FanPost

One fan's take on the "Bartman Game"

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

In a game where it finally seemed like the Chicago Cubs were destined to break their long World Series drought and face the Yankees, the most bizarre turn of events left a city stunned and forced one man into hiding for his own protection. But is Steve Bartman truly to blame? Was he the Curse of the Billy Goat personified? Most rational people have since realized he had very little to no outcome on the game, or the series, yet the legend persists. Our own Michael Jong presents his case from a sabermetric point of view here. Below, I present it from a different perspective.

First off, let me begin that I didn't actually get to watch the game, or any baseball after mid-August that year for that matter, because I was out on a deployment with the US Navy at the time. I was forced to rely on ESPN recaps, highlights, and play by play when I could find it. I was in a unique position of being excited about my team, but unable to get caught up in any particular moment. So with that said, let me begin by presenting the plays which occured from the top of the eighth onward.

Top of the 8th, Prior pitching (Cubs lead 3-0)
1. No outs, no runners: Mordecai flies out to LF
2. One out, no runners: Pierre doubles to LF
3. One out, Pierre on 2nd: Castillo walks on wild pitch, Pierre to 3rd
4. One out, Pierre on 3rd, Castillo on 1st: Pudge singles to LF, Pierre scores, Castillo to 2nd (3-1 Cubs lead)
5. One out, Castillo on 2nd, Pudge on 1st: Cabrera reached on E6, Castillo to 3rd, Pudge to 2nd
6. One out, Castillo on 3rd, Pudge on 2nd, Cabrera on 1st: Lee doubles to LF, Castillo and Pudge score, Cabrera to 3rd (3-3 tie)

Mark Prior replaced by Kyle Farnsworth at this point

7. One out, Cabrera on 3rd, Lee on 2nd: Intentional walk to Lowell
8. One out, Cabrera on 3rd, Lee on 2nd, Lowell on 1st: Niner sac fly to RF, Cabrera scores, Lee to 3rd, Lowell to 2nd (4-3 Marlins lead)
9. Two outs, Lee on 3rd, Lowell on 2nd: Intentional walk to Hollandsworth (PH for Chad Fox)
10. Two outs, Lee on 3rd, Lowell on 2nd, Hollandsworth on 1st: Mordecai doubles to RF, Lee, Lowell and Hollandsworth all score (7-3 Marlins lead)

Kyle Farnsworth replaced by Mike Remlinger here

11. Two outs, Mordecai on 2nd: Pierre singles to RF, Mordecai scores (8-3 Marlins lead)
12. Two outs, Pierre on 1st: Castillo pops out to 2B. Inning ends.

Bottom of the 8th, Urbina pitching (Marlins lead 8-3)
1. No outs, no runners: Ramirez strikes out swinging
2. One out, no runners: Karros flies out to LF
3. Two outs, no runners: Gonzalez pops out to 2B. Inning ends.

Top of 9th, Alfonseca pitching (Marlins lead 8-3)
1. No outs, no runners: Pudge lines out to CF
2. One out, no runners: Cabrera singles to LF
3. One out, Cabrera on 1st: Lee grounds into 5-4-3 DP. Inning ends.

Bottom of the 9th, Urbina pitching (Marlins lead 8-3)
1. No outs, no runners: Bako stirkes out looking
2. One out, no runners: Martinez flies out to RF (Martinez replaced Gonzalez as part of Alfonseca double switch)
3. Two outs, no runners: Lofton pops out to 3B in foul territory. Game ends.

Now, if you're still with me, thanks for bearing with that. I now offer an alternate reality. One in which Moises Alou makes that fateful catch. One in which Gonzalez does not commit that error. Follow along, if you dare:

Top of the 8th, Prior pitching (Cubs lead 3-0)
1. No outs, no runners: Mordecai flies out to LF
2. One out, no runners: Pierre doubles to LF
3. One out, Pierre on 2nd: Castillo flies out to LF in foul territory
4. Two outs, Pierre on 2nd: Pudge singles to LF, Pierre stumbles and only gets to 3rd
5. Two outs, Pierre on 3rd, Pudge on 1st: Cabrera grounds into FC to SS, Pudge out at 2nd. Inning ends

Bottom of the 8th, Fox pitching (Cubs lead 3-0)
1. No outs, no runners: Ramirez strikes out swinging
2. One out, no runners: Karros flies out to LF
3. Two outs, no runners: Gonzalez pops out to 2B. Inning ends.

Top of 9th, Prior pitching (Cubs lead 3-0)
1. No outs, no runners: Lee doubles to LF

Mark Prior replaced by Kyle Farnsworth at this point

2. No outs, Lee on 2nd: Intentional walk to Lowell
3. No outs, Lee on 2nd, Lowell on 1st: Niner fly out to RF, Lee to 3rd, Lowell to 2nd
4. One out, Lee on 3rd, Lowell on 2nd: Intentional walk to Hollandsworth (PH for Fox)
5. One out, Lee on 3rd, Lowell on 2nd, Hollandsworth on 1st: Mordecai doubles to RF, Lee, Lowell and Hollandsworth all score (3-3 tie)

Kyle Farnsworth replaced by Mike Remlinger here

6. One out, Mordecai on 2nd: Pierre singles to RF, Mordecai scores (4-3 Marlins lead)
7. One out, Pierre on 1st: Castillo pops out to 2B.
8. Two outs, Pierre on 1st: Pudge lines out to CF. Inning ends.

Bottom of the 9th, Urbina pitching (Marlins lead 4-3)
1. No outs, no runners: Bako strikes out looking
2. One out, no runners: Martinez flies out to RF (Martinez replaced Gonzalez as part of Alfonseca double switch)
3. Two outs, no runners: Lofton pops out to 3B in foul territory. Game ends.

Overall, I tried to let events play out as they did before aside from my initial changes, since it's difficult to speculate what strategies may have been taken, pitcher's composure, etc. A few notes about my alternate reality: I had Pierre only making it to 3rd, rather than scoring both because I don't remember how deep Pudge's single was, and I wanted to fail conservative for the sake of argument. I IBB'ed Lowell again as a nod to his hitting. Niner's sac fly advanced all runners before so I figured it was deep enough to do it again without a run needing to score. IBB'ed Hollandsworth again to set up for the DP. Left Fox in to pitch the 8th since he wasn't PH for yet (although gave him same results Urbina got in the 8th. Pudge calls a good game, I guess).

Conclusion

Like so many others, I believe that the Bartman play had absolutely no bearing on the game whatsoever. In fact, if you read Michael Jong's above reference post, he in turn references a post by Al Yellon, the SB Nation Cubs guy. I found myself agreeing with Al 100% in that this loss primarily belonged to Dusty Baker. Maybe not after a fan interference call, but surely after a WILD PITCH walk, a manager would be wise to come out and calm his pitcher and the infield down. Perhaps Prior settles down and finishes (or Dusty replaces him since he DID have 112 pitches). Perhaps Gonzalez settles down and makes the routine play. The point is, bringing that bit of perspective to young players ("hey guys, settle down, almost finished") could have made all the difference.

Note: The play by play brought to you courtesy of our friends at Baseball Reference. Not stolen as much as paraphrased, really. ;)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Fish Stripes

You must be a member of Fish Stripes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fish Stripes. You should read them.

Join Fish Stripes

You must be a member of Fish Stripes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Fish Stripes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker