According to our friend here and our friends Joely Fisher and Jeanne Zelasko there, we will have actual baseball tonight. As seen as TV! Needless to say, we didn't see this coming. We still don't know if this is a real nine-inning affair or if it's enough to merely get it legal. We're up for a late night, though. We don't know about Old Man Moyer or if Matt Garza's mom will make him come in for dinner. No Bingo tonight. If the game runs past midnight in the East, we would run afoul of many Bingo monopolies in the Southeast. We do promise we will wear a trenchcoat like Chris Myers because we're both going as Grantland Rice for Halloween, apparently.
Pre-Game 9:41 - Yikes. 9:41 pm? 9:41 - Ken Rosenthal's mic will be a game-time proposition. 9:45 - What *is* that song the Phillies are playing for the Rays introduction? Is it a Wiggles song? Do we need to have children to find out? 9:50 - Sadly, Canada just successfully invaded the United States after the nation's armed forces and civilian guards were lulled to sleep by that anthem. Mostly, we just want to cuddle with America now. 9:52 - We're calling the TOC immediately. 9:54 - Following "Fringe" should be a quirky "Picket Fences"-style drama starring Joely Fisher about a carriage maker in Amish country in Pennsylvania and how she must compete with the nearby Amish monopoly, the local odd characters, and the new doctor in town she might be falling for. That way, we could have a "Surrey" with a "Fringe" on the top. It's gonna be a long night. 9:58 - Speaking of the DirecTV commercials, we're starting to understand how Billy Joel felt. 10:00 - ...aaaand Tampa is apparently officially out of celebrities as Carl Crawford introduces the Rays lineup. TOP OF FIRST INNING 10:01 - Oh God, we're so old. 10:03 - Wow, it is a full house after having to travel two-by-two to the stadium. In Tampa, this... well, this would not have happened because they know weather could screw up their World Series aspirations. 10:07 - Big deal that Jamie Moyer's been there 10 hours and 7 minutes. We've been in the same place on our couch since 8 am ET. We've got your endurance medal right here. Near our bedpan. 10:09 - Iwamura flies out and Upton grounds out. The strike zone is 40º F and rain-sized. 10:11 - With BeeJay down, the Bear walks on Strikin' Fieldin Culbreth. Here's a look at your home plate umpire this evening.
Keep this in mind as you prepare to rip him later. Then, y'know, do it anyway. Dude should've been working on his strike zone. 10:12 - AHAHAHAHAHA because "Eva" is a girl's name! Oh, Phillies fans... you're like Joe Strummer but less drugged. 10:13 - Longoria strikes out. Lousy Fieldin! BOTTOM OF FIRST INNING 10:16 - Fox gets Tim McGraw. NBC gets Faith Hill. Who wins? No one. No one at all. 10:17 - Joe Buck has already determined that Matt Garza is a crazy SOB (as right-handers go) and could snap at any time. Good to know. 10:17 - Jimmy Rollins singles up the middle. We think we see Gonzo's skin turning blue with anger. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. And cold. And surrounded by chickens. 10:20 - Walkin' Fieldin sends Werth to first. Lousy ump! 10:22 - Wild pitch; runners advance. Uh-oh.
10:24 - Clutchin Chutley grounds to Reverse Tilde Carlos Peña, but Rollins scores. So it's totally clutch! Phillies 1-0. 10:26 - Ryan Howard should take the Myers-Briggs exam but not the GRE. That's the level of testing we recommend. Thanks, boys! 10:28 - Howard strikes out and Burrell pops out in quick succession. Let's check our Gonzo meter...
Whew. TOP OF SECOND INNING 10:31 - Tonight's aerial coverage brought to you by the NSA and Echelon. Echelon: we can't find the terrorists, so we're totally looking down your blouse instead. 10:33 - Crawford doubles down the left field line when the ball lands just in front of Pat the Not-the-Glove. Burrell fails to replace his divot; we hope someone doesn't call in and get Burrell thrown out of the tournament. 10:33 - Crawford swipes third by hiding in Burrell's divot and then springing free upon the release of the pitch. It pays to follow the rules, Pat! 10:36 - Gabe Gross flies out to right-center, scoring Crawford. This inspires Tim McCarver to mangle a name and place all credit for the inning on smallball. Tied 1-1. 10:38 - Does anyone believe any of the narrators of those "Drinkability" commercials have ever seen a sporting event? BOTTOM OF SECOND INNING 10:41 - Reverse Tilde sends Gritirino to his room without bases. 10:43 - President Bartlett sends Pedro Cruz/Feliz/McGraw to his room without bases. 10:44 - Uh-oh.
