Friday, October 28, 2011

Some thoughts on Game 6 of the World Series

Just a few thoughts about one of the best (if sloppily played) games in World Series history:

-A lot of attention has been placed (and deservedly so) on David Freese's comeback from dropping an easy popup to blasting two clutch extra base hits, including the game-winning homer in the 11th, but overlooked has been the contributions of center fielder John Jay. Jay had absolutely no hits in the Series and drew Manager Tony LaRussa's ire when he overthrew the cutoff man late in the game, but his two hits played key roles in the Cards' win.

-Don't forget about the contribution of Allen Craig, who stepped in for Matt Holliday, who did not have one of his better nights, and hit a key home run. Prior to this game, Craig's World Series had been defined by two caught stealing incidents.

-Fox announcers made a big deal about the Rangers playing too deep when Lance Berkman's run-scoring single tied the game in the 10th, but I don't recall anyone mentioning that the only reason the game was in the 10th was because Nelson Cruz was playing too shallow and clearly could have caught Freese's game-tying triple in the ninth.

-With all of the offensive heroics, it is easy to overlook the contribution Jake Westbrook, normally a starting pitcher, who was not even on the roster for the divisional series or the league championship, made. Westbrook retired the Rangers in the top of the 11th without allowing a run, something the Redbiards had not been able to do in previous innings. Of course, it was a bit worrisome that Westbrook, who has earned a reputation for inducing ground ball outs with his sinker, retired two batters on fly balls.

-Joe Buck's "See you tomorrow night" call after David Freese's walk-off home run was, obviously, a tribute to his father, the legendary Jack Buck, who made the exact same call in game six of the 1991 World Series when Kirby Puckett's home run enabled the Twins to tie the World Series (which they eventually won) against the Braves. Clearly, Buck had the call prepared from the outset if something similar were to happen since it was foreshadowed earlier in the game with talk about Puckett's homer and Jack Buck's memorable call. It was planned, but in this case, there was absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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