Does this still count as the Wednesday Afternoon Liveglog Club if the game is happening at night? I have no idea, but I'll pretend that it is. Please join me in watching the Tampa Bay Rays host the Anaheim Angels, broadcast nationally on the up-and-coming cable channel called 'ESPN2'. Hey, I think these kids are going places!
Dueling right-handers Jered Weaver and Matt Garza take the mound; Weaver has never faced the Rays while Garza got knocked around by the Angels while with the Twins last July. Garret Anderson hit a ding-dong off Garza last year.
Let's cut right to the chase; your first place versus first place liveglog is after the jump:
6:55PM: What is this college football nonsense show? Who are these people? Where's my baseball?
6:58PM: Okay, Baseball-Reference lied to me. Weaver shut down the Rays in 2006. Thanks for nothing, Baseball-Reference previews that are 100% free and 99% informative.
7:01PM: Weaver did it twice to the Rays in 2006. None of this matters because the Rays didn't have stud third baseman Evan Longoria in aught-six! Oh, they don't have him now either. Oops.
7:04PM: Let's hope Rick Sutcliffe does something ridiculous or inappropriate, or better yet, ridiculously inappropriate tonight. Erin Andrews is in the building so anything is possible. Really, Erin? A teal dress?
7:10PM: Holy shit how do those people put up with those ridiculous cowbells? What's worse: ten thousand Floridians with cowbells or a murderous hurricane? I thought so.
7:13PM: They're showing the replay of B.J. Upton making the turn towards second and then getting called out last night. Yes, he was making the turn because his arms did that swimmy thing you do when you're trying to change direction.
7:16PM: In case anyone is reading this, Chone Figgins flied out and Erick Aybar struck out. Here's Mark Teixeira. He looks good in red. Sorry, Braves fan(s). Fella walked after a 0-2 start. Good eye(s).
7:18PM: Looks like the Rays have a delightful little dining area out in left field. Looks like a Perkins restaurant, except without the gingham-clad hausfrau waitresses. Oh wait, they probably have them too. Vlad K's to end the inning.
7:21PM: Is Tropical Storm Fay keeping the fans away or is it the fact that the Tropicana Dome is a soulless warehouse one-quarter full of Floridians with cowbells? Either way, place looks dead tonight. Weaver strikes out Akinori Iwamura to start off.
7:24PM: Again with the B.J. Upton replay from last night. HE WAS TURNING. HE WAS TURNING. Anyway, Weaver looks good in red too, especially striking out the side. Okay, everyone looks good in red except Bartolo Colon. He looks like the Kool Aid man.
7:27PM: Sutcliffe wonders how it feels to strike out the side. What, you never did it yourself? Ooh, Sportscenter "Right Now"! Wait, we're watching a baseball game "right now". How can anything else possibly be "right now"?
7:30PM: Blah blah blah Ken Griffey still plays like a kid, says Dave O'Brien. Really? Do kids release charity wines? Three up, three down for Garza. O'Brien then utters my two favorite words: 'pitchers duel'. Whee!
7:33PM: Erin Andrews is talking but I don't see her and her teal dress. Is she out in the Perkins in left field?
7:36PM: Eric Hinske is up and he collects the first hit of the game. He's working his way through the AL East, having played for the Blue Jays and Red Sox prior to becoming a Ray. Expect the Yankees to sign him when he turns 37.
7:40PM: People seem to be implying that this game is a ALCS preview. I support that theory, since I believe the AL Central teams won't make the cut. I just wish the Red Sox and Yankees were still the only teams that mattered. It's like longing for Russia to sweep up its Soviet Socialist Republics and make a nice evil enemy for others to despise.
7:42PM: Holy crap, Figgins just pulled an Bobby Abreu on that. Don't be afraid of the wall, man!
7:45PM: Hey, Chone Figgins looks like Willie Randolph except younger and employed. His lack of catch on that foul ball let Gabe Gross stay alive for what O'Brien called a "gritty at-bat" that drove in Hinske. 1-0 Rays. Oops! Riggans singles to left. 2-0 Rays. Sutcliffe calls Dave O'Brien "O.B." That's a tampon, Sut. You're calling your partner a tampon.
7:47PM: Torii Hunter and Juan Rivera let a ball fall between them that led to a Bartlett RBI triple. That's a lack of fundamentals. Dan Gladden told me. 3-0 Rays.
7:49PM: Jeez, O'Brien and Sutcliffe are talking about Figgins' misplay as if it were the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Get over it, Weaver was the one who gave up four straight hits. Inning over!
7:53PM: Hey the Yankees are winning. This whole "avoid my favorite team and liveglog a game between two teams I hate" thing is working! Heck, I even think that Rick Sutcliffe is less awful than Michael Kay. That dude is so uptight, he makes me look like...well...Camp Tiger Claw. Ooh! Coldness in the Angels dugout.
