ESPN Baseball Tonight Commentators Preview World Series Game 5

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ESPN Baseball Tonight Commentators Preview World Series Game 5

Prior to World Series Game 5 – with the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals tied 2-2 – ESPN televised its pre-game edition of Baseball Tonight from just outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Karl Ravech hosted the show with analysts John Kruk, Curt Schilling and Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Jon Sciambi also joined the telecast from the field with analysts Orel Hershiser and Rick Sutcliffe. During the telecast, the Baseball Tonight team previewed Game 5. For more information on ESPN’s World Series coverage, visit ESPNMediaZone.com.

Barry Larkin on Allen Craig at first base:

“It tells me that he wants to be in the ballgame. This guy is obviously an offensive power. The question is – is he going to be tested? Certainly, he’s going to be involved in a lot of plays at first base and I just wonder how long he’ll be able to sustain it.”

Curt Schilling on tonight’s lineups:

“I think [both teams] believe whoever wins tonight is going to win the World Series. I think they’re both playing this as a must-win game, which I agree with.”

“That’s an incredibly top heavy lineup right there. You’ve got three guys [Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz] that are premier run producers. If I’m facing this lineup, I’m glad Xander [Bogaerts] is not hitting behind Ortiz.”

John Kruk on managers:

“I think both managers are managing, not to what is going to happen late in the game, but what is going to happen early, that is why they are putting their best offensive teams out there right now.”

Kruk on Xander Bogaerts:

“He plays beyond his years – what is he 21 years old? He plays like he’s been here a long time. As far as at-bat, he looks so in control. He hasn’t over-swung…that’s one thing you notice with young players in the World Series or postseason. They over-swing… he knows his game and he plays his game.”

Larkin on David Ortiz being “locked in:”

“He’s what they call “locked in” and he’s in a groove. How do you pitch to him? I think the best way to pitch to him is with nobody on base so you don’t have to throw him a pitch… I think if you have a base open you will see a pitch-around or a ball four and intentional walk.”

Schilling on whether to pitch to Ortiz:

“You’re trying to make Ortiz hit a ground ball to the infield. You don’t do it with a fastball. He is driving the fastball to left. He is feeling comfortable at the plate. You don’t throw at people that are comfortable. You have to make him uncomfortable.”

Orel Hershiser on Jon Lester’s success in Game 1:

“No matter what you do as a pitcher you’ve got to command both sides of the plate, whether it’s a cutter, a sinker or a changeup. But, as a lefty, you have to have the outside and the inside and that’s what he did best.”

Hershiser on Adam Wainwright in Game 1 and his adjustments for Game 5:

“He’s got to find something to put hitters away and he’s got to find the consistency he had in the regular season. He was in the top 10 in wins, in era and strikeouts and you do that by being consistent. He’s got to get the ball down and he’s got to have a put-away pitch. The way he’s going to do that tonight is he’s doing to establish his fastball. He found a mechanical fix in his bullpen session to get the fastball down and also to get the curveball a little sharper…”

Rick Sutcliffe on the managers’ use of their bullpens in Game 4:

“Last night reminded everyone of the value of an ace. Both mangers could go to their bullpens and deplete them, knowing what they going out there tonight.”

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Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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