Oh my goodness, the playoffs are here! I feel so unprepared! I haven't had a chance to vacuum or sweep up the porch or anything! No matter, I suppose. We'll just take this liveglog down into my rec room, where you can spill beer and drop peanut shells on the garish industrial flooring without a second thought. That's what the wet/dry vac is for.
So our first tussle of the postseason pits the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers against each other in the first of a winner-takes-all series. Lefty stud Cole Hamels will face recently healed Yovani Gallardo; the lineups can be found on the MLB live page. Milwaukee is going with their standard "all righties except Prince Fielder" lineup while the Phillies counter with their standard "lineup". Yes, Pat Burrell's back problems weren't bad enough to keep the dude on the bench.
It's cloudy and about 70 degrees in Philly today; if you're at the ballpark reading this on your iPhone, please provide us with infrequent weather updates and Phanatic sightings. Thanks.
Your first playoff glog starts...after the jump:
2:50PM: I have the opportunity to CHOOSE my radio feed today, either the Milwaukee broadcast with Uecker or the Philadelphia broadcast with Kalas. Whatever shall I do?
2:55PM: Nevermind, I was completely wrong. One of the XM feeds is the ESPN Radio broadcast, featuring Michael Kay and Steve Phillips. Kill me now, I'm sticking with the home team call.
3:00PM: Michael Kay interviewed the two managers before the game started. He led off by saying to Dale Sveum, "A month ago you were a coach and now you're the manager. How does that feel?" Brilliant reporting, Kay.
3:05PM: You know, if I want to make hay by saying not-so-nice things about the radio announcers, perhaps I'd be better off sticking with the ESPN Radio feed. Chances that Phillips and Kay will piss me off five times an inning: 100%. About to get underway at CBP! Get happy, folks!
3:10PM: Hamels' first pitch to Mike Cameron is a high fastball. Cameron works a full count; Cole sits him down with a changeup. One away.
3:14PM: It feels weird listening to Michael Kay have contempt for a National League team. Normally, I am shaking my fist at him for being a real negative nelly during Yankees broadcasts on television. Bill Hall popped out to short, bringing up Ryan Braun. Hey, remember when Sports Illustrated put all the sophomore stars on the cover? Looks like Braun was the only one to avoid the jinx. Well, not right now, he struck out.
3:20PM: The Phillies will send up Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Chase Utley to face Gallardo. Rollins grounds out to someone Michael Kay called "Richie Weeks". One away. Werth strikes out swinging. Two away.
3:25PM: Utley lined out to end the first inning. Everyone's favorite Tofu Taster, Prince Fielder led off the second by striking out swinging. J.J. Hardy flies out for the second out, and Kay notices that there is lightning in the area. WEATHER UPDATE: THERE IS LIGHTNING IN THE AREA. Utley snares a Corey Hart grounder and it's a 1-2-3 inning again for Hamels.
3:30PM: The wind is blowing out. Water is beginning to fall from the sky in sprinkle format. Phillies fans are retreating for the hot dog stands. It's dark enough that you can no longer see downtown Philly from the announcing booth. Ryan Howard walks. Pat Burrell GIDPs, score that one 6-6-3. The rain increases in power.
3:35PM: Shane Victorino works a walk on four pitches. Gallardo is unnerved by water falling from the sky. After a couple pickoff attempts, Gallardo gets Feliz to ground out to send this thing to the third.
3:40PM: It's Weeks, Kendall and Gallardo here against Hamels. Weeks strikes out swinging, making him Cole Hamels' fourth K victim of the day. Kendall drills a deep one to left but it tails off foul. If Jason Kendall hits a ding-dong, you know with absolute certainty the wind is blowing out in a hitters' park. Nevermind, Kendall flew out to Victorino and Gallardo flew out to deep left.
3:45PM: Kay and Phillips claim that Gallardo's fly ball would totally have been a tater tot had the wind not 'kept it in the park'. I have no way of knowing if this is true, but I'm guessing it's Michael Kay's way of making up for his false sense of excitement when the bat was swung. Carlos Ruiz leads off the inning with a line drive single. Here comes Hamels to attempt a sac bunt. Bill Hall bobbles it, thinks about second, throws to second and Weeks drops it. Everyone is safe, except for the guy standing on the roof of the ballpark with a golf club. THERES LIGHTNING, Y'ALL.
