OK all yall, let’s have some discussion about Phil and his managing decisions. The choice of position players. The incessant sac bunts. So here we go…
Phil decided to do his usual righty-lefty thing he loves so much and he played an all righty lineup against Glavine, including Mo Ensberg at third and Chris Burke in right. I could hear the screaming from a whole lot of furious Astros fans who think that neither Mo nor Burke have any redeeming value whatsoever.
And this is considering that Ausmus is 2/40; Berkman is 2/18; Bruntlett is 1/2, Burke is 1/11; Ensberg is 3/14 and Lamb and Scott have never faced him.
After 3 innings, Woody had pitched 3 innings getting 1,2,3 out and Husband looked at me and said – figures that the first time it looks like Woody is gonna pitch well that he is gonna get Clemensed.
And in the 4th, with Pence and Lee on base and Mo at bat, I just crossed my fingers and HOPED that the old Mo, who we have occasionally seen traces of, would show up. And YESSSSSSS!!! Mo makes Phil look like a GEEENYUSS by turning on a low outside slider and driving it to the LF bullpen, driving in Pence and Lee. Then Burke makes Phil look like a super GEEENYUSS by driving an outside FB to the RF bullpen – right under the glove of a diving Shawn Green – for a standup triple. Bruntlett flies out. The Underdawgs lead 3-0.
Woody went to 1-2 on David Wright to start off the 5th. Husband said – hey, you know he hasn’t given up a higggggggggggggggrrrrrpppphhh. And before I could finish clapping my hand over his fool mouth, Wright lined the very next pitch into center. Then, naturally, Delgado smashes a hanging breaker 400 something feet over the RF bullpen.
Underdawgs 3 – Husband and his mouth 2
And, by the way, Woody was lucky that Phil had the GEEEENYUSS to play Bruntlett at short. He was all ovah the baseball. He started a very nice GIDP in the second, handled 4 more nice plays. And Biggio handled plenty of GB to second quite well, at least for the first 9 inning.
Phil sent Woody back out for the 7th to face the 2 guys who had hit him the last time. Not the worst decision – after all, look at our bullpen and Woody had only thrown 85 pitches. So naturally, David Wright hammers the first strike of the inning (waist high meatball) to the Banco Popular window. Tie game.
So Woody finished up his night – 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 K, 2 HR, 3 ER, 99 pitches†in 7 IP. Pretty good, but would it be good enough?
Could the Underdawgs pull a victory from the jaws of tie-dom?
Ensberg popped out (hey, at least it wasn’t a strikout looking or even worse, a – shudder – walk!!!), Burke flied out, Bruntlett flied out and Ausmus, as usual, went ofer Glavine.
But wait – it is Woody going back out to start the 8th!!! Goodness gracious. Wellwellwell. Ledee struck out, Newhan the PH struck out, Reyes singled (just great – that dude gonna be on third before you can sneeze) and now Woody is done for the night.
So now let’s see if Phil is a GEENYUSS here – he pulls Bruntlett and sends Loretta to short and puts Lamb at first and sends in ground ball pitcher Chad Qualls. And Gotay singles, and the Jackal is up. And down swinging at a nice slider.
So Woody has now had 3 decent games in a row – hope this is a start of something good. Getting 3 runs over 7.2 innings from your #5 starter is pretty darn good.
STILL tied. This game has gone exactly 2 hours so far and here we are starting the bottom of the 8th. Good thing the pace has been so quick so far.
Heilman comes in and gets Lamb, Biggio and Pence out.
9th inning. Qualls is back (what, you got a better idea?) and gets Wright to fly out to the hill, gives up a single to Delgado, gets Lo Duca to ground to short and Loretta can’t turn the DP (what a surprise) so it’s LoDuca at first, then Green singles to center and Pence throws LoDuca out at third. Heilman is back and Loretta stays ofer the game, Lee lined out to third, Mo singled
could Chris Burke win this game???!!!
No, but he singles!!! so it’s 2 out, men on first and second for Lance. And in comes tough lefty Pedro Feliciano to get Lance to bat righty.
So is Phil a GEEEENNNYUSS for sending in Lance when he must have known that Willie would send in Feliciano, or should he have sent in Luke Scott, who hits leftys very well?
Well, Berkman Ks swinging, so THAT move didn’t work out for Phil.
