Got around to watching Game 2 in parts. I actually recently saw some of this game on an FSN classic, but this is the first time seeing the whole thing. Once again, the game was lacking but that really isn’t the point of these nostalgic DVD’s. Here are my thoughts as I watched Game 2:
-Before the game started ABC showed footage of Lee Weyer (home plate umpire) dusting off the black part of the plate. He was quoted by the announcers as saying “I won’t give you the high or low calls, but I will give you the corners” (or something to that effect). It made me long for the days when umpires could call their strike zone, not one dictated by a machine. Today the only way an umpire has to distinguish himself is by how colorful his “strike” call is, and how he handles managers.
-An interesting note from the ABC crew: Gary Gaetti led the majors in double plays in 1987 (he’s listed with 25 at baseball-reference.com), while Willie McGee led the National League (24). Speaking of McGee, I don’t know about the rest of his career, but his silly swings at bad pitches for third strikes in the World Series remind me a bit of Jacque Jones. For the record- McGee’s strikeout rates were well below Jones’, so it may have been just a bad couple of games for him.
-Whitey Herzog started getting on the umpires early about Bert Blyleven in the stretch. Blyleven didn’t really come to a complete stop, so Herzog may have had an argument. That said, the fact that he kept at it even when his team was down by five was a bit much. Palmer even noted that umpires never call that (have a mentioned that I like Jim Palmer?). To me, that would be more distracting than helpful as a player.
-The Cardinals first walk of the series came with nobody out in the top of the fifth inning of Game 2. Curt Ford’s pass was the only Cardinals’ walk in the first two games.
-The bottom of the fifth brought the first mention of sign stealing by the Twins. Palmer noted that Gary Gaetti hit a 3-1 curve ball like “he knew it was coming”- though Palmer also admitted it was a hanging curve ball from Lee Tunnell.
-I complained about the fact that Kelly left Viola in too long in Game 1. His decision was partially explained by the crew in Game 2. Apparently, Kelly remembered a game he was managing in the minors in which his team had a 9-0 lead and he was convinced to bring in a young pitcher, who promptly allowed eight runs, forcing Kelly to say “never again” when it comes to taking a pitcher out too early. My answer to that would be that neither Jeff Reardon nor Juan Berenguer would hardly be considered a young minor-league pitcher.
I’m looking forward to game three, if for no other reason than it was a close game and is probably the most dramatic of the series.