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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Game 1 Musings

Here are my random thoughts on the game one 5-3 victory by the White Sox who are now 8-1 this post season.

  • The Myth Persists - Almost the first words out of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver's mouthes started the build up to small ball and bunting and how the White Sox were ready to run run run. But once again, as with the ALCS reality intruded and the White Sox did what they did all season and in the post season thus far and hit homeruns. Two more by the fourth inning put them at 14 in 9 post season games and gave them the 4-3 lead they never relinquished. After the second homerun by Joe Crede Buck did note that it's "not just small ball" and went on to mention that they did hit 200 homeruns, fourth best in the AL. The run and hit by Aaron Rowand in the second inning was nicely done however. The sacrifice Carl Everett laid down in the 5th was also a good idea since there were two runners on and nobody out. In that situation it also led to an intentional walk to Rowand to load the bases although A.J. Pierzynski rolled into the double play.

  • FoxTrax? - So what's the deal with the FoxTrax? Pretty sad technology compared to K-Zone. Their grid was much too low resolution to accurately place the ball and the ball was proportionately way too large. They do show the break both up/down and in/out in inches which was interesting, although the announcers didn't really use it for discussion. They used it on the first two homeruns by the Sox and a handful of times after that.

  • Clemens Hammy - Roger didn't really have it and we now know that was in large measure due to his injured hamstring. By my count - of his 54 pitches Clemens threw 39 fastballs and 15 breaking balls. His average velocity on the fastball was 91.4 mph and his splitter was 85.7 mph. His fastball topped out at 94mph on the 5th pitch to Scott Podsednik in the first, the pitch on which he grounded out to short. As for his splitter he never established it and got really hurt on it. On the 13 he did throw the results (by my count and keep in mind that I had two children running around eating pizza in the living room) were 5 balls, a homerun to Jermain Dye (McCarver said it was a fastball but it came in around 85mph and just hung up and out over the plate), a single to Carl Everett who later scored, a double for Juan Uribe that drove in the 3rd run, ground out, 2 foul balls, and just 2 swinging or called strikes. I also had him throwing two what looked like sliders but I could be wrong.

  • Taveras Stop! - Why does Willy Taveras think he should bunt all the time? He hit two doubles off of Jose Contraras leading off the 6th and 8th but with runners on and one out in the 3rd he bunts them over and then somehow gets credit for a sacrifice. Yes, the play doesn't stand out now since Lance Berkman doubled to drive them in on the next pitch (a 78mph hanging forkball up and in) but by any estimation that's a dumb play. Even Joe Buck said as much.

  • Crede's the Man - I agreed with Buck and McCarver when they noted that they both voted for Joe Crede for the MVP of the ALCS. I thought the same thing. He got the big hits when they needed them and came up big tonight both on offense and defense.

  • Gas - Buck mentioned that scouts have had Bobby Jenks on the gun as high as 102mph. I hadn't heard that before and I believe it's the first time I've actually heard of a pitcher reaching 102. Possibly Billy Wagner but I don't think so.

  • White Sox Pen - Well, I guess there aren't too many lingering questions on the readiness of the Sox pen. After 11 days Cotts looked shakey at first but came back to strike out Morgan Ensberg and Mike Lamb while Jenks blew Jeff Bagwell away for the third out. Clearly, those were the three biggest plate appearances of the game.
  • 1 comment:

    Ron Hostetter said...

    Agreed on the FoxTrax. I had several folks over to watch game one and several were pining for the K-Zone. Since FoxTrax is placed off to the side it's difficult to see and the proportion seems way off. I like the way it tracks the break of the ball but too often, it's not on the screen long enough to read. I do like how they highlight the flight path of the ball in the replay.

    I thought K-Zone would end up like the yellow first-down line and be on all broadcasts, but apparently ESPN is hoarding that great technology.