Bristol, CT - May 23, 2013 - Studio A: Doug Glanville on the Baseball Tonight set.(Photo by Joe Faraoni/ ESPN Images) (Joe Faraoni)
Detroit — There was Carlton Fisk, arms raised, willing the ball fair at Fenway Park, back in 1975. It’s one of the most memorable scenes in Major League Baseball postseason history.
Never mind you rarely hear that the Reds — and not the Red Sox — actually won the World Series, the very next night.
Thirty years later, Albert Pujols crushed a Brad Lidge pitch for a ninth-inning home run that saved the Cardinals’ season. Two days later, it was over anyway, as the Astros quickly regrouped and claimed the National League pennant.
David Ortiz’s grand slam into the Boston night Sunday was a thriller, to be sure. “Wicked,” the locals long will say. That doesn’t mean it’ll mean much of anything, in the grand scheme of things — particularly if Tigers ace Justin Verlander does his thing in Game 3 tonight.
“Given you have Verlander, I think they’re gonna be fine,” Doug Glanville, a former major league outfielder and current ESPN analyst, told The News over the phone Monday.
“They have a lot going for them. It’s early in the series, they’re going home, you got Verlander, you’re gonna see (Max) Scherzer again, most likely. Hey, you turn the page.”
Letting it get away
That’s easier said than done, however.
Glanville knows this, personally. He was a member of the 2003 Cubs team that was five outs away from advancing to its first World Series since 1945. Then, it happened, the Bartman incident. An eager fan (Steve Bartman) reached for a foul ball by the Marlins’ Luis Castillo, costing Cubs outfielder Moises Alou a chance to catch it for the second out of the inning.
And the rest is history: The Marlins scored eight runs that fateful inning, erasing a 3-0 deficit, and forced a Game 7.
The 10-year anniversary of that game was Monday.
That means the 10-year anniversary of the day the Cubs lost Game 7 is today.
“It’s horrible,” said Glanville, 43. “We certainly were shocked. But at the same time, even as now the Tigers do, you have a lot of baseball in front of you. We still had Game 7, we were in the driver’s seat, we had Kerry Wood going, we were home.”
Then, 24 or so hours later, they were done.
“Momentum is a funny thing,” Glanville said. “The great teams take that moment and stretch it out longer than many that inning or that game. They’re able to buy into it, and carry it with them.”
Like, for instance, those Miguel Cabrera-led 2003 Marlins, who went on to shock the Yankees to win an improbable World Series championship.
Glanville touched on a number of Tigers-Red Sox topics in the wake of Game 3, including:
■ Is fatigue more of an issue in the playoffs after a long regular season, given Max Scherzer said he was done after only 108 pitches? “When we lost Game 7 (in ’03) and I went home, I literally couldn’t move for 24 hours. I didn’t leave the room, I skipped meals, I was exhausted. ... You’re playing on fumes, you’re hurt, adrenaline, a lot of things are sort of taking over at this point. Everybody’s tired, everybody’s delirious. You just kind of play in this zombie state.”
■ Just how crazy would it have been to intentionally walk Ortiz with the bases loaded, and go after the next batter? “It’d probably be in the top 10, but maybe not the craziest. If you were another lineup, maybe that’s not so crazy. But Boston is deep, that’s the problem. He is a one-swing-of-the-bat guy, that is true. Certainly in hindsight, one run is better than four. But that’s a deadly lineup. Anybody can beat you.”
■ Thoughts on Leyland’s bullpen use in Game 2, including using four relievers in the eighth inning? “You tend to feel like the playoffs is a time for overthinking. Everybody has to do all these moves. ... It gets a little bit crazy. There’s times I get it ... but does it have to stray so far from what you did all year? Nine innings is taking, like, five hours. What the heck is going on?”