Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
11:59 pm - Yanks 10, Sox 7  
The whole Star Wars Evil Empire pre-game show is really weak.

Tom Gordon got hit in the eye with a champagne cork during the celebration in Minnesota. Sheesh.

Bottom first:
It's early, but Schilling doesn't seem to be fooling anybody. Jeter drove the ball a long way for an out. The ankle must be bothering him. Sheffield doubles, and Matsui hits one to left center. Manny's defense kills them again. He should've held Matsui to a single. It matters because now Matsui scores on Williams' single. 2-0.

Bottom third:
Schilling clearly doesn't have his A game with him. His speed is down, and his pitches aren't moving much. Leiter isn't really adding much to the commentary. Man, Matsui is just killing the Sox. He clears the base with a shot to right. Nixon falls down, letting Sheffield score from first. 5-0. Williams, gets the ball to the right side so Matsui can advance to third, then Posada gets him home with a sacrifice fly that was smoked to deep center. And Cairo hit it a long way, too. Schilling doesn't even have his B game with him.

Top fourth:
Mussina gets even tougher. Strikes out the side.

Bottom fourth:
Schilling is gone. Lofton walks. Will he steal up six runs? Leskanic thinks so. McCarver and Buck think so. No lead is safe from the Sox, so pile it on. Doesn't matter. Jeter walks. Sheffield at bat. Okay, Leiter is starting to get into this. He's snarking about the umpire.

Top fifth:
Mussina-Ortiz, big stare down. Mussina and Posada seem to be getting a bit too cute here. It's 3-2. Throw a fast ball! Posada calls for one inside. Mussina blows it by Ortiz. Strikes out Millar, too. That's five in a row.

Scooter needs to die, die, die! Leiter demonstrates how a knuckle curve is thrown, something I'd never seen before. Not that many pitchers throw it. Burt Hooton did. Mussina does. I can't think of any others offhand.

Bottom fifth:
Matsui drives another ball, but Ramirez tracks it down. Mariano Rivera arrives in the bullpen, and the crowd goes wild. I love watching Olerud hit. Such a great swing. So smooth.

Leiter is getting the hang of this announcing thing, and certainly isn't afraid to give an opinion. "If Schilling's only going to throw 88 mph in game four, he shouldn't pitch."

Top sixth:
I'm loving Leiter and McCarver arguing about what pitch Mussina should be throwing the keep the perfect game going. Leiter's thrown a no-hitter. Did McCarver ever catch one? Need to check.

Bottom sixth:
Wakefield on to pitch. He hasn't pitched in a while. Is he sharp? Lofton takes him deep. I guess not. Damn, Matsui is on tonight. Another RBI. What's Japanese for Mr. October?

McCarver was the number one catcher on the winning team for at least three different no-hitters, so he probably has caught at least one.

Top seventh:
One out, Mussina has Bellhorn in the hole, but he misses his location, and Bellhorn cranks one. The no-hitter is done. Manny, first ball hitting, doesn't advance the runner. That's the second time McCarver's called Bronson Arroyo "Brandon." Joe Buck calls him on it. Ortiz singles. Millar doubles. Matsui made a great try, but didn't get it. Two runs in. Mussina is starting the get hit pretty good. Nixon gets a hit, and Williams trips as he goes to pick the ball up. Millar scores. 8-3. Here comes Torre. Mussina gets a standing O as he's walks off the field. Sturtze on. Varitek homers. 8-5.

One bad pitch to Bellhorn, and the game completely turned around.

Bottom seventh:
Wakefield is gone, Embree is on. Heh. With one out, Olerud popped up the left. Manny caught the ball, and started trotting towards the dugout, apparently thinking there were three outs. You could see him looking around confused because nobody else was leaving the field. He covered well, though, as he turned around towards left.