3:50PM: Rollins chooses to swing away and flies out to left. Nobody advances. Michael Kay criticizes him for an unproductive at-bat. Gallardo gets Werth swinging to bring up Utley. Utley lines one to centerfield...Cameron catches it, falls to the ground...and DROPPED THE BALL! Two runs score! 2-0 Phillies.
3:55PM: That's ruled a double. Ryan Howard is intentionally walked, bringing up Pat Burrell. Michael Kay gets bored and begins to describe the Phillies and Brewers uniforms with exceptional detail. Well, exceptionally boring detail. If you don't know what the uniforms look like, look them up. Burrell draws a full count, and walks. The bases are bloated for Victorino.
4:00PM: The Flyin' Hawai'ian OPS'ed .889 with the bases loaded in 2008. Just six plate appearances, but whatever. Fella walks, and Utley is forced home to score a run. 3-0 Phils.
4:01PM: Things have fallen apart for Yovani. Kid's up to 60 pitches, but is able to induce Feliz into a fly ball out. End of three!
4:05PM: Mike Cameron grounds out to Utley to lead off the fourth. Bill Hall grounds out to Ryan Howard unassisted. Michael Kay does a live-read ad for the Mike & Mike show. I'd actually rather listen to those two Mikes call a spelling bee than listen to your blowhard radio show, Michael Kay. Braun pops out and we're done with three and a half innings.
4:10PM: Ruiz bunts back to the mound and is immediately thrown out by Gallardo. Helpful, Carlos. Helpful. Here's Hamels, who batted .224 on the year with zero walks. Patient, he is not. He strikes out swinging to fulfill the prophecy. Rollins picks up the two-out single.
4:13PM: Gallardo is nearing 80 pitches now. Here's Jayson Werth. He pops out to Fielder, and we're through four innings. Still 3-0 Phils.
4:15PM: ESPN Radio had another commercial for Mike & Mike in the Moaning. This one played back a phone-in spot from Peyton Manning about getting back on a winning streak. Completely related: Peyton Manning called into the Opie & Anthony show last week and neither party had any idea how to handle such a situation.
4:20PM: Fielder leads off the fifth by striking out. This is going to sound extraordinarily cruel, but can you imagine the sadness in Milwaukeetown if the Brewers trudge home this weekend having been blown out in the first two games of this series? Twenty-six years without playoffs and the first home playoff game they get might be a Phillies clincher. Nevermind, I'm getting ahead of myself in being a jerk. Hardy grounds out to second. Two down. Corey Hart lines a base hit to right, breaking up Hamels perfect game at the halfway mark.
4:23PM: Rickie Weeks goes down looking and Hamels sends his boys to the middle of the fifth with that three run lead intact.
4:25PM: Here's Mike and Mike doing a Carfax commercial. Whoever listens to ESPN Radio on a regular basis must either have really poor FM reception or a very, very strange fetish.
4:30PM: No double switch, but
Ned Yost Dale Sveum brings in Mitch Stetter to pitch. Gallardo is D-U-N done. He went four innings and gave up no earned runs, but still walked five dudes and didn't really help the Brewers as much as they'd like. The lefty Stetter gets Utley to ground out to third. Stetter is pitching Howard away away away while the defense has taken the form of an infield shift. Howard strikes out swingin'.
4:32PM: Dale Sveum is putting all his cards on the table right away, bringing Carlos Villanueva in to pitch to Burrell. Craig Counsell comes in to hit in the ninespot while Villanueva replaces Weeks in the seven hole. I LOVE DOUBLE SWITCHES.
4:33PM: Bases empty, two outs. Nevermind, Burrell flies out to Braun to end the fifth.
4:40PM: Hamels starts the sixth off by striking out little Jason Kendall. That's seven strikeouts for Cole in five and one-third innings. At this rate, he'll have 348 K's by the end of the game. Wait, I think my calcumalator is borkened. Counsell lines a base hit to centerfield, continuing Craig Counsell's improbable string of postseason success.
4:45PM: Hamels lets Cameron get ahead 3-0 and ends up walking him on five pitches. Runners on first and second now with one out for Milwaukee. The Phillies infielders group on the mound to drop some positive vibes on Hamels and Michael Kay does another live-read ad for Mike & Mike. The vibes work, as Bill Hall strikes out swinging. Braun pops out and Hamels is out of trouble. Let's go to the bottom of the sixth!
