October 26, 2006

World Series Game 5 from St. Louis

All right, we're here for game four of the World Series. It doesn't appear to be raining, but we'll see if it lasts. I was seriously ticked last night. Singing the national anthem, Ozzie Smith's son, who was an American Idol contestant. That's at least the third Idol contestant we've seen in some singing capacity. Throw in Mr. Like a Rock himself, Bob Seger, and current Chevy pitchman John Cougar Mellencamp, and it's a shill fest on Fox!

By the way, the way Tim McCarver smiled when Joe Buck brought up Jeff Suppan makes me a little nervous. Longtime Cardinal catcher McCarver and son of longtime announcer Buck are doing their best not to openly root for the Cards, but I'm not sure they can make it.

Top 1st 0-0
Polanco, Granderson, and Rodriguez are 0-for-the-series right now. Crap. Ok, back to the game. Ball 1. Do you know what the correlation between first pitch balls and home team losses? Me neither. Granderson softly lines out. Suppan is supposed to be the type of pitcher the Tigers beat up, but Monroe grounds out to Eckstein. Up next and hitting third for the first time, Guillen, the only Tiger who has a pulse this series. Strikeout, and Suppan gets through the first in seven pitches. Take a flipping pitch!

Bottom 1st 0-0
IE 7 came out recently, and it looks almost exactly like Mozilla Firefox, not that this is a bad thing.

These guys loooove Eckstein, but the fact remains that he isn't a good player. No discipline or power. He's scrappy, though, which is all that matters, righ? Right? He hits the ball about 40 feet and beats it out, bringing up Duncan, who hits into a double play on the second pitch, which is good with Pujols coming up. Let's see if they throw him a strike. Well, not yet, but he swung at two balls, then Bonderman freezes him on the third strike to get out of the inning, and Eminem takes a deep breath.

Top 2nd 0-0
I don't get rap...at all. There are things I don't necessarily like, but I can understand why other people might. Rap is not one of those things. Seriously, why is Jay-Z a big star? Someone tell me right now.

Three pitch strikeout of Ordonez as Buck refers to Suppan as a "big game pitcher" and I almost choke on my Jolly Rancher. Tell that to the good people of Boston. Here's Sean "The Mayor" Casey, back in the field for the first time in a while. He golfs one just over the fence in right center. I really thought it looked like a popup on a pitch that fooled him, but the ball just kept going, and McCarver gets to keep trotting out there the goofy idea that all lefties like pitches down and in. Pudge singles to the left side for his first hit since Reagan was president. OK, just six games. I think McCarver just spouts cliches and the wrong names for the players. They could replace him with a random cliche generator and no one would notice. Polanco pops up to center, but Pudge tags and goes to second. Not something you see that often, which is probably why it worked. Now they walk Inge to get to Bonderman and his career 0/19 with 12K. He grounds out, but the Tigers get 1.

Bottom 2nd 1-0 Tigers
What's the difference between the KRZR and the RAZR? I need to know so I can know which cool phone I can get five minutes before every high school get gets it too, just like I did with the RAZR. By the way, after some research, you can see some stuff on Eckstein's fielding here. He's ok on grounders, below average on liners and popups.

Edmonds comes up and strikes out, bringing up Rolen, who I used to like, but now don't. I have no reason for doing either. After running the count full, he just misses one and flies out to the track in left. After a lot of fouls, Wilson taps out to Bonderman, and so far, so good for the Tigers.

Top 3rd 1-0 Tigers
Granderson gets himself off the schneid as well and doubles into the right field corner. Craig Monroe, who is not related to James so stop asking, comes up and grounds to short, failing to advance the runner.

Sweet fancy Moses in a shopping cart on Tuesdays! It's Scooter. I thought he'd been taken out back and shot. Suppan assists him in describing the changeup. No, really.

Suppan is starting to throw more balls, or the Tigers are taking them. He's 3-0 on his second straight batter. Guillen goes after ball four and fouls it off. They just showed a 10 year old girl going to town on some hot wings. Guillen walks, bringing up Ordonez, who gets under one for the second out. Runners at 1st and 2nd for The Mayor. Casey gets it done and drives in Granderson. 1st and 3rd for Pudge. Base hit to right and Guillen cruises in. Don't you dare call him I-Rod, as Dave Duncan goes to the mound to suggest Suppan think about getting the third out before things get really out of hand. Polanco grounds out to Eckstein, who scrappily tosses to second to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd 3-0 Tigers
Did you konw that the "D" on the Tigers hats is not the same as the one on their uniforms. Read all about it.

