So I got my wish.
No more (Red) Sox. No more Yankees. Now it’s time to see if the larger baseball universe (i.e. media types and those who think the world revolves around east coast baseball) care about what’s left. Tonight, assuming they were watching, they would have caught a great game. A great game from Paul Byrd, pitching on 7 hours of rest in front of Jarrod Washburn in Game 2, who might be so sick he’ll have to lug an I.V. to the mound. Meanwhile, Jose Contreras, Yankee castoff, pitched his heart out to help keep the White Sox in the game.
Of course, they weren’t watching, because the Sox and Yankees weren’t in it. It’s time to pour over their rosters, figure out who stays and who goes, and wait for George Steinbrenner to stab Brian Cashman in the face with a fork. In the meantime, if they happen to catch a game flipping through the channels, all the better.
Back to the game….
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver went on at length about Scott Podsednik’s inability to get down a bunt in the 8th (heck, even Roger Clemens got the job done). Maybe I’ve been reading too much Moneyball, but I wouldn’t have had Podsednik sacrificing to begin with. I just don’t believe in giving up outs. Uribe’s on first, he runs well, and Podsednik can fly. If you really need a bunt, why not have him drop one down for a hit? Or hit and run? Put a little pressure on the Angels D by having them move around. If Podsednik puts the ball on the ground, he’s tough to double up, and can steal 2nd if he hits into a fielder’s choice.
Outs are a precious commodity. It seems counterproductive to give them up. And if Uribe couldn’t get to 3rd on Jermaine Dye’s flair, would he have made it home? Hard to say. Maybe in this case it would have worked, but more and more, the sacrifice bunt seems to be a part of baseball orthodoxy that doesn’t make sense to me.
(NOTE: I’m talking here about bunting with a man on first, moving him over to second with one out. Moving a guy to third with one out, where virtually any ball in play with one out scores the run, makes perfect sense to me. And obviously, if you’re pitcher is up and he’s not named Marquis or Dontrelle, go ahead and bunt.)
Still, if Ozzie wanted a sacrifice, there’s no good reason Podsednik shouldn’t have put the bunt down. After all, Roger Clemens managed to get it done.
COMING UP: Do I think the Cardinals can pull it out against Houston? It’s no secret what I hope happens… but as a passionless, cold media type, I have to study the matchups, engage in precise analysis, and deliver an honest opinion. (Check back to see why I think the Cards will take it in six… I couldn’t wait).