Omigod, y'all, the 2009 season is finally starting! It's Braves versus Phillies, Brett Myers versus Derek Lowe, World Fuckin' Champions versus the team that once ruled the N.L. East with an iron fist, Charlie Fuqua Manuel's doddering old man routine versus Bobby Cox' doddering old redneck routing, Chipper versus Chutley, Walkoff Walk commenter Matt_T versus Walkoff Walk commenter Honeynut Ichiros. I can't even think of any more possible matchups in this game that matter except JUST GIVE ME SOME COMPETITIVE NON-WBC BASEBALL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST SIX MONTHS I'M LOSING MY MIND. Enough chitter-chatter, let's get on with the business that we call glog.
(Photograph courtesy of Flickr user sarowen)
7:50PM: I had bucatini and meatballs for dinner tonight so my stomach is already fighting me as if I were Brett Myers' wife and it was Brett Myers' fist. Ooph, where's the Maalos, Dolores?
7:55PM: Friend of Walkoff Walk (FoWoW) Matt_T provides a link to his own Tumblr for our entertainment. Young Chipper, meet Old Chipper. I also would have accepted "Meet the new Chipper, same as the old Chipper, but with more deer antlers in his outbuildings.
8:00PM: Dave Winfield vs John Kruk in a cagefight, who wins? Nevermind, Dave Winfield vs John Kruk in a meatloaf-eating contest, who wins? Best yet, Dave Winfield vs John Kruk in a Tim Kurkjian-tossing contest, who wins?
8:05PM: Remember when we all wanted a change from Joe Morgan color commentatin' on ESPN's baseball games? Well careful what you wish for, dudes, because instead of firing Mr. Morgan, the fatcats at the WWL decided a better way to torture us would be to add ex-Met GM Steve Phillips OMIGOD THERE HE IS KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT
8:10PM: Enjoy the few remaining moments before Brett Myers' first pitch, Phillies fans. After this contest starts, you're just another team in the hunt. Haha, I said 'hunt' and Chipper Jones likes to kill animals for pleasure.
8:12PM: If we ever revisit this page 17 years from now, we will want to know that the first pitch of the 2009 season was a ball. And that finally, this dumb "opening games in Japan" nonsense has been halted for at least one year.
8:14PM: Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar do their best Jeff Francouer impressions and make outs without seeing more than two pitches a person. Chipper learns from watching, y'all!
8:16PM: No matter, Chipper has a good eye and laces the first hit of the season after working a full count. He trains his vision through endless batting practice and countless expeditions of wild pig huntin'. Them varmints is fast!
8:17PM: Brian McCann's two-run ding-dong lands approximately 400 feet from home plate and makes a mess of our best-laid plans to take a quick bathroom break. 2-0 Braves and this season has really started.
8:18PM: Ryan Howard deftly fields Garret Anderson's wide grounder and tags the base to record the third out. This is the first time Ryan Howard has done something deftly since the great bratwurst eating contest of aught-three where he downed 28 wursts without chewing.
8:20PM: Derek Lowe has made three regular season starts at CBP and given up two tater tots in twenty innings, compiling a 2-0 record and a 2.25 ERA. Still, he gave up homers to Chase Utley and Pat Burrell in his one CBP start in last year's NLCS, so there's that. He makes a decent start here retiring Jimmy Rollins.
8:24PM: One of the things I am interested to see this season is how well teams do on the defensive side of the game. After all, fielding well is the new anal, and most teams improved their glovework in the offseason somewhat. Except the Phillies and the Braves, who inexplicably paid decent money to employ statues in left field. Chutley "strands" RyHo in the on-deck circle. No, Jon Miller, he's not stranded, he's allowed to step out of there.
8:26PM: Also of note in 2009 is the quality of advertisers during nationally-broadcast baseball games. So far we've seen sandwiches, tires, and razors. Not bad for the sports fan demographic. Needs more beer and chip ads though. Whoops FRENCHY HOMERS to make this thing 3-0 Hotlanta.
8:28PM: There was a dude in the stands who just mouthed "holy shit" as Francouer's tater dong sailed away. I think it was Ruben Amaro but it might have been Alan Thicke. I get those dudes mixed up. Oh, it's Jordan Schafer, the future of dumb white people in the greater Atlanta area! (is he Jewish?)
8:30PM: Jordan Schafer, possible Atlanta-Jewish dreamboat. He just happyjacked one to deep left-center. Boom, roasted. 4-0 Braves.
8:32PM: Brett Myers is either tipping his pitches or he'll be whipping his bitches when this one is through. What gives, Brett? Keep 'em in the park, chunderhead.
8:34PM: So which entity will get the hook earlier tonight, Brett Myers' homer-happy extravaganza, or the fucking printing presses at the Boston Globe? Myers gets a slight reprieve. End of one and a half.
