World Series Preview/Game One Wrap-Up


Good afternoon.

One of the perks thrills advantages listed features of traveling by Megabus is that they offer a WiFi connection on all bus routes. You can use this to browse the web, watch something on Netflix, or (if you’re a minor league baseball columnist) write out your World Series Preview before the actual World Series happens. HOWEVER, what often happens is that your computer, as well as any other device you’ve brought with you, fails to access the (supposedly) public WiFi network, leaving you figuratively in the dark. (Literally, if it’s a night ride)

What this means to you? It means that I was unable to actually get a World Series article cranked out before the World Series started. Hopefully, you’ll forgive me; I tried to write without the Internet, but was lost as soon as I realized I couldn’t identify St. Louis’s starting short stop (Pete Kozma, for those interested. I can understand if this is a sore subject for Cardinals fans, but we’ll get into that OH so shortly), or what Jonny Gomes’s numbers were with runners in scoring position. (I still don’t, FYI, because I’m doing this by the seat of my pants.) Consequently, I’ll just sum up my preview in the paragraph below:

HolyballswhosgoingtowinthisthinghBeltranneedsaringsomethingaboutcheeseBigPapiblerghblahblahUeharaisthebestclosersinceslicedbreadthebenchisterrifyinginStLouisguh Boston in Seven Games

There. Now.

Game One Wrap-Up

I actually got to watch a good portion of this live at a bar in downtown Dayton, so I’m prepared to speak eloquently about (at the very least) the first half of the game, before I left. By the time I was leaving, however, the game was effectively over.

Which brings us to the main point from last night’s game:

In high stakes baseball, mistakes are amplified to the nth degree.

Pete Kozma, the erstwhile shortstop for St. Louis, committed two costly errors in the first two innings, the first by failing to squeeze the ball on a reception at 2nd base, thereby removing any chance of a double-play groundout by Ortiz and loading the bases for Mike Napoli’s double play, and the second by muffing a Shane Victorino ground ball. It’s impossible to quantify exactly what those two plays would have done in terms of outs for the Cardinals, but it’s hard to think that they would have gotten anything less than a double play on the first instance and possibly one on the second. Those are the kinds of mistakes that are nigh impossible to overcome, especially when…

Jon Lester pitched like an ace last night.

His first four strikeouts were with his nasty nasty cutter. It was so effective that when he threw a 2-strike curveball to Matt Holliday, the St. Louis outfielder looked like he was swinging at the space debris from Gravity (TOPICAL?). Lester has won Boston’s past two World Series wins, dating back to their clincher in Colorado in 2007. Since then, he has become Boston’s bona fide ace, and the first starter to hold his opponent scoreless in Game One of the Series since Jose Rijo in 1990. (Sorry to dredge up statistics from everywhere else, but it’s a reference to the Reds. Specifically, a World Series that they won. I HAD TO.)

In contrast, Adam Wainwright didn’t pitch badly at all. If anything, he should also have had a shut-out going through six innings. However, those small mistakes (alright, HUGE) from the first and second inning dug him into a hole that he could not get out of. It wasn’t enough that Carlos Beltran made an amazing play in the 2nd, turning a grand slam by Ortiz into a sac fly. The damage had already been done by that point; when the opposing team’s ace is throwing unhittable space junk with a 5-0 lead, the psychological blow is incredibly hard to overcome. Wainwright will pitch better in days to come, but with an added go-round against his pitching, Boston might have an advantage. (They weren’t doing too badly last night, particularly Ortiz and Pedroia, the cogs that make the line-up go.

Speaking of important pieces…

Carlos Beltran’s injury could be extremely heartbreaking.

It’s not often you get to rob one of the best postseason players of the century of a grand-slam that would blow the game open. It’s not often you get to try and succeed where another player came up short less than a week ago (See Hunter, Torii.). Beltran did make that catch, however, showing some of his defensive prowess, though it did result in a sacrifice fly for Big Papi. Unfortunately, he left the game after the inning, and was taken to the local hospital for x-rays and CAT scans (both of which were thankfully negative). He now has been diagnosed as day-to-day with a severe rib bruise, instead of a contusion. (For those media nerds, that’s the injury that Robert Redford’s character had in the final scenes of The Natural. And you all know what happened there.)

Beltran is not the engine driving the Cardinal’s line-up, though they’re already pushing to replace Allan Craig’s hobbled presence, shortening their bench. Moreso, the team has rallied around Beltran’s lack of a ring in recent weeks, and he is the de-facto emotional leader of the clubhouse. Those kind of intangibles can’t be quantified in October, as they take on their own form of meaning. There are three paths that this injury (if Beltran is forced to miss time) could take: 1, that the team plays on as it has, with no discernible impact; 2, that the loss of their leader devastates the team, the hole in the line-up is noticeable, and the offense sputters and dies on the vine against Boston pitching; or 3, that the team rallies, surging forward stronger than ever, burning down Fenway Park in their fury and unleashing a new age of Cardinal dynasty on the world.

Personally, I think Scenario 1 is most likely. These are professional gentlemen, with a strong leadership core built around Yadier Molina, Wainwright, and Matt Holliday who will hold that team full of youngsters together. It does hurt to lose a teammate with a lifetime postseason batting average of .337, 16 home runs, 37 RBI, and 44 runs scored in 46 games. Because holy pants.

