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Lester, Ortiz Help Red Sox Close In On World Series Title 1

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Ryan Kuketz
Jon Lester's second masterful performance of the World Series has the Boston Red Sox needing just one win for their third title since 2004.

Jon Lester’s second masterful performance of the World Series has the Boston Red Sox needing just one win for their third title since 2004.

With the World Series tied at 2 games apiece, Jon Lester proved to the world that he is truly an ace, as the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in game five of the World Series, which gives Boston the 3-2 series lead.

Lester pitched 7 and two third innings, giving up just one run on four hits. The one run he let up was a home run to leftfielder Matt Holliday in the bottom of the 4th that tied the game at 1. Lester then retired 13 straight hitters before giving up a double to David Freese in the 8th inning, and was taken out after Pete Kozma flew out, and closer Koji Uehara shut the door with a 5 out save.

The Red Sox offense started early as they scored their first run in the first when Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz had back to back doubles to take a 1-0 lead. With the game tied at 1, the Red Sox took the lead for good in the top of the 7th when David Ross hit a ground rule double that scored Xander Bogaerts.

Ross’s ground rule double, may have stayed in the yard at Fenway, and had it not bounced into the stands, Bogaerts would have easily scored from first base. After Jon Lester struck out on a bunt foul, Jacoby Ellsbury, who is most likely playing in his final games with Boston, hit a bloop single into centerfield which scored Bogaerts. Ross tried to score on the play but was thrown out at the plated by Shane Robinson. The tag at the plate was close, but Yadier Molina was just able to tag Ross out. Read the rest of this entry →

Previewing the 2013 World Series: Who Has the Edge? 2

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Ken Fenderson

The 2013 World Series is the 4th ever Fall Classic meeting between the Cardinals and Red Sox.

When the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals do battle in Game 1 of the 2013 World Series, it will be the first time since 1999 that the American League and National League champions were the teams with the best record in their respective leagues. The Sox and Redbirds both finished with 97 wins this season, sharing the best record in the majors. It’s not the first time that these franchises have met under the bright lights of October, either. St. Louis holds a 2-1 advantage over the Red Sox in their three previous World Series match-ups, although Boston swept the Cardinals in their last meeting back in 2004. The 2013 rendition of these squads appear to be dead even at first glance, so let’s do a little digging and find out who has the edge in this series.

Starting Rotation: Cardinals starters went 77-46 in 2013, with an ERA of 3.42, but the real story for this group has been the emergence of rookie sensation Michael Wacha. Wacha has a minuscule 0.43 ERA in his three starts this postseason. Opponents are hitting an abysmal .114 off of him, and he was named MVP of the NLCS for his efforts. Lost in the Wacha craze has been that the Cards still have a bonafide ace in Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has gone 2-1 in three postseason starts for St. Louis, holding opponents to a .207 batting average with an ERA of 1.57. The Red Sox will likely counter with Jon Lester and John Lackeyas their one-two punch. Lester has been the best starting pitcher in Boston’s rotation in the postseason, going 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA while holding opponents to a .229 average. Lackey was the winner in both of his starts to this point, going 2-0 with a perfectly square 3.00 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .244 off of the potential comeback player of the year. As is the case with most individual match-ups in this series, there isn’t much of a difference. But the one-two punch of Wainwright and Wacha push the Cards over the top. Edge Cardinals. Read the rest of this entry →

25 Years Ago: Gibson Takes Eck Deep to Propel Dodgers to Improbable Title 1

Posted on October 15, 2013 by Dean Hybl
Kirk Gibson completely changed the 1988 World Series with one swing.

Kirk Gibson completely changed the 1988 World Series with one swing.

It was 25 years ago today that Kirk Gibson limped out of the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout and into baseball immortality. In his only at bat of the series, Gibson blasted a home run off future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley that not only lifted his team to victory in the first game of the 1988 World Series, but set the stage for a surprising series victory for the underdog Dodgers.

Though Gibson’s home run did not end a World Series the way blasts by Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter did, his homer arguably was just as important in deciding a series as any other home run in history.

The 1988 Oakland A’s were believed to be virtually unbeatable. Assembled with a combination of home grown players and experienced veterans and managed by Tony LaRussa, the A’s won 104 games in the regular season and then swept the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

Oakland scored 800 runs during the season and were led by Jose Canseco, who hit 42 home runs, drove home 124 runs, stole 40 bases and hit .307 to earn American League MVP honors. They also had an outstanding pitching staff including 21 game winner Dave Stewart and lights-out reliever Dennis Eckersley, who led the league with 45 saves in his first full season as a closer.

To the contrary, many believed that manager Tommy Lasorda had been using smoke and mirrors to coax his Dodgers team through the regular season and into the World Series. Sure they won 94 games in the regular season, but as a team hit just.248 and Gibson was actually the team leader with a .290 batting average and 25 home runs while finishing second on the squad with 76 RBI (Mike Marshall led the team with 82).

