The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Cheating on my Girlfriend– Day 15

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I’m starting to doubt that the Angels can knock off the Yankees, even though they won Game 3 of the ALCS. It was the manner in which they won that raised my doubts. Mike Scioscia looks like a genius for leaving Jeff Mathis in after he cranked a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 11th, but the game should never have gotten that far. It should have been over in the bottom of the 10th when Mathis was standing on 3rd with no outs. Scioscia should have pulled him for a pinch runner. Had he done that, they would have plated the run 3 pitches later when Chone Figgins hit a grounder to 1st that Mark Texiera dove to get. Any respectable pinch runner would have at least forced a play at the plate and most likely scored given that Texiera would have had to get up and then throw in a hurry, off-balance. Scioscia should have taken that chance, especially since it meant it could end the game and he wouldn’t have to worry about seeing A-Rod, Jeter, or Texiera again.

So the Angels won, but it probably had more to do with Joe Girardi pitching Alfredo Aceves with two outs in the bottom of the 11th rather than having David Robertson stay in the game. Aceves is inexperienced; he melted under the pressure.

*

Philadelphia is running away with the NLCS by now, and one way they did it was to force LA to live the nightmare of the blown save. At this point, I don’t know how LA can still have any confidence about themselves. They’ve played from behind in 22 of 36 innings thus far, got completely killed in Game 3 (0 runs and only 3 hits; 2 by Manny), and then couldn’t pull out last night’s game despite having one of the best closers in the NL.

I think a lot of LA’s problems go back to Game 2, even though they out-dueled and out-strategized Philly to eke out the win. They had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 8th, and could only get one run– and that was because of Ryan Madson’s control problems. What that revealed was they don’t have enough cold-blooded killers who can rip out the opponents heart late in the game. Manny, of course, has built his career on that. But even he hasn’t been doing much in the series (he’s hitting an anemic .250 with 1 home run). Ronnie Belliard, James Loney, and Russell Martin are batting over .300, but nobody else is doing much. They can’t handle Philadelphia’s starting pitchers, who have an ERA of 2.81 through 4 games. It all goes back to the classic baseball axiom: Good pitching beats good hitting.

*

I was right about being sore after my nostaligic turn at practicing hitting from Sunday afternoon. It was mostly my left shoulder and back, though oddly my left elbow was creaky and painful all day yesterday.

I was getting desperate to try something new at this point in my quest to hit 3 years ago. I gleaned a great idea from a book I had checked out of the library: I made a mock-up of a strike zone and hung it on my closet door. Then I taped cutouts of nine baseballs on the mock-up in three columns of three. I numbered the balls 1-9, and then stood six or seven feet back and swung a dozen times through each ball. I scoffed at the idea when I first read it, but once I tried it I realized how much it helped my focus and my ability to identify pitches I could or could not hit. I looked ridiculous trying it, and felt sheepish every time I had to explain it when I had a visitor, but I didn’t care. I wanted to hit, and I was willing to do whatever it took to learn how.

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Written by seeker70

October 20, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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