Welcome, readers and commenters to the first ever Walkoff Walk Wednesday Night Liveglog Club World Series Game! We've come a long way since we started liveglogging pre-season games back in March. Here's a link to the first ever glog which coincidentally featured the Phillies. This might be my last liveglog of the year, so I'm going to do my best to entertain you and actually finish the game. Hurry up and finish sewing those World Series patches onto your liveglog blazers, folks!
Tonight's World Series Game One features super lefty Scott Kazmir and his AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays against super lefty Cole Hamels and his NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Neither fella has much history against the other team's hitters, so let's ignore all that matchup bullshit tonight. Both pitchers will strike a lot of batters out. Both pitchers are at risk to give up taters. Both pitchers were drafted in the first round back in 2002. Neither pitcher has ever been in my kitchen. Therefore, I've convinced myself that Hamels and Kazmir are exactly the same person, just with different hairstyles.
Some lineup surprises for you to peruse:
Yes, that's Ben Zobrist batting eighth and playing right field, not Gabe Gross and not Lloyd's boy toy Rocco Baldelli. What gives, Overmanagin' Joe Maddon? It's just Zobrist's second career start in right, but Maddon says the matchup with lefty Hamels is favorable. If Zobrist goes hitless and/or makes an error, you better expect some second guessing tomorrow morning.
Also note that Charlie Manuel has decided to keep Chase Utley and Ryan Howard glued together, side-by-side like conjoined left-handed hitting twins. He's also putting two catchers in the lineup, as righty Chris Coste has the most chances of hitting southpaw Kazmir of al the folks on the Philly bench. Who is Manuel's emergency catcher? I'm going with this person.
Enough analysis! Onto the glog! After the jump!
8:00PM: Is it time for the Backstreet Boys yet?
8:05PM: Michael Douglas, Barack Obama, and John McCain are telling us that baseball saved America from the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II, the race riots, the 9/11 attacks, and the Great Credit Crisis of 2008. Hey, that sign said "USA FEARS. NOBODY PLAY BALL." I disagree, sign maker from 2001!
8:10PM: Jeanne Zelasko's voice irritates me. It's not just the timbre or the pitch, but also the words comin' outta her mouf. I'd be most pleased if she impaled herself on the World Series trophy. Other FOX news: there are no FOX celebs in the house tonight but Rob Schneider will show up tomorrow night. Maybe they'll film a "Rich the Copier Guy" sketch for the seventh inning stretch. Carlos Pena...the Carlosmeister...King Carlos of Penaville...
8:15PM: In honor of Taco Bell's stupid "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" giveaway, I give you the Shawn Johnson "Makes My Taco Pop" video remix!
8:20PM: The game's first pitch is still 15 minutes away and I have already had my fill of cowbell for tonight. Fuck you, Will Ferrell and Chris Walken, for encouraging more cowbell in any aspect of American culture. Fuck you both hard. Oh shit, a gigantic American flag is about to be unfurled! Unfurl, unfurl!
8:25PM: The Backstreet Boys were received with a smattering of cowbell and a whole lotta boos. Perhaps the fans knew in advance how horrible their version of Our National Anthem would be. Stop getting creative, you horrible former boy-bots! Any anthem singer who comes out and implores the fans to sing along with them at an acceptable tempo that finishes the song in under 75 seconds will be my favorite anthem singer ever.
8:30PM: Tim McCarver is here, and he's making intelligent statements about the Phillies rotation dropping off precipitously after Hamels. I expect this trend to end immediately. I own a book by Tim McCarver called "Baseball For Brain Surgeons". The suggested reading level on the sleeve is "ages 4 and up" so I don't really think it was marketed properly.
8:35PM: House! Bones! 24! Other FOX shows with one-named titles! Coming in November! As soon as FOX is done with these pesky baseball games we overpaid for! Anyone ever see "Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader"? I've heard it's far better than expected due to its didactic nature and excessive redneck humiliation. Hey! Mike Schmidt sighting!
8:40PM: McCarver calls Kazmir the "winningest pitcher in Tampa Ray history." He misspeaks less frequently than Emmitt Smith but more frequently than John McCain. I give him a C- in communication skills. First pitch time! Kazmir deals to Rollins...and it's a strike!
8:43PM: Rollins flies out to Zobrist, who has already proven himself worthy of starting tonight by not dropping an easy out. Werth gets ahead 3-0, takes two strikes, and then earns a walk on an outside fastball.
