Sunday, October 16, 2011
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after watching Ohio State Saturday and wondering if OSU coach Luke Fickell was rummaging through an old desk and found a playbook once used by Woody Hayes. One pass completion the entire game? And a 17-7 win? It truly was Woody’s old ‘Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust’ offense. That might be one way to keep the ball away from Wisconsin’s super octane offense Saturday in The Horseshoe.
ALTHOUGH IT WAS cold and windy, the Building Bridges/Hal McCoy baseball clinic Saturday was a bravo event, mostly because of the efforts of University of Dayton baseball coach Tony Vittorio. This guy knows how to get the attention — and keep it — from boys and girls 9 to 13. He had them wide-eyed and attentive for four hours.
If I’m a talented baseball player looking for a great education I’d want to play for UD and Vittorio. He puts a capital ‘P’ on positive and a capital ‘E’ on enthusiasm.
A QUICK DECISION: The Cleveland Browns are a sad-sack outfit and the Cincinnati Bengals are much better than expected. That should have been self-evident on Week One when the Bengals beat the Browns, but I’m not only stubborn, but a slow learner.
Maybe all those front-running Bengals fans will return to all those empty seats in Paul Brown Stadium.
OK, BACK to baseball.
They staged Game 6 of the ALCS Saturday in Arlington, Tex. and a slow-pitch softball game broke out. Texas 15, Detroit 5.
They staged Game 6 of the NLCS Sunday in Milwaukee and another slow-pitch softball game broke out — or was it home run derby. St. Louis 12, Milwaukee 6.
So it is Texas and St. Louis in the World Series. After watching St. Louis starting pitchers taking showers before the fifth inning in every NLCS game and watching the Rangers and Nelson Cruz whack away, take the Rangers in five games. Chris Carpenter might win one game for St. Louis. Might.
They’ll miss Adam Wainwright in the World Series.
There were six home runs hit in the first three innings Sunday in Milwaukee and it looked as if they might have to call the Chicago Cubs (who are hibernating for the winter) and ask them for their surplus baseballs.
THE CARDINALS scored four runs in the top of the first off Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum, who was gone after the first inning. Lance Berkman, 1 for 17 in his career against Marcum, slugged a run-scoring double to make it 1-0 and David Freese crushed a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw. For the series he was 7 for 9 with 10 RBI when he swung at the first pitch.
Corey Hart, the world’s tallest leadoff batter, got one run back in the bottom of the first off St. Louis starter Edwin Jackson with a home run and it was 4-1.
Lefthander Chris Narveson replaced Marcum for the second inning and St. Louis leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal matched Hart with a home run. But Furcal’s came with two-outs and for the series St. Louis scored 16 two-out runs to one for Milwaukee.
AMAZINGLY, Milwaukee scrambled right back into it with three runs in the bottom of the second when Rickie Weeks hit a home run, Jerry Hairston had an infield hit and catcher Jonathan LaCroy homered to cut the St. Louis margin to 5-4.
That didn’t matter to St. Louis. The Cardinals scored four in the third to make it 9-4 as Albert Pujols led the inning with a home run, Nick Punto hit a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Allen Craig punched a two-run single up the middle.
Craig batted for starter Edwin Jackson, so Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa used five pitchers out of the bullpen to finish off the Brewers.
Back-to-back doubles by Jerry Hairston and Yuni Betancourt scored a run for the Brewers in the fourth and Milwaukee was still within squinting distance at 9-5.
IT ALL CAME crashing for the Brewers in the fifth when their major weakness was exposed — defense, the lack thereof. They made three errors, one by Hart in right field and two on one play by third baseman Hairston — they didn’t exactly play the ‘h’ out of defense. The errors led to two runs and an 11-5 St. Louis lead.
The Brewers pushed across a run in the fifth and suddenly the bats went as silent as the Milwaukee crowd the rest of the way.Tweet