Bucholtz: ESPN2’s NL Wild Card Game broadcast draws rave reviews

From Andrew Bucholtz at Awful Announcing on October 4, 2018:

ESPN did something interesting for the National League Wild Card game Tuesday night, delivering an alternate stats-focused “Statcast” broadcast on ESPN2 with Jason Benetti, Mike Petriello (the MLB.com Statcast guru who’s been a regular on MLB Network’s yearly Statcast broadcasts), and Eduardo Perez.

That broadcast drew plenty of praise on social media, especially compared to the criticism for the main ESPN booth of Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez, and Jessica Mendoza. An unscientific poll we ran on the Awful Announcing Twitter account saw 65 percent saying they preferred the Statcast broadcast (of over 2,800 votes as per 2 a.m. Eastern Wednesday morning), and there was plenty of glowing commentary about it elsewhere too.


From this corner, Benetti, Petriello, and Perez delivered an outstanding broadcast, and one that didn’t feel gimmicky. They’d bring up advanced statistics like weighted runs created plus when it made sense, but explained them and didn’t shoehorn them in. They smartly used on-screen graphics (such as the probabilities of hitters hitting to different parts of the field, or the length of a lead a runner was taking) in a way that wasn’t overly distracting (namely, before pitches were thrown). The chemistry between the three was great, with Benetti getting the most out of both of his boothmates and Petriello and Perez agreeing sometimes and disagreeing at other times, but always providing interesting insights and being respectful of the other’s perspective.

Read the full article here: https://awfulannouncing.com/espn/espn2s-wild-card-statcast-broadcast-drew-rave-reviews.html

Originally published: October 4, 2018. Last Updated: October 4, 2018.