Carlos Ruiz smashes the ball over the left field wall. Phillies 2-1. 10:46 - Jamie Moyer strikes out but in a really plucky old man kinda way. Go old people! By the way, we got a peek inside Matt's hat:
TOP OF THIRD INNING 10:49 - Garza grounds out. Those eyes... they aren't well. 10:52 - Iwamura flies out and Strikin' Fieldin nails Upton looking. Are the Rays in a hurry again? Is it too cold for a cartilaginous fish? BOTTOM OF THIRD INNING 10:53 - Triple the normal Indiana Jones commercials tonight to target the key "Jamie Moyer's family" market. 10:55 - Rollins singles and we see our only Albert Pujols sighting for this offseason and many to come. 10:58 - Dioner Navarro has full disdain for your "running game" and your "Garza loves bases to be stolen". Rollins is shown to the bench with polite but forceful signals from the second base umpire (not Fieldin). 10:59 - Werth singles on the next pitch. The baseball gods jam their collective thumb into Jimmy Rollins' eye. 11:01 - Chutley pounds the ball to deep center but Upton retrieves it. We're told almost no center fielder ever could have reached that ball. Sure, why not? Upton for Minor Baseball Deity. 11:04 - Howard grounds out and who the hell thinks baseball fans really want to see the Sprint Samsung Instinct commercial? We want to see the Quantum of Solace commercial on a loop. That's it. TOP OF FOURTH INNING 11:07 - CARLA! CARLA! 11:10 - Carla flies out and, honest to goodness, the Rays are not showing any patience. We blame Strikin' Fieldin'. 11:12 - Evan Longoria gets fluffed and then struck out. 11:13 - Joe Buck works the "24" shaft. Unfortunately, it's the longest event in the inning as Crawford also flies out. Honestly, Joe... pull the kids aside and remind them that having a stick doesn't mean they have to swing every damned pitch. It's okay to speak softly occasionally. Phillies 2-1. BOTTOM OF FOURTH INNING 11:14 - SWEET JESUS AND MARY CHAIN THE ORPHAN ON THE BAG IS TALKING TO ME THE DIABETES IS CAUSING THE HALLUCINATIONS *sip* OH GOD SHE'S STILL THERE I CANNOT GET HER TO GO AWAY 11:17 - We loved Pat Burrell in Dave. 11:22 - Burrell strikes out. Stupid ump! It gave Tim and Joe plenty of time to dump their whole Garza prepared story, though, so America gets a free blather between 10 and 1 on... now. 11:24 - Victorino strikes out as well but with better efficiency. Almost Rays-like. 11:24 - Feliz mimics Victorino and not Burrell. The 700 Level and Deadspin's own Enrico Campitelli, Jr. is at the game tonight. Please turn your air conditioning to 47º F and feel like you're there:
TOP OF FIFTH INNING 11:30 - Dioner Navarro, wrangler of pitches and pitchers from all angels, singles infieldly in the general vicinity of Jimmy Rollins' glove. 11:32 - "It's not just 17 inches wide to Jamie Moyer." It's true; those wily veterans really know how to expand the zone, work in and out, and vary speeds. Vagina. By the way, this is a Navi:
Dioner is a Dioner. 11:36 - The bottom third of the Rays' order were in a big hurry to blow. If you'd like to know how they blew, please visit the Library of Congress. BOTTOM OF FIFTH INNING 11:40 - Fieldin Culbreth or Crispin Glover: better name? 11:41 - Matt Garza or Crispin Glover: crazier SOB after that walk to Ruiz?
