Welcome, liveglog club members, to the fifth liveglog of the World Series as presented by Walkoff Walk! Follow along with me tonight as I attempt to make clever witticisms about the baseball game set to start in Philadelphia any minute now. The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to rebound from two straight road losses to the Philadelphia Phillies, who find themselves justthisclose to a friggin' championship. Because tonight has the opportunity for one team to clinch, prepare yourself for the possibility that this is the final liveglog of the 2008 season.
If some elements of this liveglog seem familiar to you, perhaps it's because Game Five's pitching matchup is the same as that of Game One. Therefore and henceforth, I have deemed it necessary to repeat the usage of the following pair of photographs that completely illustrates tonight's starters, Scott Kazmir of the Rays and Cole Hamels of the Phillies:
Both pitchers didn't go off message very much in Game One; Hamels continued to dominate while Kazmir continued to struggle, giving up too many walks and too many tater tots to be successful. Even worse for Kazmir, he'll need to pitch a shutout tonight to win if his Rays lineup continues to be mired in shittiness. From Fribble King David Pinto at Baseball Musings:
The strength of this lineup lies in their 1-4 hitters, and that quartet has not gotten on base in this series. Combined they collected seven hits and four walks in the first four games in 60 at bats for a .172 OBA.
Yikes! Those stats are enough to make anyone lose their hair. Let's hope for a good, close game that is completely unaffected by poor umpiring calls. Enough prelude, onto the glog...AFTER THE COMPULSORY JUMP
8:00PM: No time for lineups, Dr. Jones. Instead, peep the only important managerial decision of the evening over at Ghostrunner on First: it's Baldelli time, drutherchuckers. Oh, and Carl Crawford is batting second because he seems to be the only Ray who can put ball to bat and then put ball into play.
8:05PM: So it's like, raining and stuff in Philadelphia. This does not bode well for the players who are not fully waterproofed.
8:10PM: While you are waiting for the National Anthem to commence, please enjoy this video:
LIP DUB IUT SRC ROUEN 2008 from arcanes-prod on Vimeo.
8:15PM: My God, John Oates is the first human being I have ever seen implore the crowd to sing along with him to the National Anthem in this country. Too bad he didn't actually, you know, sing it at a standard tempo which would actually, you know, make it easy for folks to sing along.
8:20PM: Maybe someday, the World Series will be permanently moved to the new Baseball Network and the regular broadcast networks can finally wash their hands of sporting events. That way, we won't have to suffer through so many goddamn House commercials and networks like FOX can concentrate on producing more horrible reality shows like I Want To Marry a Fifth Grader.
8:25PM: Dmac has the best political sign of the entire campaign season.
8:27PM: Rocco Baldelli announces the Rays lineup. Somewhere on Bloor Street, our weekend editor Lloyd is fainting with absolute glee and devotion to his idol.
8:30PM: Okay, the DirecTV ads have been horrendously repetitive, but here's the best clip from the National Lampoon's Vacation movie:
8:31PM: First pitch is a strike!
8:34PM: That porch in left field is short, but just not short enough for Iwamura who has flown out deep to Burrell at least three times in the past three games. Crawford pulls an Upton and lollygags his way down the first base line. Upton also pulls an Upton, except he never had a chance. Quick top o' the first!
8:36PM: "Naturally, we called our stuff GatorADE." I hate you, Southern scientist.
8:39PM: Donovan McNabb announces the Phillies lineup; somewhere, my girlfriend swoons. Jimmy Rollins leads off with a lazy flyout to left.
8:42PM: Midgame rumormongering: Rick Sutcliffe to replace Joe Morgan on ESPN's Sunday night broadcasts? Kazmir walks Jayson Werth; Werth drops his bat and totes his extraneous 'Y' and douchey facial hair down to first base.
8:43PM: CHUTLEY PLUNKED. Where's Clare when we need her?
8:46PM: The Philly faithful starts a tepid "M-V-P" chant for Ryan Howard. I hope they are wishing for a World Series MVP for the big man because he just doesn't deserve the regular season award. Yeah, Rob, you try explaining sabermetrics to folks from Chichester, PA. Big fella strikes out.
8:47PM: Hey, Scott Kazmir is pitching a no-hitter through 2/3 of an inning.
8:49PM: Okay, Victorino broke up the single worst no-hitter in playoff history. It's 2-0 Phillies thanks to a bases-bloated single.
8:51PM: Feliz it or not, the bases are juiced again. Poor Pat Burrell has the stubby 'n' creaky legs of a 55-year-old Italian godmother or else he'd have scored.
8:54PM: Ruiz flies out and the inning is done, 2-0 Phillies.
8:56PM: Reeking of desperation, Carlos Pena embarrasses himself and us all by attempting a bunt and failing miserably. HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS, RAYS FAN? Longoria flies out gently.
8:59PM: FOX, always on top of the most important statistics, tells us that Cole Hamels has been the epitome of the lazy American worker by only putting three minutes of work in over his first 1 and 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, hardworking Japanese immigrant Scott Kazmir has toiled away for fifteen whole minutes and gotten far more accomplished! For the other team, of course. Navarro walks.
9:00PM: Baldelli pops out, and we'll go to the middle of the second. In related news, Donovan McNabb implores Philadelphians to attend Restaurant Week and raise money for the police. Donovan McNabb is a winner in my book.
9:01PM: For your auditory entertainment between innings, Kanye West's new singalong.
9:04PM: Cole Hamels strikes out feebly to start the inning as we are treated to Shane Victorino's postulatin' theories on wind patterns in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
9:07PM: Tim McCarver attempts to create drama by asking if he will be getting his Jason Bartlett-sponsored free taco in Tampa tomorrow, or back home in his lair of disinformation and shitty announcing, which Wikipedia tells me is in Flint, Michigan.
