October 30, 2013
OK. Let’s check out this scorecard and see if anything interesting is going on.
Why, look at the “Game Notes” section. What do we have here? It seems this scorecard is from Game 6 of the 2013 World Series. I’m guessing this was a pretty big game. Hope you don’t mind reliving it again. I know I don’t.
You probably don’t even need to look at the card at this point to remember what happened, but let’s do it anyway. Check out the pitcher’s box. We can see another fantastic start from John Lackey. How many times did you think you’d ever say that? But, there we were saying it over and over again this postseason. Even better was the bullpen. 2.1 hitless innings, including Tazawa throwing what might have been the most important third of an inning in Red Sox history. Wish I could give him a save for that performance.
What about the batters? Again, some of it you’ll remember. Shane Victorino had a great game. Mike Napoli did not. My favorite line is probably David Ortiz. I’m surprised Mike Matheney hasn’t had that line enlarged and printed in every newspaper in the country. After practically being begged to never throw Ortiz a strike, he gave in. He walked him intentionally three times. He scored twice following one of those walks. Doesn’t look like the strategy worked all that well.
I’m disappointed by one thing that isn’t on the scorecard. Since Jacoby Ellsbury made it back to first base after getting out of a pickle, it shows up as a non-play on the card. It’s like it never happened. Which, I suppose, saved me from recording a 1-3-6-3-4-1 out…if that’s even how it went.
The hero of the game? We all know it’s Shane Victorino. His three run double ended up being all the runs the Sox would need on the night. For good measure he added another RBI the next inning to close out the scoring.
The goat? I was amazed to see how poorly Mike Napoli played. I guess it was lost in the celebration, and the fact that he did squeeze out an RBI. While I could go with either Ross or Bogaerts since they both went hitless, they weren’t protecting David Ortiz. I think what makes the “walking Ortiz” strategy look even worse is that the guy behind him struck out four times on the night, and Ortiz still scored twice. The Sox wanted more out of their clean-up hitter.
But, of course, it didn’t matter. The Sox piled up the runs, and the pitching made them stick. Koji Uehara used his one strikeout to clinch the World Championship in front of the home crowd.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.