Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
...the measure you give will be the measure you get...
— Jesus (not Ivan De), New Testament, Mark 4:24.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”
—John Greenleaf "Sweet Lou" Whittier as quoted by Felix "Millan" Unger
Well, the World Series opener seemed like an opening round in a boxing match with each team tentatively measuring up the other. It seems that the close games that we've witnessed in the postseason will persist in the Series. The Marlins won game one, 3-2, with the tying run on second.
The story of the game according to the Fox crew was Juan Pierre, who was 2-for-3 and got on base four out of five times. I'm here to tell you that the Yankees could easily have won the game if it were not for Boone cutting off a throw to the plate, Johnson lollygagging and getting picked off at third, and Soriano's inability to move a baserunner along (three times). Besides, reliever Dontrelle Willis looked hittable and closer Ugueth Urbina worked himself into a ninth-inning jam. And Yankee starter David Wells outpitched his Marlin counterpart Brad Penny overall.
The Marlins do deserve credit for making the plays necessary to win, especially in Yankee Stadium. I'm not sure that it's the kind of win that they can build on in a series though. Not that they care a whit. It takes four dubbyas to wrest the trophy from the Angels' moribund grasp, and the Marlins are a quarter of the way there.
Here are my notes from game one:
Marlins 1st: Pierre—Bunt single gets past pitcher to second.
Castillo—Texas leaguer past Johnson.
Pudge—Sac fly. Marlins 1-0. Still the SF is the first out and why hand one to Wells?
Yanks 1st: Soriano—Gets his own infield hit. Gonzalez to right, throws behind Lee. A good throw would have gotten him.
Marlins 2nd: Robin Williams—hamming for camera, trying to be funny during Conine's entire AB in some cell phone commercial that Fox is doing during the game.
Billy Crystal—finally tells him to get off and watch game. Thanks, Billy.
Encarnacion—Wells' pitch not far enough inside. Bloop single. Conine to second.
Gonzalez—Doubleplay Boone to Johnson. He's killing them offensively.
Yanks 2nd: Bud Selig—in attendance. Needs a drool cup.
David Stern—Also in attendance. Can we trade our commissioner for yours?
"Skin" cast also in attendance. C'mon. Fox is not interested in the game. It's all bellybutton-watching and advertising.
Posada—4-pitch walk. Fourth pitch a good foot and a half outside.
Giambi—Fourth pitch is a high fastball that just missed. K's on breaker down and away.
Boone—K's (looking) on curveball.
Marlins 3rd: Pierre—Entire infield in but Jeter. Shows bunt on second ball. Chopper gets to Soriano quickly since infield in. Out.
Jeffrey Loria—And people hate Steinbrenner?
Pudge—second strike on big curve. Same pitch—hits it just foul. Don't go there again. Finally gets him to fly out on high heat.
Yanks 3rd: Bruce Willis—Tells the camera to leave him alone and watch game. Buck says he's "saying hi to the kids" and then something like "it's hard to pay attention to the game with all the celebrities." Doofus!
Bob Gibson—Doesn't give a damn about the camera.
Garcia—To left. Cabrera breaks the wrong way, slides, catches it on the bounce. Garcia stretches it to a double. First time that Cabrera's defensive inexperience has hurt them.
Soriano—First strike is a foot outside. Second strike (2-1) is low—would've walked. Hits a ball to the left side on a pitch that's low and a foot outside.
Johnson—First pitch is supposed to be outside but two-seamer catches inside corner. Third pitch misses location on outside corner like first. Then a foot outside to walk.
Jeter—Penny drops ball. Fox completely misses it. Time was called since Jeter is not in the box. Zimmer raving. Shows bunt on ball one. Dribbler down third base line. Finally rolls foul thanks to the research of Juan Pierre. Hits ball right back at the pitcher for a single. Score tied. Pudge set up inside but pitch is outside. Johnson took third because of Pierre's weak arm. Hits shortstop with throw.
Williams—Ball one, nice block by Pudge. Fly ball but not deep enough to score Johnson.
Matsui—Lowell on set play goes back to the bag at third. Johnson—picked off a yard from third. Almost crawls back toward bag. Why slide? Clears the lane for Pudge to throw (McCarver points out) but also severely slows runner (esp. Johnson) down. Yanks couldn't score with runners at corner and one out. Lee Mazilli tells Johnson not to slide in dugout.
Marlins 4th: Cabrera—Second big curve, second bounced—both swinging Ks. Fly out.