9:09PM: Jayson Werth singles, bringing up Chutley. Clare's buddy flies out to Longoria. End of second!
9:10PM: So far, this game has all the excitement of the Chichester - Sun Valley Turkey Bowl, with the added glitz and glamour of a John Oates appearance!
9:16PM: Iwamura collects the first Rays hit after some stuff happened that I missed because I pissed.
9:18PM: Here's a video illustration of the Rays game plan so far tonight, thanks to commenter Honeynut Ichiros:
9:20PM: Scott Kazmir gives Ryan Howard a serious case of the high hard ones and strikes him out on three pitches. Hey, Joe Buck is telling us what we missed in the first four games! While You Were Sleeping ho ho ho.
9:22PM: Kazmir eliminates Burrell and Victorino and he will now persuade his mates to follow his lead and get on the fucking board.
9:26PM: Allow me to break down the fourth wall of liveglogging: Ever notice that sometime around the fourth inning of a liveglog, I get distracted and start missing things that happen during the game? Yeah, sorry about that. Still, I assume you're all watching along at home so forgive me if I incorrectly report game action and/or embed awful videos of French people lip synching to Thriller. Jimmy Rollins throw baseball hard, record out.
9:29PM: Joe and Tim agree that no manager has ever been as forthcoming as Joe Maddon in their thirteen years of assaulting our sensibilities with their poor attempt at broadcasting nationally televised baseball games. Honesty will only get you so far, you hipster doofus. Now try and appease Joe Morgan. Carlos Pena FINALLY gets off the schneid and doubles off the right field scoreboard.
9:30PM: Longoria follows Pena and removes his own personal monkey, singling in the big fella to close the Rays within one run. 2-1 Phils.
9:31PM: Cole Hamels: not waterproof.
9:32PM: Phillies infield defense: can take a soakin' and keep on smokin'. That GIDP sends us to the middle of the fourth.
9:35PM: Joe Buck, amateur meteorologist, professional understander of baseball rules. This game is required to go the full nine, kids.
9:38PM: If there is any sort of rain delay in this game, I am not liveglogging the "Til Death" show. Or the "Steve Harvey" show. I might fire up the DVR and catch up on "Survivor". No spoilers, Chief, or I'll eat your dog. Ruiz singles and Hamels nearly breaks his fucking finger attempting to bunt. An entire populace gasps.
9:40PM: Poor Cole Hamels is stuck on first base with two outs and Jimmy Rollins embroiled in a full count foul fest. Hamels is cold, soaking wet, and nursing an ouchie finger.
9:43PM: Rollins walks, and now Hamels is cold and wet on second base.
9:46PM: Awesome, Jayson Werth fouled one off so hard, it went backwards and lodged itself into the advertisement. WERTH SMASH.
9:47PM: Werth walks, and now Hamels is cold and wet on third base. He's just like I was the first time I got to third base.
9:50PM: Bases juiced, a 3-2 count, and Chase Utley grounds out into the shift. Poor Cole Hamels can't catch a break and must head directly to the mound, does not pass Go and does not collect two hundie dollah.
9:53PM: The wind and rain bedeviled Jimmy Rollins and Rocco is now on first base thanks to a major oopsie.
9:56PM: My stars! My garters! Chase Utley just earned the next six NL Gold Gloves at second base with that one AMAZING double play.
9:57PM: Kazmir strikes out at the hands of his nemesis, and we're through four and a half.
10:02PM: Kazmir walks Howard and Buck and McCarver devolve into more weather chit-chat. Please please please don't delay this game, weather gods.
10:04PM: Kazmir has issues with the mound. Not unlike the first time I got to third base.
10:06PM: Kazmir just cannot find the strike zone. Even his strikeouts have all been swinging on high hard ones or low breaking balls. Runners on first and second, and the kid is D-U-N done.
10:08PM: A little musical interlude for your pitching change break:
10:12PM: Grant Balfour is your new Rays pitcher and he will enjoy some new dirt on the pitching mound. Oh good! ANOTHER commercial break! Thanks, weather!
10:18PM: Two quick flyouts and Grant Balfour is cooking with gas. Joe Maddon demands an infield fly rule to be called!
10:20PM: Make that three quick outs, and we're headed to the sixth. Here's some of Honeynut Ichiro's very own Farthammer Cakies:
10:24PM: Joe Buck takes a moment to educate us on the wrinkles of the infield fly rule, and whether or not umpires can choose to use it at their own discretion. And now we are stuck listening to Ken Robothal inform us about the umpire's collective bargaining agre....zzzzzzzzzzz
10:26PM: Another commercial. This game is dragging worse than Social Studies class.
10:29PM: Iwamura strikes out on a soggy and wide strike by Hamels. Joe Buck brings up the umpire's inconsistency in calling strikes and strikes a blow to the umpire's collective bargaining agre....zzzzzzz
10:32PM: Jimmy Rollins really hates the soaking wet conditions. Other people who hate the conditions: folks with soggy crab fries.
10:35PM: Please, FOX cameramen, for the love of God, find Bud Selig and capture him throwing his dumb hands in the air again.
10:36PM: The only thing that could piss Maddon off more right now would be snow. No, not the weather condition, this guy.
10:38PM: Carlos Pena fives his stroke in Game Found, tying up the contest at 2 with an RBI single.
10:39PM: B.J. Upton is a mudder.
10:42PM: If we come back from commercial and there is no tarp on that field, I'm filing a protest with the League of Livegloggers.
10:43PM: RAIN DELAY THEATRE! I'll be back when the game resumes, dudes and dudettes.