FINAL SCORE ... MARLINS 14, INDIANS 11.
Reporting from my warm, cozy den in Seattle, here are some thoughts about last night's (and this morning's) bizarre Game 3 of the World Series. I know you had to stay up much later than I did for this frigid marathon to end.
After you sift through all the numbers, all the runs, hits, and errors, a pretty good ballgame all of a sudden went "poof" in the top of the 9th inning. You can blame most of the six errors in the game on the 41-degree temperature with a 25-degree wind chill factor at game time, but not all of them. I still think baseball has got to figure out a way to shorten the season to play in decent weather for the players and fans. With the extra tier of playoffs because of the wild card, Game 7 of the World Series will wind up right before the trick or treaters or goblins come out on Halloween. Some may argue that goblins came out in the 9th inning last night.
But, despite the cold, there were some outstanding defensive efforts throughout the game. Gary Sheffield's catch in the 7th of the drive by Jim Thome; Bobby Bonilla's diving stop of a Matt Williams shot in the 7th, bad leg and all; and Jim Thome's effort in the 7th to save a run.
Hey Bob, because of the cold in Cleveland, I was looking for a close, low-scoring ballgame. How about you?
I thought the turning point of the game came in the bottom of the 8th inning with the game tied 7-7. Marquis Grissom led off with an infield single to extend his World Series hitting streak to 15 games, second longest in history behind Hank Bauer's 17-gamer during the 50's with the Yankees. Bip Roberts sacrificed Grissom to second and the Tribe had two chances to take the lead and turn the game over to Jose Mesa in the 9th. But instead, Dennis Cook fanned Omar Vizquel, and Manny Ramirez popped up to end the threat. That gave Jim Leyland a big sigh of relief.
How many times have you seen a lead-off walk come around to score? Well, it happened in the top of the 9th with Bonilla's free pass, followed by six other runs. The Marlins got some help with three errors in the inning by the Indians, and the game was over. However, I've seen enough of this Cleveland ballclub while broadcasting for the Mariners, and I was impressed with the way they put up four runs in the bottom of the 9th and never gave up. But, it turned out to be too big a hole to climb out of, and the Marlins now lead the Series, two games to one.
Bob, give this Marlins club a lot of credit, they put the ball in play and made things happen, especially in that hectic 9th.
It seems like the Indians respond when their backs are against the wall. They'll have a youngster in Jaret Wright on the mound tonight in Game 4. I like this kid, who came through for the Indians in the ALCS against the Orioles. If he can spot the fastball and get the "Fish" to go fishing for his breaking stuff, he'll have a good game. What about young Mr. Saunders?
I hope we have a good game tonight. Try not to stay up too late. And you might want to bundle up!