Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cubs hot, FOX announcers not

While the Chicago Cubs were on their game, beating Houston, their division rivals, by a 9-3 final, FOX announcers Dick Stockton and Joe Girardi definitely were not.

Ted Lilly scattered four hits through eight innings while allowing just a run, and the Cubs jumped all over Astros' ace Roy Oswalt. Despite not reaching first base until the fourth inning, the Cubs were able to tack nine runs on the Houston right hander.

Aramis Ramirez collected 3 hits and knocked in 4 runs, while Alfonso Soriano's three-run shot in the sixth ended a two-week homerless drought. The eight earned runs that Oswalt allowed was the most in his career, which the FOX analysts accurately pointed out. However, here are 14 inaccurate statement made by the announcers during the national telecast.

You can see every half-inning of FOX's wonderful coverage by clicking here and then clicking on the inning-by-inning score:

1. Top 1st: Claimed Hunter Pence is well on his way to win NL Rookie of the Year. (Pence may still win, but Braun’s .353/.397/.695 certainly prevents Pence from being a lock.)

2. Top 1st: Detailed Cubs’ outfield woes, saying Jones and Floyd had trouble communicating. (Most of the recent Cubs’ communication issues, however, involved Soriano.)

3. Bottom 1st: Mistakenly said that Cubs are 7-3 in the current ten-game homerless streak.(We’re 6-4.)

4. Bottom 1st: Mispronounced Ryan Theriot’s name. (It’s French, the “h” is silent. At least, he didn’t try to pronounce the “t” at the end.)

5. Bottom 1st: Insisted that Floyd had injured his knee. (We didn’t know what the injury was at the moment, but the first speculation should not have been the knee. How can you hurt your knee on a slide like that? It was later diagnosed to be a shoulder injury.)

6. Top 2nd: Mispronounced sponsor’s name. (“Sharp Aquos” is not French, therefore the “s” is not silent.)

7. Top 2nd: Claimed Lilly retired the first two hitters in the inning on two pitches. (It was three pitches.)

8. Top 3rd: Pence, once again, named “front runner” in the NL Rookie of the Year race. (See mistake #1.)

9. Bottom 4th: Claimed Izturis stayed alive in his at-bat because of a foul tip…twice. (A foul tip is when the catcher catches the ball. In all cases of a foul tip, it is ruled a strike -- Izturis would’ve struck out -- and the ball remains live. If the batter fouls it off and the catcher fails to catch the ball, it is a foul ball. See OBR, Rule 2.00. On a related note, when Bruntlett struck out in the next inning, they said he “swung and missed”, when in actuality, he was out on a foul tip.)

10. Top 5th: Said Oswalt is “always in the top five” in sacrifices. (Oswalt was in the top five only once, 2006, and in fact was in the top ten only one other time, 2004.)

11. Bottom 5th: Called Ramirez’s game-winner on June 29 a grand slam. (Ramirez’s homerun was a walk-off homerun, but it only scored two runs.)

12. Bottom 5th: Said Cubs gave Zambrano a 6-0 lead in Friday’s game. (Though the final was 6-0, the Cubs didn’t score their final two runs until the bottom of the eighth, well after Zambrano departed. )

13. Top 8th: Said the Astros’ bullpen has had a better year this year than last. (They haven’t been able to find a consistent closer and have a 4.92 bullpen ERA, which is worst in the league. Just how bad was it last year?)

14. Top 9th: Thought Bruntlett's double was the Astros' sixth hit of the game. (While they did accurately point out that it was the third hit of the inning, Lilly allowed four hits in the first eight innings. That makes Bruntlett's double the seventh Houston hit.)

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