Friday, October 12, 2007

LIVE BLOG: NLCS Game 1, Colorado at Arizona

Ok, so this isn't REALLY a live blog, since I'm posting it after the game all at once rather than during the game. It's not like anyone checks this thing anyway, so I figure I'm good. But, for those of you who either a) missed the game or b) want to relive the glory that is 9 innings of mediocre NL baseball, please read on. Disclosure: I did go into this game rooting for Arizona, only because one of my closest friends (hi, Vik!) is a fan, and I want to be able to lord a World Series defeat over him.

And so, without further ado, I present: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks, God's Chosen Team vs. The Snakes, From the Mountains to the Desert: Game 1 of the 2007 NLCS.

1st Inning: Well, well, look who it is behind home plate: Tim McClellan, who, of course, is essentially responsible for the Rockies’ presence in this series, since it was his blatantly botched calling of Matt Holliday safe at home that allowed Colorado to score the game-winning run in their bizarre 1-game playoff-for-the-playoffs against San Diego. I bet Holliday high-fives him when he comes up to bat.

In case I was wondering, this broadcast is also available in Spanish simply by pressing the SAP button on my remote control. Good to know… whoa, that was quick. Brandon Webb just retired the side. Yeah, he’s decent, I guess. I forgot about NL pitching in all the brouhaha about Beckett/Sabathia/Schilling/Carmona. Honestly if I read one more headline or sports brief referring to Sabathia and Carmona as a “1-2 Punch,” I’m going to strangle myself. It’s like there’s only one sports copy writer in the entire continental U.S.

Bottom of the inning. Jeff Francis, a 26-year-old lefty with a solid 17-win season behind him, is pitching for Colorado. I really can’t take these Colorado uniforms seriously. The purple accents… the weird little vests… they look like dealers at the Trump Taj Mahal, not potential World Series champions. And, boom, Eric Byrnes has ripped a double down the third base line to bring in the first run of the game. The runner happens to be the oh-so-cute Stephen Drew, younger brother of J.D. Good for him. The inning ends, and it’s 1-0, D-Backs.

2nd Inning: I love it when Chip Caray calls the other announcers “fellas.” Webb is throwing a beauty of a breaking ball, but Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins both single. God, Arizona’s new logo is hideous. They are also sporting the same weird, aerodynamically vented batting helmets as Colorado. Basically, both teams’ uniforms SCREAM “expansion team.” Why do we even let the West play baseball? Uh oh, Webb has now loaded the bases, and it appears that the Rockies are taking a moment to meet in the conference room and discuss the launch of their new website… Whoops, nope, I’m actually watching tonight’s hour-long episode of “The Office.” Hopefully I won’t miss anything good.

Bottom of the inning and it’s now tied, 1-1. Thank god Ed Helms is finally getting some lines this season.

3rd Inning: It’s 4-1, Rockies. Guess I did miss something good. Also, Michael appears to have taken the pizza delivery boy hostage. Oh, the suspense…

5th Inning: That was a fantastic episode. Back to the game, and it’s still 4-1. Jeff Francis appears to have found his rhythm, and is displaying a Papelbon-like tendency to grab his nuts after every pitch. Did Justin Upton’s father just call his son fat in front of Craig Sager? Craig appears not to know whether to laugh or not.

There’s got to be a terrific anagram for Clint Hurdle. Thinking… thinking… wait, what is that ungodly noise? Is the stadium… rattling?! Oh, right, I guess this team is called The Diamondbacks and all that. Whatever. It’s still stupid. Stephen Drew works through a long, grueling at-bat, only to end the inning when he strikes out swinging. Ho-hum.

Got it! The anagram is “Linted Churl.” Now that I think of it, he does look kind of lint-y.

6th Inning: I’m pretty sure Chip just referred to Alyssa Milano as “our collegue.” Gahh. The D-Backs take the field again, and, now that I think about it, Justin Upton IS kinda chunky. Heh. Hehe. The rattling persists as Brad Hawpe reaches first, but is easily picked off to end the inning on what looks to be a trip over his own cleat. Brilliant. Glad that’s over, though, because I absolutely LOATHE the stupid 9-foot-lead graphic TBS insists on imposing under the base runners. What on earth is the point of this? Troy Tulowitzki and Kaz Matsui turn a spectacular double play, and the inning is over. There is no punishment worse than having to listen to Dane Cook talk about baseball.

7th Inning: Juan Cruz is in to pitch for Arizona, and while I remain firmly opposed to the first-base-lead graphic, I will admit that I LOVE the little flames that pop up on the pitch radar box whenever a pitcher throws 96 MPH or above. Yay! Cruz struggles a bit as Yorvit Torrealba walks, then reaches second on a wild pitch; he appears to be settling, though, as he strikes Willy Taveras out with a spectacular slider. Boom, there’s another great slider… “That was filthy,” chortles Bob Brenly. Gross.