8:46PM: Chase Utley attempts a bunt against a shifted infield and Joe Buck remarks, "Why not?!?" Here's why not, dummy: because Chase Utley is too good a hitter to mess around with silly bunts and give up a strike in the first inning with a runner on. Others may disagree. I am not infallible. Neither is Kazmir. He gives up a two -run tater tot to Utley, and it's 2-0 PHILLIES.
8:49PM: McCarver commits another malapropism by referring to the Rays pitcher as "Kashmir". No, Tim, it's Kazzzzzmir. This is Kashmir. Anyway, Ryan Howard grounds out and Pat Burrell strikes out swinging.
8:52PM: Neat way to introduce the Rays lineup. Too bad Crawford fucked it up. What, they couldn't dig up Wade Boggs' corpse and have him introduce the team? Iwamura gets an infield single because Cole Hamels was late getting off the mound and Ryan Howard is as slow as molasses in January.
8:55PM: ALCS hero B.J. Upton grounds into a double play, cutting short a Rays rally. "Double plays do that," opines McCarver. DO THEY? Pena grounds out into the shift and we're headed to the second!
8:58PM: I actually like the new DirecTV ad that borrows from the classic comedy film Vacation. That was back when Chevy Chase was only slightly unlikeable. Here's Victorino, who reaches on an infield single.
9:01PM: Kazmir falls behind Pedro Feliz 3-0. Joe Buck tells us that Charlie Manuel instructed his players to take a lot of early pitches because Kazmir is wild early. Hey, it worked for Werth but the opposite worked for Utley. And now it works for Feliz, who trots down to first.
9:04PM: Chris Coste wrote a book. I do not own it, but I can assure you it was more well-written than anything McCarver has even produced.
9:07PM: On a 3-1 count to catcher Carlos Ruiz, Charlie Manuel calls for the hit-and-run. Bold! But unproductive with a foul. Ruiz walks, and Joe Buck blames Kazmir's concern with Victorino on second base.
9:09PM: Oh Shane, you knew that Upton was going to throw you out on that one. That was about as shallow a fly ball I've ever seen anyone tag up on from third base.
9:14PM: Hamels strikes out Longoria to start off the inning, and FOX goes to another replay of the Upton outfield assist. McCarver makes shit up as he attempts to explain what just happened there at home plate...you know he was a catcher, right? Did you know? Did you?
9:17PM: Crawford flies out to center. Hey dudes and dudettes, did you know that a Philles fan caught Utley's homer in the first inning? No? Well now you do. Thanks, Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Blog. Hamels picks up another strikeout and we're moving to the third.
9:22PM: Jayson Werth legs out a double on a floater that Zobrist just can't get back into the infield quick enough. This negates a ginormous infield shift and will hopefully prevent Utley from attempting another frivolous bunt. Hey, it's smarmy elf Ken Rosenthal telling us all something insignificant!
9:25PM: Utley moves Werth over with an out and the Rays infield comes in with a runner on third and one out. Don't worry, Rays infielders: there's not much of a chance Howard makes contact here. He strikes out, and my statement holds true (despite his foul ball that went the other way)
9:28PM: Kazmir strikes out Burrell to negate the leadoff double. I am sure this pleases John Cena, whoever he is.
9:31PM: Really, Blackberry people? Your new stupid phone is that great and that amazing but you can't show it to us in your stupid commercials? Eat shit, Blackberry people. Your hype doesn't work with this fella. Navarro pops one up and surprisingly, Ryan Howard catches it without drama.
9:35PM: If you had "Bottom of the third" as the inning when Rob forgot to put up the whimsical mascot banner, then you win the pool. Not the pool of cowfaced Rays or whatever they're called. Zobrist singles bringing up Bartlett, who walks. Hamels in trouble! Save him, MacGruber!
9:40PM: Iwamura singles to load the bases, as Zobrist puts the brakes on and chills at third base. Here's B.J. Upton, who has easily become my favorite Rays player in their short history this postseason. He GIDP's, making this semi-Phillies fan that much happier.
9:45PM: Victorino pulls off an infield single as his nemesis Upton fails to reach the dying quail. There's at least one Phillies fan who didn't see that play. See ya later, chuckles. Way to represent the entire Mid Atlantic region.
9:50PM: Coste gets the job done and moves the runners over, despite his inability to lay down a bunt. If he's good enough to be in as the DH, shouldn't he be good enough to swing away from the start? I'm so confused about baseball managing sometimes. Good thing I am but a mere blogger. Ruiz' ground out brings home Victorino and it's 3-0 Phillies.
