Live Blogging of ALCS Game 3

So here I am, trying to do something different: live blogging as Game 3 of ALCS unfolds. All times Eastern.

7:00 PM – FOX broadcasting begins, which is going to be a change from TBS broadcasting. And by change, I mean I am ready for some awful broadcasting, awkward pauses, and too much of Jenny Zelasko. I am not a fan of Joe Buck, but Tim McCarver is somewhat decent.

7:02 PM – Joe Buck announces that it’s Dice-K vs. Jake Westbrook. Cue commercial break.

7:09 PM – There was a quick return to the lineup announcement, but then back to commercials.

7:10 PM – Here comes Dustin Pedroia, first up for Boston. The first pitch is a beautiful strike one for Westbrook. Pedroia is averaging 0.190 in the leadoff spot in the playoffs.

7:11 PM – On three pitches, Pedroia strikes out. Great start for Westbrook.

7:13 PM – The first dumb comment of the day comes from Joe Buck, who says that the home plate umpire will decide the strikes “for not only Westbrook but for Matsuzaka as well.”

7:14 PM – David Ortiz grounds into a double play, which was beautifully turned by Cleveland defense. Wow.

7:18 PM – Dice-K delivers the first pitch for Boston, and it is a strike.

7:20 PM – Tim McCarver stumbles in getting players’ names correct. Did I mention awkward pauses or what?

7:21 PM – Dice-K just gets his first strikeout of the game. Here comes Hafner to the plate.

7:23 PM – Joe Buck talks about the grading performance of the home plate umpire. Today’s umpire, apparently, rewards hitters more than pitchers due to a tight strike zone. Tim McCarver chimes in and says that even umpires have ERAs now. This is news to me…Is it done over 18 innings of play? Doesn’t matter, and there is no time to explain, as Hafner strikes out.

7:28 PM – Manny Ramirez is up, having a duel with Westbrook. The count is 3-2.

7:29 PM – Westbrook just issues his second walk.

7:31 PM – Lowell hits the ball up the middle, and the Red Sox are threatening with two on, zero out in the top of the second inning.

7:32 PM – A pronounced groan just emanates from the crowd as Garko is unable to catch a routine ground ball. It’s the first error of this ALCS. Bases are loaded as Varitek is up to bat.

7:33 PM – Varitek pops out to short left. One out, and Manny is unable to tag home. Bases loaded, 1 out, with Coco Crisp at bat.

7:36 PM – Westbrook rebounds as the inning comes to a close with a double play. Red Sox strand three runners on base.

7:39 PM – Victor Martinez is up to bat. Joe Buck says Victor’s favourite show is Curb Your Enthusiasm. I love that show as well, so props to Joe Buck for bringing up this bit of trivia.

7:42 PM – Garko lines a base hit toward the center after Martinez fails to get on base with a groundout.

7:43 PM – Dice-K just threw a wicked slider to Peralta. Peralta chases a wicked ball. The count is 0-2.

7:44 PM – Tim McCarver just says that Dice-K has more than four pitches to choose from, but Joe Buck chimes in saying that he has five. Tim McCarver says, “Yes, more than four.” Joe Buck then says “Oh, yeah” in an embarrassed fashion.

7:46 PM – As the crowd chants “Kenny, Kenny, Kenny,” Lofton smacks a ball to right center, and drills a line drive out of here. Cleveland 2, Boston 0. What a fast turn of events!

7:47 PM – “The Mayor of Cleveland” has delivered. Tim McCarver says a joke: “If he [Lofton] keeps playing like this, he could run for governor.”

7:48 PM – Nixon grounds out to Lugo, ending the inning. Cue replays of Lofton’s home run.

7:54 PM – Quickly there are two outs for the Red Sox. Lugo grounds out to Garko, Pedroia grounds out to Cabrera, and Yokulis pops out to Nixon in right field. Westbrook is cruising. Joe Buck says the half inning only lasted two minutes. Before I could finish my tea, the Red Sox are headed back on defense.

7:57 PM – The Kenny Lofton commercial comes on, in which he shuffles between various teams across the USA (and Japan?). The “Actober” commercial is cut off.

