October 12, 2004
The Almost Comeback
If the first game of the American League Championship Series is any indication, I'm going to be walking around campus like a zombie for the next week or so. With New York up 8-0 and Mike Mussina tossing a perfect game through six innings, the Red Sox came back and made things extremely interesting, closing the gap to 8-7 before the Yankees had enough of it and scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth.
If not for Mussina's potential perfect game and the fact that things fell apart for him so quickly after that, last night could definitely have been one of those "okay, this one's over and I'm tired, so I'm going to bed" situations. I'm glad I didn't, although my comatose-like state this morning might disagree.
Some very quick notes on the game, since it's late Tuesday night as I write this, I am literally having trouble keeping my eyes open, and I have class at eight in the morning and a very busy day after that ...
- This postseason has already featured a ton of "interesting" bullpen usage patterns and managerial decisions, and last night was no exception. I can't really fault Joe Torre for leaving Tom Gordon in for a batter too long in the eighth, because Gordon has been exceptional this year, but did anyone else think the way Terry Francona handled things in the late innings was very weird?
With New York leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Francona went with Mike Timlin instead of Keith Foulke, and that didn't turn out too well. I don't really fault him for that decision, but then why would he bring Foulke into the game when the Yankees scored twice against Timlin, making it 10-7? In what scenario is Foulke, the team's best reliever, okay to pitch with a three-run deficit, but not with a one-run deficit?
- Line of the Night, from Joe Buck: "Everybody said Alex Rodriguez had to prove himself in the postseason, and he certainly did that against the Twins."
Not that "everybody" seems to care, but Rodriguez actually had a pretty decent career even before he joined the New York Yankees, believe it or not. In addition to hitting 345 non-Yankee homers, making seven non-Yankee All-Star teams and winning a non-Yankee MVP award, Rodriguez played in five different postseason series with this team called the "Seattle Mariners" and hit .340/.375/.566.
- Line of the Night #2, from Tim McCarver to Al Leiter: "C'mon brotha!"
McCarver also called Bronson Arroyo "Brandon Arroyo" at least three times before Buck finally said, "Do you know someone named Brandon Arroyo? His name is Bronson Arroyo!"
- Curt Schilling did not look good, as his velocity was down quite a bit and he just seemed to be a lot more up-right in his delivery than usual. You've got to think that his bum ankle has a lot to do with the struggles, and whether he comes back on short rest to start Game 4 or stays on schedule to start Game 5, his ability to bounce back is going to be huge in this series. I don't think Boston can beat the Yankees without getting at least one win from Schilling.
- Is it just me, or is it idiotic that both LCS games are being played at the exact same time tonight? I informed my uncle last night that one game will be on FOX and the other will either be on FX or FOX Sports Net, and I think he would have believed me more had I told him I was abducted by aliens over the weekend.
If Major League Baseball is absolutely against starting one of the games during the mid-afternoon, the very least they could do is stagger the start times at night, so people could watch the last 3-4 innings of each game. As shocking as this may sound, there are actually those of us who enjoy baseball so much that we'd like to be able to watch both games.
Today at The Hardball Times:
- Playoff Preview: Cardinals - Astros (by Aaron Gleeman)
- Net Win Shares Value (by Studes)
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