Sunday, October 26, 2008
So, it's time for another World Series game, and it looks like this one will start on time tonight. Andy Sonnanstine is starting for the Rays; Joe Blanton will take the hill for the Phillies. I'm taking the Rays to even it up at 2 a piece tonight.
"The Day The Earth Stood Still" looks awful based on that sole promo.
Far be it for me to hate on Patti LaBelle, but could she get the words to the national anthem right? It's "twilight", not "skylight", and it's "perilous fight," not "flight."
Now it's over, and that was bad. Not Roseanne bad -- at least Patti was on pitch, but the Star-Spangled Banner does not need that much melisma. As some of you have suggested, more of you aspiring anthem singers ought to take Whitney Houston's take in mind.
That's the way to do it. Or, if you want to reinvent it, go the Marvin Gaye route:
Much, much better.
Top 1st Inning
Aki Iwamura, after taking a few pitches and fouling off a few more, flies out deep to left.
Bossman Junior fouls the first pitch from Joe Blanton back. He takes another strike and then Blanton gets him looking on a pitch right down the middle.
Carlos Pena pops up the first pitch behind the plate to Carlos Ruiz, and we're done. Fox cuts Joe Buck off, mercifully.
Bottom 1st Inning
So Harry Kalas does the Phillies lineups, his son Todd did the Rays for the top of the inning. What a voice, Harry Kalas.
"If I had that voice, I'd just sit around all day and talk to myself." - Joe
Man, I think that's the first time Joe and I agree on anything.
Jimmy Rollins takes Andy Sonnanstine's first two pitches for balls, then a strike. He smokes a 3-1 pitch down the right field line, and he's at second to start it off.
Ah, there's my hero, the reason I got into broadcasting...Harry the K. I think he's had at least a six pack today. In other words, a light drinking day for the Voice of the Phillies. - Jim Williams
That voice is as smooth as a good single-malt scotch.
Sonnanstine is down 3-0 to Jayson Werth. The Phillies right-fielder hits one to right, where Ben Zobrist catches it and Rollins tags and makes it to third easily. He then proceeds to go 3-0 to Chase Utley, which is a BAD IDEA -- and we have ourselves a four pitch walk, runners at the corners with Ryan Howard on his way to the plate.
Howard takes strike one a little inside, while I'm wondering why hitters who get the shift don't hit it to left, almost ever -- and a dribbler to the mound, which Sonnanstine throws to third to get Jimmy Rollins in a rundown when the double play would end the inning. But they should have had Rollins, because Longoria tapped him on the butt for the out and the ump totally missed it.
Bases loaded, one out, Pat Burrell up. Sonnanstine digs a 2-0 hole. Breaking ball just misses for a 3-0 count. Strike one with a high fastball. Burrell takes ball four and Rollins comes home, 1-0 Phillies. Not the most auspicious of beginnings for Tampa.
Shane Victorino takes strike one, then knocks one in front of the pitcher that he flips for the force at home. 2 outs.
When did Tim Welke get traded for Ed Hochuli? - 49er16
Good question. Pedro Feliz is up with a strike and a better question is why he's playing when Greg Dobbs is hitting the cover off the ball. Feliz flies out to end the inning.
As for the ump missing the call, it's a classic case of the man in blue not being an ass man. - Jim Williams
OK, that's a +1 too.
Top 2nd Inning
Evan Longoria has two strikes on him after taking one and fouling another Blanton pitch. Ball one is up and away. The Desperate Infielder goes down swinging on a sinker.
Timmeh can't get over Sonnanstine not going to second last inning. Carl Crawford is the next victim, as he gets him on another slider low and in to whiff.
Blanton looks like he'd be a truck driver if he wasn't pitching. Fastball over for strike one to Dioner Navarro. Bunt fouled for strike two, and why? Navarro is not as slow as molasses, but close. Ball one out of the zone, ball two is high and inside. Ball three is borderline, and Navarro takes the high pitch to right field for a single.
Ben Zobrist pops the first pitch up, and Victorino calls off Utley to snag it for the third out.
I hate these Bud Light "drinkability" ads. I think I might have mentioned that yesterday. All "drinkability" means is that it tastes like water with grain in it. There's nothing interesting about the taste of Bud Light, but if you wanna get ripped, chug a half dozen to start and see how it goes.
It looks like the strike zone is the exact opposite of last night/early this morning. - JFein
Christie Brinkley, still gorgeous at 54 in those DirecTV ads. She went through a divorce recently -- her rich ex was cheating on her with an 18-year old chick and had an extensive porn collection. I can only chalk this up to "some people don't know how good they got it."
Bottom 2nd Inning
Carlos Ruiz flies out to the warning track in right, where Zobrist tracks it down.
Blanton's got a 1-2 count on him after taking two pitches and fouling off another. Goes down swinging on a high fastball.
J-Roll's up again, takes strike one down the middle. Ball one, a bit low. Timmeh calls him "an eye-opener," as if we know what that means other than it's a reference to him being the lead-off hitter or spark-plug of the team. In other words, Cliche 101. Rollins smacks a single that lands in front of Zobrist.
Werth has a 1-1 count now, then flies to right to end it.
Jim Williams brings up an important point: the redhead in the tailgate Drinkability ad is cute, but my verdict says: not enough to offset the inanity of the ad campaign. As usual, beer companies think you're a moron when they advertise on sports telecasts.
Top 3rd Inning
Blanton's on a roll. A ball followed by 3 straight strikes to get Jason Bartlett to sit down.
Sonnanstine takes the first two pitches, is at 1-1. Ball 2 in the dirt. Sonnanstine smacks a single into left, taking a decent Blanton pitch the other way.
Iwamura takes a low fastball for a strike. He bunts the next pitch foul for strike 2. Ball 1 high, as is ball 2. He hits a chopper to force out Sonnanstine at 2nd.
B.J. Upton went down on three straight pitches last time, think he can do better this time? He grounds to Rollins, who forces Iwamura out at 2nd, but I gotta say, I think they rush those force calls way too often. It looks like Utley came off the base a little, but EVERYONE does that anyway because the umps never call it.
Bottom 3rd Inning
Chase Utley takes ball one and two high. Sonnanstine threw a strike, and then another ball to make it 3-1.
"There are different forms of wildness, and throwing a 3-1 count to a home run hitter in a small park is one of them." - Timmeh
Full count. Iwamura bobbles a bad hop off his glove, and that's the 10th error for the Rays this post-season. Again, why is the shift on for Utley with nobody out? He can hit it the other way and has done so.
Howard takes the first pitch down the line and smokes it towards Zobrist. Utley moves over to third on the single. Runners on the corners, no outs. Burrell takes ball one outside. It's gone up to 3-1 after another ball way inside.
In comments, John informs us that Grand Rapids has lost the feed. Fun!
Burrell takes strike two to make it full, then gets the worst of all possible options that aren't striking out: a pop fly to short. One out. and an easy double victim at first in Howard. However, Victorino is up. Maddon visits the mound quickly.
Sonnanstine gets strike 1 outside. Up and away to even it up. Victorino fouls it off for strike 2. He pops out too, again to Bartlett.
Feliz waves at strike 1 in the dirt. Barely inside for ball 1. Feliz comes through with a single to left, and Utley scores to give the Phils a 2-0 lead.
Why couldn't Feliz ever do that for the Giants? - 49er16
I was gonna crack that joke, but I figured I'd check the comments first.
"The second one, a backup slider, begging to be hit hard." - Timmeh
Ruiz takes the first two pitches for balls. He then grounds up the middle, and Iwamura keeps it on the infield, but no play. That's OK, make Blanton help himself. Blanton pops out to Pena, but they get that hit in scoring position.
If you had "Gonna Fly Now" after the bottom of the 3rd in your office pool, you are a winner. Seriously, Bill Conti better be getting major residuals for his work being played so often. - Jim Williams
Jim Carrey Movie Formula = One part flimsy plot device + two parts wacky faces + a pinch of raunchy scatological humor. I don't think Yes Man will move away from that too much.
Carlos Pena takes strike 1.
"Blanton is the type of pitcher that Pena and Longoria can break out of their streaks of because he's standardized. He's not left handed and he doesn't have the stuff that Brett Myers has." - Timmeh
Down goes Pena, swinging at another sinker for Blanton's 5th K.
Longoria grounds to Jimmy Rollins, who throws him out at first. I'm not sure that's the way he wanted to get the bat on the ball, Chris Myers.
Crawford takes the first pitch for a ball. Blanton throws two straight strikes, then Crawford cranks one out to right field and GONE, now it's 2-1, Phillies. These are the effects of a band box like Citizens Bank Park -- that's a long fly ball in a few parks.
Navarro grounds out to Rollins, and the inning's over.
Those Burger King ads for the Mushroom and Swiss Steakhouse Burger are just as annoying as the Saved by Zero ad now.
As you have no doubt noticed, it's the Rocky theme when the Phils score and Tom Petty when the Rays do.
Rollins grounds through the right side under Iwamura's glove, he's on base for the third time after Iwamura's 2nd error.
Man, it's really awkward hearing Ken Rosenthal's reports from the first base camera deck. The guy comes off like he's a recent graduate of the William Shatner School of Pause Speaking. - Jim Williams
Werth takes a walk after four pitches. Edwin Jackson and Trever Miler are getting up in the Rays bullpen.
"I don't think you can say [the layoff] has affected his effectiveness, but you can say it's affected his control." - Timmeh
Well, if it affects his control, it make shim less effective, doesn't it, Tim? Sonnanstine responds by striking out Chase Utley swinging on three pitches.
Howard's at 2-1 after Navarro guns it to take a shot at Rollins at second. Howard gets all of it and takes it the opposite way, 5-1, Phillies.
I think Sonnanstine's night is done.
Well, they let him get Burrell out, and they're going to have him finish the inning, I suppose. Victorino up, pops it out of play -- and Sonnanstine stays because the bottom of the Rays order is due up anyway come the top of the 5th. Victorino pops out to Evan Longoria at third, and that will be the last we see of Andy.
Hey Fox: STOP PLAYING "GONNA FLY NOW", OKAY? It got old realy quick.
Ratings note: Sports Media Watch reports last night's delayed game got a 6.1 rating, a record low, obviously influenced by the 10 PM Eastern start.
Another asinine ad: the one for Jack in the Box's pita snacks with two grown men acting like babies.
Ben Zobrist takes a 2-2 count, and Victorino yells off Burrell to make the fly ball catch. Is he miked or is he just that loud? I'd vote latter.
Bartlett knocks it off Blanton's leg, and then Feliz makes a nice barehanded throw to first to get the runner.
Eric Hinske will pinch-hit for Sonnanstine, and it looks like we'll see Edwin Jackson in the bottom of the frame. Hinske jacks it to center field, and it goes out, 5-2 Phillies. Not bad for your first playoff at-bat.
"I think Joe Maddon pulled the right string right there." - Joe
"I should say so!" - Tim
Iwamura grounds it to Blanton, toss to first, frame over.
"If the Rays lose tonight, they will not, I mean they will, they will face elimination tomorrow night" - Tim McCarver completely forgetting the situation of the series. (via JFein)
Edwin Jackson gets Pedro Feliz to pop-foul out on the first pitch. The home umpire is yelling at the Tampa dugout. "IF I HEAR ANY MORE CRAP FROM YOU YOU'RE GONNA GO!" Maddon goes out there to make a peace offering.
Ruiz grounds out to Longoria, who guns it over to Pena.
OK, you know it's the Phillies' night when Joe Blanton goes yard to left. 6-2.
I'm not gonna say it's over tonight, but if the starting pitcher's gonna jack it, your line-up is feeling it. Rollins grounds out to Iwamura to end the inning.
Goddamnit, stop with the fucking Rocky music.
"He's doing it with his arm. He's doing it with his bat." - Joe Buck not realizing what he just said. - JFein
Upton's at a 2-2 count. He flies out to right field, Werth's got it easy.
And Buck says the Flyin' Hawaiian is wearing a mike. No wonder. 1-2 to Carlos Pena. He keeps fouling pitches off, eventually taking a walk instead of waving at a pitch out of the strike zone.
Longoria is caught looking at a fastball right down the middle on a 1-2 count.
Crawford swings and misses for strike one. He then gets plunked on the ankle.
"Now with Dioner Navarro up, with one swing of the bat, the Rays could be right back in this." - Joe
Navarro ain't exactly a home run threat, guys, but this is Citizens Bank Park. Obviously, Blanton has wiped enough sweat on his brim to the point where it's obvious to see. Ball 1 is in the dirt. Strike one, way outside on that corner. Curve floats for a ball. Another breaking ball on the outside corner for a strike. Navarro chases and misses the high fastball for Blanton's 7th K, and the truck cuts off Buck early again.
"This month's Gillette Rookie of the Month, for June..." - Joe Buck
Get that man a calendar and a shot of talent, stat! - Jim Williams
If you're buying a cheesesteak from Subway, kill yourself now.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm almost positive when Buck said there was a "Let's Go Joe" chant, the crowd was saying "Tam-pa Sucks." - Bazooka Jones
Werth up, 1-1 count now. He knocks that one far and off the wall for a lead-off double.
"The Who has been together as long as Jamie Moyer has been alive." - Joe Buck
Utley strikes out swinging, here comes Howard, and they'll intentionally walk him to pitch to Burrell -- and they're talking about Jamie Moyer having a major case of the shits last night. Burrell complies by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Here's that full Rosenthal column on Moyer's stomach bug, if you'd like to spoil any appetite for a late snack.
Blanton gives up a lead-off walk to Ben Zobrist, and we get shots of Chris Myers being driver over from the Linc to the Citizens by the Phillie Phanatic -- and the producer gets a shaivng cream pie in the face.