7:58 PM – Dice-K is behind in the count, 3-1, to Blake. He comes back down the middle for a strike. Blake then flies out to right field.

8:00 PM – Talk of Kenny Lofton’s home run continues between McCarver and Buck, as Sizemore flies out to center.

8:02 PM – Dice-K pitches a nasty breaking ball to Cabrera, but Cabrera doesn’t bite, resulting in a 3-1 count. Dice-K throws another breaking ball, and Cabrera singles on a line drive to center fielder Coco Crisp.

8:04 PM – The answer to the trivia question is revealed. Name two other Japanese pitchers besides Dice-K to start in the postseason? Answer: Nomo started 2 games for LAD and Yoshi started 3 games for NYM.

8:05 PM – Dice-K allows the first walk of the night. Hafner on first, Cabrera on second, with two out.

8:07 PM – Victor Martinez is up to bat. FOX cameras just panned to a Cleveland fan with the drums; he was interviewed earlier in the ALDS. Turns out he has been going to most Cleveland Indians games (with the exception of day games) for the last forty years or so.

8:09 PM – There’s a 3-1 count on Martinez. Dice-K throws a wicked pitch, which Martinez chases. The crowd is going nuts in Cleveland. Dice-K throws a beautiful pitch inside, and Martinez chases that one as well. Cleveland strands two runners.

8:13 PM – David Ortiz leads off the top of the fourth inning with a big hit against the wall in the left. Lofton has no chance in catching the ball.

8:16 PM – Westbrook doesn’t get the call on two pitches just outside of the plate.

8:17 PM – Manny hits a ball, but David Ortiz runs into it. That was an idiotic move by David Ortiz. Manny Ramirez is credit with a hit, and there is one out.

8:23 PM – Two balls, two strikes, runner at second. Fair ball along the first base line by J.D. Drew! Caught by Garko, who goes into foul territory, and tosses the ball to Westbrook to get the final out of the inning.

8:31 PM – Bottom of the fourth inning, Kenny Lofton grounds out to Pedroia. Off to the fifth inning, Indians still up 2-0.

8:35 PM – Jason Varitek grounds out to second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera.

8:37 PM – Coco Crisp also grounds out to Johnny Peralta, as the Fox announcers are talking to each other.

8:38 PM – Wow, Westbrook induces another ground ball from Julio Lugo. A ten pitch inning for Westbrook is done, and he is certainly cruising right now.

8:43 PM – Ken Rosenthal reports on major changes in baseball which have occurred recently. Most notable of all, in my opinion, is John Schuerholz stepping down as the General Manager of the Atlanta Braves. He assumes the role of club president. Frank Wren, long-time assistant to JS, will take over the GM role.

8:45 PM – Casey Blake singles on a line drive to left field.

8:46 PM – Dice-K throws a pitch in the dirt, and Blake advances to second base.

8:48 PM – Ah, Tim McCarver mentions that it is John Adams on the drums. The drums have a strong, deep beat which may be heard during the telecast.

8:49 PM – The crowd is nuts on a 3-1 count to Sizemore. Mention of the gyroball is made by Tim McCarver. Let me tell you something, Tim. The gyroball doesn’t exist. It is just a breaking ball with more “oomph.” It is not a different/new pitch.

8:50 PM – Sizemore draws a walk. There is a mound visit. Francona makes a call to the bullpen. There is only one out, and this Cleveland crowd is hungry for more runs.

8:51 PM – Dice-K is clearly tired. He has over 90 pitches in the game so far.

8:52 PM – Mike Timlin is warming up in the bullpen. If Cabrera gets on, Timlin is most likely going to enter the game, as there is only one out.

8:53 PM – Cabrera grounds up the middle, and Casey Blake comes around from second to score! Cleveland LEADS 3-0!

8:54 PM – A rare called strike by the home plate umpire. It looked outside.

8:56 PM – Hafner grounds into a force out to Pedroia! Beautifully turned at second base, but it is late at first base! Hafner is safe, and another run scores. Cleveland 4, Boston 0.

