Thursday, November 03, 2016

Hell Freezes Over

Did you stay up for the end of Game Seven? Today millions of American yawns can be blamed on Cubs manager Joe Maddon. It’s easy to question several of his managerial moves, though us bystanders know little of what was going in the minds and bodies of the coaches and players. Hendricks was pulled too soon, or was he out of gas? Bringing in Lester with a runner on base was a move that immediately backfired. But after Lester settled down and started throwing aspirins, in the bottom of the eighth inning he too was pulled in favor of the overused Chapman. The tall flamethrower’s velocity was gone and he had to rely on sliders. Having seen him for multiple innings in the previous two games, the Indians had figured out how to hit him.
In the copycat world of sports, will other managers now follow Maddon’s lead and pitch dominant closers more than just one inning? This might be a good thing, as long as it doesn’t happen night after night. Mariano Rivera did it for years. Even if it doesn’t become a fad, it would be nice to see a little more often.

Though far from a perfectly played game, there was plenty of excitement in every inning. Home runs from Fowler and Ross, both with Atlanta connections. The bounced two run wild pitch, the first in World Series play in over one hundred years. Napoli’s off the mark throw to second, and the resulting close tag play. Heyward’s steal of second and off the mark throw sailing into short left field, allowing the former Brave to advance to third. The botched two strike bunt attempt. The tag up from first on the deep fly to center. Raji Davis’ game-tying home run in the bottom of the eighth off Chapman. A rain delay. Chapman’s tears. Extra innings. The Cubs scoring twice in the top of the tenth. Ben Zorbist’s clutch go-ahead RBI. Cleveland plating a run in the bottom of the tenth, before the side was finally retired.
Some grew tired of Joe Buck’s constant stream of World Series records. Not me. David Ross was the oldest player to homer in a World Series. No pitcher lasted six innings. Add to that list: surely the 12:48 am EDT finish was the latest in history. Nice touch for Fox to put a live mic on Ross, though it yielded few gems. What’s he gonna say while running around the bases? Ol’Rossy will be missed.

I thought Smoltz did a great job, making the game more interesting to watch. For the most part he laid off the cornball jokes that pockmarked his early broadcasting career. After the game he caught a redeye home, and called into 680 the Fan’s morning show this morning before going to bed.  
Ceil cooked spaghetti and broccoli. After Wheel and Jeopardy we watched the opening extravaganza on the Country Music Association Awards, missing Fowler’s leadoff homer. We started switching back and forth, and soon the CMAs were forgotten. C retired before the Indians mounted their comeback, and I tried to stay busy so I wouldn’t nod off.

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