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Baseball Analysis  John Holway

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By John B Holway


Was the second Sox-Tigers game the greatest game you've ever seen? For me it tops the previous greatest - game 1 of the 1946 Sox-Cards series. Boston tied it in the 9th with a bleeder through the infield with two out, then won it in the 10th on Rudy York's long homer. I think it even passes the Carlton Fisk homer in '75.


(Of course, if you're a New York fan, you go for Bobby Thomson's homer in 1950, Bucky Dent's in '76, or the Bill Buckner game in ' 86.)


Did Torii Hunter mis-read the english on the ball and over-run it? A fly ball has a spin, making it curve toward the foul line. He could have caught it, and that would have been  all she wrote, as we used to say 60 years ago. I was watching with the sound off. Did Tim McCarver say anything about it?


The other key move was putting our best reliever, Koji Uehara, in to hold the tie. I've often said that the Yankees wasted Rivera by using him only after they didn't need him, i.e., to  save a game that wasn't in danger any more. There are a lot of ways to use your best reliever - like putting out a fire in the 6th inning. Waiting until you're ahead in the 9th and the game isn't in danger any more is the least good way.


Joe Maddon of the Rays was kind of doing the same thing John Farrell did in the Rays final game, using his relievers in a steady stream from the second inning on.


Max Scherzer pitched a helluva game for Detroit, but he was  exhausted after six. Is a six-inning no-hitter better than an eight-inning four-hit shutout? Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson used to pace themselves. They wouldn't bear down on the eighth and ninth batters. The catcher would squat down and say,  Walter likes you today, then an easy lollipop would balloon up to the plate. Johnson won over 400 games doing that.


As a Red Sox fan, all I could do was pray:  This time we've got to get to the bullpen. They can't do it twice in a row. Can they?


Scherzer's goal should not have been a six-inning high-strikeout no-hitter. It should have been a nine-inning Tiger victory. Before the game Jim Leyland should have laid a fatherly hand on his shoulder and said, "Give me eight  good innings, Max." Of course, if the Tigers had run up a big lead early, Jim could have slapped Max on the ass and smiled,  Go for it.


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