Editor’s note: It was a tough night here in the Twin Cities last night. I am relieved to say that my immediate family was all a safe distance from the bridge collapse. Thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected. I composed this a few days ago and decided to still post it this morning, if for nothing more than distraction, much like the game last night.
Here is my recap of Game 3, and here is Game 2 since I didn’t link it in the DVD write up. Also, frequent commenter Beau pointed out that the jacket of the Game 2 DVD incorrectly states that the Twins outscored the Cardinals 16-5 in the first two games. The actual composite score of the first two was 18-5. I found no similar errors on the Game 3 jacket.
-Whitey was right on the umpires again prior to the game in regards to the perceived balking that Bert Blyleven did in Game 2. I was wondering to myself why he was doing it, thinking it was simply a distraction for his team; but to my amazement, he got the call in the second inning of Game 3. The replay showed that Straker paused about the same amount of time as Blyleven did in Game 2, but the call went the Cardinals way early. Jim Palmer noted that he had a guy write him to explain that the rule didn’t state that a pitcher had to pause for a second, something Palmer had said in Game 2, but rather that the pitcher simply has to pause. Palmer did a good job in the series so far, but the fact that some guy had to write to him to correct his understanding of the rule is a little odd.
-All three of the broadcasters were making a big deal about Les Straker’s lack of experience. Interesting that he pitched a very good game in the first tight game of the series.
-As Tom Herr batted in the sixth the graphic flashed showing that he had the second lowest batting average in World Series history up to that point. As if he had something to prove, Herr immediately singled.
-On a similar there, in the top of the eighth with two out and a man on third, Tim McCarver started to openly question the positioning of the Cardinals defense for Gary Gaetti, specifically the third baseman Jose Oquendo who was hugging the line. McCarver’s exact quote: “he’s positioned where he is most apt not to hit the ball.” On the very next pitch Gaetti hit a hot line drive to third that hit right in Oquendo’s glove.
-In fairness to McCarver, he made a very good point in the seventh, the inning in which the Cards scored all of their runs. With a man on first and nobody out, Tony Pena made a few attempts to sacrifice the runner over with the pitcher on deck. He quickly got behind 0-2 and the bunt sign was removed. A few pitches later Pena singled and would later score the go-ahead run when Ozzie Smith singled later in the inning. McCarver pointed out in the ninth inning that had Pena been successful with his sacrifice attempt, the Cardinals’ seventh would have looked a lot different. He sounded downright ahead of his time.
-The lighting in Busch Stadium was horrible, but I suppose that was pretty common at that time.
-A couple of great plays:
1. Greg Gagne tagged and took third on a foul pop that Pena had to dive into the dugout to catch. Head’s up play, and probably a reason that Gagne was one of my favorite players.
2. Classic Ozzie Smith play on a grounder off of Hrbek’s bat later in the same inning. Not only was it a great play, but it saved at least one run.
Game 3 was the most dramatic of the series so far, and was the most fun for me to watch as well. Still, the wrong team won. On to Game 4.
Born August 2, 1978
Born August 2, 1952