Can Bonderman keep it going? Let's hope so. Ahead quickly 0-2 on the Flying Molina, the third pitch is a grounder to Inge, who is Janet's favorite player in this series, solely because of his name. He does need to shave that stupid thing on his chin though, as Aaron Miles singles in front of Granderson. Suppan comes up to bunt, but they hit and run. Suppan misses, but the throw is slightly off line and Miles makes it. Now we'll get the bunt. I always wonder why pitcher don't just throw high strikes when you know they're bunting. Aren't high pitches harder to bunt? Ok, I was wrong, he swings, and it's 0-2, making a bunt unlikely. Wow, he looked bad in striking out. Eckstein drives in a run with a double. He must have read the bad things I said about him. Duncan walks to bring up Pujols with two guys on, which isn't exactly idea. Weak groundout, and Pujols has looked bad in both at bats.

Top 4th 3-1 Tigers
I'm starting to feel like some ravioli.

Inge flies out on the first pitch. For crying out loud, take some pitches! Bonderman follows with a predictable strikeout. Granderson works the count but eventually strikes out as well. An uneventful inning. Suppan has thrown 62 pitches through four.

Bottom 4th 3-1 Tigers
A brief highlight montage to SexyBack by Justin Timberlake. That "song" makes me feel like I'm having a seisure. At some point I may have to go get Janet at the train station at some point in this game, so be ready.

Easy grounder by Edmonds to second. Monroe takes a weird route to a liner by Rolen, allowing Rolen to turn a single into a double. Grounder to second by Mookie's stepson pushes Rolen to third with two down. Molina improbably drives in Rolen with a double. When will he remember that he isn't any good? Tigers walk Miles to pitch to Suppan, hoping to avoid any more damage this inning. All these Suppan/Soup signs are really stupid, but it's better than the dumb ones where any three words containing an F, and O, and an X are used. Suppan weakly grounds out to end it.

Top 5th 3-2 Tigers
Another first pitch out for the Tigers. Take a pitch! Guillen singles to right and Duncan almost wipes out on the grass fielding it, but Guillen is held at first. Here's Magglio, as the bullpen comes to life. La Russa seems intent on getting Suppan out of the game pretty soon. Not sure why, unless La Russa wants to show the world how smart he's supposed to be. Dear Tony, You're not as smart as you think you are. Love, me. Flyout to center, bringing up the lefthanded Casey. His favorite band is DMB, likes Will Clark, Pro Wrestling, and reads the Bible everyday. Thanks, HP. Having Dave Matthews as your favorite band shows nothing but a follow-the-herd mentality. Sorry, it's true. Casey gets his third hit as Guillen goes first to third. Pudge grounds out to end the inning. Have we seen the last of Suppan? Who knows? Time to boil the water.

Bottom 5th 3-2 Tigers
Nice play by Inge to get Eckstein and Duncan quickly grounds out to second. Duncan hasn't looked good at bat or in the field tonight. I think La Russa was hoping for better from the guy ahead of Pujols. Predictable four pitch walk to bring up Edmonds with two down. Someone had a sign of a cardinal eating a tiger. Caption: Tiger, the other white meat. I think it would be red meat thanks to the oxygen requirements of a creature that moves that fast. Never mind the image of a cardinal eating a jungle cat. Strikeout to end the inning. Time to put the ravioli in the pot. Whoo hoo.

Top 6th 3-2 Tigers
Rosetto frozen mini ravioli; I highly recommend. Suppan stays in to pitch to Polanco.

Line shot to Wilson for the first out. Tigers 6-9 hitters had more HR than the 1-5 hitters. Sounds like a misapplication of your resources. Well, that and Jones over Zumaya as closer. Inge comes up and we'll get to see if Bonderman bunts any better than he hits. Good sacrifice on the first pitch. Two out for Granderson, who grounds out to Pujols as we go to a sneak peak of Eragon, a movie about dragon riders. Safe to say I won't be going to that one, but I will say that it's impressive that the kid who started writing the book when he was 15.

