It’s 9:54 pm and Matt Lindstrom has just walked Shane Victorino to open the 9th inning. It’s officially time for me to pace around the house. As is my habit, I had just logged back into MLB.com and the other team’s radio broadcast [I had been checking in off and on during the game]. One of the neat things about MLB.com is the ability to listen to the other teams broadcasters. I have no idea what makes a good or bad broadcast, when I listen I’m trying to get a sense of what others are saying about the Marlins [and naturally, any anti-embargo comments-J].
The Philadelphia broadcasters are fine–Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen on WPHT-easy going and fair about the Marlins, i.e. raving about what a good young prospect Voldstad is. They had just the right amount of homer-ism too. For example, they were still whining many innings later about a pitch they felt which should have struck out Helms before he homered–music to my ears given that it came at the expense of uber-annoying Jaime Moyer.
To put the revenge factor in perspective, it did not rise anywhere close to the 3rd strike call against Fred McGriff and the Atlanta Braves in the 1997 NLCS. That glorious pitch, delivered by Livan Hernandez, was so far outside it would have gone behind a right-handed batter and came at the expense of a team which lived off it’s great pitchers getting the benefit of an expanded strike zone for over a decade, in the playoff game clinching at-bat no less. It is simply the gold standard for revenge. If Eric Gregg was forced to spend any time in purgatory before arriving in heaven, some of my prayers may have [or will] put him over the top. An actual wikipedia quote about the 1997 NLCS Game 5:
Hernández pitched a complete game, three-hit, 15 strikeout masterpiece to reclaim a series lead for the Marlins
This particular game is remembered for the controversy surrounding an unusually wide strike zone by umpire Eric Gregg.
Beautiful, just beautiful.
But I digress. It’s 9:55 pm and the crowd is buzzing, smelling a comeback against the struggling Marlins and Lindstrom. It’s now 9:56 pm and just like that, it’s over. Paulino threw out Victorino trying to steal 2nd base. The air went out of the crowd and the broadcast. Stairs and Ruiz were quickly dispatched and by 10:00 pm, Lindstrom had another save. It’s 10:01 and I’m trying to convince myself that I never really doubted him.
I am a big fan of the Marlins TV broadcasters, Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton. Waltz makes you realize how valuable a sense of humor is to an enjoyable broadcast, especially over an entire season–think of him as the anti-Joe Morgan. I think Hutton does a good job of walking that fine line of being honest about questioning managerial moves–a key part of an analyst’s job I would imagine–without trying to throw the manager under the bus.
Case in point, last night Hutton speculated about whether Dan Meyer could have been left in the game to pitch to Howard in the next inning. A tough call given that Meyer’s batting slot came up in the top of the 8th. Working together, Waltz laid out the scenario for not over using the bullpen and Meyer. Last night was the 1st time all year [ever?] that Meyer was used in 3 consecutive days. Case closed, he should have come out, but it’s a fun baseball debate.
Hey we got Andrew Miller going tomorrow, he’s looked good in his two outings since his return….