I don’t have a dog in this fight. Again. So, except for the game (Athletics vs Tigers) that was shown on the MLB network, WHICH IS NOT PART OF BASIC CABLE SERIOUSLY WTF???!!! I have kind of just rooted for the batter or pitcher or fielder, depending on who I happen to like more at any given second. Feels weird.
I do, however, have a cat in this fight – my Daddy’s cat, Louis (named after Saint Louis, who won last year). Louis is a Red (flamepoint) Siamese who is kind of like Curt Schilling, run his mouth all the time, got an opinion on everything and can’t stand to be ignored. If you are watching TV, you KNOW Louis gotta be watching it with you, gotta get a MRRRRRROOOWWWWWRRRRLLLL in there if you disagree with the AAAAAAARRRRRRRROOOOWWWWW.
Husband and I have been together almost 13 years now and he has long since accepted that if baseball is on, it’s gonna get watched, Astros or no Astros – he knew what he was getting BEFORE we got married. My Mama had told my Daddy about Her n Baseball, but he figured she probably looked up scores every now and then or had a crush on Mickey Mantle or something and by the time he found out what baseball FAN really meant, well, it was love her/love her baseball. As Bud Selig and Jim Crane have sold us Astros fans down the river, Mama last year switched her loyalty back to the Cards, her girlhood team. But somehow, even though she won’t admit it, it’s hard to have the same kind of love for some other team that we did for our Astros.
So this afternoon, Mama got baseball fever and had to leave work early and I switched out with gf for getting kidz, and we sat down to watch Cards vs Bryce Harper and the Nats, Game 2. Jordan Zimmerman, who has looked like a AA pitcher against the Cards pretty much his whole career (good for us) vs Jaime Garcia, nails at Home this year.
So Jaime starts out with 3 straight balls and it’s a 7 pitch 3-2 walk. Then Bryce Harper, fortunately swinging at balls, has a 7 pitch K. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out – nice 2 pitches, then Adam La Roche is up. Strike 1 and Strike 2 are called Ball 1 and Ball 2. Mama and I look at each other. I hate this – the ump figures that if the pitcher can’t find the strike zone, he ain’t getting no calls on the black. So naturally, LaRoche walks, but Michael Morse thoughtfully grounds into a 4-3. Great – 1 inning, 2 walks, 24 pitches. Jaime better straighten up.
Ryan Zimmermann comes up to pitch. Strike 1 is off the plate. Great – one of those – I don’t GOT no stinkin strike zone – type games. Jay Ks looking, Carlos the Jackal grounds out. Matt Holiday is up – fouls off the high inside pitch, then then next pitch down the exact middle of the plate – I mean, seriously – the EXACT middle of the plate – is Ball 1. Holliday had like ZERO excuse for letting THAT one go by. And he grounds out next pitch.
Got this feeling it’s gonna be a long ballgame. Mama and I have a big pan of mac-n cheese. LOTS of creamy gooey cheese. MMMMMMMMMMMM. Also, teriyaki chicken strips, nice n crispy. Grrls night out – can’t beat it. (Yes, I left food at home for starving Husband and Kidz. I swear all 4 of em got this bottomless pit.) Susanna (Mama’s BFF) texts she’ll be there by the 3rd inning at the latest save some mac-n-cheese. FAT chance. hahahaha
Oh yeah, the ball game.
2nd – Jaime back out. First pitch, Desmond singles. Espinoza up – same horsepoopoo with the strike zone – Ball 1,2,3 are clearly in the strike zone and pitch #4, just a little lower than 2 and 3, is called Strike 1. Desmond just misses pitch 5, right down the middle for a foul, then ball4 really IS way inside and it is walk #3. Jaime looks, uh, frustrated. Kurt Suzuki (catcher – he came over from Oakland) is kind enough to swing at ball 4 (yet ANOTHER 3-2 count). Pitcher up, hits the first pitch to right for a RBI. Carlos the Jackal, playing RF, throws off line, a little late, and the run is in. I still can’t get used to him not playing CF. Old, too many injuries, but my GOD he was SO good when he was young. I still remember 2004, because I hadn’t seen anyone play CF at the Box like he did. Jayson Werth flies out and Bryce Ks on pitch #8 – he’s having a leeeetle trouble with the curveball – he needs to tell JoBu where to get off. And he needs to quit rubbing his eyes because his mascara is smearing all over his face.
