Some of the highs and lows of watching Angels-Yankees Game 5.
Into the nervous silence that seemed to surround Angel Stadium just before the first pitch, Fox's Joe Buck said, "This crowd may need a little jolt tonight. This place is awful quiet."
If you're looking for a holiday gift for Buck, perhaps a globe? In talking about Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a pitching prospect, Buck referred to the place where Chapman was now living as "Angora" which is a kind of sweater. Not Angola, the country in Africa. But, wait. On second reference, it became "Andorra which is, if you don't know, a small island." Did Joe mean Anguilla? No. Finally we had the correct answer, "Andorra, a small country between Spain and France."
In the top of the fifth Fox made good use of its triple picture-in-picture-in-picture technology with a close-up of John Lackey's hands, catcher Jeff Mathis signaling and batter Melky Cabrera waiting. Tim McCarver said, as Mathis signaled, "Fastball inside here," and then, as Cabrera singled, Buck finished, "Too far inside."
Replay this II:
The Yanks' Johnny Damon looked to have beaten a throw to first, but umpire Dale Scott called him out. As Damon and Yankees Manager Joe Girardi argued, Buck said, "Chalk up another one." Excellent double meaning. Another Yankees out? Another umpire mistake? Or both.
The look on Lackey's face when Manager Mike Scioscia removed him in the seventh. And we can only paraphrase Lackey's words as, "Are you kidding me? This is mine."
Before and after:
Reporter Ken Rosenthal said before the game that Lackey was the top starting pitcher available in the free-agent market. He could have said the exact same thing after, with an exclamation point.
Not in the box score
By all accounts digital and verbal, Lackey should have struck out Jorge Posada in the seventh for the second out. Instead the pitch was called ball four. As McCarver said, "It was not inside. It was very, very close." Buck added, "Our unofficial look at it called it as a strike. What will that lead to?"
And another thing
There was only video of mass happy confusion on the field when Rosenthal interviewed Lackey (glitch in the switch truck according to a Fox official). But the words? Better than 1,000 pictures. Rosenthal asked Lackey about walking Posada. "It wasn't a walk, let's be honest. It wasn't a walk," Lackey said. Exactly.