A seven game playoff series decided by two hits is rare, but it just happened in this year’s American League Championship. The Boston Red Sox were outplayed and outpitched by the Detroit Tigers, with the exception of two hits -two grand slams; one by David Ortiz in game 2 and another by Shane Victorino in Game 6. The Red Sox explosions were timely and they spelled doom to the Tigers for a second year in a row.
The offensive drought in this year’s playoffs and baseball in general has inspired even the most erudite and pedantic of experts to flirt with absurd notions of change. I should know. I posed as one in my yesterday’s post. It’s a plea to make a more even playing field so the average fan doesn’t get bored and quit baseball. Home runs make more money than pitchers painting corners. We need their investment.
But the needle in the haystack for me is batters trouncing on the one or two mistakes pitchers are making. I’m guessing this year’s playoff numbers are some of the best all time for pitchers and worst for batters.
It makes for incredible baseball, story book baseball and if you’ll excuse the Rick Sutcliffe cliché, “games that couldn’t be scripted better.”
The Red Sox will play the Cardinals in this year’s World Series. Game one is Wednesday, It’s a repeat of the 2004 Series when the Red Sox swept the Cards.
It’s easy to slip into a dream or be baseball nostalgic and hype up a glorious past-wax on and on about pitching and defense winning games in long ago dead decades. I do it all the time or read about it anyway. It’s so easy that I sometimes forget to see what’s happening right in front of me-the greatness and milestones and all that.
It’s because of my tendency that I’ve recently rekindled an old self inflicting wound habit. I first did it when Pedro Martinez was on the mound in the years 1997 to 2001. I slap myself in the face to wake up so as not to miss these moments that will one day become our collective black and white reels.