Good Wednesday afternoon, livegloggers! Put away your blazers (but not for too long because we should be having an official liveglog tomorrow) and get out your fancy but modest liveglog commemorative brooch. Go ahead and pin it to your lapel. You are wearing a lapel, yes? If not, then go ahead and pin it to your nipple. Same difference.
Today's games are split into two categories, early and late. The early games are Minnesota @ Boston, Florida @ Pittsburgh, and Oakland @ New York. The late games are Colorado @ Arizona and San Diego @ San Francisco. I will do my best to provide you with a little taste of each game's dish, sort of a smorgasbord of sport, a buffet of baseball, a tasting menu of tater tots.
Here's what we missed in the early games so far:
- Kurt Suzuki pow-pow-powers up with a three run happy jack, putting the A's up early over CC Sabathia and the Yankees. That's just the fourth homer on the year for Oakland, still lagging behind Aaron Hill on the year. Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera's back-to-back solo tots keeps the score tempered at 3-2 in the third.
- Paul Maholm was pitching three innings of perfect ball over the Marlins before Emilio Bonifacio borkened it up with a single. Wes Helms later doubled in Hanley Ramirez and Ricky Nolasco picked up an RBI but the Pirates still lead 3-2 in the fifth.
- Boston took a quick 6-1 lead behind two-run ding-dongs from Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell and Nick Green. Just kick the extra point, Red Sox, and Twins starter Scott Baker will really be the Touchdown Maker. The Twins scored because Justin Morneau once again came up with the bases loaded. Lucky punk. This one's in the fifth.
Enough chitter-chat, on with the whiparound liveglog!
2:00PM: Giambi led off the third with a double that bounced in and out of Damon's glove, Holliday lined a single off Cody Ransom's glove, and Jack Cust grounded one back to Sabathia that would easily have been turned for a double play. But Sabathia whipped around, threw to Jeter covering at second, and then Jeter came home to nail Giambi but Jorge Posada was up the baseline covering at first. Giambi scores and the A's are up 4-2.
2:05PM: Adam LaRoche is chilling on second base with a two-out double. The Marlins will now intentionally walk Brandon Moss to get to Andy LaRoche, who was struck out earlier by Nolasco. This is how I know you suck, Andy. Someone just walked Brandon freaking Moss to get to you.
2:10PM: Andy LaRoche makes us all pay, as his double down the third base line drives in Brother Adam. Pirates up 4-2. Yankees have runners on second and third after a Teixeira single and a Posada double.
2:15PM: Robbie Cano dribbles a grounder to second, Mark Ellis fields and just nails Cano at first. Texieira scores and the A's lead is now 4-3. A's bring the infield in with Swisher at the disher. Swish rips a gapper but gets nailed stretching a single into a double. Still, Posada scores and the game is now knotted at 4. I hate it when players make outs on the basepaths. It's like giving away your delicious cupcakes for free and not enjoying their sweet goodness all to yourself. Matsui grounds out to end the inning.
2:20PM: The Marlins are rallying, folks. Hermida walked and Hanley Ramirez laced a single to left. Runners on first and second with none down. Seems as if Sassy Senior Jorge Cantu is out of the lineup today with an ouchie on his hand. Shoulda worked it out in the pool, Jorge! Wes Helms sac-flies Hermida over to third. The Florida announcer drops this gem regarding the Marlins second baseman: "Dan Uggla sprayed balls all over Dolphin Stadium...balls to the wall...." I hope he cleaned up afterwards. Either way, Uggla struck out on a check swing.
2:25PM: Sparse attendance at PNC Park today but blame it mostly on the poor weather, tough economy, and general disinterest in baseball in Pittsburgh before you even think of blaming it on Nate McLouth's body odor problem! Ronnie Paulino drives in a run with a single and Cody Ross follows with an RBI double to tie this one up at 4 runs apiece.
2:30PM: Now the Marlins TV guys are joking around about the Primanti Bros sandwich and they put up a cross-section of the sandwich on the screen. I love all kinds of sandwiches and all sorts of local cuisine but that thing is absolutely disgusting. It tastes like a shitty meatloaf sandwich with soggy fries. It's institutional cuisine. I've eaten better food in kindergarten cafeterias. Recently. Delwyn Young pinch hits for Paul Maholm and picks up a speedy double. Nyjer Morgan drives him in and it's 5-4 Pittsburgh.
2:32PM: Nyjer Morgan advances to second on a poor throw in on his RBI single, steals third and scores on a bad throw by Ronnie Paulino. 6-4 Pirates because Morgan is scrappy. Out in New York, Derek Jeter bombed a solo tater tot to center and the Yanks are up 5-4.
