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How TBS did with ALDS Game 2 Indians-Astros broadcast

October 7, 2018

How TBS did with ALDS Game 2 Indians-Astros broadcast

CLEVELAND, Ohio – TBS’ Game 2 storyline on Saturday was another solid pitching matchup, between Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco and Gerrit Cole.

And it was, through five innings.

In-game

TBS has the series, with Don Orsillo (play by play), Dennis Eckersley (analyst) and Hazel Mae (field reporter).

Overall

While steady enough from Orsillo-Eckersley, there were little moments that could have been explored throughout Game 2 of the American League Division Series game between the Indians and Astros.

Pregame yucks

Fun at Tito’s expense: The studio analysts ended the pregame show with a shot of Francona supposedly sunning himself at Fenway Park a while ago. “Yeah he got legs – bird legs,” said Pedro Martinez, who pitched on the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox team managed by Terry Francona.

After the second out in the bottom of the ninth, TBS already had the #Astros⁠ ⁠ one game up on the #Indians in the ALDS #CLEvsHOU @JuliaMorales @blummer27#Astros pic.twitter.com/SHVdC5wEnO— AMorJim (@canlintx) October 5, 2018

Missed this

Didn’t catch the premature score bug on Friday in Game 1 showing the Astros up in the series 1-0 - before the game had ended.

Batter vs. pitcher

Several readers pointed out the graphic in the upper left corner did not consistently show who the batter was. TBS emphasized the pitcher’s pitch count but showed the batter’s name only in the first pitch of the at-bat. I would rather see the batter’s name in lieu of the fact that one team is up 1-0.

Bias?

Regarding our poll question regarding Friday’s game: Did you think the announcers were biased against the Indians in TBS’ Game 1 broadcast? A day later, 63.2 percent said no; 36.8 percent said yes.

Free ad

As the announcers pondered the sunlight streaming down in left-center in the bottom of the second inning – prompting Eckersley to say “I wonder if that comes in play?” – a vendor touting “BOOZY POPS” photobombed the camera shot.

About that sunlight

Instead of questioning how it affects hitters and fielders, it would have been a good idea in pregame for broadcasters to ask the Astros outfielders about it, whether it is a problem, and how they deal with it.

This was done on MLB Network prior, but here’s a graphic overlay of presenting sponsor Doosan on the batter’s eye as part of TBS’ broadcast of Game 2 of the ALDS between the Indians and Astros #SportsBiz pic.twitter.com/RvGTuZWCVb— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) October 6, 2018

Speaking of ads

Did you notice the network is using the no-man’s land of the centerfield wall in Minute Maid Park for virtual ads?

Eckisms

Getting a kick out of baseball nomenclature Eckersley embraces: “cheese” – as in “How could you not throw another piece of cheese here?” - “hookage,” (curve ball) and “hair bomb” (95-plus mph fastball).

Ugh

“Bases drunk, one out.” – Eckersley in the bottom of the sixth.

Shots and stats

• Would have liked to have seen more close-up images, dugout shots and the like. Mae’s role has been relegated to the obligatory in-game managerial interviews. Andre Knott does a good job on this during regular-season Indians coverage for SportsTime Ohio. For instance, Francisco Lindor’s left cleat bore the message: “In God’s Time.”

• TBS has too many camera-shaking shots on transitions to the stands.

• As Carlos Carrasco took the mound in the bottom of the fifth, Eckersley noted he had given up nine ground balls, one fly ball and two strikeouts.

• In the bottom of the eighth cameras caught a focused Mike Clevinger intently watching but did not identify who it was. He is slated to start Game 3 for Cleveland in Progressive Field on Monday.

Ask questions

“Everyone’s skating around!” – Eckersley when Lindor slipped a bit as he and Josh Donaldson ran to foul territory on a popup. The question is: Why? That’s where an on-field reporter can help. Earlier in the inning, Jose Altuve slipped in the batter’s box after hitting a chopper down the third-base line.

Obvious statement du jour

“What a hit, big hit.” – Eckersley on Marwin Gonzalez’s go-ahead RBI double in the sixth for the Astros.

Fandom

Eckersley is great at picking up pitches, and replays show the spin on the ball, but he lets the excitement of the moment get too much of him on occasion. Like when he gushed “How ’bout this Bregman - you gotta be kidding me!” after Alex Bregman hit a solo home run in the seventh off of Trevor Bauer.

Quote of the game

“This thing is getting away from the Indians.” – Eckersley after Andrew Miller loaded the bases in the sixth and the score 2-1 Houston. He could have been talking about the game or the series.

Next up

Game 3 is 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at Progressive Field.

On the broadcast: A look at the Game 1 broadcast

Editor’s note: When the Indians are on the road during the postseason, we’ll analyze the national broadcast, from the observations, play-by-play and graphics, from what’s missed to what’s overdone. Weigh in with your comments if you love or hate the broadcast and why.

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