October 29, 2009


On cue, Howard strikes out looking. Werth, looking like Prince Valiant, bloops out to second.

Ibanez doubles to keep the game alive. Future World Series MVP Matt Stairs steps to the plate.

If he fails, this will be my last entry.


I have to say, blogging games that don't involve the Red Sox is difficult, boring work. Not sure this is going to happen again.

The 9th sets up beautifully for the Yanks. With no one on base, they can pitch to Howard, who will almost certainly strike out. Werth is terrible. And Ibanez, former Mariner or no, probably won't tie the game by himself...


3-1 Yankees. Replay shows Utley was safe at 1st on the double play ball. Oh well; the Phils got the benefit of a shitty call in the last inning.

Ryan Madson drills Teixeira in the kneecap on the first pitch. Hopefully this will bother Teixeira for the rest of the series. Another moral victory. Madson strikes out the side.

I wonder if McCarver would've started the runners...


The weirdest part about that double play was that Ryan Howard obviously thought he didn't catch the line drive. If he thought he had caught it in the air, he would have tagged first rather than thrown to second. Weird call by the umps.

Final line on Pedro:

6 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned runs, 8 strike outs. Definitely better than my prediction (5 1/3, 7 hits, 2 walks, 5 ER), but not that far off.

Meanwhile, Rivera is in to protect a 2 run lead. The last time Girardi brought him in for a 2 inning save was last Sunday against the Angels, also with a 2 run lead. He gave up a run in the 8th, but the Yanks blew the game open in the bottom of the inning.

Alright alright alright. Rollins works a one out walk and Victorino singles sharply to right. Future World Series MVP Chase Utley steps to the plate.

McCarver: "Now if you're Charlie Manuel, you almost have to send the runners. It's almost an ideal situation. Well, you're down by two runs; that's not ideal."

Amazingly enough, Manuel doesn't send the runners and Utley grounds into an inning-ending double play.


Buck and McCarver tell us Rivera will pitch the 8th and 9th tonight. The only good news is the Phils will have the heart of the order up in the 9th.

I should mention, for the record, that I really hate the Phillies. Yesterday was the first day I ever rooted for them. I'm still figuring out how it works. Are soul patches cool in Philadelphia?

A well executed hit-and-run by Cabrera puts runners at 1st and 3rd with nobody out, and Posada is pinch-hitting for Molina. This is where things get ugly. Chan Ho Park enters the game for Pedro.

Odd as this sounds, if Park allows the inherited runners to score, Pedro's final line will look a lot like my prediction.

Hahahahaha. Jeter the Bitch just struck out trying to bunt with two strikes. A moral victory if ever there was one. Eyre in to pitch to Damon.

Damon lines into a controversial double play. What does the peanut gallery think about that one?


Burnett shows no signs of slowing down, striking out Ibanez and Stairs.

Does anyone else think Invictus, the new Clint Eastwood movie starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, will be a glossy, overwrought piece of Oscar-baiting shit?

Feliz grounds out to Jeter. Things aren't looking good for the Phillies. Mariano Rivera looms...


Big inning for the Phillies--Utley, Howard and Ibanez are due up, plus Burnett's pitch count is creeping towards 100. The sooner the Phils can get to the Yankees awful bullpen, the better.

Phillies go down in order.

Pedro whiffs Teixeira and A-Rod for his 7th and 8th strike outs. My prediction sure was dumb. I'll never doubt Pedro again.

Aaaand we have our first comment of the night. Welcome, Cunado.

Aaaaaaaaaaand Matsui homers to right. I'll always doubt Pedro again.

Robinson Cano just flew out to left field, and boy are his arms tired.


As any beer drinker knows, the inning after the beer inning is the nachos inning.

The Phillies strand Carlos Ruiz at second. Burnett is mowing the Phillies down.

Pedro records two quick outs, then Jeter doubles to left. He's still a bitch. Fortunately Damon pops out, ending the boringest yet of my many boring blogs.

