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Broadcaster's forecast is good; the fielding isn't

A Bob Brenly setup of a Dodgers play

October 08, 2009|DIANE PUCIN

Some of the highs and lows of watching the Dodgers' game.

Say hey:

Ex-manager and former catcher Bob Brenly explaining how, in the bottom of the fifth, the Cardinals were about to put on "the play" against the Dodgers, who had runners at first and second and bunting wizard Juan Pierre at the plate. Brenly was spot-on in explaining how the Cardinals would have shortstop Brendan Ryan breaking for third with third baseman Mark DeRosa coming in to field any bunt to his side. Pierre's bunt sat high, barely a foot fair in front of the plate; Ryan and DeRosa were available for a force at third. Unfortunately, all of Brenly's effort was wasted when St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina muffed the pickup on Pierre's bunt. Amateur lip readers could see Molina say bad words.

Say what?

As the cameras panned Dodger Stadium in the top of the fourth inning, showing grand spans of empty bleacher seats and then at least 14 empties behind home plate, Brenly spoke glowingly about how this was the first time he'd seen the place full at the time of the first pitch. If the stadium had been full then, apparently a bunch of them left before the fourth inning.

Replay this:

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, from a spot closer to second base, makes a diving grab of Russell Martin's would-be single in the bottom of the eighth, rolls and throws to first, as if playing egg toss with pitcher Mitchell Boggs, who tiptoed into first just ahead of the diving Martin. We saw three different angles. Martin was always out, just by a little.

Sharp shot:

Nice piece of descriptive camera work on Ronnie Belliard's single to right in the bottom of the fifth. You could see Chris Carpenter's breaking ball tailing away from Belliard from a center-field camera; you could almost immediately see Belliard relaxing and just going with a pitch away from him and taking that ball right where it was delivered, easy when you know how, into right field. And then a switch to an outfield camera showed immediately that right fielder Ryan Ludwick would not get to the ball in time.

Before and after:

Even before the game began, the Cardinals were being picked as favorites by analyst Ron Darling on TBS during the Yankees-Twins game because of the great Cardinals one-two starting pitching punch. Because the Dodgers and Cardinals were moved, briefly, to TNT until the Yankees won, we then heard Dick Stockton and Brenly tilting toward the Cardinals because of Pujols.

It's always great to hear Ernie Johnson hosting a postgame show. Even without Charles Barkley.

Not in the box score:

When Casey Blake cracked a screaming line drive that barely tipped the grass in fair territory as it crossed third base, DeRosa flagged the ball down, tried to get a force at second and his throw landed somewhere in right field. No official error though, because Blake would have beaten the ball out for a single. But it was a terrible throw.

And another thing:

Loved the camera work and Brenly's comments. Wasn't so crazy about PitchTrax, the graphic in the lower right corner that showed pitch location. To even see what the graphic was called, had to squat in front of a 37-inch high-definition TV and squint. Also, what was up with some jumpy glitches? At least Stockton said there were network difficulties. So we didn't all yell at our cable providers.

--

diane.pucin@latimes.com

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