10th inning – Wheeler in. Ledee struck out – and on a fat one down the middle, too, PH Valentin popped out, Reyes singled (Oh lordie, not that guy again and Wheels is sloooooooowwwwwww to the plate) and sure enough he’s on second before you can hardly blink, but then Wheeler gets Gotay swinging on a vicious slider – the best one I’ve seen him throw in a LONG time.
11th – the Mets send in Guillermo Mota, the righty, in to pitch. Funny I don’t hear people screaming DIRTY CHEAT and waving signs at Mota who was CAUGHT using steroids. I mean, I just can’t understand why. Unless, of course, using steroids is no big deal unless you are already one of the 3 greatest hitters of all time. Anyhow Brad Ausmus shakes off the spectre of Glavine and walks, then Lamb, batting .299 ????sac-bunts????!!!!! Has Phil LOST HIS MIND??? 8 doubles, 1 triple, 7 homers and he calls for a SAC-BUNT???? Sorry, that has got to one of the DUMBEST things I have ever seen Phil do.
So Biggio comes up and strikes out looking after swinging at ball 4 twice – but hey, it’s bettern walking, right?!!! Now, can Hunter The Perfect pull it off? Nope. He grounds out again.
In comes Wheeler to face the meat of the order. And The Jackal flies out, Wright singles, and now Wheeler has to try to keep Wright at first – the guy has stolen 18 bases so far and been caught once. Delgado flies out to shallow right and LoDuca goes down on strikes. Well, Danny’s ERA is back under 6, he got 3 swinging Ks over 2 IP and I’m hoping that he’s fixed whatever mechanical problem he’s had for the past month.
It’s the bottom of the inning and we had DARN well better win right now because, well, look at what is left in the bullpen. And Mota gets Loretta to groundout again and Lee flies out. Can Mo the Underdawg pull it off? No, because he was called out looking on ball 4 which crossed the plate barely above his ankles. Sorry, that was a BAD call. It’s bullstuff that poor Mo is gonna take endless **** from the fans – no one could have done anything with that pitch but get out.
12th – it’s just exactly 3 hours now. Borkowski comes in. Green singles (translation – Biggio doesn’t make the play), Ledee sac-bunts, PH Julio Franco, hitting .187, hits the ball to right and Green goes to third. In comes Trever Miller and my stomach knots and fortunately Reyes grounds out to Ensberg and Green can’t score. He then gets Gotay to strike out, stranding men on second and third. Whoa, Miller is suddenly getting the job done.
OK. Husband is getting restless. Lefty Schoenweis is in to face Underdawg Burke. And Burke singles – he’s gone 3/5 tonight. Palmeiro sac bunts (I suppose it’s OK because he’s facing a lefty) and Underdawg Brad Ausmus is up. And Burke steals third!!! Cmon, all we need is a single up the middle or a sac fly. But no, he grounds out to short. And it’s Lamb. Cmon boy, you didn’t get your chance last time. Just a single, just a single. But he walks Lamb and in comes setup man Joe Smith to face Biggio. Wonder if Smith can throw sliders or anything on the outside corner. But Biggio is hit by pitch – his 285th (needs 2 more to tie Hughie Jennings) and it’s bases loaded game on the line for Hitter Pence. But he strikes out swinging. No hero tonight.
13th inning – and mind, we have an afternoon game tomorrow. Biggio comes out, Burke moves to second and Palmeiro takes over in right. It’s Matt Albers in to face the Jackal, who grounds out. Wright strikes out then Delgado grounds out. That was a NICE 1,2,3 inning. And Joe Smith is back – CMON GUYS LET’S GOOOOOOOO. Loretta is up and he grounds out. Again. Then Lee is up and he files out. And it’s Mo The Underdawg back for another chance. But no, he pops out. Better than looking, right?
It’s been 4 hours now.
14th inning – Albers is back. LoDuca goes down swinging. Green goes down swinging. Ledee lines out and Albers has needed 17 pitches to get through 2 innings and he looks like the ace some people think he will grow to be. Joe Smith is back, Burke is up. Please Chris, remember the Braves’ game. Let’s do it again, PLEASE!!!! Husband is looking longingly at the exit and even though he isn’t dumb enough to say so YET, he’s thirsty and the concessions have been shut long ago. Burke reaches base AGAIN, this time he’s HBP and it’s Palmeiro time. Cmon Mr “contact hitter” – contact that ball into the gap. Burke is VERY fast. Oh fer chrissakes, what is this *(%&#%@! with the sac bunt??? Here’s a lefty facing a righty, Phil’s wet dream, so let’s contact the (%*&#! baseball out of the infield without giving up an out!!!!! But no, we get a stupid out wasting sac bunt. Then Brad grounds out and Burke is AGAIN at third. Cmon Lamb, hit the freaking ball up the middle. And Lamb walks again. Now it’s Luke Scott in to pinch hit and PLEEEEZZZE Luke, get the job done. Just a single, that is ALL we need. Hero time boy, hero time. And Scott smashes the ball 430′ but unfortunately it’s the freaking Jackal out there and of course he runs it down. I hate that guy.