Man this game is taking a LONG time. Allen Craig up – hits an IF single to third. Yadi hits a slider that doesn’t to center for a single. David Freese, last year’s WS hero (next to Allen Craig) doubles in Craig. Descalso singles to right. My God – this is looking like the conga line in Baseball Bugs. Out trots the pitching coach, tells Zim to trust his stuff, throw strikes – you know, the usual. He gets Kozma swinging. (Oh yeah – discussed the Infamous IF Kozma bullstuff call with Mama and Susanna, who Know The Rules. They inform me that the call was actually correct IF you look at it as ”the SS was camped under the ball” and NOT correct if you follow the spirit of the rule, which is to prevent the IF from purposely letting the ball drop for a DP – seeing as how Kozma couldn’t have thrown anyone out HAD he caught that ball.)
Then – HOLY SPIT – Jaime Garcia is out of the ballgame – no I am not kidding – 2 innings and he’s gone. Not that he was doing well, I’d bet he’s hurting. But anyway, Skip Schumacher is up to PH and he gets a 7 pitch 6-3 RBI. Desmond doesn’t even try to throw home. Jon Jay hits a ball to left – Descalso scores before Morse throws Jay out at second. Hard to tell if he was trying to stretch it into a double or trying to draw the throw to allow Descalso to score from second.
But it doesn’t end up mattering because it’s Cards 4 Nats 1
Jordan Zimmermann is throwing his usual crappy game against the Cards. I know, youneverknow, like Joe Saunders.
3rd inning: it’s Lance Lynn. I guess he’s long man – I didn’t understand why on earth he wasn’t one of the starters, seeing as how he’s been pitching lights out, but I guess it’s the senority thingy or something. Chris Carpenter ain’t who he was, but his manager/old catcher can’t see him relieving.
Anyway, Lance gets 2 Ks, a single and a GO on 16 pitches. He’s throwing strikes and getting hitters to swing at pitches out of the zone – something Jaime wasn’t doing. Zim comes back out – gets 2 quick outs, gives up a homer to Allen Craig to second deck LF (not quite Big Mac Land – I like that the sign is still up. Roids or no roids, he really entertained the masses, tsktsking current sportswriters included.) then gave up a single and got another GO.
Cards 5 Nats 1
Daddy comes in, looks at the remains of the Mac-n-cheese and teriyaki strips, goes into the kitchen to scrounge his own dinner. Louis trots after him, hoping to get scraps. It’s a PITA watching TV here. Because Husby-do is allergic to cats (it’s the hair) I have to wear this stupid paper catsuit (hahaha) – you know – the kind that you wear over your clothes when you go into the operating room where they do C-sections, and put one of those stupid paper caps over my braids. Louis finds this very amusing and he loves to wait until I’m not looking, then come up behind me and rub his face on my neck because he knows I’m going to have to go wash it off. If I keep watching him, he’ll purr and pat that stupid paper thingy with his paw, telling me – you just wait sista, I’ll be all OVAH you with cat lick. MWAAAAHAHAHAHA MRRRRRRRRRRRWWWWOOOOOORRRRRRRRRR
Damm, it’s already an hour and a half and we’re just starting the 4th inning. In case all yall wondering how we are reacting to what the announcers are saying, we cut the sound after the like 5 zillionth time we heard about The Shadows Affecting The Game. That was like, after, like, around 20 minutes, or 3 hitters.
Lance Lynn back out. Espinoza thoughtfully bunts out. Why he’s bunting when he can hit, I don’t know. Suzuki is called out on 3 straight pitches – he’s NOT happy because the first 2 were inside. But it’s this – constantly changing strike zone thingy – that seems popular this postseason. (The strike zone that Verlander got in game 1 was Eric Gregg deja vu all ovah again.) Jordan Zimmerman is out – not surprised because he was awful and the Nats are already behind 4 runs and Lynn is lookin good. PH Roger Bernadina walks, does not try to steal a base, I guess because Jayson Werth might could get IBB. And Jayson Ks swinging at ball 3.
Setup man Craig Stammen, RHP, is in. Descalso takes strike 1 off the plate, ball 1 in the dirt, then hits the next FB right down the middle barely over the wall into CF, right next to the RF bullpen. He hit 4 homers this YEAR!!! Kozma walks – and this one is legit. What happens next is teh kewl. Lance Lynn sac bunts, Stammen fields it, throws offline to second instead of taking the sure out at first, and Kozma goes to third. MUCHO kewl. It’s not called an error, but it is a mental, um, effup. And in keeping with mental effups, Danny Espinoza boots an easy 4-3 by Jon Jay and Kozma scores. Really. CarlosBeltran is up, Jay takes off for second after a couple of pickoff throws. Carlos walks on 5 pitches WAAAAYYYY out of the zone – even for Marvin Hudson.
