There was a power outage tonight that affected all sites hosted by Hosting Matters. It apparently is over now, so welcome back. Last time this happened it was due to a fire somewhere; we don’t know what caused this outage but will report when we find out. Tomorrow.
I’m awake not because of my usual insomnia, but because of the ALCS game between the Yankees and the Red Sox, which is finally over. It was a great series, part of a great post-season for all baseball fans, but I can’t help asking: what in the world was the Sox’ manager thinking, keeping Pedro in the game with a three-run lead when he’d thrown over 100 pitches and his fast ball was down to 86 mph?
Just wondering. See you tomorrow.
DEACON responds: It was a mistake, Rocket Man, and I thought so at the time of the decision. However, the decision was not indefensible. Martinez is the best pitcher in baseball; his replacement would have been a journeyman. 100 plus pitches isn’t necessarily an excessive amount. Pitchers get removed at that number mostly to prevent them from being overworked over the course of a season, not because they can’t be effective after that amount of work. Moreover, the hit that tied the game was a broken-bat blooper into shallow center on a pitch that looked to be considerably faster than 86 miles per hour.
All things considered, this was probably the most exciting post-season game I’ve seen since 1975, if not 1960 (fans of a certain age will instantly recognize the significance of these years). The good news is that the New York Times doesn’t get its dream World Series between the downtrodden Chicago Cubs and the pseudo-downtrodden Boston Red Sox. The bad news is that we will now have to endure more drivel about “curses.” No matter what narcissistic fans and sportswriters aspiring to produce epic poetry may say, these games are about the skill and courage of the 25 players and the geezer who manages them (with a little bit of randomness thrown in), and nothing else. In these two series, moreover, the better teams, as established by their season records and other relevant measures, both won.
HINDROCKET responds: Since 1975? Hey, how about 1991? Speaking of leaving pitchers in, there is a famous story about Game 7, which was a ten-inning, 1-0 complete game victory for Jack Morris. After the top of the 9th, Morris sat down in the dugout; Twins manager Tom Kelly came over and said, “Jack, you’ve done a great job, but I can’t ask you for any more. I’m taking you out.” Morris pleaded to stay in the game, saying he had plenty left. Pitching coach Dick Such walked over and said: “Tom, Jack looks pretty good to me. I think he can go another inning.” Kelly thought it over for a moment, then said: “Ah, what the hell. It’s only a game.” And he sent Morris out to win the game in the 10th. Supposedly a true story, although I believe the participants’ accounts may differ.
DEACON acknowledges: I shouldn’t have omitted 1991. It lacked the dramatic comeback, but I don’t think there has ever been a more tense and riveting baseball game.
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