Monthly Archives: June 2013

Screen Grabs from MLB Classics on YouTube: Boston at Cleveland, Game 5, 1999 ALDS

Last week, we took some fun still shots from Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS between Oakland and Boston at Fenway Park.

Today, the series continues with a recap of Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS: the Red Sox at Indians at Jacobs Field. The starting pitching matchup was Bret Saberhagen versus Charles Nagy. But a certain other right-hander for Boston would calmly bide his time on the bench before eventually stealing the show.

The Fox feed is spliced with audio from Indians radio announcers Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan.

04:21: A Cleveland fan sporting a sign that says, “We Are the Curse” is really quite excited that Charles Nagy has induced two quick groundouts in the first inning.

Curse sign

06:06: Brian Daubach singles and Nomar homers to center field (on the first pitch). 2-0, Boston.

Nomar HR

08:55: Bret Saberhagen, his shoulder tendons held together with “steel anchors,” got the start for Boston in Game 5. Sabes also started Game 2 and gave up six runs in the 3rd inning as Cleveland won 11-1. Shoulder pain (which forced him to the DL three times during the regular season) restricted his ability to throw his change-up, which at his advanced age was about the only swing-and-miss stuff he had left.


11:44: After Saberhagen misses badly en route to walking Kenny Lofton to open the inning, a shot of Pedro Martinez calmly sitting in the dugout.

Pedro in dugout 

13:29: Mike Hargrove quickly gave up on his dispute that Jason Varitek may have touched an Omar Vizquel bunt attempt in fair territory. So Jimy Williams’ coming out of the dugout afterward feels a bit, you know, gratuitous…almost like he just wanted to be seen here. He looks pretty comfortable and relaxed, though.

Jimy Williams pants

14:20: For no reason in particular, let’s take a moment to admire the well-timed, controlled extension of Kenny Lofton’s left arm on this slide as he easily steals second base.

Lofton slide second

16:01: For no reason in particular, Fox takes a moment to show Pedro sporting spikes in the dugout after the Indians quickly get a run back off Saberhagen.

Pedro's spikes

17:00: Manny’s well-documented struggles in the series (0-for-15, 7 Ks) were believed to be due to a glitch in his batting stance in which he had his feet too close together.


19:44: Split screen of Pedro Martinez trying to will Saberhagen out of the inning from the dugout. Jim Thome would hit a mammoth two-run homer. Three more cuts to Pedro sitting on the bench. Hamilton eventually says Pedro is available for maybe two innings. Hegan says that’s still a “big if.”

Pedro clapping

35:25: Travis Fryman’s home run (briefly called a double before the umpires conferred) in the 2nd inning chases Saberhagen. Derek Lowe is first out of the bullpen. Lowe would wind up surrendering three runs in two innings.

Lowe bullpen

47:31: Trot Nixon doing eye drops in the dugout in plain view of everyone. Everything you’ve heard about performance enhancers in the late 1990s was obviously very true. And just look at a dejected Bret Saberhagen pretending not to notice or care.

Nixon eyedrops

50:57: The Indians walk Nomar to get to Troy O’Leary.

IBB Nomar

51:55: Troy O’Leary hits a grand slam on the first pitch. 7-3, Boston.

Oleary GS

1:00:09: Capping off an Indians rally, Jim Thome hits his second jack of the game – this one off Lowe – to quickly give the Indians back the lead, 8-7.

Thome 2nd HR

1:03:06: Look who’s up in the bullpen….Rod Beck! And some other guy in the shadows on the left.

Beck and Pedro pen

1:14:24: Pedro comes in with the game tied, 8-8, after John Valentin hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 4th.

Pedro 1_14_pt1

1:14:51: Jimy must have been saving John Wasdin, Kent Mercker, et al for later…

Pedro 1_14_pt2

1:15:02: Pedro had actually gone only four innings in Game 1, looking mortal while striking out just three batters before leaving with back pain. It was no foregone conclusion he was OK five days later.

Pedro 1_15

1:18:16: Lofton tries to beat out a grounder to first with that same slide he used to steal second base.

Lofton slide first

1:18:23: The result is a bit more painful…a dislocated left shoulder. A bad omen for the Indians. (Is there any other kind of omen in Cleveland?)

