Friday, October 28, 2011

World Series 2011 Game 6, on Fox: Greatest Game ever? St. Louis wins on Freese's "Ryan-Zimmerman"-like walkoff

Last night, did Fox broadcast the greatest game of Major League baseball every played? (Some say, no, that was the 5-4 win in Boston by the Yankees to capture the 1978 pennant.)

The Texas Rangers twice had two run leads with two strikes and two outs, and let it get away. The 10-9 11-inning win by the St. Louis Cardinals certainly provided the lesson in home-field advantage in baseball, with the possibility of a walk-off win.

The Cardinals, however, with National League rules, were down to using pitchers as pinch hitters.  (For the Nationals, where Strasburg, Milone and Livan Heranandez, and even Lannan can all hit, that’s not such an issue.)

The new Busch Stadium in St. Louis is still an “average park”, just about symmetrical. The final home off the bat of Freese landed in the grass beyond the dead centerfield fence. Was it a Morse homer or a Zimmerman homer?

A couple of the Rangers look unseemly, with forearm tattoos (Hamilton and Napoli) that seem disfiguring.
The Rangers started out as the “new Senators” in 1961, when I was a senior in High School in the DC area. I remember the “new Senators’” first win at home, against Cleveland, in a re-expanded Griffith Stadium, 3-2. 

Their first season, the “new Senators” would finish 61-100, after splitting the first 60 games. Their slide would start with a lost weekend in Boston, right after I graduated from Washingon-Lee high school. They would lose a game in Boston after leading 12-5 with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Home field advantage, again.  Bog down the Fenways. 

Then one September night in 1971, BobShort would announce he was taking the Senators to the “Metroplex”, Dallas-Ft. Worth.  (I almost went to the "forfeited" final game at RFK with the Yankees, when I was doing heterosexual dating.) I would live there from 1979-1988 and they would be “mine” again.

I would live in Minneapolis 1997-2003 when the original “old” Senators would be “mine”.  Washington has provided eventually good teams for other cities.

The MLB emdeb for the homer is here.

MLB offers "the 20 greatest games" on demand on its own cable channel. Game 11 is the famous 1978 win in the one-game 1978 elimination of the Red Sox by the Yankees, with Bucky Dent and Lou Pinella annotating. Just before hitting the 3-run homer over the Green Monster in the 7th, Dent had fouled a pitch off his shin. It's amazing that one could numb an area from pain through thick stockings and pants.  Torres has to wait two minutes for him to come back to the plate. This evening, the "Beer Haus" in the Westover Market in Arlington VA was showing this clip (see drama blog, Oct. 31, 2009). 


St. Louis won the seventh game, 6-2.  Sounds like a replay of Boston's loss of the World Series in 1986.  If you visit a sports bar when it isn't busy, ask if they have the license to replay Baseball's 20 greatest games.  It still probably makes money for MLB. Watch out -- MLB is very jealous of its copyrights!

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