In Praise of PIP (Picture in a Picture): ALCS Game 1/NLCS Game 2 (And I'll Record the Debate for Later)
by Mike Carminati
I'm a little panicked because I couldn't find the NLCS game at first. I get both the New York and the Philly Fox affiliates, and both had the Yankee-Red Sox game. CBS Sportsline informed me that the Cards-Astros were on FSN, which is a pay service from my cable provider. I couldn't even order it with my digital service. But my night is saved: the TV Guide site tells me than Comcast Sports Network is airing the game for some reason. All set...
Red Sox First/Astros First
Damon—2-1, grounds out to Olerud unassisted, at least he didn't strike out
Bellhorn—First pitch, pops to Jeter.
Biggio—Long AB, singles over Williams.
Ramirez—0-2, Inside chest high, K's; End of first
Beltran—2-2, Hits a liner straight into the stands in right, HR, Astros 2-0.
Bagwell—2-2, hard liner to third, Rolen backhands, out
Jeter—Starts 2-0, high and outside—3-0, walks
Berkman—Frozen on change (?) over plate
A-Rod—Jeter goes, perfect throw, Bellhorn drops it
Kent—Popped up, first pitch; End of 1st
A-Rod—2-0, takes for strike, fouls off. "Who's Your Daddy" chants to "Let's go Yankees". Pitch on the hands. Hits him on wrist.
Sheffield—1st pitch high, single to center, Jeter goes home, throw too late and up third base line. First and second.
Womack—lines out to left.
Walker—Long AB, liner to right, Berkman lunges for it. Gets past him. Triple.
Matsui—0-2, changing pitches, McCarver up in arms, called strike.
Pujols—low strike, rocket to right field. Tie ballgame.
Williams—1-2, in the dirt. 2-2. Nice change on the outside corner.
Posada—First pitch up high and in, Nice pitch—1-1. Maybe Peddro was psyching himself up with paranoia. Next pitch in the dirt. Varitek to the mound again. Change right over the plate. Fouls off high fastball. Ugh, Diamond Vision is back. Change again—grounds out to second. End of first.
Edmonds—Full count, nice single to right.
Renteria—1-1, throws to first, inside strike, way inside. 2-2. Change right over the plate. An "excuse me" foul. Ks on curve(?) via low. End of first.
Red Sox 2nd
Ortiz—way outside 3-0. Taking strike on inside corner. High over plate. Called a ball. I thought that pitch was a strike now. Walks.
Millar—ball low and outside. Called ball—I guess a little inside. 2-0. Pops out. Jeter has it.
Ensberg—Pops out to same spot as Millar.
Nixon—0-1, fly out to left.
Vizcaino-lines out to second.
Varitek—does the same. End of second.
Ausmus—0-1, outside, grounds out to short. End of second.
Olerud—1-1, grounds out hard to Bellhorn.
Cairo—2-2, "A drop and drive pitcher can neither drop nor drive."—Dr. McCarver. Francona davining. Full count. Walks.
Sanders—Finally Ks on change in the dirt.
Lofton—1st pitch, a single up the middle. Those high fastballs are causing Martinez problems.
Jeter—pitch at the hands just misses him. Again way inside but lower and Jeter had backed off. Deep fly. Damon has it. Cairo tags up. First and third.
Matheny—quick 0-2. Ks.
Williams—high and inside. Foul. Another inside. Outside. 3-1. Fly out. End of 2nd.
A-Rod—Lofton goes. Fouled off. "Who's Your Daddy?" Ball. Throws to first. Stopped faking to third then looks first. I think that he had his foot on the rubber, balk, no? strike two. Ball 2. Another hesitation near balk. Couldn't see feet, behind PIP. Throws again to first. Fouled fastball. Full count—ball outside. Nice backdoor change. K looking. End of 2nd.
Backe—batting over .300. Ks.
Biggio—grounds out to short
Beltran—Second pitch deep to right but foul, he's on fire. 0-2. Two balls. Both low. Strikes out on change. End of inning.
Cabrera—"Lieber has not allowed a hit. Now he has"—Buck. After two strikes looking. Third pitch, same location, single over short.
Mueller—grounds out to Olerud. Runner moves up.
