- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Gentlemen," he said, "the possibility that Rose will get two hits in one game, combined with the fact that I would be in the game long enough to give up two hits to one man, is so remote that I have little fear that I will be given a place of dishonor in the record books."
"But suppose he gets a hit off of you early in the game to tie the mark. Will you be afraid to pitch to him next time?"
"My hunch will be that I'll never get that choice," Koosman joked. "If I give up a hit to Rose, I'll probably be summarily yanked from the mound."
Rose himself, as was always his custom, had snapped back from the depressing events of the night before. He reminisced about Koosman, providing chapter and verse on virtually every hit he had ever made against the man, going back to April 1967. "And," Pete said, chuckling, "it would only be appropriate if I got the big hit against Koosman, because he's the only pitcher left in the game who also pitched to Ty Cobb."
Koosman thought. "Well, I know Pete's struggling now, but I'd still give him the edge." Long pause. "Of course, Cobb's dead." There was a lot more banter, as a veritable horde of pressmen gathered. Koosman threatened to dust Rose off, and Rose threatened to lay down a bunt and then spike Koosman if he covered first.
"You better not bunt your way past Ty Cobb," Koosman said.
"Well, tell Schmidt he better not lay back the way he was last night," Rose replied. "A hit's a hit."
And an out's an out. Rose, batting second, looked absolutely terrible his first time up. He did get a bit of a rise out of the crowd when he choked up on the first pitch, but he was only taking, and after Schmidt moved in a step and Koos missed on a curve outside for 1 and 1, Rose got completely fooled on a change-up and popped up weakly to Ivan DeJesus at short.
The Reds got a couple of base hits in the second inning but couldn't score, and Philadelphia led 1-0 in the bottom of the third when Rose came up again, two out, nobody on. As he dug in and held the bat back, perpendicular almost, the way he does, a thought crossed his mind that Koosman might just start him off with a change this time.