Stammen is yanked, in comes Christian Garcia, RHP, who gets the next 2 outs without allowing any more runs.
Cards 7 Nats 1
5th – Lance Lynn back out. Gets Bryce Harper swinging. Harper looks BAD – trouble is that with this guy, youneverknow when he is gonna figure it out and make YOU look BAD. Lance is throwing too many pitches out of the zone, comes in waaaay too much, gives up back to back homers to Ryan Zim and Adam LaRoche. He then gets Morse and Desmond 1 pitch apiece.
Christian Garcia back out. Yadi takes a 7 pitch walk. Man, this sure is a “moneyball” game with all these walks – not that I blame the hitters, mind, because swinging at pitches out of the zone is not a smart idea. But between all the time it takes for the pitcher to get the ball and throw the darn thing, and all the walks, it makes the game too much like one of those icky DH containing games with Yankees/Red Sox in it. Well, not so much Red Sox these days, yeah, I know (and speaking of Red Sox, apparently Larry Lucchino, having completely failed with HIS hand picked manager Bobby V, is gonna pick the manager again his own self. Not sure why he doesn’t trust his handpicked GM to get the job done, but there you go – Drayton McLane all ovah again.)
Where was I?
Oh yeah. The game. David Freese takes a 5 pitch walk and yeah, Ball 4 was RIGHT on the black. It drives pitchers crazy because they can’t guess whether or not the EXACT same pitch will be called a ball or strike. But Descalso GIDP and Kozma Ks.
6th – RHP Joe Kelly comes in and gets 3 outs on 8 pitches. There haven’t been ANY innings with 3 outs on less than 16 pitches, so far. Jon Jay makes a great catch on Espinoza’s flyball, after starting to cut the wrong way. I didn’t think he was gonna get there. I don’t guess the Cards are missing Colby Rasmus after all.
Mike Gonzalez (yeah, the guy who used to close for the Pirates) LHP comes in. He gets PH Shane Robinson – so we’re gonna have the – each reliever gets an inning – thingy instead of letting Kelly pitch a couple. At least they aren’t pulling pitchers in the middle of innings for endless leftylefty matchups. He gets 2 outs on 4 pitches, then Carlos Beltran remembers 04. He takes a couple of inside pitches, fouls off 4 pitches, then hits one over the LF fence. Holliday takes 2 balls and a called strike, swings at something at his ankles, then gets called out on a pitch waaay inside at his elbow.
Time for robot umps. This is ridiculous.
And then I get a call from Husband asking me to get the kidz because he’s still at work (and starving) so I miss the rest of the game. Which is a shame because Edward Mujica, mopup guy, comes in, gives up a single to Werth, a double to Bryce Harper (remember I said about him suddenly remembering how to hit) and a fun play in which Ryan Zim flies out to Holliday, who makes a lousy throw, which Descalso retrieves, and they catch the aforementioned Bryce Harper gettin a leeeettle extra greedy, tryin for third and he is O-U-T out. So all the Nats end up getting is 2 runs, and they needed more and youneverknow, they just might could have. It always helps when the opposing team is thoughtful enough to get their own selves out.
Cards tack on 4 more runs in the 8th and Carlos the Jackal hits another homer.
So the series is tied up at 1-1 and they’re off to Washington where it will be Chris Carpenter vs Edwin Jackson, who got absolutely KILLT in his last start against Saint Looey a few weeks back, giving up 9 runs over 1.1 IP.
You know, lots of people were going on and on and on about Strasburg, how he was feeling fine, he should have kept on pitching, the way the Nats decided to do his schedule was dumb, look at the Braves and Kris Medlin. Lots of good it did the Braves, hunh? But If the Nats get beat by the Cards, you KNOW we won’t be hearing the end of it for, goodness knows how long. Until the Nats win a WS, prolly.
It turns out I was right and Jaime WAS hurt – he went and got his shoulder MRId – something is hurting and he had missed all that time on the DL earlier this year. He may not be back, and Lance Lynn just might could be starting when they go on the the NCLS. You notice I said WHEN. Louis told me so.
Some wonderful news, the Orioles beat Andy Pettitte and the Yankees. I love it when the Yankees lose.
Tomorrow, it’s San Fran vs the Reds. Yesterday, I watched Tim Lincecum pitch in relief. His FB topped out at 90. Whoa. The Athletics are gonna have to come back from the dead at Detroit tomorrow night. I doubt it. But their ending should send their owner into ecstasy, so he can explain that once more, his team can’t compete without a new taxpayer financed stadium in some other city. Like the economy, especially in California, can hand out a zillion dollar stadium to a zillionaire.
Some things never change.