Fun fact: Apparently, before he signed with the Mets, Kaz Matsui used to play for the Seibu Lions, which I’m pretty sure is the team that made Dice-K a star. [Fact check update: yes it is!] Matsui gets a single and then steals a base as Torrealba scores on a fielding error. Colorado appears determined to win this game without getting a single extra base hit. And now, Matt Holliday is up to bat, and we are subjected to some long-winded spiel about how he is the Ubermensch and all that blah-dee-blah. “The pride of Stillwater, Oklahoma.” God. Holliday walks, and it seems that will be it for poor Juan Cruz and his “filthy” sliders. Lefty Doug Slaten is in—he only needs to get one out to end the inning, and he delivers.

Arizona gets its first two men on base, and OH MY GOD. I HAVE IT. I found the ultimate anagram for Clint Hurdle, and kids, it’s DIRTY. In fact, I’m not even going to print it. Let’s just say that the first two words are “HE DRILL,” and those of you with a couple seconds to spare can figure out the rest on your own. Hahahahaha. I am amazing.

Wow. Fatty Upton has just plowed into Kaz Matsui while sliding into second base, and it appears the umps are going to call interference on him. Catcher Chris Snyder is still on base, but Arizona fans are PISSED OFF and booing the call hard. I love the awkward silence in the announcer booth whenever fans are being dicks. Now it appears that the Arizona fans are throwing garbage onto the field, since that always helps. More awkward silence. Clint Hurdle, he of the oh-so-anagrammable name, is making the decision to pull his team, and Bob Brenly breaks the awkward silence long enough to call the Arizona fans “knuckleheads.” That’ll show ‘em. Aaannnd cut to commercial.

Ok, we’re back now, but the Arizona fans still won’t shut up. Pinch runner Jeff Cirillo lays a perfect bunt down the third base line, and there are now runners at first and third, which will bring Jeff Francis out after 6 2/3 quality innings. The fans continue to boo rather than cheer for their own player who just reached base. Do I have any wine in the fridge?

Matt Herges is in for Colorado to face Chris Young, who is clearly swinging for a tater (anything less, and he’ll get booed) but ends up walking to load the bases. Francis looks concerned in the dugout, perhaps because he has just realized that he has no chin. Having failed to get the one out he was brought in for, Herges is pulled in favor of Jeremy Affeldt (best Dugout screen name EVER, incidentally). Stephen Drew comes to the plate, only to anticlimactically knock the first pitch he sees into the outfield for an easy out. Guess it runs in the family.

8th Inning: Thank god that inning is over. The new pitcher in for Arizona is a whopping 6’ 8”, plus he’s a fastballer so I get to see lots of flames on the upper right corner of my screen. I think I like this guy… wait, his name is Nippert?! Haha. It’s too easy. Nippert (heh) throws two 97-MPH-ers in a row and makes it look easy, then strikes Atkins out with a 98-MPH bullet. Boom, bitch. Tulowitzki reaches first, but no one else can hit the heat this guy is tossing, and the inning ends quickly.

Brian Fuentes is now in for Colorado. Eric Byrnes is called out on strikes, and the damn Arizona fans are booing again. Incidentally, I really hope that the Colorado bullpen gets shelled at some point during this series so that someone can run the headline, “ROCKIES HORROR PITCHER SHOW.” It’s funny, right? Oh, come on. It’s FUNNY. It’s… you know what? Fuck you. It’s still better than “1-2 Punch” for the 80 billionth time.

Aaannd another lackluster Arizona at-bat ends with a strikeout. My bed is looking good from here.

9th Inning: Tony Pena is in for Arizona. (No, I don’t know how to make my keyboard make the little squiggly thing over the N. Leave me alone, asshat.) Pena has a great breaking ball, but appears to be sticking to his fastball for now, which means more flames for me (yay!) and two called third strikes in a row for him. Whoops, there goes a third strikeout, and it’s Arizona’s last chance to overcome their 4-run deficit. Ok, D-Backs. I stuck around for you despite your obnoxious fans and that incessant rattling. Show me something.

Manny Corpas is in for Colorado. One out… two outs… and Miguel Montero actually manages to crank out a double but then MISSES THE BAG on the slide. An ignominious end to a dull and flying-garbage-filled game. I hate the NL West.

I can't wait for tonight. Highly doubtful that I'll be in live-blogging mode, but the action is all going down at 7 pm (right down the street from my apartment!) and I'm SO EXCITED I could pop. It's Josh Beckett and C. C. Sabathia, arguably the two best pitchers in the AL, as the ALCS gets underway at Fenway Park.

1 comment:

Vikram said...

Good stuff here. Yeah, during the seventh inning I was throwing trash at my TV too. Didn't quite have the intended effect. Go SOX tonight.