Lofton slide first_v2

1:33:35: Still shaking off some rust in the 5th, Pedro has a breaking ball slip out of his hand and barely miss Manny Ramirez. Manny would wind up earning one of three walks surrendered by Pedro.

Pedro to Manny

1:36:45: Pedro drops an absolutely perfect 3-1 curve right on the outside corner to Thome.

Pedro 1_36

1:50:40: A somewhat forgotten fact: Dave Roberts took over for Lofton in center after his ill-advised slide into first base. Roberts appeared in 41 games for Cleveland in 1999. The announcers would even lament that the team needed to “count on” guys like Dave Roberts to get to the ALCS.

Dave Roberts

2:00:34: Paul Shuey gives up an infield hit to Valentin and, after an intentional walk to Nomar, Troy O’Leary does it again. A three-run HR lands right over the Red Sox bullpen, which Pedro had rendered into a glorified cheering section.

Oleary 3run HR 7th

Boston pen 7th

2:00:57: 11-8, Boston. This Cleveland fan’s face sums it up…

Old Cleveland fan

2:03:12 / 2:03:32: These guys too.

Other Cleveland fan

Third Cleveland fan

2:04:52: And, as Pedro begins to look more untouchable, striking out contact hitter Roberto Alomar swinging.

Cleveland fan 2_04

2:06:10: Manny strikes out looking, which doesn’t help this fan’s outlook. Fox spent as much time showing Cleveland fans just staring into space as it did Pedro breezing his way through a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th.

Cleveland fan 2_06

2:18:00: Nomar ends the eighth with this catch in foul territory.

Nomar 8th

2:20:40: Rheal Cormier, Ramon Martinez and Rod Beck all got loose in the top of the 9th.

Cormier Ramon Beck

2:21:36: Donnie Sadler! In to run after a Brian Daubach double, Sadler would score Boston’s 12th and final run on a Nomar double. Not that they needed it.

Donnie Sadler

2:31:00: Pedro completes six shutout, hitless relief innings. Finishing with Beck or Cormier just wouldn’t have been right.

Pedro ends it

Pedro ends it 2

Fun Screen Grabs from MLBClassics on YouTube: Game 1 – 1990 ALCS, Oakland at Boston


As Jonah Keri recently wrote in this Grantland piece, MLB has finally relaxed its laughably strict copyright standards and posted some full-length broadcasts of old baseball games on YouTube.

Even after only a couple of weeks, it is becoming pretty clear that MLB was actually doing baseball fans a favor by withholding the goods for so long. These classics are mesmerizing. And with the outcome long since known and catalogued away in forgotten game stories, the nuances of a dated baseball broadcast can receive its full due.

As a service to Red Sox fans unable to devote three hours* to watching games that were played decades before, Fenway Pastoral will take some of the more compelling screen shots from some of the Boston games featured on the YouTube page.

*Amalie Benjamin and The Boston Globe will be happy to note that advertisements were edited out and the 1990 ALCS video runs a tidy two hours and 45 minutes.

Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS featured a starting pitcher’s duel between Dave Stewart and Roger Clemens for most of the night before Oakland scored seven runs in the ninth inning for the blowout. What, exactly, makes it a “classic” is probably up for debate.

20:08: You know it’s playoff time when the network goes to the establishing shot from a blimp above the Charles River.

Blimp shot

28:10: Tony Pena uses the unconventional outstretched leg with the bases empty to receive a Clemens offering. Hurts the hamstring just looking at that.

T Pena

29:58: With two strikes on the light-hitting No. 9 batter, Mike Gallego, this Boston-are priest knows it’s gosh-darn time to get flipping serious. His prayers weren’t answered, though. After getting ahead 1-2, Clemens got squeezed on a couple of close calls and Gallego eked out a walk.


(Clemens keeps cool though. It’s not like he’s going to get all bent out of shape about a couple tough calls in the early innings of an LCS game and jeopardize his team’s chances to win by getting run for arguing balls and strikes.)

36:23: Tony Pena with a completely unreasonable, out of control slide through the first base bag on a groundout. Judging by his grimace, he seems to realize it wasn’t such a fantastic idea maybe. Hindsight’s 20/20. Jim Kaat explains, “He almost caught that bag with his chin!”

