(Denis Poroy/Associated Press)
San Diego’s Everth Cabrera follows through on an a 2-RBI single during the ninth inning against the Dodgers on Sunday.
First, a quick recap of the how the bottom of the ninth unfolded yesterday in San Diego, with the Dodgers ahead 6-1 and Chad Billingsley about to cap off the victory (linked here):
Homer, double. Billingsley out, Broxton in, Dodgers lead 6-2.
Flyout, walk, strike out. Single. Another run in, 6-3.
Walk and another walk. Force in a run, 6-4.
San Diego’s Cabrera at bat. Venable at third. Gonzalez at second, the tying run. Alfonzo at first, the winning run. Tension mounts. Nails bitten. Situation constantly changing.
Here’s the Dodgers’ Charley Steiner with the call on KABC-AM (790) with the 3-2 pitch from Broxton to Cabrera:
“Broxton gets the sign. There go the runners, here comes the pitch … (crack of the bat) … Swing and a ground ball up the middle, INTO CENTER FIELD FOR A BASE HIT (crowd roars) …”
Now it gets … interesting ….
“Venable scores … and a throw to third base … OUT AT THIRD BASE … AND THE DODGERS WIN! Edgar Gonzales, trying to come home, then he stopped short, and then tagged out a third … AND THAT IS HOW THE DODGERS WIN THE GAME!
And that’s followed by a moment or two of pause.
Because actually, it’s 6-6, not a 6-5 final score. Both Venable and Gonzales scored, but it was Alfonzo, going from first to third, who was thrown out by Matt Kemp to Casey Blake. Or rather, wasn’t thrown out immediately but … we’ll explain later.
Steiner realizes what happens:
“Wait a minute, two runs are in. Out at third base was Venable. The Padres in fact HAVE TIED THE SCORE, scoring five in the ninth inning…. My mistake … In to score was Gonzales … ALFONZO is out at third base. And we will go to the 10th inning … UNBELIEVEABLE. …”
The most accurate word he used on that call may have been the last one.
Here’s how Vin Scully called it on the KCAL-Channel 9 TV broadcast, of course, with the visual imput, and after Scully had just said: “Venable, Edgar Gonzales and Alfonzo … Edgar at second the tying run. … Three-and-two (as Broxton delivers) … there they go, fouled away …”
Now, that final scene again:
“Runners ready to go again … and a high bouncer UP THE MIDDLE … Two runs score … going on to third ahead of the throw and COMING OFF THE BAG! … Alfonzo unable to stay on the bag … What a big play … What a clutch base hit by the kid Everth Cabrera to drive in the tying runs … only to have Alfonzo go off the bag … the throw from Matt Kemp to Casey Blake … that’s where he came off (as we see a replay) … so believe it or not, Padres score five in the ninth to tie it up … We’ll be back.”
The live camera followed Broxton’s pitch from the traditional center field shot, then went behind the plate to watch the ball bounce up the middle. The viewers relied on Scully saying “two runs score …” as there was a quick shot of someone from San Diego crossing the plate, but we couldn’t tell who that was. The shot then goes back behind home plate to follow Kemp coming up with the ball and throwing to third to eventually get the final out … but only when the runner came off the bag (which we didn’t know happen from the radio call).
The bottom line: It may seem confusing, but it was somewhat straight forward. One got it right, and the other jumped the gun. So much so, that he blasted a victory into the books along with some embarassment. Yes, Steiner corrected himself, but by that point, it just added to the mess that really couldn’t be cleaned up.
Now, talk amongst yourselves. I couldn’t figure out how to link Steiner’s radio call, but I have it on an attachment I can email out if anyone’s interested. Contact me at email@example.com