Giant’s Big in Game 1 & How I Was Saved (Musical Interlude Included)

The Lord taketh away. The Lord giveth.

My Tigers were five, six runs down in the World Series opener. It was obvious that San Fran’s scintillating play at the end of the NLCS was not about to abate.

Pablo Sandoval had already gone yard twice. Justin Verlander was off, pitching as he did in his pitiful All-Star game stint.

There was a certain air of inevitability about this one.

At which point, the Film Babe interrupted my despondency.

“Turn on Palladia. 945. Jon Cleary and Allen Toussaint are playing Longhair.”

“I’m watching the game.”

“TURN ON 945.”

So I did. Thank you, Joanie. “Make It Funky,” a splendid two-hour look at New Orleans music, was on.

I was saved from Sandoval’s third tater, Valverde’s 54.0 ERA third of an inning, etc, etc.

There are a few things I love more than Tigers’ baseball. The tradition of New Orleans music is certainly one of them.

Fister’s pitching tonight. Go Tigers.

* * * * *

One nuance I did observe in Justin Verlander’s recent shut down outings was that the umps were giving him the corners. An extended strike zone made it manifest that Yankee and A’s batters chase pitches they might not otherwise.

Behind the plate last night was Gerry Davis, a true vet, umping his record-tying 112th post-season game. (Jerry Crawford and Bruce Froemming are the other two who have called that many.) Joe Buck and insufferable Tim McCarver actually pointed out that Davis is known for his rigid strike zone. Interesting phenomenon. When Davis is behind the plate, a strike really needs to be a strike.

While that didn’t seem to bother Barry Zito, it sure contributed to Verlander’s way less than stellar outing.

Yes, the Giants are indeed red hot. Credit to them. They are on their game. If the Tigers aren’t careful, San Francisco could blow through this series in four or five.

* * * * *

I have not hidden my disdain for Tim McCarver’s commentary. He is old and in the way. The word doddering comes to mind. Last night, he didn’t even catch his sidekick’s reference to former Giant star Barry Bonds.

But McCarver did tell one great story. About a 16 inning affair in ’62 or so, when Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn went at it for 16 innings in a game eventually won 1-0 on a play by Willie Mays. Both hurlers threw well over 200 pitches.

* * * * *

Now, to soothe the savage beast, some more Toussaint playing Longhair. Enjoy.

– Seedy K

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