On the other team…

Big Papi is hitting like it’s 2007

With his home run in the 7th inning last night, Big Papi tied Beltran with 16 postseason homeruns, while raising his RBI total to 57 in 77 postseason games. Ortiz’s bat had come up somewhat empty in the ALCS, aside from that game-tying grand slam, so it was nice for Boston to see Ortiz go 2-3 with two extremely well hit balls (almost 3-4, except for Mr. Beltran). Not only is Ortiz hitting, but Pedroia was lacing singles all around the field and Mike Napoli came up big, as he did so often in 2011 for the Texas Rangers. Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury, the two pieces at the top of the line-up, came up short aside from a single walk from Ellsbury, but they’ve both been here before and are likely to come around again. They’ll be going against phenom Michael Wacha tonight, after his receiving the NLCS MVP award following two scoreless starts against the Dodgers. If anyone on the Redbirds’ staff is likely to throw the Sox hitters into conniptions, it’ll be Wacha.

On the other side, many of St. Louis’s hitters looked to be out of sorts. Aside from Holliday’s home run, no Cardinals hitter went beyond 1st base on their own power (a baffling error by Jonny Gomes was the only contributor to any hand-wringing by Boston fans last night, though Lester overcame that swiftly). The Cards have a better shot against John Lackey tonight, though that isn’t as much of a sure shot as it was in years past. If I were a gambling man (and I’m not, let’s be clear), tonight would seem to be a night to make a statement game by the Cards while Beltran heals on the sideline. On the opposite side, Boston hasn’t lost a World Series game since 1986, and would like to keep that streak going.

It’s the playoffs, baby. Gotta love it.

Where Do We Go Now: LCS Wrap-Up, and More MLB Postseason 2013 Coverage


Well, THAT was certainly exciting!

This past week/weekend saw the (ostensibly) four best teams in Major League Baseball trading shots with one another for a pair of six-game series, fighting for pennants and for the right to reclaim the narrative of the season. What we are left with is the two teams with the best records in MLB this year preparing for a World Series, something which has only been seen three times in the past fifteen-twenty years. (Feel free to fact check me on that) It’s a rematch of the 2004 Fall Classic (remember that one?), and should probably be a bit more than the 4-game sweep it was the last time, when nearly everyone in America was pulling for the Red Sox.

[Read more…]

The More You Know; Talkin’ Baseball: MLB Postseason Coverage 2013


(Getty Images)


Because the League Championship Series are going to play out for at least two to three more games each (possibly/probably more if Boston and L.A. ever figure out how to hit the damn ball with consistency), I’m writing today to remind everyone that we here at the Recorder do more than just write series previews. Plus, I did promise a column with baseball thoughts that didn’t quite get posted in my Friday LCS preview, so consider this an update on that particular promise. Don’t worry, this will be a lot of fun.

Without further ado…

10 Baseball Thoughts

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Burning Down the House: LCS Preview – MLB Postseason Coverage 2013


Alright, settle in. This is going to be a long one…

*settles in to write a 2,500 word column that has been fearlessly planned in my mind*

*spends an hour picking out a title, finally settling on a Talking Heads reference for no reason other than it was the most exciting choice on my “writing in Starbucks” playlist*

*becomes fully satisfied and impressed with self*

*checks watch*

*realizes work is in an hour*


*deletes 2,000 words of column from mind*

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Addison Recorder Mailbag, 1st Edition: Farewell, Dusty

In other news, the byline should probably be: “Holy S%!&, somebody asked a question!”


I speak on behalf of every one of the writers/editors here at the Addison Recorder when I say that we openly welcome your questions, and will always do our best to respond in a timely fashion. (Especially if they keep coming one at a time.) We accept them through email, Facebook, and Twitter. This first and only question comes from Twitter. You’ll excuse me for fleshing it out….slightly.


Dusty fired. Thoughts?

Ryan, Cincinnati”

(Has anyone noticed how much tweeting is like sending ol’ timey telegraphs? All that’s missing is the insertion of the word “”STOP” every three words. Seriously, I expect future tweets to read something like: “Travis, College football this weekend. Stop. Bring chips and guac. Stop. Also, Cherokee look restless. Stop. Expect buffalo crossings at Edgewater. Stop. Alex, Lakeview.”)

(On the other hand, I don’t think that’s 140 characters. Two tweet/telegraphs, maybe.)

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One and Done: MLB Postseason 2013 (Ongoing Coverage)

billy hamilton

Tonight marks the start of the MLB Postseason, featuring the first of two fights for the right to play in the Divisional Round between eternal enemies Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, followed by a second duel to the death elimination tomorrow between Cleveland and Tampa Bay. (There might be some fairly grandiose moments throughout this column because I just watched the new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and might be mildly freaking out at the moment. I mean, new Hobbit footage AND a Reds postseason game in one day? Your intrepid writer’s mind melts like butter on hot asphalt.)

What I’ll try to do with the Postseason is to do all of my Round Previews in one article, before each new set of Series begins. This will culminate with a team-by-team preview of the two pennant winners, followed by World Series recaps. All part of our mission at the Addison Recorder to provide you with the best continual analysis of the major shakings and dealings of popular culture.

(Oh, by the way, apparently there’s hockey tonight, though I cannot verify such things as truthful.)

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Game 163 and Beyond: MLB Postseason Coverage 2013


Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?

One of the biggest criticisms (slightly warranted) of Major League Baseball is that the seasons tend to drag on forever. While it is your intrepid columnist’s opinion that the people who believe this are nihilistic, soulless goons more obsessed with watching grown men reduce each others brain matter to Silly-Putty, there is something to be said for the idea that the Baseball season is one long march towards an inevitable goal, the postseason. The corresponding argument is that because there is such a preponderance of games on the schedule, it is impossible to attach meaning to any individual contest, save for the latter weeks of the season.

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