4:50PM: Victorino flies out to right, no questions asked. Feliz flies out to right center. Still no questions asked. Kay and Phillips are chatting about the tendency of the White Sox to score on homers, wondering why they abandoned the small ball offense that won them the World Series in aught-five. Newsflash: they hit a lot of homers back then too. DIckheads. Ruiz grounds out to third, end of the sixth.
4:55PM: Fielder grounds out to his contemporary Ryan Howard to start the seventh. Hardy grounds out and Hart flies out. Seventh inning stretch time!
5:00PM: Rain is starting to fall again. Hamels is doing well enough to stay in the game and hit for hisself here in the bottom of the seventh. He strikes out though, so don't get your hopes up. Don't look now but Villanueva has retired five dudes in a row.
5:03PM: Make that six in a row as Rollins strikes out swinging....wait no, seven in a row...Werth struck out swinging too. Oh my stars and garters, the Brewers have a solid bullpen!
5:08PM: I'm hangin' on for the remainder of the game, folks. Tony Gwynn Jr pinch hits for Villanueva, drags a bunt past the pitcher, Utley charges and throws him out. New leftfielder: Eric Bruntlett takes over for Burrell. Four outs in a row for Hamels on six pitches, says Mike Kay. Our pal dmac screencapped the Chase Utley double, by the way.
5:09PM: Hamels strikes out Kendall swinging, his ninth K on the day. Here's the feisty Craig Counsell, who grounds out to third...we're through seven and a half!
5:15PM: I can see the finish line in this contest, which can only mean one thing: Dale Sveum is going to bring in enough relievers in the bottom of the eighth to stretch this game until 6PM. CTC's boyfriend Manny Parra is the new Brewers pitcher, replacing Gwynn in the lineup. Brad Lidge is warming up in the Philly pen. Chase Utley's long at-bat ends in a groundout.
5:20PM: Ryan Howard walks for the third time today. That's gonna happend when he bats in front of a gimpy Burrell and now a weak-hitting Bruntlett. Still, Bruntlett follows with a ground ball up the middle that Hardy bobbles...first and second now with one out.
5:27PM: Victorino chops one up the middle that Counsell snags and flips to Hardy. The relay to first is late and Shane is safe, no questions asked. Like I predicted, Sveum is going to the bullpen and bringing in Guillermo Mota. Zzzzzz. Kay and Phillips are bored enough to start chatting about the Red Sox. Runners on the corners with two outs here for Pedro Feliz....Victorino steals second with no throw by Kendall. Feliz pops to shallow right-center that Craig Counsell nabs with his web-gemmy powers. To the ninth!
5:32PM: It's official. Brad Lidge is in the game, replacing Cole Hamels in the lineup. Fella went all year without blowing a game. Let's see if he can maintain the streak in the postseason. Mike Cameron works the count full but strikes out looking. One down.
5:34PM: Ray Durham pinch hits for Bill Hall and lines a single to right.
5:37PM: Steve Phillips mentions that he would have liked for Lidge to have blown a save during the season because being perfect is no way to learn a lesson. Steve Phillips is an idiot. Ryan Braun hits a massive foul ball and the entire ballpark gasps. The count is full. Braun doubles down the line, Durham holds at third. The ball gets away from Utley and Durham scampers home. 3-1 Phillies.
5:38PM: Prince Fielder is 4-for-7 with two taters against Lidge in his career. Despite first base being wide open, Charlie Manuel decides to have Lidge pitch to Fielder. Eep.
5:42PM: Fielder works a full count, fouling off a couple pitches. And Lidge gets Prince Fielder to strike out swinging!
5:44PM: It's all up to J.J. Hardy, 0-for-3 on the day. The righty had 24 dongs on the year. Hardy gets ahead 3-1 on three sliders and a fastball. And Hardy walks to put the tying run on first.
5:47PM: Here's Corey Hart, and Lidge throws a wild pitch moving the runners up to second and third. Raise your hand if you've got agita. Lidge strikes out Hart! Game over! 3-1 Phillies despite some wildness on Brad Lidge's part. Thirty-five pitches and only nineteen of them were strikes. Thanks for joining our liveglog today, folks. See you later!