Folks, I couldn't be more excited about tonight's playoff game. I could bore you with stats and matchups and predictions and whatnot, but we've had enough build-up all friggin' week long. It's Cole Hamels versus Derek Lowe at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and nobody has any idea who's gonna win. This mother's a tossup!
In case you do want an eloquently written preview of the pitching matchup, check out Jesse Spector's blog. If you want to follow along with the lineups and the game action, head over to MLB.com for the live boxscore. If you want some delicious foie gras in Montreal, go to Au Pied de Cochon.
But if you want dry sports comedy, follow along with me after the jump for all the good smart talk and jibber-jabber:
8:20PM: Hey, my AM radio doesn't work so I'm stuck listening to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck! Anyone out there got one of them newfangled "antennae"?
8:23PM: Holy crap, this game is starting 15 minutes earlier than I had expected. Excellent time management on my part.
8:26PM: Andre Ethier collects the first hit of the NLCS, a double that he will later celebrate with the degustation at Vetri.
8:27PM: Manny misses a tater tot by that much, knocking it off the fence atop the fence. Tim McCarver seems to be restraining himself and didn't criticize the kid. Maybe ol' Timothy has gotten a talking to from the higher ups.
8:30PM: Listening to McCarver rationalize why Manuel didn't pitch around Manny is like listening to a person trying to talk to a dog. It's just not going to work, and you feel ashamed for that poor bastard.
8:35PM: Hamels escaped what could have been a nightmare first inning for Phillies fans. FOX gives us an opportunity to listen to the dulcet tones of Randy Newman on the outro.
8:38PM: Shane, Chase, Jayson with a Y and Cole are all douchebag names, says my girlfriend. She should know, she lives in Connecticut.
8:41PM: She should also know because she's dating one. Derek Lowe is "sizzling" as per the copywriters at FOX. In other news, James Loney is "fierce" and Manny is a "hot mess".
8:44PM: Chutley just broke out of his mini-slump. Joe Buck reminds us of things that happened over 25 years ago by bringing up the three previous meetings in the NLCS. Buck neglects to remind us of other things that happened in 1983, like the election of Margaret Thatcher, which has about as much relevance on this 2008 series as those three prior meetings. RyHo grounds out into the shift to send this sucker to the second.
8:48PM: Hamels has calmed down in the second, mixing fastballs and breaking balls. He also took a schvitz between innings, so that might be the reason.
8:50PM: It's Ken Rosensmarm! I wonder what magical places he will emerge from tonight in that magical stadium! I'd pay good money to see him burned alive in the cheese sauce vat at the crab fries stand.
8:55PM: Pat Burrell's not slumping, he's just hurt. Also, he hasn't hooked up with a fat Philly skank at McFadden's in over three months so that's got him emo.
8:56PM: Holding Burrell to a single on a ball in the corner ain't no thang. Fucker runs slower than molasses in January. Yet McCarver chooses to praise Manny in such a strange occasion.
8:57PM: My chick wants to know what species of rodent is on Jayson Werth's chin. I said 'chipmunk' but it might be a marmot.
9:01PM: Hey, that Furcal fella has a really good arm. We're through two innings.
9:06PM: Furcal swung so hard his friggin hat almost fell off, which leads me to believe that if an attractive lady walked by, his helmet would hover above his head and his eyes would bug out comically while his ears whistled like steam whistles.
9:09PM: Manny gets jammed by Hamels. Is that a different mouthpiece that he wore in Boston, or is it the same?
9:13PM: Heh heh, Joe Buck said "squirts". In related news, I ate a bad batch of sushi last week.
9:14PM: Hey, it's "Suddenly Susan". And I'm Suddenly Nauseous.
9:18PM: Derek Lowe is throwin' them wormburners like it's his business. Well actually, that is his business, to throw wormburners. Sugar Shane Victorino nearly takes the dude out, but they end up in a delightful pile in foul territory and share a laugh or two. Those silly boys!
9:21PM: Casey Blake's beard is well-groomed. It looks so natural. No one can tell.
9:25PM: Excellent, we got to hear Greg Dobbs' reaction to Victorino's collision at first! That was so revealing, so in-depth, so...fucking boring.
9:28PM: Hey y'all, I found a commercial with Casey Blake endorsing a familiar household product:
9:31PM: FOX TRAX SHOWS US WHERE PITCHES GO
9:34PM: When will we see our first appearance of Scooter in these playoffs? I need to know so I know when to throw my teevee out the window.
9:39PM: Andre Ethier is up again. He's probably going to try and move this game along so he doesn't lose his reservation at Marathon Grill.