11:42 - Jamie Moyer or Crispin Glover: worse bunter? 11:44 - Jimmy Rollins lines to second... crispinly? Crispinly. 11:48 - Gabe Gross makes the third out. A car/shoe commercial comes on. Again, we have to ask: who is that for? Phillies 2-1. By the way, the game has been legal for a half-inning. Bud's one helluva weatherman. Between Strikin/Walkin/Fieldin Fieldin and everyone's hurry to get back to their warm beds, this game could be ov... TOP OF SIXTH INNING 11:52 - ... Iwamura strikes out. SLOW DOWN, kids! They'll keep your hotel room for you. 11:54 - Upton rushes to first on a single. Hey now; you're supposed to hustle to the bench, BeeJay, not futz around on base. Stay focused! 11:57 - The Bear falleth to Strikin' Fieldin. By the way, our suspicions are confirmed: Jamie Moyer and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez played together in Chicago in the 1980s. We are so painfully old. 11:59 - Evan Longoria calculates the distance to the left field foul pole and then hits it x-4 feet for the third out. It's still Phillies 2-1 and it's... midnight. BOTTOM OF SIXTH INNING 12:02 - Man, Tim McCarver loves him some tongue. 12:04 - Chutley homers to right. Uh. Oh.
Phillies 3-1. 12:08 - Howard homers to right. eek. Now Garza is really pissed.
Phillies 4-1. 12:11 - Pat Burrell and Shane Victorino don't even care about history. 12:14 - Pedro Feliz came from the Giants; he's not familiar with success and history in combination. Three outs, big lead. Phillies 4-1. By the way, we're receiving isolated reports of Comcast service outages in Philadelphia tonight. If you are experiencing such issues, hit our digits like a baby. TOP OF SEVENTH INNING 12:17 - Safein' Hallion! lets Carl Crawford hang out at his base (first) because he's totally cool and he has Optimus Prime and Hallion only has Megatron and Bumblebee and so that's an infield hit. STUPID LOUSY CHEATIN' UMP! 12:19 - SHUT UP ABOUT OLD SCHOOL THE PROPER OLD WAY OLD OLD WE STILL MATTER EVEN THOUGH WE'RE TOO DAMNED OLD TO DO ANYTHING BUT BUY TICKETS AND CLOG BEER LEAGUE BASEPATHS BE WHITE. God, we hate that.... soooooo much.
Tied 4-4. BOTTOM OF NINTH INNING 1:33 - Eric Bruntlett joins J.P. Howell in the Global Conspiracy to Extend the Number of Jim Carrey Ads Fox Gets Out of Tonight Over Six Million. 1:34 - Howell wants no part of the global conspiracy, so he smacks Bruntlett in the thigh with his ball. This prompts more gears to move than a Mousetrap game (when it has all its parts; you know, the first time you play it). There's a double switch coming, a planned bunt, and we wonder when the pinch runner is coming. Hooray National League La Russa Ball! 1:37 - Shane Victorino: the bunter. Grant Balfour: the pitcher. Ben Zobrist: The Zobrist (and right fielder). This has been your YESYESYESENDMAN recap, brought to you by...
... by the letters 'W', 'T', and 'F'. A wild pitch leads to Bruntlett heading to second; the odd bounce off the back wall encourages Navarro to throw to second, which ends up in center; Bruntlett takes third, which uncaps the intentional walk to Victorino, the five-infielder alignment, and six trips to the mound. And stuff. Dobbs gets the intentional walk to load the bases for the home forceout. 1:37 - Evan Longoria scoops up Carlos Ruiz's half-bunt, half-swing grounder down the third-base line as he dove to the ground and flung the ball 30 feet in the air in the general direction of Dioner-not-Navi. That, ladies and gentlemen, lets Eric Bruntlett score and... Phillies 5-4. We said this on a podcast today: the winner of yesterday/today's game wins the series. Game Four seems to require more Shields now, which is a losing proposition; Game 5 is the Cole Hamels Show... we'll listen to other propositions, but we see a Phillies championship. We will see you lucky SOBs in a few hours and again this evening. Now, if you'll excuse us, Joely Fisher has been waiting for us for a long time. Coming, dear...