Blame the nachos.


As any baseball fan knows, the fourth inning is the beer inning.

Jayson Werth [amazingly enough, not sic] singles then gets picked off 1st base. Strike out, fly out. Solid inning for Burnett.

After my last live blogging effort, longtime reader Cunado wrote, "Any [Blogadier General] live blogging event is not to be missed." Goes to show you can't trust a North Carolina pump salesman.

While I'm complaining, Teixeira blasts a changeup over the right-center field wall to tie the game.

Fox on-field commentator Ken Rosenthal just called Pedro's pregame press conference a "tour de force". Josh thinks "tour de force" is overused these days. I think Ken Rosenthal is overused these days.

Hairston, Jr. strikes out to end the inning. 1-1 after 4 innings.


I'm fully expecting my roommate to make nachos for dinner, but right now he's asleep on the couch. This doesn't look good.

The camera finds some jackass in the stands wearing a Halloween costume, leading to the following exchange:
Joe Buck: "it's that time of year"
McCarver: "tomorrow night!"
Josh is awake and laughing his ass off.

Meanwhile, with a runner on second, Burnett intentionally walk Chase Utley to pitch to Ryan Howard, who had 45 home runs and 141 RBI this season. A curious move, but it works: he strikes out to end the threat.

Pedro issues a one-out walk to the #9 hitter, Miguel Cabrera, then strikes out Jeter for the second time. Have I mentioned that Jeter is a complete bitch? Damon flies out and the inning is over.


As Buck and McCarver keep pointing out, the Yankee crowd is really quiet. Maybe Yankees fans are the new Red Sox fans, easily intimidated and expecting things to go wrong. Probably not.

Pedro freezes A-Rod on a 72 mph yakker for his third strikeout. One of my favorite things about my new roommate is he laughs every time I say yakker instead of curveball. I've probably said it 50 times and it's still working. Matsui singles to right.

Fox just showed a montage of famous Pedro outings against the Yankees. I'm delighted that they opened with Pedro's god-like performance in September 1999: 17 strikeouts, 1 hit, 0 walks. How great was it? The Yankees hit exactly one ball into the field of play (a flyout to left) after the 4th inning.

Ibanez makes an incredible diving catch in left-center for the second out. I just made a strange, animal noise that unfortunately could never be blogged. Jerry Hairston, Jr., filling in for Swisher, flies out to right to end the inning.


The most beguiling thing about this year's playoffs--besides the unprecedentedly shitty umpiring--has been Joe Buck and Tim McCarver's competent work in the booth. Buck has been unremarkable. And McCarver, bless his heart, has actually had a number of insightful things to say. I've kept my ears open for asinine commentary, but so far I haven't found anything worth ridiculing.

Yankee starter AJ Burnett also looks sharp. When I point out that the movement on Burnett's pitches looks a lot like Pedro's, Josh wonders if Burnett might be the Yankees' croupier.

Ah. Ibanez hits a ground rule double that bounces off the left field foul line into the stands. McCarver aptly notes, "there are only seven players behind the pitcher, and they can't be everywhere." Thanks, Tim.

Matt Stairs then grounds a sharp single past A-Rod, scoring Ibanez, who takes advantage of Damon's impossibly weak arm. 1-0 Phillies.


The Phillies go down quietly in the 1st.

Meanwhile, there's some mildly surprising news from the Yankees dugout. Regular starters Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada are on the bench tonight, Swisher because he sucks, and Posada because Burnett tends to pitch better to the backup catcher, Jose Molina. Some thought Yanks manager Joe Girardi would dispense with the personal catcher thing, since Posada is a good hitter and Molina couldn't hit water if he was in a fucking boat.

Pedro's fastball is hovering around 86 mph. Fortunately his changeup and curveball arrive in the low-to-mid 70s. Jeter strikes out on a fastball, then Damon goes down on a changeup.

