yankee Stadium a few years back. The guy was out by ~5 feet. The still photo from that play is just amazing. I look at it and I simply cannot fathom what the ump was thinking. At least he manned up later and admitted he flat blew the call.
Posted 10/09 at 09:27 AM
craig, the umpiring was terrible. west’s strike zone was all over the place the entire game on both sides.
one of the more critical calls came late in the game for boston with 2 out and 1 on and youkilis batting. after walking martinez on 4 straight lackey threw 3 straight balls to youk. then he threw a 4th… but it was called a strike. it was 4-6” off the plate in the same spot 2 of the previous 3 balls had been called. he wound up grounding out (i think) and then ortiz did something crappy and that was that. should’ve been bases loaded 1 out.
but the buckner calls were terrible and did lead to at least 12 extra pitches in those particular innings.
there was also a strike 3 to hunter not called in which he wound up walking to load the bases. lester followed up by striking out vlad rather easily.
the fact that they didnt score speaks to lester’s ability to make good pitches (the ball he put on the tee to hunter outstanding). it also does make bad umpiring OK.
not the end of the world but they were obvious calls that gave anaheim additional outs to play with.
Posted 10/09 at 09:48 AM
Without a vested interest in any of these teams, I was kinda thinking about adopting the Cards for the postseason, but with the towel-waving and ball-rubbing whines combined with ball-doctoring accusations in the ten days, I don’t think I can do it. Grow up, already.
Posted 10/09 at 09:49 AM
on a side… i found the commentary by buck martinez to be interesting. he went on and on all evening about how the prescence of abreu has magically changed the anaheim hitters approached pointing out the number of walks they had last night.
anaheim walked 5 times… 4 of them were abreu’s. i dont know if that’s giving a team a facelift in their batting approach or one guy doing it really well like he always has and everybody else doing exactly that they always did.
Posted 10/09 at 09:50 AM
Bucknor calls were horrible and while I question why he is even umpiring playoff games, the lack of any offense is the true cause of the Red Sox loss last evening. If they lost the game by one run and that run was the result of a blown Bucknor call I would complaining about it all day but Bucknor had no effect on the lack of any offense on the Red Sox part.
What I found interesting as I watched games yesterday is how many former Indians are playing in the playoff. Sabathia, Lee, Pavano and Byrd make a decent set of starters and Betancourt is a decent bullpen arm. Martinez is catching with an infield of Blake, Belliard, DeRosa - not too bad. I believe Ben Francisco is the only former Tribe outfielder (surprisingly Cleveland is one of the few team Matt Stairs has not played for) but overall their are quite a few former Indians in the post-season.
Posted 10/09 at 09:52 AM
Since this observation can’t be catagorized, I’ll just throw it in here:
Posted 10/09 at 09:59 AM
I seem to remember the Braves’ 1-2 Cy Young combos doing quite well against the Astros in the first round in the late 90’s. Walt bleeping Weiss!
Posted 10/09 at 10:09 AM
Chris H. said...
@Wooden: 65 degrees IS chilly by SoCal standards.
I used to live in San Diego. When it would hit 85 at the beach—and that didn’t happen often—people would faint from heatstroke. And rain? Rain was the lead story on the news. Not the *weather*, the *news*.
“This is Dave Bigjaw for Action7 News. Our top story tonight: rain in the southland (cue fancy graphic). Jim Takanawa’s live on the scene, interviewing some of the victims. Jim?”
And so on.
As a guy who grew up in the Chicago area (and, consequently, who doesn’t stop wearing shorts until the snow starts), I really never stopped laughing during the 10 years I lived out there.
Posted 10/09 at 10:28 AM
I’ve got a confession to make—I just don’t like the baseball postseason. Part of it is being a Braves fan, I know. But the conditions of postseason baseball are inferior to that of the regular season. And not just the best 3 of 5 nonsense. Umpires are trained to listen for the sound of the ball hitting the glove on plays at first. In the postseason, they can’t hear because of the additional noise, causing lots of “blown” calls at first. Games start at weird times in the postseason, causing weird shadows and glare that mess with fielders and hitters. In other words, the narratives of two of the games yesterday are directly linked to postseason quirks that mostly don’t exist in the regular season.
Posted 10/09 at 10:49 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Agree totally. Hence, the reference to “L.A. Story”
Posted 10/09 at 10:50 AM
Moose - you forgot about Manny. And in the non-player category, Charlie Manuel.
Posted 10/09 at 10:53 AM
Jack Marshall said...
The umpiring in the Angels-Sox game was embarrassingly bad, but it’s amazing to me that Sox fans would bother to bitch about it. The team got beat; the Angels deserved to win. I will say this: it was kind of a dull game without many memorable moments. I’m not sure what else Sox fans would have to talk about besides the umpiring.
Posted 10/09 at 11:09 AM
Ralph Quimby said...
Posted 10/09 at 11:13 AM
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