Right Field

Random Thoughts from Tonight’s AL/NLCS Games

Tigers starter Rick Porcello looked great early on, but was it a mistake for Jim Leyland to keep him in after Elvis Andrus singled in the second run in the sixth inning?

Ron Washington ordered that Miguel Cabrera be intentionally walked in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied, never mind that the bases were empty. The next batter, Victor Martinez, bounced a single to right field, sending Cabrera to third. Delmon Young then lifted a deep fly ball to right, but Nelson Cruz threw a strike to home plate to nail Miggy by 15 feet, thereby saving the Rangers manager from everlasting embarrassment.

A less egregious free-pass decision — but still a questionable call — was the eleventh-inning intentional walk Detroit skipper Jim Leyland gave to Adrian Beltre to pitch to one of the top hitters since the All-Star break, Mike Napoli. The Rangers catcher promptly singled in what proved to be the winning run.

Watching Cruz’s latest homerun bomb, one has to ask when was the last time we witnessed a more fearsome seventh-place hitter?

Here is the Mark Kotsay face-plant: It was bad enough that the Brewers center fielder had strayed too far from second base on a line drive to shallow center field, but when was the last time you saw such a miserable attempt at a heads-first dive? (He made up for the gaffe with a no-doubt home run in the third.)

Even after all these years, Albert Pujols’ ability to effortlessly golf a ball over outfielders’ heads amazes.

Why wasn’t Jason Motte Tony LaRussa’s closer all season long?

Wait a sec: Sad sack Jerry Neumann recently had dropped State Farm as his auto insurance carrier?!? Why wasn’t the agency smart enough to give him the heave-ho the first time his car went up a telephone pole?

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.