Friday, September 11, 2009

The Final Call

After every thrilling last moment victory at Nationals Park, The African Queen and I always replay the final inning of Charlie Slowes' and Dave Jageler's calls on WFED the next morning. They are always enjoyable to re-live. We have audio and can access the archives after every single game. Last night, The Boys Of Summer were in prime form. At no time better than the final call of this game which came with Ryan Howard at the plate, Shane Victorino standing on third base and Chase Utley at first for The Philadelphia Phillies. Our Washington Nationals close to blowing a six run lead after one out was recorded in the top of the 9th.

Here is the exact transcript of what transpired. Great stuff that shows how well attuned both Charlie & Dave are to every little nuance happening on the field. They describe the big picture and the little one too--while still getting in a few laughs right until the very end of the broadcast.

With that, here we go:

Charlie: “So, runners on the corner for Ryan Howard. And The Nationals need a miracle to get out of this. Villone sets, kicks and delivers…AND IT’S A WILD PITCH!! NO IT COMES RIGHT BACK TO NIEVES!! OFF THE BLUESTONE WALL—NO ADVANCE FOR THE RUNNERS!! IT CAME BACK LIKE A ROCKET, LIKE A PINBALL!!”

Dave: “It was fortunate the ball went right between the wickets of Nieves so it didn’t take an angled bounce. It caromed straight back to him.”

Charlie: “That ball was back to him before wild pitch was nearly out of my mouth!! I couldn’t finish saying it and he had the ball back.”

Dave: “And it keeps the double play in order too. Utley needed to hold on at 1st.”

Charlie: “A double play would end the game. Desmond the shortstop way toward the middle, the left side of the infield virtually open. Zimmerman at third. And here's the kick and the pitch a fastball on the inside corner—a called strike one!! Howard is the 9th man to bat in a CRAZY inning. Five runs home, four earned, one unearned after the Desmond error. And the big slugger Ryan Howard at the plate…Gonzalez moving in a little bit on the right side of the infield (key to what was about to happen)—shouting in as he does.”

“Villone sets, the kick and the pitch…SWING AND A MISS, STRIKE TWO!! A fastball low and away and he chased one at 91 MPH.”

Dave: “Now you got him set up for the slider and away, hopefully.”

Charlie: “But first, Nieves has to catch it, and keep it in front of him with a runner at third."

(Pause as the game resets)

Charlie: "39-Year Old Ron Villone trying to get his first save of the year……the lefthander to the belt…the kick and the pitch….low and outside. He laid off so the count is two balls and two strikes.”

(Crowd noise as the situation sets again)

Charlie: “Now Villone peers in. Nieves flashes signs. It’s Victorino off third and Utley off first held my Mike Morse….The Pitch…..ground ball toward the middle of the diamond…they will flip the ball from Gonzalez to Desmond….THROW TO FIRST….DOUBLE PLAY!!!!.....A DOUBLE PLAY!!! THE NATIONALS WIN THE BALLGAME!!!



Then Dave: “I LOVE THIS GAME!!”
Both Charlie and Dave busting up laughing for a good five seconds on the air.

Dave: “Ian Desmond atones for the error. What a night for this young man!! He will NEVER, as long as he lives, forget this game. Of course, you are never going to forget your Major League Debut, but a double, a three run homer, the error, and then the game saving double play turn…Jim Riggleman, perhaps unconventionally as we talked about taking his closer out. But he loved the match ups….Utley & Howard. Howard now 1 for 11 against Villone …and The Nationals, you said needed a miracle? How about a wild pitch bouncing back to Nieves, so it wasn’t a wild pitch (Charlie cackling in the background over the humor of it all). And then Howard, of all people, then hits into a double play…a guy who is a candidate for the MVP every year…and The Nationals win by the slimmest of margins. It will now be a happy flight to Miami.”

Charlie: “Yeah, that would have been a loooong one wouldn't it??!!”

Dave: “YEEEAH!"

(More laughter)

Charlie: “8 to 7, The Nationals win it. The Phillies scored five runs in the top of the 9th inning and they did it with a total of five base hits, there was an error and there was a wild pitch…a real one that moved up the runner (chuckling). And The Phillies leave one man on base which turned out to be Victorino…the tying run at third as Ron Villone picks up the save. Nationals Talk Live!!---coming up tonight. We will come back with final totals in a moment as The Nationals celebrate a victory here tonight at Nationals Park. Ian Desmond with a spectacular Big League Debut. Final score—The Washington Nationals 8 and The Philadelphia Phillies 7.”

(Music plays out to commercial break).

The Final Call---just terrific stuff from two of the finest broadcasters in the game---Charlie Slowes & Dave Jageler.


An Briosca Mor said...

Charlie: “That ball was back to him before wild pitch was nearly out of my mouth!! I couldn’t finish saying it and he had the ball back.”

On TV with their view from centerfield straight into the plate, you couldn't even tell that the ball went to the wall and back on that pitch. It just looked like it was starting to get by Nieves but he grabbed it before it could.

SenatorNat said...

For the core 12,000 Nationals fans, Charlie and Dave are essential ingredients. They are fantastic each and every game - modern, too, which is rare for baseball radio guys. Chico Harlan is a very good beat writer for the Post, and Rob Dibble and Ray Knight terrific homers as MASN analysts.

Boswell's column today in Post tracks almost precisely with my commentary over the past several weeks and prior. Nats do have a net of over $20 million which they can devote to signing either a legitimate shortstop, second baseman, or right fielder; and two starters; and a reliever. Orlando Hudson and Brandon Webb fairly obvious candidates for the Nats' GM.

I have been writing for months that Nats entire season would have been different had team spent on relatively cheap free agents Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson. Now, a year later, we probably will attempt to overspend on the same two...

Magic Number for Bryce Harper is coming up soon as Nats have 7 more losses than Royals with the two teams playing a total of 42 more games. You can do the math, but we should get him.

Riggleman must win at least 8 out of the last 20 to have a shot at returning. He'll then have led the team to 30-43,.476, a bit under his career record. Otherwise, safe bet is Tim Foli - cheap and available. I am not betting on his winning 8 or returning as skipper - may stay in another capacity in the front office (replace Boone?).

Trust in Ian Desmond. The Naked Ape; and James Bond. Go Nats...

Boswell's column in Post

An Briosca Mor said...

Back in the day the press used to read the tea leaves in photos of Soviet and Chinese leadership to see who was in favor and who was out. Applying this approach to the Nats front office seems to point to Bob Boone as being the rare Bowden man still in favor with the new leadership. At the recent series in St. Louis, Boone and Rizzo were caught by MASN sitting right next to each other in the stands. Boone has also shown up together with Kasten and Rizzo in recent photos of ceremonial functions regarding draft picks, prospects, etc. Conclusion by this astute Half Streetologist is that Boone is not going anywhere.

But has anyone seen or heard tale of Squire Galbreath of late ?

paul said...

I have wondered whether it is possible to "tivo" a game on the radio. Ie go to bed early (or go to a movie or your kid's game) and listen to parts or all of a game after it is over, not knowing the result. I am assuming the mlb archive isn't available until after the game ends.

I will often listen to an exciting moment of a game later that night or the next day, even if I have already heard it. But it seems like you can't not notice the game's result when you access the archive.

Last night's game was truly for baseball lovers: the aging, wily vet, the loud opposing fans ultimately disappointed, the pheenom, the bullpen implosion, closer controversies in both dugouts, and the narrow escape. I am sorry I couldn't be there!