Sunday, October 22, 2006

2006 World Series, Game 1 (in pictures)

I went to my 2nd ever World Series game last night. Like the first World Series game I attended, it was the first World Series game in the city in more than 2 decades. And, like the first World Series game I attended, the opposing manager was Tony LaRussa. And, like the first World Series game I attended, LaRussa's team routed the home team. That first game, back in 1989, is hardly remembered. The A's won 13-3, 10 days after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Went with Karen and her brother Larry, amazingly his only other WS game was that very same game 3, 17 years ago.

The view from the right field side, as the Cardinals take batting practice. The Tigers are heavy favorites; considering that the Cardinals starting lineup includes David Eckstein leading off, as well as Juan Encarnacion, Yadier Molina and Ronnie Beliard, this is understandable. Most people expect that Detroit will sweep the series, and the big question is whether the Cardinals will win a single game.
Bob Seger performed America the Beautiful. Here's Bob very shortly afterwards
The overhead camera. This is how Fox bombards TV viewers with fan shots, all night long.

The first pitch of the 2006 World Series. Justin Verlander delivers to David Eckstein. Someone please explain to me what David Eckstein is doing leading off for a major league baseball team!

Anhony Reyes deliers the first pitch to Curtis Granderson. Reyes is the opening night pitcher by default; Carpenter, Suppan and Weaver are all unavailable. Reyes is not a good choice, it would seem, he's an inconsistent rookie. The question seems to be not whether the Tigers will win, but by how much.
With 2 outs, Carlos Guillen drives in the first run of the World Series. The rout's on, right?
Didn't work out that way. Rolen tied in with a home run in the 2nd, then in the 3rd Tigers fell behind. After Chris Duncan's hit broke the tie, it was Albert Pujols' turn. It didn't last long. Let's put it this way: He didn't need more. This led to the one image that no hometown team other than St. Louis ever wants to see:

Suddenly, Comerica Park was quiet, and it would stay that way for some time.
In the 6th inning, Jim Edmonds drove in Pujols to make in 5-1, and after a ground rule double by Scott Rolen, it was time to get Verlander out of the game.
The Tigers brought in the infield, but Brandon Inge bobbled the ball, threw late toward home, and threw it right past catcher Ivan Rodriguez
In the picture, Edmonds scores to make it 6-1, while Rolen steams toward third. Inge, meanwhile, is about to interfere with Rolen, thus making it two errors on the play for Rolen, and to make it 7-1. It's a rout -- just not the one we expected.
As for Reyes, he's turning in the performance of his life. Here he is, inducing Placido Polanco to miss in the 6th inning. He had retired 15 in a row at this point, and would eventually stretch in to 17. His performance was the story of the game.
By the 9th inning, there were plenty of empty seats at Comerica Park. This, too, was a reminder of that game from 1989. First World Series game or not, many people weren't sticking around to see the end of the rout
Down 7-2 in the 9th, and still the scoreboard calls for Noise! Amazingly, a lot of the remaining fans cooperate. Makes me yearn for the good old days when fans didn't need scoreboards to tell them when to cheer.
After the game, the press descended on Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Yadier Molina for on-field interviews.
Final score: St. Louis 7, Detroit 2. Game conditions were nicer than expected -- 51 degrees at game time, and still 49 when it ended. The rain held off until near the 9th inning, and even then it was only a drizzle. And the field at Comerica Park looked great.

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