The Dodgers were in the 1988 World Series because they had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. Even with perennial ace Fernando Valenzuela enduring the worst season to that point in his career, the team still had an ERA under three runs per game.

The main reason for that was Orel Hershiser, who was on his way to winning the Cy Young Award with a 23-8 record and 2.26 ERA. Read the rest of this entry →

MLB Lifts Ban on YouTube Videos, Makes Baseball Games More Accessible 2

Posted on June 08, 2013 by Ryan Kuketz

MLB_Logo

 

Have you ever wanted to watch a baseball highlight without going on MLB.com and trying to navigate their ridiculous video section? Well that might not be a problem any longer. Major League Baseball has finally lifted its ban of Major League clips on YouTube. As every other sports league was easily accessible worldwide, the tyranny of Bud Selig wouldn’t allow even a 30 second clip of an MLB game. Now MLB has finally joined the 21st century and has posted full game videos of classic games, and have eased their ban on others posting MLB videos.

One of the best full games MLB had posted thus far is the 1999 all-star game at Fenway Park.

 

 

Every Red Sox fan remembers this classic!! Ted Williams is comes out of Center field waving his hat to the crowd, and even the players are in awe of the greatest hitter that ever lived. The when the actually starts, Pedro Martinez strikes out 5 of the 6 batters he faces.

If you have 5 hours to kill, you can always watch game 5 of the 2004 ALCS

And you can even follow it up by watching the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years!

Although the MLB YouTube channel isn’t spectacular, its a start for the league. The NBA, NHL, and even European Football have been big commodities on YouTube, and people all over the world now have the opportunity to follow teams without paying with a limb for an MLB subscription

World Series Umpire Strikezone Scores Game 1 and 2 3

Posted on October 26, 2012 by Rick Swanson

When you evaluate the home plate umpires for the World Series after two games, clearly Dan Iassogna called a better game than Gerry Davis did.

Overall the Umpire Strikezone Scores on Close Calls, Iassogna had .923 and Davis had .838 correct.

When you look at the split between left and right handed batters Davis was not very consistent.

On left handed batters Gerry Davis had 33 pitches within six inches of the plate where he had to make a call.

He called seven pitches strikes that were off the plate, and two pitches balls that were really strikes. Nine wrong calls out of 33 game him a USS.727.

On RHH Davis missed only four pitches total for a USS of .915.

If Davis ever looked at these numbers and graphics he would see that he always calls a pitch that is really outside a strike, but he only does this with left handed batters.

Home plate is 17 inches across for both right and left handed batters.

Why do many umpires continue to make the plate wider for left handed hitters than they do for right handed hitters?

Iassogna is in the lead for the best ball and strike umpire of the 2012 World Series. His .923 total is going to be the number to beat.

What do you think the umpires would do if these graphics were shown in every park while each game was being played?

Do you think they would learn to call that outside pitch to left handed hitters a ball, if everyone saw how they missed it so many times?

Gerry Davis 2012 World Series Game 1

USS total .838. 80 close call pitches 13 incorrect calls

LHH USS .727 33 close call pitches: seven balls called strikes, two strikes called balls

RHH USS .915 47 close call pitches four balls called strikes, zero strikes called balls

Dan Iassogna Game 2 2012 World Series.

USS total .923 91 close called pitches seven incorrect calls

LHH USS .857 28 close call pitches: three balls called strikes, one strike called a ball

RHH USS .952 63 close call pitches: one ball called a strike, two strikes called balls

Proof Positive Why Baseball Needs Replay 0

Posted on October 25, 2012 by Rick Swanson

Replay Will Cut Down On This.

The non-call at second base during Game One of the NLCS was another example of not using replays to make the right call.

Clearly Matt Holliday was past the bag, and he used a barrel roll into Marco Scutaro. Any competent umpire should have called runner interference, and ruled it a double play.

How could Rich Gedman be called for being out of the baseline (in 1988 ALCS) for what he did, when Holliday was past the bag when he started to slide?

He should have been ejected and banned from the next game.

One look at the replay and you could see he broke the rules. It was a dirty play. Umpires need to follow the rules, and then don’t.

If you looked at a replay you can tell in one look if he made the wrong call.

Just give each manager three chances a game to use instant replay.

If you get them all right, you can keep using them all game.

Each time a manager throws the red ball on the field he will be challenging a call. No need to argue, just toss the red ball and we all get to use instant replay.

The umpires will turn and everyone in the park will watch the big screen and in 10 seconds there will be four angles of the questionable play, and at the end of ten seconds the ball, glove, and player will be frozen on the screen.

The umpire will either raise his hand in an out signal or signal safe with both hands.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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