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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pickoff Moves

NLCS Game 3: Yes We Cain, And Other Stupid Puns Involving The Giants' Starter: Giants 3, Phillies 0

Well, really, not so much, because I'm not going to go there. The biggest moment of drama in this game was in the seventh, when Matt Cain plunked Carlos Ruiz and let pinch-hitter Ross Gload reach on a walk, launching a two-out rally. Bruce Bochy, not known as a particularly shrewd manager (but smarter than Donnie Baseball!), walked to the mound, chatted with Cain, and let him ride it out. The move worked, as Shane Victorino tapped meekly to second to end the threat.

Cody Ross once again burnished his postseason resume, driving in the first of the Giants' three runs, and as it proved, the only one they would need. Amazing fact: Ross has driven in seven of the team's 18 postseason runs this year. Better to be lucky than good, I suppose.

ESPN Box

Worst-Case Scenarios: Rangers 10, Yankees 3

Clearly, Ron Washington put his faith in the wrong man for the rotation; Tommy Hunter had little to offer, giving up all three of the Yankees' runs, including one that should have been ruled fan interference upon video replay; but the next one, a long loud Lance Berkman foul, caused a huddle and a replay, and on review was adjudged a foul, correctly. It's my opinion that Jeffery Maier and Steve Bartman incidents will only be prevented if people recognize, that as with any sort of ball in play, there are negative and direct consequences for interfering with a game ball.

Regardless, it didn't much matter for the Yanks, as Joe Girardi trusted A.J. Burnett past his expiration date, intentionally walking David Murphy to face Benjie Molina. Now, Molina's history with the Yanks was rather infamous, in particular wrecking Yankees pitching in the 2005 ALDS with three home runs. The first pitch from Burnett ended up in the seats, the Rangers took a lead they would not relinquish, and that was the game, mainly, though the Yankees bullpen really cemented things by handing over an insurmountable 10-3 lead.

Mat Gleason elsewhere — and I am too lazy to look up which of his guises on Facebook posted this — was happy to advance a Yankees/Giants World Series because it would do maximum damage to the Dodgers. I really don't much care who wins the National League pennant, but I would like to see a Rangers/Giants series for several reasons. First, the Rangers have never been anywhere in the postseason before, so there's a certain amount of first-timer's luck that you don't mind advancing them. Second, the Giants could use a World Series title to keep some of the louder-mouthed Dodger fans from being quite so obnoxious. Third, the notion of two relatively small-market teams being in the Series will limit ratings, so this will hurt Fox — an entity I despise, not least because of their stupid mishandling of Saturday baseball blackouts. Even if it doesn't work out that way, I can live with any eventuality, even a Phillies/Yankees series (which would be Fox's preferred outcome, I'm sure). But I have my druthers.

ESPN Box

That's Why It's So Dark At Safeco: Eric Wedge Is Makin' Stuff Up

There's no "electricity" at Safeco. Really.

A Stupid Irritation: Video Mashups Are Only For Corporate Sponsors

Doesn't this Sprint-sponsored MLB video mashup irritate the heck out of you, especially when MLB consistently goes after anyone who uses even the tiniest clip from a ballgame on YouTube? Fair Use is utterly unknown to them ... unless somebody's paying for it.

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