The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Tim McCarver’

One for the ages

Posted by keithosaunders on October 28, 2011

Two words I thought I’d never say are:  Poor Texas. 

Game six of the 2011 World Series was one of the greatest games I have ever seen.  Despite poor fielding, porous pitching, terrible managing, and one of the worst blown saves of all time, it was one of the most compelling and riveting games of all time. 

I watched the game with my middle child, Lee, and by the 10th inning we were both screaming and laughing in disbelief and awe.  How could a team be within one strike of winning their first ever World Series and blow it both times?!  Ranger closer, Neftali Perez has got to close that game!  He had two strikes on Freese before grooving a pitch that was hammered deep to the opposite field.  

When I saw the ball hit off the bat I thought the game was over, but Nelson Cruz, the Texas right fielder, either got a bad jump on the ball, or was afraid of running into the wall. 

For all their incessant yammering about meaningless statistics, Buck and McCarver were mute on whether or not Cruz had a play on the ball.  Their intent is to deliver as bland a broadcast as possible, and on that front they are successful.  Either way…triple and tie game.

Some people have been saying that Ron Washington should have stuck with Perez for the 10th, but I disagree.  I’ve seen enough of him to know that he stinks.  So does Ogando, for that matter.  Perez is one of those guys that compiles saves during the season, but when it comes to money time he wilts.  That’s what made Mariano so great — he was (is)great both during the season, as well as the post season.

LaRussa is an ass.  The Cards are winning despite him, just as the Rangers have made it all the way to game seven despite their inept manager.  Last night LaRussa worked himself into a situation where he had no remaining position players by the ninth inning, and had burned through the bulk of his bullpen.  He was even using multiple starting pitchers as pinch hitters.  He pinch hit Edwin Jackson for Kyle Lohse, who was batting for still another pitcher!  What a tool.  What I wouldn’t have given to see a 20 inning game.  He would have had to have used Carpenter!

I would be shocked if St Louis does not have a big lead in game seven by the middle innings.  It’s hard enough to win a game seven on the road, but to expect the Rangers to recover from a gut wrenching loss when they were inches from the crown…that’s asking a lot. 

I can’t wait to watch!

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Can you hear me now?

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2011

Hey Tony, how about another pitching change?

Game five of the World Series was one of the more bizarre and exciting games I have seen for some time.  This entire Series has been a delight, and so far it has gone the way I wanted it to, with Texas in front of a long, hard-fought contest.  It was the first time since 2003 that the Series had been knotted at two — there have been six game series, but only after 3-1 leads in games.  The Series hasn’t gone to a seventh game since 2002. 

I hadn’t realized how universally disliked LaRussa was, but now that his over managing is front and center, the press and media have been all over him.  One podcast host stated that, “LaRussa came to manage in game 5.” 

And manage he did.  He managed to blow the game, that’s for sure.  First of all he had his ace on the mound, Chris Carpenter.   Of course he was removed once the magic 100 pitch mark was reached, and in came Octavio Dotel bearing gasoline.  If that’s not enough, with first base open he has Dotel walk Nelson Cruz.  What is Dotel in the game for if not to get righties out! 

Then we entered the twilight zone.  LaRussa removed Dotel from the game and out from the bulpen came Mr Scrabble, Marc Rzepczynski.  What the?!  A left-hander in to face consecutive righties, one of whom, Mike Napoli,  is the Series hottest hitter.  I sat there dumbfounded as Buck and McCarver, shills that they are, explained that LaRussa sometimes uses Rzepczynski to get righties out. 

One single and a gap double later the score was 4-2 Rangers.  But LaRussa wasn’t done.  He removed Rzepczynski from the game and replaced him with… Lance Lynn!  He had Lynn intentionally walk Kinsler and then…took him out of the game!   At the time I was thinking, LaRussa is out of control — why not have Rzepczynski issue the walk and then change pitchers?

Of course, later on we would discover the reason:  The bullpen phone didn’t work and LaRussa’s pitching coach had the wrong pitcher warming up.  Right…and Paul McCartney died in 1966. 

I don’t believe this cock and bull story for one second.  Before the game LaRussa had announced that Lynn, who had thrown 47 pitches the previous night, was unavailable for work.  Let’s assume for a moment that the bullpen coach misheard LaRussa.  Why wouldn’t he have questioned the move?  Not only that, Lynn sounds nothing like Motte, who was the pitcher that LaRussa said he wanted all along.  Might I suggest a simple text message for future moves?

Let’s face it, LaRussa simply wants to put his stamp on the game at any cost.  He’s not happy unless he is making moves.  At this point it appears his over-managing is costing the Cardinals a Worlds Series.  You can make the case that LaRussa, at this point, is responsible for at least two losses:  games two and five.

Finally, this little tidbit I heard on the radio.  One of the hosts of Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast attended game six of the 1977 World Series, the one in which Reggie Jackson hit three home runs. (a game also attended by my best friend, and sometimes guest-blogger, Jeff Mazzei)  The time of that game was two hours and seven minutes.  Amount of pitching changes:  three; all by the Dodgers.

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