Lowell—high fly to leftfield corner. Mastui catches it w/ hand on wall.
Wells—56 pitches through 4 IP. Only 7 pitches in the 4th.
Yankees 4th: Matsui—rope on a high fastball. Johnson's mistake looks even bigger.
Posada—Pudge angry at Penny after second ball. Again on third. Fouls second K straight back, just missed. 3-2, Matsui goes, fouled off his foot. Mastui goes but ball 4.
Giambi—High heat but too high. Rosenthal goes to mound. First strike, straight down Broadway, Giambi way out in front. Taps to short (no shift). DP.
Boone—second K fouled straight back. Hits a ball hard, right at Lowell.
Penny—76 pitches through 4 IP.
Marlins 5th: Gonzalez—Men at first and second. Ball one shows bunt. Sacrifices them over. It’s like he's the pitcher.
Pierre—liner to shortstop spot, but infield in. Boone cuts off relay and throws to first. Encarnacion scores (Marlins, 3-1). Boone had plenty of time to get Encarnacion. Matsui's throw looked like it would be up the line though McCarver liked it. What was Boone thinking?
Castillo—Ball one in dirt and blocked by Posada.
Pudge—Wells fakes a throw to first twice. Pierre goes on first pitch. Rodriguez grounds out.
Yankees 5th: Soriano—Garcia at first. GIDP on first pitch! Second straight time he failed to move the runner with no outs.
Penny—Only six pitches in the inning.
Marlins 6th: Pepsi Fan Cam (another ad)—Robin Williams. Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick. Bruce Willis. Bud Selig. Where are J-Lo and Ben?
Yankees 6th: Pavano and Willis (Dontelle not Bruce)—up in pen.
Jeter—good AB. Fox—watching a kid doing a coloring book. Are they bored? Grounds out on tenth pitch.
Williams—1-0 fastball right down the middle of the plate. Pierre leaps but can't get it. HR. (Marlins 3-2)
Matsui—2-1 Fastball to right. Penny should be gone. Pudge to mound. McKeon comes out. Willis in.
Posada—switches to right side. Force out.
Giambi—0-2 fastball looked good, called ball. Ball 2 in dirt, stolen base for Posada. Posada is in a personal battle with Pudge. Dink fly beyond pitcher. Gonzalez on the bounce. Out. Nice play.
Marlins 7th: Conine—a great racketball player. So is dad and wife. In-depth Fox reporting.
Nelson—up in pen.
Gonzalez—pop up in front of mound. Boone's got it.
Pierre—bunts foul. Boone falls down. Hit by a pitch.
Stottlemyre to mound, but Wells stays in.
Yankees 7th: Boone—strike one shows bunt. Strike two, fouled straight back. Foul popup, Lowell and Rodriguez let it drop. Flies out.
Rivera—PHs. Delucci on bench picking nose. K's on change—way out in front.
Marlins 8th: Nelson in. Heredia up in pen.
Cabrera—patient AB. Walks, Stottlemyre to mound.
Contreras gets up in pen with Heredia.
Lee—hits to first baseman hole but holding runner. Cabrera slowed rounding second but throw off line.
Lowell—Fly to Rivera, not deep enough. Cabrera holds. Throw way offline though.
Yankees 8th: Urbina up in pen.
McCarver on Willis: "There's not a pitcher on the AL that has a delivery like Willis, for that matter in the NL." Where does Willis pitch? Mars?
Jeter—K's on high heat.
Williams—Pudge to mound after first strike. Singles.
Mastui—Nice AB. Single right up the middle. Willis gone. Urbina in.
Posada—Switches back to left side. Ball one low, Pudge really wanted it. Strike two—delayed call, too far inside. K's.
Marlins 9th: Weaver up in pen (really).
Look it's THE Marlin fan.
Pierre—infield in. Three straight balls. Torre rolls eyes on bench. Walks.
Castillo—After 6 straight balls, fouls off foot when Pierre trying to steal.
Pierre—steals second. Posada's throw high. Called safe, looked out to me.
Yankes 9th: Giambi—walks. Delucci PR.
Boone—showed bunt on ball one. Misses on first bunt attempt. Pops up on hit and run. Pathetic AB.
Sierra—PH. Was teammate of Urbina in Texas at start of season. Delucci goes on ball 4.
Soriano—2-1 pitch 2 feet outside, surprised he's not swinging. Strike out looking.
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