Top eighth:
Flash Gordon is on. Nice grab by Cairo, but he can't make a throw. Damon strikes out again. Fourth time tonight.
Bellhorn pops up. Gordon jams Ramirez, but Manny hits it off the handle into short left. First and third with Ortiz representing the tying run. Ortiz crushes one that just misses going out. It was in Matsui's glove, but the wall knocked it out. Two runs in, Ortiz on third. 8-7. Now Torre brings in Rivera, who gets Millar to pop up. Yanks still lead, but are hanging by a thread.

Bottom eighth:
ARod really needs to do something here. Timlin throws at his head, then ARod gets even by stroking one to left. Sheffield does the same. Now it's Matsui, but Timlin manages to get him. Bernie Williams is up. He's come through so many times in big spots, and he delivers again, burying Manny. God, he's an awful fielder. Two runs score, and Bernie winds up on third as the Sox throw it around. 10-7. Foulke comes on and gets Posada.

Top ninth:
Nixon, one pitch, pops up. Varitek gets a hit, and so does Cabrera. Now it's Mueller, who beat Rivera with a home run in July. Rivera gets a pitch up, which Mueller rips foul. The next pitch is better. Mueller taps back to Rivera, who starts a 1-6-3 double play to end the game.

Good game. It could've been a crusher for the Sox. Schilling, the savior, got clobbered, and they couldn't even get a hit off Mussina for six plus innings. Plus, their outfield play hurt them. But they came back strong. Good for their morale. The Yankees held, and added to their lead. Good for their morale. Tomorrow night it's Pedro versus his daddy.
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Herewardhereward on October 13th, 2004 - 04:40 am
My buddy (a Red Sox fan) said about the Leiter/McCarver debate in ICQ:

"old baseball guys think the game is still played the way they played it...gone are the days of the de rigeur 3-2 fastball"

I loved that heat vs. hook moment. I thought having Leiter on board really added to the broadcast.
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Cindycindyamb on October 13th, 2004 - 12:00 pm
Scooter needs to die, die, die! Leiter demonstrates what how a knuckle curve is thrown, something I'd never seen before. Not that many pitchers throw it. Burt Hooton did. Mussina does. I can't think of any others offhand.
Did Leiter call this pitch something different? I didn't recognize the term he used when he was demonstrating a pitch, at one point. In the demonstration I saw, one of them noted it was a rare pitch.
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DXMachinadxmachina on October 13th, 2004 - 12:51 pm
No, Leiter called it a knuckle curve, which is the only name it has, AFAIK. I've always wondered how it was thrown. The name is kind of an oxymoron, because the idea behind throwing a curve is to make it spin as much as possible, while a knuckleball is supposed to not spin at all.

The other pitch Leiter demonstrated was the cutter, aka, cut fastball. That was the pitch where you throw a fastball with the two fingers offset to one side of the ball. He did that in the ninth when Rivera was pitching. Actually, I'm not sure I'd ever seen that demonstrated before, either.
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Cindycindyamb on October 13th, 2004 - 04:43 pm
Cutter! That was the one. I'd never heard that term, before. Thanks, DX.
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DXMachinadxmachina on October 13th, 2004 - 12:56 pm
I thought having Leiter on board really added to the broadcast.

It took him awhile to get going, but once he loosened up some he was good. One problem he has is that he speaks a little too softly. I've seen interviews of him, and he does have a wicked sense of humor.
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Veejaneveejane on October 13th, 2004 - 01:52 pm
The first four innings were just depressing. (I cut out to make a pie in the 5th, and just kept an eye on things until sleep overcame me.) I was pleased to hear this morning that it hadn't been a total drubbing.

Even pleaseder that Varitek broke his hitting-at-Yankee-Stadium slump, which was like a whole year long. Good for him, and good for Bellhorn breaking the no-hitter.

I saw a little bit of the knuckle curve explanation, and that was pretty cool. It's in the post-season, I realized, that I learn the physical nuts and bolts of the game, like what body parts besides the throwing arm are doing during a pitch (answer: a lot).
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