7:56PM: Jered Weaver would look like so much more of a badass if he didn't have a girl's hair-do. Or if he got a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo. Angels have a tidy rally so far this inni...Erin Andrews sighting!
7:57PM: You know what would really piss Weaver off? If Figgins grounded into a triple play here.
7:59PM: Ooph, Hinske just got a mouthful of artificial turf. Just like the time he went down on that chick wearing a hula skirt. 3-1 Rays on Figgins' RBI single.
8:00PM: One of the fighting Aybar brothers just laced a triple into the gap (in Boston, this is called a 'gappah') and the game is tied 3-3.
8:01PM: And the Angels take the lead on a Teixeira groundout. 4-3 Angels. Hey, Jered Weaver looks a bit like Matthew Sweet with that haircut. Also, HOLY SHIT MATTHEW SWEET GOT FAT.
8:04PM: I notice a Verizon Yellow Pages ad on the back wall there. First off, do people even have landlines anymore, let alone look stuff up in phone books? If a business isn't listed online, they don't exist. And there aren't any pot dealers in the phone book, so what's the point?
8:07PM: If I had a cat, it would be darting about my living room like a speed freak trying to find the source of that cowbell clatter right now. Also, if I had a cat, I would shut down Walkoff Walk and make a kitty pictures website. Garza is finally out of his Long Hard Inning.
8:12PM: I cut my finger trying to open a bottle of Turkish mineral water today. My ability to type quickly has been curtailed somewhat, but my ability to entertain has never been better. Heck, it can't get much worse. Zing. Oh sexy, Sut just implied that Erin Andrews should take a trip up to the catwalks. Rawr! Boo, she's hanging out with the devil rays by that silly tank now. This isn't an aquarium, it's a ballpark!
8:15PM: Now O'Brien is demanding Erin Andrews head up to the catwalks. Little known fact: Dave O'Brien has an upskirt fetish. Don't listen to these knuckleheads, Erin. Hey, Jered Weaver just struck out the side for the second time tonight.
8:18PM: Now it seems O'Brien is implying that Erin Andrews had better not fall into the tank of rays lest she soak herself before he forces her to prance on the catwalk. Dave O'Brien: sadomasochist with an upskirt fetish.
8:21PM: LOOK OUT ERIN, THIS IS HOW THE CROCODILE HUNTER DIED! YOU LUNATIC, GET AWAY FROM THE POOL! Also, stop squealing like a girl and man up. You're a sideline reporter, not a....HOLY SHIT MITCH MAIER JUST GOT KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT
8:24PM: If you missed the highlight from the Royals/Indians affair, Mitch Maier squared to bunt and then got hit in the nose with a high and tight fastball. He went down like a block of concrete. Also going down, the Angels in that half inning.
8:27PM: I normally write my brilliant (ahem) blog entries at night, so with this glog going on, I won't have much time left to put together my usual morning oeuvre. Basically, expect shit tomorrow morning, regular readers. Eric Hinske just picked up his second hit. MASSIVE INSTANT REPLAY NEWS: the MLB signed the deal with the umps to begin using replay for tater tots.
8:30PM: Andy Pettitte is throwing a one-hitter in Toronto and yet I am glogging a Rays game. That's how much I love you, WoWies. Listening to Sutcliffe talk about instant replay is like watching a toddler try to do linear algebra. It's just not going to work out.
8:32PM: A double steal with Eric Hinske as the lead runner? Really? You're okay giving outs away like that, Maddon?
8:35PM: Heck, even Derek Jeter has a tater tot in that game. It's like they do magic when I don't watch. Teixeira fears no walls, but doesn't come up with the foul pop-up despite falling ass-over-teakettle.
8:40PM: +1 to anyone who can tell me what time the ladies' beach volleyball final starts and can liveglog it in the comments. -1 to anyone who talks about Little League baseball.
8:43PM: Wow, Coco Crisp went over the centerfield wall in an attempt to nab a Ramon Hernandez ding-dong. Good effort on Coco's part, but coming up empty on those plays just makes it really awkward when you have to climb back over the wall onto the warning track. Garza has certainly settled down here.
8:48PM: Dear Rays and Angels: Please keep this game close and at least give us a shred of hope that the game will end with a bases-bloated walk. Love, Shrimp fans everywhere. "(Akinori Iwamura) knows how to win," says Rick Sutcliffe. The rest of the Rays, however, are just faking it.
8:51PM: Wow, great catch by Vlad Guerrero off a long flyball by Upton. Skinny Matthew Sweet looks pleased.
8:54PM: Sutcliffe is questioning the Twins trading away Garza? Really? Has he seen the Twins studly and young rotation lately? Just because Delmon Young has the production of a blind retarded squirrel for the Twins doesn't mean the trade was a complete failure. Well, yet.
8:59PM: Sutcliffe keeps talking about pitchers seeing sports psychologists. Does he think that every other pitcher was touched inappropriately when they were five like he was? Garza just made an oopsie right there. TIME TO SEE A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST.
