August 11, 2002
Diary of a Madman
Coming to you LIVE from the living room of my house and armed with nothing more than a laptop and a bag of Skittles, here is my running diary of the Curt Schilling vs. Josh Beckett matchup that I wrote about earlier.
Greg Shulte and Rod Allen are our announcers tonight.
"When Womack is getting on base consistently, Bob Brenly can do a lot of things." - Rod Allen.
When exactly would that be Rod? Womack has a .310 OBP this year.
We might be in for a long night of announcing.
Sure enough, the first guy to reach base against Schilling, Eric Owens, steals second, beating a good throw.
Josh Beckett takes the mound.
The first two things that the announcers say about him:
"Unable to throw that breaking ball because of the blister." - Rod Allen.
"Gave up back-to-back-to-back homers to the D-Backs earlier in the year." - Greg Shulte.
I hope the game goes better than his introduction.
"Tony [Womack] has really turned his game up a notch since the all-star break." - Rod Allen.
Is Rod Allen on the Tony Womack payroll or something?!
Womack since the break: .284/.324/.358 (AVG/OBP/SLG). That's not "turning it up a notch," even for Tony Womack.
Beckett is consistently getting his fastball up to 95. His curve is checking in at about 74-75.
With two strikes on Quinton McCracken, Beckett throws him a big curve, which McCracken hits the other way for a double. Why throw a curve in that situation?
Rod Allen agreed with me (Yippeeee!): "Why throw him a curve when you are throwing the fastball by him?"
McCracken scores the 1st run on a ground ball right back up the middle. I don't know if another SS could have gotten to it, but...
"Durazo projected over a full-season is scary." - Rod Allen.
FREE ERUBIEL!!!!!!! Oh wait, they did? Nevermind.
Either the gun is broken or Beckett is throwing at exactly 95 on every fastball.
The 2nd runs scores on a Matt Williams single to right field (on a fastball).
With 2 outs and 2 runs in, Beckett gets a trip to the mound by the pitching coach.
Steve Finley hits a single to almost the exact same spot as Williams did, Durazo is sent home (all the way from 2nd) but Juan Encarnacion makes a great throw to the plate that beats him by 2 steps (on the fly).
Not a great start for the kid.
Julian Tavarez is a very ugly human being.
Steve Finley makes a great running catch for the 3rd out of the inning, on a Mike Redmond would-be double, right in front of the pool in right-center.
"No one covers more ground than Steve Finley" - Rod Allen.
I wonder how many team announcers, out of 30, say that exact same thing when their CF makes a good play?
Chad Moeller smokes a fastball to almost the same spot that Finley made the catch, although a lot faster. It bangs off of the wall, right in front of the pool, for a double.
Schilling pops up his 1st bunt attempt (trying to get Moeller to third), but Redmond almost collides with the ump (CB Buckner) and misses it. Schilling pops up the 2nd attempt, foul. Takes the 3rd pitch, just outside. Doesn't chase the 4th, a bouncer outside. Schilling smacks the 5th pitch for a single into right field, the same exact place that Matt Williams and Finley hit their singles.
"It is going to be a short afternoon for Beckett if he doesn't start throwing some breaking balls and changeups for strikes." - Rod Allen.
I wonder if the blister is still bothering him.
The 3rd run scores on a grounder to third. Millar fields it and has a play at home and "Would have thrown Moeller out by 10 feet," according to Rod Allen.
Instead, Millar pauses and then throws to 2nd, for 1 out, but too late for the double play. So far that left side of the infield isn't exactly helping Beckett.
"Millar is not a 3rd baseman by trade." - Rod Allen. That just struck me as funny for some reason.
Womack steals 2nd on a 3-1 pitch. Decent throw by Redmond, but Luis Castillo couldn't hold onto it on the bounce.
McCracken strikes out on a 3-2 pitch.
Spivey draws a 3-2 walk. Beckett thought he had the K with a good curveball, but Buckner called it a ball.
He gets Luis Gonzalez looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
3-2, 3-2, 3-2...I am noticing a pattern (me smart!).
The D-Backs have a "Flyball Fund" contest where a viewer picks an outfielder. If that guy catches a flyball that inning, the contestant gets 20,000 airline miles or something like that.
What a lame contest.
How about the "Infield Single" contest or the "Sacrifice Bunt" fund?
Matt Williams has increasingly diminished range at 3B, but he can still pick it.
"Matt is one of only 7 players to win gold gloves in both leagues." - Rod Allen.
Rod Allen, right on cue.
Schilling is getting it up there at 95-96 pretty consistently.
He throws Beckett all fastballs and Ks him on 5 pitches.
The Marlins seem to be taking an awful lot of pitches early in the count, which probably isn't the greatest idea ever.
Greg Shulte is apparently unwilling to say the word "Damn."
He says "The Best Sports Show, Period." You would be surprised at how many of the announcers do the same.
By the way, did I mention "F@#%ing Lemke?" Just checking.
The screen flashes this graphic: Erubiel Durazo against righties = .316. against lefties = .167.
"If he played against lefties more, the average would be higher." - Rod Allen.
Durazo hit .188 against lefties last year. So I guess, technically, Rod is right.
"Finley with a deep drive to left, there she goes!" - Greg Shulte.
The ball was actually hit to right field and Encarnacion caught it in front of the fence. But, who's counting.
Eric Owens singles past a diving Matt Williams (there is that range I talked about earlier). Owens is now 2-2.
Later, Schilling has Derrek Lee picked off at first, but Lee takes off for 2nd and Durazo's throw is wild.
Schilling Ks Preston Wilson to end the inning.
"McCracken was a great pickup by Joe Garogiola Jr. A lot of teams were scared off because of his knee problems." - Rod Allen.
Yeah, his knees and his .219 AVG last year, after hitting .129 in 2000 and .250 (with no power or OBP) in 1999.
But I agree about it being a good pickup (after the fact obviously). McCracken is hitting .326/.387/.489 this year.
Womack steals second and goes to third as the throw bounces past Castillo (and Mordecai) and goes into centerfield. That is twice now that Castillo hasn't been able to catch a throw on a bounce.
Josh Beckett is apparently done for the evening. He is being brought back to the dugout and Homer Bush is in the on-deck circle.
Well, so much for my big matchup, huh?
At least Schilling is still dealing.
Carl Pavano is in for Beckett.
Beckett's final line:
85 Pitches (48 Strikes).
He couldn't get his breaking ball over for a strike, so he was forced to pitch from behind a lot.
And when he did try to come back with the fastball, it caught way too much of the plate.
He didn't get much help from his defense (aside from Encarnacion's throw) but it wouldn't have mattered, he got hit pretty hard.
Well, Beckett is gone and so are my Skittles. My attention is drifting and the remote control is calling my name.