Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
I'm much too tired to attempt to sum up what happened in tonight's game. You'll just have to settle for random thoughts:
- "The riptide of big innings are walks"--Tim McCarver said this in the midst of the Red Sox barrage. It is now my new personal credo, replacing, "Don't let your meat loaf." If you want to know what was the Red Sox "riptide" tonight...
- DON'T THROW FASTBALLS TO JOHNNY DAMON!!!!--The Yankees had made Damon their monkeyboy. And how did they do it? Breaking balls. Well, not litearlly. They threw him changes, curves, sliders, anything but a fastball. He had a four-strikeout game as a result.
Did you see the nice meaty fastballs that Vazquez threw Damon tonight? Never mind that both missed their expected locations by a mile. They came in straight. They went out straight. Someone is going to have to answer to why they changed what had been an effective approach to one that was known not to be and why they repeated their mistake.
- Pedr-Oh-No?!?--Was bringing in Pedro Martinez the stupidest move ever made by a manager in a playoff game? Derek Lowe was cruising and had thrown only 69 pitches in six innings. Given that he faced 21 batters, that's a little over three a batter. Why to make the guy work, Yankees! Martinez ended giving up just two runs in his inning of work, but had the Sox broken down, Terry Francona would have been flambeed in Boston. He'd have been blown up like the Bartman ball in Chicago.
There was mention in the booth that Pedro had asked to come into the game. Great, and let's let Rudi Stein pitch while we're at it. Pedro quickly pointed fingers at Grady Little last year for sticking with him too long, but apparently he feels he is the pitching coach on the Sox.
- The best 7-game series that nobody saw--The Astros and Cards finally get to solo in prime time tomorrow. It's so clear that this was the B series from the start that when the Yanks and Red Sox started at 4 before leaving Boston, they made certain to keep the game going until the ninth inning of the NLCS game.
This series has been arguably better than the ALCS, but no one is given the NL champ a chance in the World Series. Let's see if the Senior Circuit can deliver a more interesting seventh game.
- Here's a quickie poll: Who will be the first Yankee casualty after a disappointing season:
- Brian Cashman?
- Mel Stottlemyre?
- Javier Vazquez?
- The travel staff?
- If Carlos Beltran leads the Astros to a Series championship, what will it cost Steinbrenner to sign him next year?
- Presidential Palaver--If the Astros win, it'll be teams from the two home states of the presidential candidates in the Series. Is this a referendum on the election? If so, will I have to root for the Red Sox?
- John Henry is a mutant. Gotta be.
- Is Theo Epstein old enough to drink the celebratory champagne?
- As I'm sure you heard, the Red Sox are the first team in major-league history to come back from a three games to none deficit to win a seven-game series. They're even the first to send the series to a full seven games. They are the only one in the 26 series that started down 0-3 to win. On the other side of the coin, 20 of the 136 seven-games series in baseball history have been four-game sweeps.
Why is it so much easier to win the first four games than the last four?
- Bushed Leagues: With both League Championship Series going seven games, will both teams be too beat to compete? Well, this will be only the fourth World Series to follow LCSs that both went the distance. The others were 1972 (A's-Reds), 1973 (A's-Mets), and 2003 (Marlins-Yankees). The good news is the first two went seven games and last year's went six. So expect a good seven five-hour marathons come World Series time.
Good night, folks! I'll be here all week. Try the veal!
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