9:51PM: No, Joe Buck, there is nothing surprising about Jimmy Rollins being 0-for-7 with RISP (oops, now it's 0-for-8 after a K) during the postseason. That's a REALLY small sample size, smaller than Tim McCarver's peanut brain.
9:54PM: Pena grounds out. Joe Buck explains the concept of "spring training" to what he perceives to be an audience of nancyboys and foreigners who don't understand our pastime. Longoria grounds out.
9:57PM: Carl Crawford has the biggest moment of his lengthy Rays career and hits a solo ding-dong into the right field stands. It's 3-1 Phillies now, and Crawford finally feels okay about playing in St. Pete for the past 8 years.
10:00PM: The PA system at the Trop blares "Paradise City" as we return from commercial. Anyone hear the "new" Guns 'N' Roses song today? It's a sin to even call it a G'n'R song as shitty as it is. Any other thoughts? Werth flies out to Upton.
10:04PM: Maddon puts on the super-shift again for Utley. Utley bites and pops out into the shift. Here's a quote from that Phillies fan who was ejected: "I'm very upset. But the bottom line is I'm going to go to (local sports bar) Ferg's and I'm going to represent so obnoxious." I hope he accidentally murders someone and then they use that quote against him in his trial.
10:08PM: Howard pulls a walk. Here's that new G'n'R song for all you 1980's hosers out there.
10:11PM: Burrell reaches on an infield single as Carlos Pena fails to grab the throw from Kazmir. Burrell should absolutely positively be called OUT for running outside his designated line...oh shit, they gave that dude an error? This is embarrassing. That was blatant interference. Kazmir gets out of it with a Victorino groundout.
10:16PM: 19X197VHV245t70dickety2 is the winning ticket number for some MLB contest! Hope you have a DVR or else there's no fucking way you could have written that down in time! Hamels picks up his third strikeout of the game by fooling Navarro on a breaking ball.
10:21PM: Zobrist works a full count on Hamels but ground out hard to third base. Still too soon to tell if Maddon made the right call starting him over Rocco Christ Superstar. MVP Bartlett walks. This awesome St. Petersburg Times blog is keeping us in the know tonight. The high-falutin folks in the luxury boxes are dining on kielbasas and red velvet cake. Red velvet cake is my favorite red food item, just ahead of blood sausage and blood oranges.
10:24PM: JASON BARTLETT JUST MADE MY TACO POP!
10:25PM: Iwamura doubles to the gap and it's 3-2 Phillies. The tension in my condo is thick, which is weird because I am alone.
10:30PM: B.J. Upton gets jammed and pops one towards the stands. Lucky for Ryan Howard, he is the only tall Negro in the vicinity of the baseball so he snags it before some chucklehead Rays fan can interfere with his business.
10:35PM: Somehow, Pedro Feliz is the fucking offensive MVP for the Phillies tonight. He singles over a leaping Iwamura. Actually, leaping doesn't even begin to describe the motion that Iwamura just made. More like "Peter-Pan-gliding". Kazmir just hit the 100 pitch mark. This portends imminent failure and/or arm-falloff.
10:38PM: Coste pops our. Greg Creed absolutely does NOT make my taco pop. A filthy limey Brit is the CEO of a filthy dirty taco company? Does not compute. Ruiz flies out. Rollins continues his assault on my small sample size theory and flies out, he's 0-for-4 tonight.
10:43PM: Ryan Howard's inability to field his position comes back to bite him on his enormous ass. Carlos Pena is so slow that he was nearly thrown out by Howard, who bobbled that ball approximately 843 times. Pena totally gets picked off, and Joe Maddon is FURIOUS that a balk wasn't called.
10:46PM: Hamels picks up another strikeout, victimizing Longoria on two seemingly questionable inside pitches. Crawford's groundout makes this a pretty easy inning for the Phils, and gives Maddon a total Maalox moment. Will we see a reliever next inning?
10:50PM: Here's southpaw reliever J.P. Howell, presumably in the game to face Werth, Utley, and Howard. If anyone gets on, expect a righty to come in and face Burrell. Kazmir finished with 110 pitches and what the kids call a "quality start" for the game. Good for him, but I'm sure he'd be happier leaving with a lead. Or a really delicious slice of red velvet cake. Werth strikes out swingin'.
10:53PM: Howell doesn't get the job done against Utley, who singles up the middle. Here's Ryan Howard, who is about as effective hitting lefties as I am. Utley steals second and slides so hard and so fast, he nearly pops out of his cleats. I suppose the coefficient of friction at the Trop is significantly lower than that of Citizens Bank Park. There's a little physics humor for ya.