Pena 1B slide

37:52: All three of these guys would wear the Boston uniform after their respective heydays. Willie McGee was a lifetime National Leaguer aside from two partial-season cameos on AL playoff teams – the 1990 Athletics and the 1995 Red Sox.

Future Sox

38:18: The obligatory explanation by Dick Stockton, for the national audience, of the Red Sox’s “haunted” past. Even worse, the producers decide the Jimmy Fund logo is a fine backdrop for “September 4, 1918.” Have some damn respect…

9 4 18 graphic

48:17: After Carlos Quintana grounds out to start the bottom of the fourth…DIAMOND WIPE!

Diamond Wipe

48:44: Moments later, Wade Boggs homers into the second row of the Monster Seats. Known very quaintly in 1990 as “the screen.”

Boggs HR into Screen

55:00: Why the Red Sox really, really needed to win Game 1 to have a chance. Amazingly, Dana Kieker was actually 29 years old during his rookie year in 1990.

Welch v Kieker

58:12: Note the left-field wall down the foul line still measured 315 feet in 1990. A few years later, a bored Dan Shaughnessy would measure the distance and convince the team to change the fraudulent reading to a more truthful 310 feet. It was easily the most (only?) useful thing he’s done in his professional career.

315 LF line

1:07:46: Tony Pena almost runs out from under of his helmet, but can’t avoid grounding into a double play. (Pena led the league in GIDPs that season.) On the bright side, he didn’t slide this into first base time.

Pena helmet

1:10:29: For what it’s worth, the guy who the Red Sox acquired for Jeff Bagwell earlier that summer was first up in the bullpen when Clemens issued his third walk of the game in the sixth. On top of that, he met the thick mustache status quo, a prerequisite for membership on the ‘90 Red Sox.

With this development, Kaat begins questioning whether Roger’s shoulder tendinitis is flaring back up. This seeded a mostly absurd debate among some fans over whether Clemens’ Game 4 ejection after cursing out Terry Cooney may have been at least partially self-induced once he realized his shoulder was too sore to pitch effectively in Oakland.

Larry Anderson

1:12:25: Bill Fischer visits the mound. Clemens convinces him to let him stay in the game and ultimately works to a full count against Jose Canseco before walking his fourth batter. Thankfully, Harold Baines lines out to Jody Reed just hard enough that he is able to double off McGee at second base. Six scoreless for a reeling Clemens.

Fischer Clemens

1:33:34: Jim Gray reporting from tarp alley, at least the third different spot in Fenway (other stand-ups were done from the right-field roof and the grandstand above the left-field corner), that the team told him Clemens was taken out solely due to pitch count, etc. and not because of any tendonitis issue.

Jim Gray on Clemens

1:45:04: Tony Pena tags Walt Weiss as he slides into home after tagging up on a fly ball to center. Unfortunately, the throw from Ellis Burks isn’t in Pena’s mitt at the time – it’s bouncing off Weiss’s shoulder blade. Tie game.

Weiss tying run

1:54:09: During this Canseco AB in the eighth, Dick Stockton relates Jose’s recent explanation for why he doesn’t speak to the media: “because everyone’s already formed their opinion of him…” Shortly thereafter, Jose must have decided to spend as much time as possible reinforcing all those negative sentiments. Anyway, he would wind up stealing third base and coming around for the deciding run on a Carney Lansford single.

Canseco 8th AB

2:09:15: Oh, look: The Budweiser roof deck, way back in the day when it was located in left field as a standing room-only section.

Fans on Monster - Bud deck

2:14:45: This girl is unimpressed with Mike Marshall’s pinch-hit single to left in the last of the eighth. Rightly so – the Sox strand him and go into the ninth down a run.

Sleeping girl

2:18:59: Ricky gets on base to start the ninth inning. Jeff Gray actually catches Ricky leaning after he measured out a very healthy lead, but Ricky still managed to dive back. Willie McGee also tries his best to give the Red Sox an out by bunting straight back at the mound, but Gray mishandles it. Oakland winds up scoring seven runs in the inning.

Ricky ninth inning

2:41:13: This is part of the reason listening to Eck fill in for Jerry Remy is hard to digest. He did some good things for the Sox earlier in his career. But Eckersley the Athletic is the lasting image from his career.


And the final score. Boston would wind up getting swept 4-0.