8:57 PM – Replay shows that Hafner was safe at first base. Hafner pulled his head down and ran really hard to first base. What a great play by Pronk.

8:58 PM – Dice-K is continuing to pitch, and is ahead 0-2 to Martinez.

8:59 PM – VMart sticks his bat out on a ball outside, and bloops a ball to right field. Two on, two out. And Dice-K is done for the night. Good decision by Francona to pull him here, although maybe he should have been pulled before pitching to Martinez.

9:02 PM – Timlin is on the mound. Garko is at bat. The drums are beating hard, the crowd is cheering like crazy. The 2-0 count by which Timlin starts doesn’t help his team right now.

9:03PM – Garko takes an ugly check swing. Next pitch: on the outside corner, bringing the count to 2-2.

9:04 PM – Dice-K looks shaken in the Red Sox dugout. Full count on Garko. Garko rips it foul on a 3-2 pitch.

9:05 PM – Garko strikes out on a slider outside the plate. Inning over.

9:14 PM – Westbrook just issues his third walk to David Ortiz. Manny is up to bat, and there are plenty of “boos” filtering through the crowd.

9:18 PM – There is a tremendous pitcher-batter battle going on between Manny and Westbrook. Westbrook has come back from a 3-0 count to make it a full count. Manny cursed a certain four letter curse word after he fouled off the 3-1 pitch.

9:19 PM – The count is still full. Westbrook induces ANOTHER ground ball. Double play ball to Jhonny Peralta, who throws to Cabrera, to who throws to 1B Garko. The Red Sox threaten, but are unable to bring any runners home.

9:26 PM – Nothing doing so far in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Indians: Peralta grounds out to Lowell, and Lofton strikes out swinging.

9:27 PM – Nixon is up to bat, and there is a sign in right field proclaiming “Nixon for President.” I like it.

9:28 PM – Nixon grounds out to Youkilis at first base. Seventh inning coming up.

9:32 PM – Franklin Gutierrez replaces Trot Nixon in right field.

9:33 PM – After Mike Lowell pops out to Cabrera, J.D. Drew singles down the middle to Sizemore. Westbrook is still under 90 pitches for the game.

9:34 PM – FOX just showed statistics for pitchers who have gone on three days’ rest in the playoffs. These pitchers have posted a 30-41 record and 4.21 ERA. It is still questionable who will start game 4 for the Red Sox.

9:36 PM – Jason Varitek JUST hit a HOME RUN to center on a pitch right down the middle of the plate. The lead is cut in half, making it 4-2 in favor of the Indians.

9:37 PM – Westbrook is pitching to Crisp, who is in a full count situation.

9:38 PM – Fastball outside to Crisp, who fouls it into the glove of Victor Martinez. That was a 93 MPH pitch. It was the ninth pitch in the at-bat, and eight of those nine pitches were over 90 MPH.

9:41 PM – Lugo get a base hit on a slow roller to Peralta. And with that, Westbrook is done for the night. He leaves to towel-waving fans and standing ovation.

9:45 PM – Jensen Lewis comes in to replace Westbrook. Lewis throws two quick strikes to Pedroia. Both are 93 MPH fastballs.

9:46 PM – The third pitch looked like it grazed the outside corner, but it is called a ball.

9:48 PM – On a 2-2 count, Pedroia fouls it off again. So far, all of Lewis’s pitches to Pedroia have been either 93 or 94 MPH.

9:50 PM – Lewis just throws a 93 MPH fastball which Pedroia chases. Inning over, and Cleveland still leads 4-2. Boston has left another two runners stranded on base, bringing their total to 12. By comparison, Cleveland has left only six runners stranded.

9:54 PM – Haha, Rosenthal has just reported that Cleveland fans received packets of bug potion in case another insect invasion occurs. He used the phrase “Global Swarming.” I like the terminology.

9:56 PM – Hideki Okajima replaces Mike Timlin for the Red Sox. Casey Blake grouns out to Lugo on the sixth pitch by Okajima.

9:58 PM – Grady Sizemore flies out to Coco Crisp in center.

10:01 PM – Cabrera flies out to Coco Crisp. Top of the eight inning coming up.