Damon—Ugly swing when he tries to pull it back. Grounds out to Cairo. Cards 3rd
Womack—1-2, fouled off. Ks on change low.
Bellhorn—1-2. Fouls off. Soft liner right to Williams. End of inning.
Walker—Ball. Misses low change. Right to Backe to first.
Pujols—Strike on high heat outside. Same pitch foul. Deep but foul on same pitch. Outside—Ball. Low—ball.
Sheffield—pops to short. Scooter makes first appearance. Lordy Mama!
Matsui—2-0. Foul.Varitek to mound again. Hard ground ball to Millar unassisted.
Pujols—Finally Ks. End of the inning.
Williams—soft ground, 3-1. End of inning.
Bagwell—1-2. In the dirt, 2-2. Again—Full count. Foul.
Red Sox 4th
Ramirez—Flies out on first pitch.
Ortiz—Pops up behind second.
Bagwell—Foul again, then walks.
Millar—2-0. Check swing to Lieber. End of inning.
Berkman—grounds out to second. Ball in dirt. Renteria makes nice play, but no DP.
Kent—1-1, throws to first. Called strike. Runs on in low—fouled off. Steps out. Change that hangs right over the plate—deposits it in the leftfield stands. Astros 4-2.
Posada—3-1. Missed high 4-seamer. Next pitch at his feet—walk.
Ensberg—Pops up foul, just beyond Pujols reach. Deep fly. Walker has it on warning track.
Olerud—2-0, Pitching coach to the mound.
Vizcaino—singles to right.
Ausmus—First pitch, grounds out to third. End of inning.
Olerud—pops out behind second.
Cairo—Foul. "Who's Your Daddy". Flies out to Ramirez.
Lofton—Ks on 4 pitches. Eyeballs Pedro. End of inning.
Rolen—Backe was given first bat at age one—great stuff. Full count. Looked like a strike. Umps not calling the high strike in the playoffs. Change right over the plate freezes him.
Edmonds—Antisemite is talking to Astros pitching coach.
Red Sox 5th
Nixon—soft line out to left.
Varitek—grounds out to Lieber on second pitch.
Cabrera—1-2. McCarver just notices that Clemens pitched for both ALCS teams—great stuff. Change in the dirt. Same a little higher—Ks. End of inning.
Renteria—3-0, called strike. Edmonds goes—ball four.
Garner to mound. I can't even stand the Brennaman—Lyons repartee for the ten seconds that I switch from PIP.
44 up in Astros BP.
Celeb cam-Ben Affleck
Lorne Michaels & Conan.
A-Rod—infield hit on soft grounder to third.
Sanders—1-1 grounds into a DP to third to end inning.
Sheffield—change hanging over the plate, fouled back. Ball. "who's your daddy". Be original—say "Is he rich like me?" Fouled at plate, Varitek comes up firing to second, almost hits Pedro. Ball was off Sheffield's leg.
Sheffield—ball, 2-2. tips into dirt.
Beltran—flies out to right, end of inning.
Sheffield—Ks on high inside Fastball.
Matsui—Throws to first. Steps out. Ball one. Misses change. Ball off the corner called a strike. Change—foul. "WYD?"
Williams—0-2, deep fly to right. Over Berkman, double off wall.
Matsui—foul. In the dirt. Full count. A-Rod goes. Another change fouled.
Womack—Grounds out to short. Williams to third.
Mastui—strikes out looking on back door. End of inning.
Walker—0-2, on pitch off the plate called strike. Bloop to left field, drops for double. Williams scores. Astrors 4-3.
Pujols—Psycho-Semitic wants them to walk him to get to Rolen.
Red Sox 6th
Mueller—Pops out to mound.
Pujols—ball low.again. strike low. Ball. W
Damon—0-2, looks like batting in bucket, hips going while pulling back. Ball—fans wanted it but outside. Foul down line.
Pujols—Walk. Astros pull Backe.
Damon—foul. Ball. Tips it out of Posada's glove. Foul A-Rod can’t get it.
Qualls in for Houston.
Damon—fouls off 12th pitch. Full count. Fouls backdoor cutter (Leiter called before pitch) off foot.