Fox's Keys to the Game graphic just read, "Phillies are playing with house money. Pedro is the croupier." My roommate Josh eloquently addresses the elephant in the room: "Who comes up with this shit?"

Teixeira pops out to end the inning. So far, Pedro looks great.


Welcome to the ridiculous live blog. 20 minutes until the first pitch, and all anyone can talk about, rightly enough, is Pedro Martinez's return to the Bronx. The consensus all week has been that pitching Martinez in Game 2, at Yankee Stadium, is a savvy move by the Phillies.

With all due respect to Pedro--my favorite player of all time--this will not end well.

Pedro's postseason record at Yankee Stadium is dubious at best: 0-1, with a 6.28 ERA in 14 1/3 innings. In his last showing, an inexplicable relief appearance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, he immediately gave up 2 doubles and a single, threatening to let the Yankees back into the game. I missed the rest of the inning because my friends, as superstitious as I am, sent me out of the room until Pedro was out of the game. Looking back at the play-by-play, it looks like Pedro settled down and finished the inning without any further damage.

But Pedro was already on the decline in 2004. This is 5 years later, and he barely hits 90 mph on the radar gun these days. He was almost unhittable last week against the Dodgers, but the Yankees are no Dodgers. I want to get my prediction out of the way before the game begins: Pedro goes 5 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 walks, 5 earned runs.

I hope I'm wrong.

October 26, 2009

this, that, and the third

THIS: For part of his upcoming book, food author Michael Pollan has been asking readers to submit their personal "food rules", pithy nuggets of wisdom about what and how to eat. Reading over the ones Pollan posted online, I tried to remember if I'd been raised with any such advice. Unfortunately my parents didn't cultivate much of a food culture; I once embarrassed my mom by declaring, at a school assembly in front of all my classmates' parents, that her best homemade meal was Rice-A-Roni.

So instead of remembering any food rules, I remembered an embarrassing moment of my own from when I was in college. A friend was cleaning up after dinner, and I told her she didn't need to put the butter back in the fridge. She looked concerned, and noted tentatively that dairy products tend to go bad if they're not refrigerated. I told her that my family kept the butter out all the time, so it would be easier to spread, and it never went bad or made us sick.

I can't remember how that incident ended, but later I double-checked my advice and learned, obviously, that I was wrong. The root of the problem was that my family saw no cause for distinguishing between butter and margarine; we called everything butter. Thus, when we took science's shitty advice and switched to margarine, we kept right on saying butter. I'm not sure I knew the difference until I was 19 years old.

THAT: Have you ever noticed how people only say "that's not funny" after they hear an offensive joke? Like if you make fun of retards (or whatever), someone'll say "dude, that's not funny". But what about when something just isn't funny? Nobody ever says "that's not funny" in response to a shitty but inoffensive joke. Maybe this is why Dane Cook is still popular.

THE THIRD: Game 2 of the World Series is this Thursday at 8:00 eastern, televised by Fox. Like it or not, I'm blogging it. If you're available to follow me in real time, I'd be flattered if you did.

Sunday again

I've written before about how much I don't like Sunday nights. But a short while ago I was reading a Faulkner novel, Light in August, and found this lovely passage:
Sunday evening prayer meeting. It has seemed to him always that at that hour man approaches nearest of all to God, nearer than at any other hour of all the seven days. Then alone, of all church gatherings, is there something of that peace which is the promise and the end of the Church. The mind and the heart purged then, if it is ever to be; the week and its whatever disasters finished and summed and expiated by the stern and formal fury of the morning service; the next week and its whatever disasters not yet born, the heart quiet now for a little while beneath the cool soft blowing of faith and hope.
My praise would sound trite. But I'll say this: "Whatever Disasters" would be an excellent name for a blog, or maybe even a novel.

It's difficult to imagine stumbling upon a nicer message on a quiet Sunday evening in October, 2009.