Phil needs to quit giving up outs with those stupid sac bunts.
15th inning – Husband says he’s getting tired. We’ve long since moved down as the crowd has thinned a LOT. I tell him he won’t have long to stay seeing as how it’s Moehler pitching. He faces PH Damion Easley who pops out. Then Reyes flies out. Gotay singles to right, then it’s the Jackal. And there are all these pickoff throws – not sure why, Gotay doesn’t steal bases, but I guess a guy has to stay in practice. And sure enough, he steals his 4th base over the last 4 years. Figures. But it doesn’t matter because the Jackal walks anyhow and it’s Wright, who has been a pain all night. But he flies out to end the inning.
And the Mets send in Aaron Sele – they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, just like us. And Pence singles. Then Phil – I SWEAR I am gonna kick that fool – he has Loretta, a 300 hitter, SAC BUNT. Jeezus gawd. He never EVER learns. Yeah, Loretta is ofer tonight, but the guy is a 300 hitter, you don’t go by what a guy does on one night. All it does is open up first base and of COURSE the Mets IBB Lee to pitch to Ensberg, who GIDP. This was REALLY REALLY stupid strategy Phil. What, it never occurred to you they would IBB Carlos Lee to pitch to .220 hitter Mo Ensberg?
16th inning – I call my Mama to make sure the kidz are in bed. Nope, they still up watching the game. Grandmothers!!! You best believe she never let ME stay up like that when I was 5.
Anyhow, Moehler is back out there. Delgado grounds out, LoDuca grounds out, Green singles and Ledee grounds out. Ausmus has caught every inning and he has got to be back out there to catch Roy at 1 PM. And the guy is 38 years old too. Actually, they ALL look tired. Gee, what a surprise.
Sele is back out there and he strikes out Burke right after he sends a long fly just fowl of the LF chicken sandwich pole, then gets Palmeiro to ground out (maybe he should have bunted again – oh – forgot, there’s nobody on) and Ausmus is up. I’m too tired to shout out to remember the yellow line homer, but I don’t have much hope and sure enough, he strikes out looking.
17th inning – Husband looks at me, says, cmon Baby, why don’t we get on up and stretch our legs. Yeh, I know – towards the exit. He’s not foolin me.
Moehler goes back out. Looks like they’re out of hitters because Sele hits for himself and grounds out. But then he walks Reyes (not this again) , then gives up a 0-2 single to Gotay which moves Reyes to third and of course, it’s the Jackal, who is 0-7 and is due. And sure enough, he drives in Reyes with a single to right. I knew Moehler couldn’t pitch shutout baseball for long. And they have Billy Wags left.
Phil wasted too many outs with those idiotic sac bunts from 300 hitters. Remember the WS? When we couldn’t score anyone from third?
Anyway, Husband said firmly – cmon it has been FIVE hours and they are NOT coming back against Billy. And as we got up to leave Wright singled Gotay home. And NOW Phil pulls Moehler, sends in McLemore, sends Lamb to right (I am NOT kidding) and inserts Munson at first. WAIT, I tell Husband – THIS I gotta see. The thought of Mike Lamb even thinking of trying to get any ball hit anywhere near RF is, well, it would be funny if it wasn’t a horror show. Delgado and LoDuca strike out. No sideshow. But I bet Lamb was sweating bullets out there.
Husband looks at me – he says – might as well watch Billy strike out the side. Lamb lines out, Munson singles, Hitter Pence pops up and Loretta finishes up ofer.
Pence didn’t do one darn thing in this game and neither did Loretta, but you can be sure that the fans will find some way to knock Ensberg, who went 2 fer 6 and drove in 2 of the 3 runs – knock Burke, who was on base 4 of 6 times and drove in the other run as well as stole a base and then they will praise Pence and say wasn’t his energy on those strikeouts/groundouts WONderful?
Five hours, 10 minutes. Well, good thing is there wasn’t much traffic. At least it wasn’t raining going home.