Rolen—singles to left. Scores one. Tie ballgame. Mistake walking Pujols.
Damon—two more fouls. Lines out to center. Fox was too busy showing all other pitches—almost missed this one. 16th pitch.
Edmonds—Fouls off. 1-2. Ball was high. Pitching coach to mound. Ks to end inning.
Bellhorn—2-2. Full count. Ks on cutter. Ends inning.
Bagwell—swings through, Ball inside and low. Ball low. Bounces to plate. Foul. Foul. Called strike[[looked good, Bagwell didn't like it.
Williams—Ball one up and in. Foul. Ball very high. Change over plate, 2-2. Same pitch, this time a ball—why not? McCarver has just inducted Pedro in Hall. Fly out to center.
Kent—Two balls low. Third inside. Foul. Fouls off front foot, goes down.
Timlin up in Red Sox pen.
Olerud—1-1 fastball, off the plate, gets call. He's giving them that call all night. Bullet to right—gone. Varitek outside but pitch inside. Yankees 3-0. Right after discussion on pitch counts: "Well ... with Pedro's guile, he may be able to be effective over 100 pitches, plus pitch counts vary depending on how you feel." McCarvers says, "Some days, the cutoff might be 125."—good stuff.
Kent—strikes out to end inning.
"WYD?" cheer returns.
Cairo—low ball. Then away and high three times—2-2. Schilling report is really WebMD ad. "Pedro" taunt now. To quote Han Solo, "Don’t get cocky." Again outside corner. Ks looking.
Lofton—pops up to mound on first pitch to end inning.
Renteria—singles on first pitch to center. Now must be irritated by B team as A team goes to commercial.
Sanders—Jams him, broken bat to second base, Kent knocks it down but no play.
Calero up in pen.
Matheny—good bunt on first pitch. Second and third.
Red Sox 7th
Ramirez—Grounds to short.
Cedeno—PH for Williams. Soft grounder to first. Bagwell grabs it even though it was going foul. Tags Cedeno as Renteria crosses plate. Run scored. Cards 5-4.
Womack—dink to second. Kent doesn't get t o it, even though it looks playable. Cards, 6-4.
Ortiz—single to right.
Millar—swings through high heat. Gordon up in pen. Misses change outside.
Walker—Womack steals second. grounder to short, Throw past Bagwell on bounce. Cards 7-4. Qualls stays in. Dolts say Vizcaino shouldn't have thrown but good throw gets him.
Millar—DP543. ends inning.
God Bless America—Who's Your Daddy Mix.
Pujols—Harville in pen. Throws to first. Walks on four. Qualls gone.
Now WebMD report on Scott Rolen—great stuff!
Harville in for Astros.
Timlin in for Red Sox.
Jeter—foul to third. Ball again not getting high strike. Foul. Grounds out to short.
Rolen—ball. Foul. Ball. Check swing, went around, not called—they are so inconsistent with that. Walks.
Edmonds—I think they just batted around. Goes down and gets one to right—double. 3 runs. 10-4 Cards. They try to get Rolen at the plate, but he is too good a runner—slides to the outside and Ausmus can't reach him.
A-Rod—liner to Mueller's right, nice catch.
Sheffield—singles to left.
Renteria—2-1, strike right down the pike. Broken bat to second ends inning—6 runs. 10-4 Cards.
Matsui-Takes inside pitch the opp. Way, flair to left, single. Foulke up.
Williams—Pops to right field line. End of inning.
Calero in for Cards, warmed up for about an hour.
Ensberg—grounds out to second. Psycho-semitic loves Calero's name.
Red Sox 8th
Nixon—Lieber still in. 1-1 pitch too much plate. Singles past Olerud.
Lieber gone—great game. He's Pedro's daddy.
Vizcaino—infield single on 1-2.
Varitek—2-1. Rivera gets up to stretch. Nice slider inside. Swings through. Gordon needs a good performance tonight.
Palmeiro—PHs for pitcher—what no double-switch? Hits one in the corner. Vizcaino held at third.
Varitek—full count. Fights one to the gap off this fists. Second and third. Nixon should have gone. Both games 2nd and 3rd for trailing team. Meeting at mound.