10:56PM: Utley is living dangerously on the basepaths. He's getting himself into more jams than Jack Tripper in an entire season of Three's Company. Howard strikes out, as expected, swinging on a slider.
10:59PM: The Phillies are 0-for-10 with RISP tonight. Not a single Phillie would win any of those ridiculous MLB Clutch Awards that ESPN foisted upon the populace during the 7PM hour. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLUTCH, PEOPLE. Burrell walks, and here comes Overmanagin' Joe Maddon to make the pitching change.
11:04PM: Here's Aussie Grant Balfour. I wonder if he had anything to do with the bat attacks. He strikes out Victorino, and we're headed to the Seventh Inning Stretch. Here's a video from my favorite Philly band, Marah:
11:11PM: Eric Bruntlett stays in the game? I must have missed that pinch-running appearance. Sorry, gloggers. Hamels gets my pal pinch-hitter Willy Aybar to pop out.
11:13PM: For those of you wondering whether St. Petersburg County Comissioner Ronnie Duncan met Bud Selig tonight, worry not: they met in the shitter. Hamels strikes out Navarro for his fifth K of the night, then gets Zobrist to ground out. That was fast! And economical!
11:18PM: After the tenth viewing, the DirecTV Vacation commercial still hasn't lost its cleverness. I'm still laughing. Hey ad wizards, next do Funny Farm! FOX's graphic as they come back from break proves to us what we already knew: Cole Hamels is made of magick. The Rays finally retire Pedro Feliz.
11:20PM: Chris Coste might be the single worst DH in World Series history. I have no evidence to back this up. Zobrist makes a shoestring catch and Joe Maddon is vindicated for his move.
11:25PM: Ryan Madson comes on in relief of Mr. Hamels. Ryan Howard catches another foul pop, leaving him two-for-two on those plays on the night. Kudos!
11:28PM: There are four topless men of varying ages sitting behind the Phillies bullpen with letters painted on their chests. If I'm not mistaken, the same four faces can be found on the St. Petersburg, FL sex offender registry website.
11:31PM: Iwamura flies out lightly, bringing up Upton. Ruiz is setting up wayyyyyyy outside on some of these pitches. If he were any further outside, he'd literally be outside the Tropicana Dome. Upton K's.
11:36PM: This new Ed Norton cop picture looks pretty good. Anyone got any insight on Pride and Glory? Overmanagin' Joe Maddon is undermanaging and keeping Grant Balfour on the mound for the ninth. Here's Underproducin' Jimmy Rollins.
11:39PM: Rollins strikes out and the FOX cameras pan the crowd. I think I saw some folks making out. Good for them; that's a great way to celebrate a strikeout. Werth grounds-rule doubles and the crowd reacts negatively. Holy shit, Joe Buck just dropped a "buddy boy" on McCarver. HE'S GIVING HIM THE HIGH-HAT! Shit, they're walking Chutley.
11:42PM: Smart move, really, as Ryan Howard loses 200 points of OPS against lefties. In fact, my grandmother can hit lefties better than Howard.
11:45PM: Only three arrests so far tonight at the Trop. By this point on Saturday, I predict at least 892 ejections and 95 arrests at CBP. Howard strikes out looking, and my stomach just growled. I need some of those Mrs. Farthammer Cookie Biscuits!
11:48PM: Overmanagin' Joe Maddon makes his 38th pitching change of the night, bringing in former Astro Danny Wheeler to face
11:51PM: Maddon's move makes it work and we're headed to the bottom of the ninth. BRING ON BRAD LIDGE
11:54PM: The entire city of Philadelphia just tightened their assholes as Brad Lidge comes on to close. The Phillies' lead is as thin as can be, and if Lidge blows this one, the Phillies can only blame their miserable offense that failed to plate baserunner after baserunner. Okay, I'll shut up now and let Lidge's fastball do the talking.
11:57PM: Lidge strikes out Pena, who tries to check his swing but fails miserably. One down.
11:58PM: Lidge strikes out Longoria, who tries to check his swing but fails miserably. Two down.
12:00AM: Crawford works a full count against Lidge and it's officially Thursday.
12:01AM: The formula worked! Lidge gets the save as Feliz squeezes a Crawford foul pop.
12:03AM: Thanks for joining me tonight, readers and commenters. If this is my final liveglog of the season, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you that much more for a great year of support. Phillies are up 1-0 in the 2008 World Series. Goodnight!