9:43PM: Was that Ned Colletti, GM of the Dodgers, that FOX just showed us up in the luxury box? I wonder if GMs and owners are constantly reminding themselves to keep their fingers out of their noses just in case the teevee cameras focus on them for a second or two.
9:48PM: Pardon me while I interject some actual baseball analysis, but the Dodgers infield defense has been exquisite so far. No wonder Derek Lowe has been successful of late.
9:51PM: And I obviously just jinxed Lowe as Carlos Ruiz grounds one past a diving Joyce DeWitt.
9:53PM: That was the best hit baseball we've seen from the Phillies lineup all night and it came off the bat of Cole Hamels. Shame on Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for being such Negative Nellies about Hamels' chances.
9:56PM: Commenting seems to be a bit broken. If you get an error message, just go back and reload.
10:00PM: Kudos to the Philly infield defense as well for their prowess. If this comment ends up a jinx too, then I'll eat my hat.
10:04PM: Oh good, Furcal made an error. Sorry Dodgers fans, but I absolutely jinxed your team by saluting their infield defense. In other news, David Pinto is not impressed with Lowe's control.
10:07PM: CHUTLEY TATER DONG. 2-2 TIE UP IN HERE.
10:10PM: I rewound a few times to see if my sister caught that homerun ball, but then I realized I have no idea if (a) she's at the game or (b) she's sitting in those seats.
10:12PM: PAT THE BAT FUNNYBONES 3-2 Phillies lead. Derek Lowe is doneskis.
10:15PM: Here's Chan Ho Park. Perhaps you remember him from such films as My Sassy Girl.
10:18PM: Casey Blake webgems to end the inning. We're headed to the seventh frame, y'all.
10:21PM: How much longer will Hamels be pitching in this game? He's thrown 95 pitches so far, so I don't think he'll make it to the eighth.
10:24PM: Hey, it's everyone's favorite motorcycle-ridin', deer-huntin', redneck-havin' white boy Jeff Kent! He receives the proper treatment from the Philadelphia crowd, which is a mixture of boos and guttural disdain. Hamels smokes it by him for the K as he passes the 100 pitch mark.
10:27PM: Hamels executes the ol' 1-6-3 putout and we're headed to the seventh inning stretch!
10:30PM: Hey what the fuck, is there a TV on that blimp or what? Can I have that thing fly by my condo on Super Bowl Sunday? Imagine telling your friends, "Hey, come by my place tonight, we're watching the game on a 1400 inch television floating outside my bedroom window.
10:33PM: So Taguchi just made a bunt oopsie. Blake DeWitt made an excellent double play turn at second to send the Phillies down, all while getting a taste of Carlos Ruiz' spikes. Ouch.
10:36PM: Here's righty Ryan Madson to make his best attempt to keep the Dodgers at a deuce in the runs column. And even Dodgers fans are hoping he gets the job done only so their team has a chance to eat Brad Lidge's balls in the next inning.
10:39PM: Manny hits it hard but the ball ends up in Pedro Feliz' glove. Hey, Pedro Feliz contributed!
10:42PM: Pedro Feliz giveth, Pedro Feliz taketh away.
10:44PM: Madson gave up some hard hit base-balls but works his way out of a two-out baserunner. This is similar to the time Ryan Madson got swallowed by that whale and worked his way out of its blowhole.
10:46PM: Ryan Madson video break!
10:49PM: Joe Buck wonders what happened to sideline reporter Chris Myers. Something tells me he's gone headfirst into the pot of pulled pork at Bull's BBQ.
10:51PM: Yes, Tim McCarver just called Ryan Howard "Brian Howard". I rewound to ensure that gaffe was made. He's the King of Gaffes and the Prince of Misspeaking.
10:52PM: Hey, a Cialis commercial. CTC was telling me how he won a Cialis eating contest once, downing 75 pills in 20 seconds. The doctors only had to drain the blood out of his dongle three times.
10:54PM: Place your bets now if you think Lidge is gonna give up the dong in this inning. He barely records an out thanks to Victorino's excellent range.
10:57PM: Lidge nearly gives up the farm again but thanks to Victorino's still-excellent range, he's got two outs.
10:59PM: Lidge gets Joyce DeWitt to strike out and the Phillies win! Carlos Ruiz scrambles to grab that baseball and nails the throw down to Ryan Howard 3-2 Final Score. Thanks for joining us tonight for this special NLCS liveglog. We appreciate our readers, and we appreciate our commenters. We even appreciate our trolls who spoil reality shows that I like. See ya tomorrow!