Bottom 6th 3-2 Tigers
Bonderman is up to 85 pitches. Rolen hits another double, setting up a chance for the Cards to tie the game. Wilson sacrifices Rolen to second in a clear instance of playing for 1 run, which may not be a bad idea here, especially with the way Wilson has been hitting. Bonderman hopes for the K of Molina right now, but he walks him on four pitches. Now the double play is set up. Big chance for Miles here. And that is it for Bonderman. The flamethrowing Rodney comes in to try to get out of the jam. Rodney strikes out Miles, taking a lot of pressure off. Pinch hitter John Rodriguez comes in for Suppan, ending his night. 6 innings, 3 runs, 87 pitches for Suppan, and he's on the hook for the loss if the lead holds. Bonderman gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings on 92 pitches, and the runners on are his responsibility. Rodney and his devastating changeup strike out Rodriguez to get out of it with the lead.

Top 7th 3-2 Tigers
Baseball has no clock, but every out brings the Tigers closer to a win, and their unstoppable bullpen has to get nine more outs. Rodney probably comes back for the Cards half of the seventh with Zumaya standing at the ready to finish the inning if necessary and pitch the eighth before the highwire act that is Todd Jones comes in.

Nice sliding catch on a liner by Monroe. Guillen steps to the play with his .500 World Series average. Four pitch walk from Josh Kinney, who was in the Independent leagues last year. La Russa's body language is screaming, "Let me make a pitching change. I want to show all these people how smart I am." Guillen steals second and juuuuust makes it under the tag. Molina nearly threw him out from his knees. Ordonez strikes out on a 2-2 pitch out of the zone. Casey comes in, and here comes La Russa. Lefty Tyler Johnson comes on and retires Casey on a popup to end the inning.

Stretch time. Singing "God Bless America" Colleen Schoendienst, daughter of former Cardinal 2nd baseman and Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst. Thank goodness it wasn't some American idol castoff.

Bottom 7th 3-2 Tigers
Granderson falls down tracking down an Eckstein fly, and Scrappy gets a double out of what should have been an out. So Taguchi is up, and I'm so going to get Janet. Dang it!

And...we're back. Wait! What? Tie score, runners on 2nd and 3rd and nobody out. Ok, Rodney gets a strikeout. Now one down. What happened while I was gone? Now Rolen, who's having a good game, comes up. Strikeout on a good change for the second out. Wilson grounds through the left side and puts St. Louis on top. Pujols is tagged out in between 2nd and 3rd, but now the Tigers have to come back.

Top 8th 4-3 Cardinals
Taguchi stays in right field, Looper comes in to pitch to Pudge, who gets a leadoff double for his third hit, and this is promising. Polanco ground to Miles, advancing Pudge to third with one out. Baseball Prospectus says that teams score an average of 0.96 runs in this situation, which is pretty close to what the Tigers need. La Russa makes a change, bringing in his closer with one out in the 8th. Good choice. High leverage situation calls for your best pitcher, even if it's not a "save situation." However, Inge doubles off the warning track to tie things up. Karma, I guess, makes La Russa look bad even when he makes the right choice. If I believed in karma anyhow. Alexis Gomez hits for the pitcher, which means Zumaya is coming in. I'm giddy with anticipation. Gomez strikes out on some good fastballs. Granderson's turn now. Strikeout on the curve. Things are veddy interesting.

Bottom 8th 4-4
Janet wants you all to know she got on the train going the wrong way this afternoon.

Zumaya is in. I hope the ball catches on fire. He hasn't thrown a strike yet. Four pitch walk to Yadier Molina. Hey, Zumaya, just throw it over the plate. Groundout, but they can't turn two, bringing up Encarnacion. He strikes out, but the pitch gets away from Pudge, getting Miles to second, which costs the Tigers when Monroe just misses a diving catch, as Eckstein doubles in the run, giving the lead back to St. Louis. Taguchi pops up and we go to the ninth. Can Detroits 2-3-4 hitters knot this thing back up.

Top 9th 5-4 Cardinals
Strikeout, groundout, groundout, and this one is over. Darn. Game five tomorrow, and the Cards send Weaver out in hopes of clinching things at home.

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