Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Not The Greatest Ever

Game six of the World Series last night was great, but everyone who is claiming it was the greatest World Series game ever seriously need to calm down and get some perspective. The comebacks were incredible and riveting, and in the tenth inning I even said to my wife it was a great game. But, someone on ESPN this morning said he was riveted to the game from the first pitch, and that is just ridiculous.

Before the 8th inning it was a sloppily played game that would have been an embarrassment during the regular season let alone in the World Series. The World Series is supposed to pit the two best teams in baseball playing the best baseball they can, and they certainly didn't for most of last night's game. A large part of it would have been unwatchable during the regular season. Having five errors alone automatically takes it out of contention as one of the greatest games. And if I had been scoring there would have been six errors, because the "triple" that tied the game in the ninth inning should have been caught.

If Nelson Cruz hadn't been concerned about hitting the wall, which by the way is his MO and he wasn't even close to the wall, he would have caught the ball and the game would have been over. If he had thought "Hey, even if I hit the wall it won't hurt because we will be World Series champions," then the Rangers win. Instead he totally misplayed the ball, which should be an error, and the Cardinals were right back in it.

But along with the five or six errors in the game, the bullpens were also terrible. The only reason the Cardinals kept coming back was because the pitchers kept making terrible mistakes. You can't put a pitch over the plate where it can be driven when you already have two strikes.

I can think of lots of World Series games that were a lot better than this. Game six of the 1986, 1991 and 1992 World Series come to mind. Game seven of the 2001 series, let along games 4 and 5 which both had incredible come from behind victories with two-run homeruns with two outs in the ninth inning. Then there is game one of the 1988 World Series with Kirk Gibson's homerun.

10-9 games are not "great" games. Now some have said that what made it so great was the fact that the score kept going and changing, that the Rangers had and lost the lead five different times, that in fact the score is indicative of a great game. By that standard a Super Bowl that ended 73-70 would also be a great game, which I hardly suspect would be the case.

Now I do have to admit that I had given up on the Cardinals after their three errors and when they were down 7-4, and they deserve credit for coming back. In the lore of baseball this game will live on a for a long time, and it should, but it should not be considered the greatest World Series game ever because it just cannot live up to that moniker.

As exciting as those last three innings were, and as dramatic as they were, in it's entirety a 10-9 game with five errors, or six in my book, and shoddy pitching all around simply cannot upend some of the other incredible World Series games that I have witnessed let alone in the history of the game.

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