Biggio—whiffs to end inning.
Cabrera—Rivera throwing. Foul.
"God Bless America" in St. Loo. Looks like Jim Kaat is singing. They have a real eagle—wow.
Cabrera—grounder to short. RBI. Runner holds at second. Yanks 3-1. McCarver explains the best way to ground out—he's an expert, I know from his Phillies days.
Mueller—2-1 pitch in the dirt.
Sanders—foul to third.
Mueller—Fouled off—Full count. Grounds to second. Runner to third. Gordon gone. Rivera coming in.
Matheny—On the hands, foul. Ball. Unbearable discussion about foul balls and caught home run balls. Psycho likes how Midwesterners throw balls back—can't this guy shut up. It's like Scooter came to life. Ks looking.
Damon—Rivera in. Ball. Shatters bat—foul to Olerud. Foul. Tip off glove. Ks looking at outside corner fastball. End the inning.
Anderson—PH for Calero. Grounds out to end inning.
Haren in for Cards. Beltrane turns on inside fastball, lines a single to right.
Bagwell—foul. Foul. Ks on fastballs.
Posada—First pitch, singles to center.
Olerud—Just missed a good pitch to hit, deep fly out to center. Embree is gone.
The Cards must have made a pitching change since they went to commercial.
King in for Cards
Berkman—fastball, foul. Fastball--homer to left. Right after Lyons applauded King for challenging hitters—nice, I like. Cards 10-6.
Foulke in for Red Sox.
Cairo—Hit by pitch on inside breaking ball. Ugly—just as they applaud Red Sox for getting Foulke some work.
Kent—0-1 low fastball, pops up. King gone—Is LaRussa over-managing this?
Lofton—Ks on tip called by ump. Didn’t see it. No replay. Announcers bored with game, talking about game 5. Oh, Schilling. It may not go 5, guys.
Jeter—1-1, low curve—2-1. Still talking about Schilling.
Taveras in for Cards and then they go back to that annoying Dodge truck commercial—"You are a…wonderful man."
Jeter—walks. Bases full. Maybe it would be better to rest the closer.
A-Rod—Swings through fastball, 1-1. Curve (?) low. 2-1, Derek Lowe is up.
Oops missed Ensberg lining out to end 8th on first pitch.
Womack—lines at to Everett who just came in.
A-Rod—3-1. called strike. Foul, stays full. Flies out to right. End of inning.
Is U2's Vertigo worse than Zoo TV album?
Pujols—single to center.
Rolen—Called strike. Foul. Ball. Missed high heat. End of inning.
Ugh, U2 Vertigo again. Wasn't this the riff in a better U2 song?
Red Sox Ninth
Bellhorn—2-1, grounds to Olerud unassisted.
Ramirez—Takes strike right over plate. What is he, Mighty Casey? Pitch four inches inside called strike 2.
Vizcaino—grounds out, what no PHs.
Ramirez—gapper to left-center. Double.
Ausmus—they're letting him hit? Don't they have a backup catcher? Ks on 3 pitches.
Lamb-PH for pitcher. 2-1 pitch. Goes other way, just over fence, Cards 10-7.
Ortiz—Ks on three pitches, all inside.
Millar—called strike. Ball—checked swing.
Biggio-ball low. Automatic double to left.
Millar—swings through pitch low and inside.
Tavera pulled. There's that Dodge commercial again.
Millar—foul, broke bat. Ks.
Yankees win 3-1. Sinatra sings.
Beltran—First pitch, down the line but Cardinals guarding lines. Cards win 10-7. No Sinatra. Now, they are bothering Larry Walker while he shakes hands with teammates. Tell him that all he needed for a cycle was a homer. Looks like Walker wants to slap him.
Well, that was really hard to follow. I'm glad that this will be the last time that both series will have games at the same time, but I'm grateful that I didn't have to listen to Lyons-Brennaman more than I did. I can't imagine how I'll last the rest of the series.
Lieber looked great. The Yankees looked in control throughout. The Cardinals scored all over the Astro bullpen. Again Garner stuck with Qualls too long. And if Garner had pinch-hit for the stiffs at the bottom of the lineup then maybe they could have mounted more of a comeback in the ninth.