World Series live blog: Game Three

Hardball Times copy editor Greg Simons is not one of those people the TV moguls fear will be put off by a Middle America World Series. He’s a lifelong Cardinals fan. As with Games One and Two, we asked him to put on his red cap and share his observations as he watches.

Pregame
I found out Friday a relative of mine is rooting for the Rangers. Actually, he’s my brother’s brother-in-law, so I’m not sure if we’re technically related. Plus, he lives in Texas. Still, it stings a little.

Chris Rose, A.J. Pierzynski and Eric Karros mention how Jason Motte was a stand-up guy to talk to the media after Game Two and just now before Game Three. A not-so-subtle dig at Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, who all failed to do so after Thursday night’s loss.

Another nice thing about the playoffs starting earlier than in previous years is that The Simpson‘s Treehouse of Terror episode will actually run before Halloween instead of several days afterward, as has been the case for the last several years.

Interesting Star Wars music during St. Louis’ player introductions. But the Cardinals aren’t the Evil Empire. The Yankees are.

First inning
I grabbed a quick dinner and came in at Furcal’s 1-2 count. I hope I didn’t miss anything significant.

Guess who has the first RBI in all three World Series games. Before the Series began, would anyone have guessed Allen Craig? Is that some sort of record?

Craig in right field and Lance Berkman at designated hitter. Yes, Joe and Tim, this is what you should have been predicting before—because it makes perfect sense.

Manicure discussions this game? I’m picking up a theme this series.

Second inning
Matt Harrison just made David Freese look silly, chasing balls low and outside.

Hmm, Harrison didn’t hop over the chalk line when coming off the field at the end of the inning. He may be the only non-superstitious pitcher in baseball.

Wow, Nelson Cruz really has been an all-or-nothing hitter this postseason. He was 1-for-15 in the Division Series, 8-for-22 (with six homers and a 1.713 OPS!) in the ALCS, and 1-for-6 so far in the World Series.

Kyle Lohse is getting those outside corner calls in the early going. He’s going to need to keep getting ‘em, too.

Third inning
I’ll take reached-on-errors. I’m not proud. That reminds me that a friend said the Ranger’s Game Two win makes the World Series more exciting. I responded that I don’t want excitement, I want St. Louis victories. That would be enough excitement for me.

Nice job of Ian Kinsler making up for his muff by starting an easy double play. No harm, no foul.

Low and away pitches work. Someone should make note of that.

We’ve had interleague play since 1995, but the Rangers and Cardinals have faced off before in only one series, back in 2004. I thought the rotation of divisions was supposed to ensure every team faced every other about once every three years. Great scheduling job, MLB.

Who is that little kid in the dugout behind Tony La Russa? It has to be either shortstop prospect Peter Kozma or the bat boy.

Joe and Tim were talking about Josh Hamilton trying to hit with no legs. Well, one advantage would be a much smaller strike zone.

Fourth inning
I liked that learn-to-speak-Spanish Volkswagen commercial. Muy bueno. Now if only the world knew about a solution to ED…

Might that blown call at first base on Holliday’s grounder finally make up for the Don Denkinger call from 1985? (Yeah, you bet I still remember.) Of course, if Holliday has been running the whole time, he might have simply been safe on his own accord.

Mr. David Freese is one cool customer. (Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.)

Nice squibber by John Jay. Of course, in that situation, Colby Rasmus would’ve hit a five-run homer.

And Ryan Theriot keeps the scoring going. You can’t stop The Riot.

Nice backhand flip by Harrison to prevent the run. Were it not for the bad call at first, he’d still be pitching in a close game.

Joe Buck: “Let’s see how Kyle Lohse handles prosperity, up five to nothing.” Not well. Not well at all.

Cruz apparently is back in “Beast Mode.” Oh, wait, wrong team.

This is really early for La Russa to have to go to the bullpen in the first of three straight games. Adding Jake Westbrook to the roster may end up looking brilliant.

Holliday isn’t known for his arm, but Napoli isn’t known for his wheels, and Holliday wins that battle.

Fifth inning
Here’s an interesting coincidence. Last Sunday, when the Cardinals were playing the Brewers, the St. Louis Rams were facing the nearby Green Bay Packers. This week, with the Redbirds facing the Rangers, the Rams are visiting neighboring Dallas. Maybe next week the Cards will play the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs.

Can the Cards come right back to counter the Rangers’ rally? The first two hitters reaching is a good start.

Make that the first three.

An out for a run? At this point, sure.

Yeah, Yady! And the lead is back to five.

And now Texas is looking to start its own rally to narrow the gap again.

And succeeding thus far.

Oh! Just out of Rafael Furcal‘s reach!

An out somewhere, anywhere—somehow, anyhow—sure would be nice.

A punchout of Cruz will do nicely.

Napoli is a very strong man.

A four-pitch walk to the No. 8 hitter? C’mon, Lance Lynn! You don’t need to put another runner in scoring position.

I was just wondering how long the fifth inning was taking, and Joe Buck obliged by answering me—34 minutes so far. Oh, no, I’m starting to think like Joe Buck…

Good grief, Lynn, he’s the ninth-place hitter. You have to throw strikes to somebody, you know.

And with a Kinsler pop-up, this frame is finally in the books.

Sixth inning
Alexi Ogando walks Theriot. I wonder if he just wants the pressure of facing Craig with runners on again.

Wait, McCarver says it’s “almost” as if the managers have to play for the big inning? There have been crooked numbers put up each of the last four half-innings, so I’m thinking, yeah, a big inning seems like a good goal.

Ogando vs. Craig: Round Three. And this one goes to Ogando.

Ooh, that was a juicy meatball to Pujols! Another crooked number on the scoreboard.

Nice slide, Berkman. I think he either was trying to exfoliate or scrape his beard right off.

McCarver warns me that it would be a mistake to leave my set during this game. However, I have to get the kids to bed in a few minutes, so I may miss a bit of the action.

Seventh inning
Who has a stranger set of moves and gesticulations getting to the set position, Mike Gonzalez or Mike Adams?

This Pujols guy is a pretty good hitter. Somebody’s gonna give him a parking lot full of Brinks trucks.

It was pretty easy to identify who the moron was who threw the ball onto the field as Holliday was making the catch. I don’t think it interfered with Holliday’s throw to third, but I’m happy to see that doofus go. It’s just unfortunate that he got camera time.

I wasn’t comfortable when St. Louis was up 12-6 on Milwaukee in the NLCS Game Six, and I won’t be comfortable with this 14-7 advantage until the ninth inning is complete.

Eighth inning
Sure, Tim, lefty and righty swings are totally different. It’s not like they’re mirror images of each other or anything. I really don’t understand this mindset that lefties and righties are so different.

I’m sure if Molina were a lefty, he would have run from home to third after hitting that ball and plowed right over Daniel Descalso.

Ninth inning
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Mr. October, as Pujols cranks his third homer of the night!!!

Postgame
After the first two games in St. Louis produced a grand total of eight runs, Game Three produced nearly triple that many all by itself. I’m sure the warmer Texas weather and not facing top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers had a little something to do with that.

It should be interesting to see how Game Four plays out Sunday night for each team’s fourth starters. I’ll be back again to offer some highlights and insights. Thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Greg Simons said...

    Good catch, Nyet.  It occurred to me as I was falling asleep last night that I might have been wrong about that, but I had already submitted the story and was too tired to get up and check.

  2. Nyet Jones said...

    “Guess who has the first RBI in all three World Series games.”

    No one. Berkman had the first two RBIs in game one.

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