8:36PM: The centaur Old Spice commercial is good, but it makes some people feel warm in weird places. They should pull it immediately. Oh, here's Philadelphia bratwurst king Ryan Howard.
8:39PM: The honeymoon period for the twenty-five man squadron we call the Philadelphia Phillies is officially over. Brett Myers gets booed for allowing a trio of taters and Ryan Howard hears derisive catcalls for his whifftastic performance. OMG STEVE BERTHAIUME WHERE IS MY GOOD HOUSECOAT, DOLORES?
8:41PM: End of two innings. I'm getting a local dentist commercial with a ton of fake endorsements from fake patients. No, I don't know what Lumineers are nor do I think I need them. Besides, the Boston Globe just took away my dental plan. Dental plan...dental plan...
8:44PM: Yunny Escobar nearly sends one out of the park but alas and alack, it's merely a grounds rule dubble. Whatever, it still counts as another notch in Cholly Manuel's ulcer.
8:46PM: I am attending a pre-Easter outing on Saturday in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it will not be at Citizens Bank Park for some of them new delicious Campos Steaks. Fortunately, we are going to the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities. Preserved human fetal specimens on Easter Saturday? Yes, please.
8:48PM: Brett Myers gets three quick ones after the Escobar double and we're headed for the bottom of the third. Oh, hello Howie Long! I hate you more than a thousand John Mellencamps raping my ancestors!
8:50PM: White stuff coming out of the sky? Darryl Strawberry is flying a helicopter over Cincy?
8:52PM: The only accessory Steve Phillips is missing tonight is a gaudy purple highlighter to match his gaudy purple tie. Oh, and a pink slip with a boot up his ass. Hit the bricks, sister.
8:54PM: Carlos Ruiz gets the grounds-rule dubble because an excited fan lunged over the fence to pick up the baseball. He did Ruiz a favor actually. Carlos could have easily been thrown out at sec...oh wait nevermind, Garret Anderson in left? That fan just robbed Carlos Ruiz of an inside-the-park homer.
8:56PM: Did the Philly Phanatic get a World Series ring? Is it comically oversized and possibly made of lollipop? Would he lose the ring if he and Mrs. Phanatic were engaging in alternative sexual practices? These are the questions that keep me up at night, staring at the ceiling. Third inning is doneskis.
8:59PM: It's National League tater tot leader Jeff Francouer at the dish! How many more times can I say that with a straight face this season? If you said 28,093, you're off by a bit. Hit all the ding-dongs you want, Frenchy, but you'll really impress me if you draw a walk, Ivan Impatient.
9:02PM: I am already being put into a hypnotic trance listening to the incessant doddering of one Mister Joseph Q. Morgan the Third. If my liveglog turns nonsensical, you can blame Joe, the Expository Idiot.
9:04PM: Jayson Werth retires Derek Lowe with a near web-gem catch of a liner in right field. Let's move on to the bottom o' the fourth.
9:06PM: Hey, it's Terry Pendleton!
9:09PM: So we've got our first postponed game of the 2009 season already, as the Royals-ChiSox tussle in Chicago has been moved to Tuesday because of snow. So even if you delay Opening Day a week because of the WBC, you're still going to run face first into Mother Nature's frozen ass if you schedule early April games north of the Mason-Dixon line. WORK ON THIS, HERR SELIG.
9:14PM: I just commented something I should have just put in the glog. Oh well. Chipper laces another extry-base hit for the Bravemen. TIME TO GET THE COMICALLY LARGE HOOK READY, RICH DUBEE DUBEE DOO.
9:16PM: Myers gets out of another mini-jam and we'll do the bottom of the fifth because it is ordered to be that way.
9:20PM: The gents in the booth are talking about stolen base success rates, and how the Phillies excel in this arena. Well really, EVERY team is good at stealing bases nowadays, regardless of how frequently they attempt a swipe. If you don't have a 70% or better chance of successfully stealing a base, you might as well stay put. I'm talking to you, Scott Podsednik.
9:25PM: Oh, thank you Home Depot for lowering so many prices so regular folk like me can afford weed-killer! HOLY SHIT A HOVERCRAFT! Commercials can be fun sometimes, too.
9:28PM: Anyone see the Adventureland film this weekend? The director of Superbad made a teen sex comedy set in the 1980s, but with his rules, man. Oh, Garret Anderson collects his first ever National League hit after 53 years of AL-only action. Congrats, Gary!
9:30PM: It's Jon Miller's first malapropism of the year, mis-identifying Jordan Schafer as Logan Schafer. Who is Logan Schafer? Perhaps Jon Miller's Norwegian secret lover?
9:33PM: No, folks, an intentional walk is not complimentary to Jordan Schafer when the pitcher is on deck. The IBB works well though, as Brett Myers gets out of what will probably be his last jam of the night.
