Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The At-Bat

Chapter 11 of my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair (www.cuttingthegame.com) is about cutting a homerun. I write in chapter 11 that cutting a homerun is the most fun a TV baseball director can have while directing the game.
I may have to amend chapter 11.
The Dodgers beat the Cardinals tonight by the score of 1-0.
The two starting pitchers, Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals and Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers, were both masterful.
Their pitching lines were almost identical.
They both pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball. Carpenter gave up 6 hits and Kuroda gave up 4 hits. They both walked 1 batter and the strikeouts were 5 for Carpenter and 6 for Kuroda. Carpenter threw 97 pitches with 61 strikes and Kuroda was equally as good with 101 pitches and 66 strikes.
The top and bottom of each inning were almost identical as well.
This made for a great flow to the show.
This well-pitched, well-played game grew more exciting with each inning.
During the 7th inning the Cardinals threatened with runners on first and third and one out. A groundball double play ended that threat.
The bottom of the seventh inning had a Dodger runner thrown out at the plate by the Cardinals' rightfielder.
The whole TV production team fed off this exciting contest. As the game went on, the camera shots were succinct, the replays were tight, the audio mix was fantastic, and a great job by our graphics team helped build the excitement of this wonderful affair.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 8th inning on a basehit by Manny Ramirez. Love him or hate him, Manny is great television. Manny is one of those superstar players who seems to deliver in key situations. Tonight, when Manny was at-bat in the bottom of the 8th inning with a runner in scoring position and the game on the line, it was a blast cutting the game! Manny came through and the Dodgers led 1-0.
Batting for the Cardinals in the top of the 9th inning were the 3-4-5 hitters; Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Ryan Ludwick.
In the bullpen warming up in the 8th inning was all-star closer Jonathan Broxton. With two outs in the inning, we aired a graphic over Broxton which showed the history of the Cardinals 3-4-5 hitters against Broxton.
This whole telecast kept building and building and building.
The excitement kept building and building and building.
This great game and wonderful telecast culminated in THE AT-BAT.
Albert Pujols, arguably the greatest player in the game today if not ever, led off the inning with an 11 pitch at-bat.
Eleven pitches!
I can't remember an at-bat that was so much fun to cut.
When Albert Pujols is at the plate, everyone expects something great to happen.
With each pitch, the crowd in the ballpark grew into a greater frenzy and the TV crew fed off this energy.
Cutting the game during a situation such as this is tremendously fun. Tight shot after tight shot after tight shot builds the moment. Here is Albert, here is Broxton, here is Tony LaRussa, here is Joe Torre, here is the pitch.
This great at-bat ended with Broxton striking out Albert on a check swing.
I don't remember cutting an at-bat that was so much fun.
I may have to rewrite chapter 11 of Cutting The Game.

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