10:05 PM – Rafael Betancourt replaces Jensen Lewis to pitch for Cleveland.

10:07 PM – Youkilis just hit a third foul ball in a row. He’s waiting for a 1-2 pitch, and hits yet another foul ball.

10:08 PM – One more foul ball from Youkilis. The eighth pitch of the at-bat is coming out. Youkilis is sweating like a hog, and calls a brief time out to wipe away that perspiration.

10:09 PM – Changeup down and low on which Youkilis swings. One out in the top of the eighth.

10:10 PM – As Ortiz rips the ball to right on the first pitch he sees, this game has now passed the three hour mark. The ball is caught by Gutierrez, and there are two out in the inning.

10:11 PM – Game 4 of the NLDS is about to begin in Denver. I’ll update if any scoring takes place in that game.

10:12 PM – The crowd is going insane as Ramirez is facing an 0-2 pitch from Betancourt. The 0-2 pitch is clearly outside, but the crowd doesn’t see it that way.

10:13 PM – Everyone in the stadium is standing. Ramirez pops up to Cabrera in right field. Inning over, bottom of the eighth coming up.

10:18 PM – Okajima continues to pitch for the Red Sox. He induces Hafner to ground out on a slow roller to Youkilis at first base.

10:19 PM – Okajima is behind in the count, 3-0, to Victor Martinez.

10:20 PM – Okajima issues a four pitch walk to Victor Martinez. Francona storms out of the dugout, and Okajima’s night is done.

10:23 PM – Manny Delcarmen takes over for the Red Sox. McCarver and Buck are discussing what it will take to bring Gagne to pitch for the Red Sox. We all know what happened in Game 2 of the ALCS. I have no comment in this case.

10:24 PM – Ryan Garko strikes out swinging on a 95 MPH pitc.

10:26 PM – Peralta faces a similar fate from Delcarmen, being blown away on three pitches; the pitches were a fastball for a called strike, a curveball for a swinging strike, and a fastball for a swinging strike, respectively.

10:29 PM. Here we go. Top of the ninth. Closer Joe Borowski comes in for Cleveland to try to save the game.

10:30 PM – First batter in the top of the ninth, Mike Lowell, pops out to Ryan Garko.

10:31 PM – J.D. Drew is up to bat for Boston. Chants of “Let’s go Tribe” can be heard. Quickly, Drew is behind in the count at 0-2 after fouling off the first two pitches.

10:32 PM – There is no score in Denver after the top half of the first inning comes to a close.

10:33 PM – Drew reaches for the ball, and flies out to Grady Sizemore in center on the fifth pitch Drew sees. Two out in the ninth.

10:33 PM – Jason Varitek is up to bat. First pitch he sees is high and outside.

10:34 PM – Second pitch is a beauty of a curve that lands right smack in the middle of the strike zone. Third pitch is a bit high to bring the count to 2-1. Fourth pitch is a bit high, but it is called a strike, to bring the count to 2-2.

10:35 PM – The crowd is going nuts. So many white towels are waving. A momentary silence as Varitek fouls a pitch off. Cameras pan to the field, then to John Adams (the drummer), then back to Varitek.

10:36 PM – Varitek looks at the sixth pitch for a full count.

10:36 PM – Varitek just fouls off two more pitches. This is an intense battle. The ninth pitch of the at-bat is coming up. And yet another foul ball.

10:37 PM – And on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Varitek pops it up to Casey Blake at third base. Cleveland leads it 2 games to 1. WOW, what a game! A perfect 1-2-3 inning for Joe Borowski.

The player of the game has to be Jake Westbrook (FOX agrees). He pitched 6 and 2/3 innings, and had only 2 ER.

Kenny Lofton is being interviewed at the moment, calling the fans “awesome” and “unbelievable.” Until next time, I am off to watch the Diamondbacks vs. Rockies game.


~ by mlb2007playoffs on October 15, 2007.

One Response to “Live Blogging of ALCS Game 3”

  1. […] Live Blogging of ALCS Game 3 – this was one of the two live blogs that I did. It is very long, but it pretty much follows ALCS […]

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