9:00PM: Rick Sutcliffe:sports psychologists::Dan Gladden:fundamentals
9:03PM: Garza must be in a shame spiral now as he walks the 8th place hitter to load the bases. Whoops, he got out of it.
9:06PM: Nothing says hilarity like a Rocco Baldelli injury history chart with, of course, the necessary mitochondria shoutout.
9:09PM: And now a full injury report about Baldelli from Erin Andrews. Wait a minute, Baldelli doesn't take batting practice, but rather sits on the bench drinking fluids and eating PowerBars? Holy shit, maybe Albert Belle had a mitochondrial disorder and wasn't just a total asshole.
9:12PM: One of the fighting Aybar brothers nearly hits the game's first ding-dong but it falls just short into Vlad's glove. ESPN chooses to go to commercial with some shitty Nickelback-esque band. Perhaps it was Nickelback?
9:18PM: The Rays fans, they are up in arms and ready to throw their cowbells at the nearest umpire.
9:21PM: I swear I wrote something at 9:15 but it disappeared into the ether. The Andre Eth(i)er. Tough night for Teixeira...he was made to look like a simpleton with that strikeout.
9:24PM: Oh man, Aybar ate dirt on that one and Garza is D-U-N done. Pitching change!
9:27PM: Big strikeout for the Tampa bullpen! It's seventh inning stretch time!
9:30PM: There are overweight white men in the outfield seats wearing sombreros and holding up one of those not-at-all-clever signs with the letters ESPN not-so-cleverly worked into a not-so-clever saying: wElcome to SweeP towN. I want these guys dead.
9:33PM: Mets won, Phillies won, Myers notched a shutout, and the Angels are having a pitching change. This video just made me shit my pants.
9:36PM: JOSE ARREDONDO HAS THE BEST NAME IN BASEBALL. Say it aloud. Ar-re-DONNNNNN-dohhhh. It's so fluid, so lyrical. Push K-Rod off a cliff and make this fella your closer next year, Scioscia. a-reh-DONNNNNNNNNNN-dohhhhhh
9:41PM: Grant Balfour is the new Rays pitcher here in the eighth. The Rays couldn't pull in 20,000 people. Christ, Riggans just took a fastball off the chest protector.
9:44PM: Balfour is Australian? Was he ever questioned in this investigation? I need answers, people!
9:45PM: A sign reads "Balfour = 3 Strikes". I can't even begin to analyze the grammatical errors in that one, or the fashion faux pas of the gentleman holding it up and wearing an enormous neon yellow wig.
9:49PM: B.J. Upton finally gets off the schneid and starts the Rays' eighth inning rally with a dubble to left. He definitely made the turn to second on this one.
9:51PM: My friend Arredondo just blew the save. Carlos Pena ties the game at 4 with a dubble to left. 4-4 tie.
9:54PM: A tie game late? Either my prayers have been answered or this one is gonna go to extra innings. Runners on the corners with one out? Troy Percival would be warming up if he was healthy.
9:57PM: The Tampa Aybar brother just shit the bed with that pop-up.
10:00PM: Arredondo nails the big strikeout of Ben Zobrist to send this game to the ninth tied at 4. ah-rey-DONNNNNNN-doh
10:03PM: Figgins gets walked to lead off the ninth. Leadoff walks always find a way to score, except when they don't. This is a certainty.
10:06PM: Erick Aybar lined a bunt out to brother Willy. This is the first time that someone lined a bunt out to his brother in baseball history and Tim Kurkjian just came in his shorts. Holy crap, what a crappy play by someone named Ruggiano!
10:09PM: Re: the Diamondbacks game highlights: HE'S THE LEAGUE LEADER IN DING-DONGS. HOW DO YOU NOT PUT IN A CLAIM FOR HIM, DODGERS? Re: this game: AWESOME DOUBLE STEAL by the Angels.
10:10PM: Looked safe to me. Then again, I always side with the umpires. They tend to favor the Yankees.
10:12PM: Heckuva play by Aybar there. The Ray Aybar. Bases still bloated for Garret Anderson. You could cut the tension in this stadium with a knife. It would probably be a hunting knife knowing the state of Florida.
10:14PM: Aki Iwamura makes the oopsie of the night. Not an error? Bullshit. 5-4 Angels.
10:17PM: K-Rod is in the game; kid has 47 saves, and only 42 of them have been completely cheap. Oh good! Iwamura has been charged with an error. THERE GOES YOUR DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY, RAYS TEAM.
10:20PM: I have been informed by our agent in the field that Alex Cora is about the come into the Red Sox-O's game...as a pitcher. Nice work, Sox bullpen. Here's Dioner Navarro to pinch hit in the game we are glogging.
10:21PM: The Angel Aybar just turned a delightful double play. Last chance for the Rays.
10:24PM: And this game is toaster pastries, as the Angels walkoff the field with a 5 to 4 victory over the Rays. See you folks tomorrow! So long and good night. Go USA Beach Volleyball!