The end of the baseball season, combined with the fact that I didn’t see much of the 2007 World Series due to illness, has made me return to the only baseball I can watch. So, after a brief hiatus, I watched Game 5.
I was struck right away by the contrast between 1987 Tim McCarver and 2007 Tim McCarver. I can handle 1987 McCarver. 2007, not so much.
On to the game. I love a good pitching duel, and Game 5 was just that through the first five innings. Neither Bert Blyleven or Danny Cox seemed to be really dominant, but both held the other team scoreless through the early innings.
In the fifth inning, Whitey Herzog small-balled his team’s way out of a scoring threat. With runners at first and third and the pitcher batting, Herzog called for a squeeze bunt. With two strikes, the squeeze was still on. It looked as though Tom Kelly called for a pitch out, but it may have just been a bad pitch by Blyleven. Either way, Cox jabbed at a pitch that was well out of the strike zone and the runner at third was out to end the inning.
A pair of infield singles by the Cardinals in the sixth seemed to undo Blyleven a bit. Jim Palmer made the point that a walk or single by Vince Coleman was as good as a double, and it was clear that Blyleven was not comfortable with him on base, at least in the sixth inning. Coleman and Smith eventually scored on a single by Curt Ford, and before the Twins got out of the inning the Cardinals had enough runs (3) to eventually win the game. It was a “Cardinals type of inning” according to McCarver.
At the end of the day, the Cardinals had five stolen bases against Twins pitching, and a 3-2 lead in the series. Al Michaels made the point, however, that the Twins might have the Cardinals right where they want them with two games left to play at the Metrodome.
Another interesting note from the game and the DVD jacket. Both the Cardinals and the Twins had losing records the previous season. The only other time that the two World Series teams had losing records the previous season was in 1965. Of course, we all know that it happened again in 1991. Perhaps that bodes well for 2008?
I need to add this as well. Keith Atherton looked more like a trucker than a baseball player.