2:35PM: The Sox are rallying in the bottom of the seventh. Two runners on and nobody out after Papi doubled and Youk walked. The Twins are on their third pitcher du jour, some fella named Juan Morillo. I prefer the third soup du jour, the parmesan tomato bisque. FSU alum JD Drew walks to bloat the bases.
2:40PM: Jason Bay works a 3-0 count with his steely patience and then earns hisself an RBI with a bases-loaded walk, Morillo's third straight. Ron Gardenhire hastens down the wind and calls for reliever R.A. Dickey to stem the tide. Boston leads 7-1. There's your extry point, Baker.
2:45PM: Mouthpiece Sports has video of the kitty cat scampering around Wrigley Field from last night's Cubs win. I bet half a million Chicagoans are wringing their hands over superstitious mumbo-jumbo right now, but hey, the Mets had a cat run around and nothing bad has happened to them ever, right? Seventh inning stretch time in Pittsburgh, Pirates still up by deux. Mike Lowell faces Dickey with the bases still loaded...and he laces a single to left. 8-1 Sox and the bases are now reloaded. George Kotteras sac fly, 9-1 Sox.
2:50PM: Adam LaRoche collects another double on a mistake by centerfielder Cameron Maybin. His mistake? Not being awesome enough to reach out, open his glove, and catch a fly ball over his head near the warning track. Carlos Beltran laughs in your general direction, son. Let's head back to Boston where it's 10-1 Red Sox on a Nick Green grounds rule dubble and oops...rain delay? Who saw this coming?
2:55PM: Andy LaRoche is your batter with his blood on second and one down against the new reliever Kiki Calero. Andy flies out to right and moves his brotha over to third base with two outs. Back in NYC, Mark Ellis drives in Jack Cust with a hard-hit single to centerfield. Melky Cabrera's throw is off the mark, Cust scores, and Ellis scoots down to second. 5-5 tie in the Bronx. Back in Pittsburgh, Jack Wilson drives in Adam LaRoche and the Pirates take a 7-4 lead.
3:00PM: Calero retires the Pirates in the seventh and we're headed to the eighth inning. In New York, the A's are calling on their bullpen to relieve 21-year-old Brett Anderson who pitched serviceably today, allowing 5 runs in 5 and 1/3 innings. In Boston, the rain is still coming down, probably right on Liakos' head as he waits outside the TD Banknorth Garden for his GA wristband for the Bruce Springsteen concert tonight. Remember before the Internet existed, when you had to wait on a queue just to buy a concert ticket? John Grabow is the new Pirate pitcher.
3:05PM: Mike Wuertz is the new A's reliever. Melky Cabrera walks but is then gunned down by Kurt Suzuki trying to steal second. Ransom doubles and John Sterling wonders, "what if?" Here's Derek Jeter...he lines a gapper to left, drives in Ransom and slides in safely under the tag at second. That's how you do it, Swisher. Yanks lead 6-5. Back in Pitt, Grabow gives up an infield single to Hanley Ramirez, there are two outs.
3:10PM: Damon picks up a swinging-bunt single as the ball nubs down the baseline and stays fair. A tidy two-out rally for the Pinstriped People. Teixieira lines an RBI single that drives in Jeter and the Yanks take a 7-5 lead. Back at Three Rivers, Grabow strikes out Helms, Uggla, and Paulino to maintain the sweet three-run lead for the Buccos. Ladies and gentlemen, the Pirates pitchers are your delightful surprise of the year. Best starters ERA in the majors and Marlin-puncher John Grabow. Can't beat that combo.
3:15PM: Hayden Penn is the new Marlins pitcher. After striking out Craig Monroe, he walks Nyjer Morgan. In the Bronx, Sabathia starts out the seventh inning with 100 pitches already under his size 58 belt. Bobby Crosby leads off with a single and Sabathia follows that up with a walk. Orlando Cabrera sac bunts the runners over and Girardi gets the kids working in the bullpen.
3:20PM: Giambi grounds out, breaking his bat in the process, and a shard comes up the mound and gets caught in Sabathia's gravitational pull. A run scores on the groundout; then
Jack Cust Matt Holliday lines a single ove CC's head and the A's tie the game 7-7. Sabathia's day is done.
3:25PM: The Marlins TV folk just put up a friendly infographic about the Pirates, since every baseball 'fan' in Florida is just a dolt. The number one item on the listicle is "The Curse of Francisco Cabrera". Yes, because that is exactly why the Pirates have 17 straight losing seasons. One little Latino. Phil Coke comes on in relief of Sabathia and finally gets that third out of the seventh. Stretch in the Bronx! CC's final line: 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 BB, 2 K, 6 ER. Ouch.