9:36PM: Hey remember that little Player Pick Pool that Kris participated in last season? Yeah, the one at the Daily News website as run by our pal Jesse Spector. Well yours truly has busted in the contest and shit all over it already, check it out now.
9:39PM: This one time, at Citizens Bank Park, my brother-in-law caught a tater tot off the bat of Greg Dobbs in the right field stands. That's in the past, man. Dobbs only had warning track power in that AB. Brett Myers final line: 6 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 6 K, 3 taters.
9:42PM: A slider by any other name would still slide as sweet. Jon Miller quotes Bill Shakespeare, is a poet, don't even know it.
9:45PM: Derek Lowe snags that liner, displays true web gem form. Six innings are done! This game is scooting along nicely. Good pace, good play.
9:48PM: ESPN's "Stat Track" is more of an "Event Track" since it mentions the tater tots but neglects to include any sort of actual interesting stat. Jack Taschner is making his Philly debut because the Phils were too cheap/dumb to pay Joe Beimel and/or Will Ohman.
9:50PM: Chipper Jones takes a break from live-commenting to face Taschner. Chip is 0-for-5 with three K's lifetime against ol' Jack.
9:51PM: Make that 0-for-6 with four K's lifetime. Seventh inning stretch time, everybuddy!
9:53PM: Is it just me or does the Pizza Hut Panormous pizza not look all that big? Or appetizing? I'd rather eat the Orbitz hovercraft than that pile of crap they call 'pizza'.
9:56PM: Joe Morgan's feeble attempts to teach the fineries of hitting to a nation full of Coke-drinking dullards might be the wackiest lesson since Liakos tried to learn how to drive stick shift after ingesting hallucinogenic pinecones. Oh, Derek Lowe is cruising in this game. Sweet free agent pickup, Senor Wren.
10:00PM: Here's Scott Eyre. We're not seeing Phils reliever J.C. Romero in this game because he's suspended for 50 games for that dalliance with performance enhancing childrens' aspirin. Go ask David Chalk and he'll fill you in on the entire snoozy story if you're really interested. Zzzzz. We get it, he cheated.
10:04PM: Cholly Manuel gives Jeff "Frenchy" Frenchcouer the ultimate sign of respect and wastes about five minutes of my life to bring in right-hander Chad Durbin. Don't let this one backfire on ya, old fart.
10:07PM: Jon Miller just made my search for batter-v-pitcher stats worthless, as he recites Frenchy's 0-for-8 lifetime career mark vs Durbin, Oh, make that ohfer nine. Let's hit the bottom of the 8th. It's still 4-0 Braves.
10:10PM: Thanks Jon Miller, for telling me that Derek Lowe has induced twelve wormballs tonight. That's how you succeed at the CBP, folks. Keep the tater dongs to a minimum and let your strong infield defense work their magick. Also, keeping runners off base really keeps things at a tidy pace.
10:13PM: Derek B. Lowe is truly the picture of efficiency tonight, throwing 97 pitches in eight innings and walking not a soul. Will he see the ninth inning? I say no since he'll probably be pinch hit for in the ninth.
10:17PM: Brad Lidge is in the game still riding his wave of perfection on a surfboard made of fastballs and shitty nu-metal. All he has to do in this inning is keep the Phillies within striking distance, and perhaps hit Schafer in the helmet as payback.
10:20PM: Okay, that didn't happen, but the numbskulls in the control truck cut off Jon Miller as he was expositin' about Brad Lidge and Derek Lowe. That delights me.
10:22PM: Former Pirates closer and current Braves closer Mike Gonzalez is on to try and save the win for D.Lowe. Gonzalez had Tommy John surgery over a year ago but pitched okay for the Braves in the second half of last year. Whoops, a leadoff double!
10:24PM: Gonzalez will gladly trade an out for a simple base-advanced in this sitch. One down.
10:25PM: Jayson proves his Werth with an RBI single. 4-1 Braves.
10:26PM: I'm not sure if I'd rather see this game end right now or have the Phillies tie it up and send it to extra innings. Anybody out there in a Buffalo Wild Wings?
10:27PM: Of course, if the game gets tied up and the bases are still loaded, that would be cool too.
10:30PM: With two men on and one out, Ryan Howard works a full count. TENSION! THICK! KNIFE! COULD CUT IT!
10:31PM: RyHo could not, however, cut it. Two down.
10:33PM: Raul Ibanez tries too hard and swings at balls wayyyyy out of the strike zone.
10:34PM: And Ibanez whiffs on an inside fastball. Game over. Braves win 4-3 and the WFC start the year on a sour note.
10:35PM: That'll do it for us, WoWies. Thanks for joining us for the first official regular season liveglog of 2009. Our player of the game tonight is Derek Lowe for notching eight tidy scoreless innings. Our commenter of the night tonight is CHIPPER JONES for managing to entertain us even while manning the hot corner. See you all later!