Joe Blanton's night is done.
Chad Durbin is in. Bartlett flies out to Victorino. Willy Aybar pinch hits for Edwin Jackson, takes a strike. Aybar lines one into right center, drops for a single and it's first and second. Scott Eyre comes up to pitch to Iwamura.
"Here's the 1-0....strike 1." - Joe
"Two-strike breaking balls from Eyre to Iwamura." - Tim
Uh, Timmy, check the count, please, which is now 3-1. Iwamura flies out to Bruntlett, who's subbing for Burrell in left. Charlie Manuel goes for Ryan Madson to face B.J. Upton.
Strike one to Upton, 1-1 count....we eventually get to a full count, of course, and Madsen gets Upton swinging with a 3-2 change-up that most definitely would have been called for a strike if he hadn't swung.
Honestly, guys? It's been seven years after it started. Do we still need to do "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch. At least this guy sings it better than the woman who was a half step flat last night.
God Bless that it wasn't Patti LeBelle singing it. - Rob in WI
Dan Wheeler in to pitch to Shane Victorino, and he flies out to right. Zobrist makes a nice catch, sliding a little to bring it in.
Pedro Feliz grounds to third, and Longoria boots it after sliding to his left. Wheeler paints strike one to Ruiz on the outside corner.
VERY NICE PLAY BY IWAMURA. Ruiz hits a rocket to to second, which Iwamura spears and throws to first to double off Feliz.
Guhhhhhh....working in an American Idol promo into the World Series. I can't wait to ignore another season of Idol until really late, when all of my co-workers are talking about it and I watch just to see what kind of crap passes for singing talent.
Pena is down 1-2 against Madsen, looks at ball 2, then goes down on strikes again. He's still hitless in the World Series.
Longoria hits one hard foul for strike one. Fouled off the fists for strike 2, and he goes down swinging too. 0-29 for Pena and Longoria combined in the Series so far.
Crawford takes strike one on the outside corner, then grounds to Utley and Howard scoops up the throw.
Methinks Eva Longoria would stand a better chance at the plate than Evan Longoria. - Jim Williams
I think Role Models will actually be funny. I base this on the Paul Rudd Rule. Most movies I've seen with Paul Rudd have been funny in the same, kinda juvenile way. (Notable exception: The Object of My Affection. I don't know why I saw that, but it sucked even for a rom-com of sorts.)
Matt Stairs hits for Madsen against Wheeler, and strikes out after tagging one just foul that would have been good for a double, but we did get a highlight of his NLCS homer.
Rollins knocks one off the wall, and heads into second with his third hit of the night.
Jayson Werth adds on more pain by hitting a 2-run job out to left center. 8-2, Phillies.
Question: do the Phillies need to bring in Brad Lidge in the 9th? Really?
Trever Miller comes in to pitch to Utley and Howard. Utley takes a four pitch walk.
Lord have mercy, Ryan Howard got all of that. 10-2.
That's gonna come down with ice on it. Bruntlett grounds out for out #2. Victorino flies out to center for out #3.
STOP WITH THE FUCKING ROCKY THEME. JUST. STOP.
That ball made it all the way to Scranton. Yes. That ball was Schruted. - Rob in WI
get the extra cops ready and start those parade plans out, Mayor Nutter. - James Craven
To use a popular line around here: DAGGER! - Jim Williams
Stop with the Rocky crap already. Its getting annoying as the USC fight song - Anon
J.C. Romero to finish, Cole Hamels to start tomorrow. Tampa, meet the rock and the hard place.
Romero starts off with Navarro. He grounds it back to Romero, who makes a bad throw to Howard at first, but if there's a first baseman who can't really save you on a bad throw, it's Howard. Not great defensively. Error rightfully goes to the pitcher, though.
Ball one inside to Zobrist, Utley short hops a grounder and only gets the force on Navarro at second. Bartlett takes ball 1 up. He quickly gets two strikes into the count, one off a foul ball. Down and away for ball 2, gets him for the strikeout on the next pitch.
Rocco Baldelli comes up, pinch-hitting for Miller. Outside for ball 1. Romero comes back with two quick strikes. Ball 2 low and away. Fouls off the next one. Romero gets him swinging at high heat, and the Phillies take Game 4, 10-2, with a 3-1 lead heading into Game Five tomorrow. The Rays are officially up against the wall, and Philly fans are going ape-shit in anticipation.
Thanks for hanging around, folks. Joe Blanton has a flat-top fade straight out of the early 90s. Beautiful.
"Forget Joe the Plumber, it's Joe the Pitcher...or Joe the Hitter!" - Chris Myers
Fuck you, Chris. We almost made it without that dumb, obvious joke on air. Asshat.