3:30PM: Matt Capps comes on to close out the Marlins on this cloudy and cool day in Pittsburgh. Fella only had 26 opportunities to notch a save for the horrid Pirates last year, but did fairly well for himself. This is already his fifth opportunity of 2009, putting him on pace to double his chances, double his fun. Cody Ross leads off the inning with a single. The Marlins will need a bit more though, still down three runs. Cameron Maybin strikes out on a check swing; Capps needed just three breaking balls to put down the young leadoff hitter.
3:35PM: Ross G. Load is the Marlins pinch hitter for pitcher Hayden Penn. Capps gets ahead of Gload 0-2 before retiring the pinchie on a lazy fly ball to center. Emilio Bonifacio, you are the Marlins fans final hope. Hey, a Pirates fan has used good forward thinking and brought his broom to the park! Good thing, because Bonifacio just flew out to end the game and the fish have been reduced to a pile of ashes. Pirates win 7-4.
3:36PM: Back to the Bronx where the Yankees are threatening Russ Springer. Not with violence, that's not the Yankee way. No, they'd rather rally off the reliever and shame him with some of that psychological abuse that will cost thousands of dollars in therapy to fix in the future. Cano singled, Swisher walked, and Matsui popped one to right that dropped between Mark Ellis and Jack Cust. Base loaded, none down.
3:40PM: Melky Cabrera falls behind 0-2 and strikes out. That was ineffective, at best. Cody Ransom meanders back to the dugout from the on-deck circle in favor of pinch-hitter Brett Gardner. That's how you know the Yanks have a crappy bench now with Nady and A-Rod out. Brett Gardner is your go-to pinch hitter. The Yanks will look to avoid the double play, though, and Gardner is faster than Marion Jones on stanzolol and 5-hour Energy Drank.
3:41PM: Well, at least he didn't ground into a double play. But Gardner did pop out in the infield. Now two down with the bases still loaded.
3:45PM: Springer falls behind 2-0 to Jeter but Jeter pops out to end the inning. Poop. They're underway in Arizona where Ryan Spilborghs is on second after a single off Dan Haren and a groundout by Jeff Baker the Groundout Maker.
3:50PM: Helton grounds out to first and Spilborghs scampers down to third. Haren escapes unscathed by getting Garrett Atkins to line out to second. We are also underway in San Francisco...hey! It's Jon Miller! Also, Barry Zito on the mound, which should provide us with some laffs. Number 75 gets Scott Hairston and David Eckstein to ground out, and a miserably hitting Brian Giles to fly out for an easy 1-2-3 inning.
3:55PM: Jonathan Albaladejo is the new Yankee reliever. Kurt Suzuki singles, Mark Ellis sac-bunts him to second, and someone named Landon Powell grounds out, advancing Suzuki to third. Bobby Crosby strikes out swinging, and the game moves to the bottom of the eighth, still tied at 7.
4:00PM: Andrew Bailey is the new A's reliever. Normally, this would be a good place for "Waking" Joey Devine, but that dude's year is done because of Tommy John Surgery. Johnny Damon leads off with a walk, then Mark Teixeira pops out to shallow left. One down.
4:05PM: The A's and Yankees both have seven runs in this game, but the A's did in on just 7 hits, against the Yanks' 15 hits. The A's have 5 LOB while the Yankees have nine...so far. Posada flies out. Two down. Cano grounds out. Onto the ninth. Still raining in Boston.
4:10PM: Mariano comes in to start the ninth in a tie game, the exact situation he blew a bunch of times last year.
4:15PM: Orlando Cabrera picks up a one-out single. The Westerly games are both scoreless ties in early action. The game in Boston has just been called a final to give the teams some time to get ready for the nightcap, Boston wins 10-1. Mercy is merciful.
4:17PM: Rivera gets Giambi and Holliday on groundouts; the game is headed for the bottom of the ninth.
4:20PM: A's closer Brad Ziegler will face Swisher, Matsui, and Cabrera in the bottom of the ninth. I'm sure the jamooks in right field are falling all over themselves imagining a walkoff home run from their hero, the bedraggled Nick Swisher. Get over it, jamooks. It's not gonna happen.
4:21PM: Swisher does draw the walk though.
4:22PM: And Matsui erases him with a GIDP. Giddyup! Not.
4:23PM: Melky strikes out and this game is headed for extra innings.
4:27PM: This liveglog is over. Thanks for joining me today.