Last time on "World Series Test Cricket," our Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays were tied 2-2 in the middle of the 6th inning. Please slip on the underwear you adorned on Tuesday (or, if you want to be accurate, Monday) and jump like it's October 27th. * * *Top 9th 3
49:58 — Ladies and gentlemen, Lidge-O-Matic. Us did it! 9:56 — Zobrist lines out to right. Help us, Obi-Wan Hinske, you're Tampa's only hope. 9:54 — Perez beats the throw to second by a rain delay. He must've gotten a football scholarship to the SEC. 9:52 — Dioner Navarro bloops in Philadelphia's soup to prolong the inning, and the pudge-free Fernando Perez will be your pinch runner. 9:50 — "Evan can wait" for a Rays championship some other year. GET IT? One out. 9:48 — Brad Lidge. Comeback player. Doesn't blow saves. World Series championship. BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY. Bottom 8th 3
49:45 — New, from Ryan Howard Industries, it's the Whiff-O-Matic. Buy one now, operators are standing by! 9:43 — Dude, quit trying, Chasey boy. You're making the rest of us look bad. A straight steal of second goofs up the shift for Ryan Howard a bit. 9:41 — Chase Utley's two-out walk delays the conclusion of this game yet again. 9:37 — Joe Maddon will now hope David Price pitches so well that a run comes off the scoreboard. Eighth Inning Stretch Entertainment So a guy hacks a marriage proposal to his girlfriend in the game Chrono Trigger. I question the legitimacy of this video, since I know for a fact no girl has ever played that game. In fact, I'll go even further to say that any guy who's ever played Chrono Trigger will not go on to see a real-life vagina within 18 to 36 months.
Top 8th 9:33 — Okay, Peña, just like you practiced in BP. Hit a fly ball right to The Apostle. 9:29 — Hey, never mind. Upton unhustly grounds into a double play. 9:27 — The WHIP sure goes up after a rain delay. Crawford singles a single. Bottom 7th 3
49:23 — Extremely less impressive fielding by Aki. But good enough. 9:22 — Iwamura is now 45 percent atoned for his basket catch blunder. The force out is at second, and there be two out. 9:20 — Ground it through the unnecessarily zoomed-in infielders, Pedro Feliz. It's another lead for Philly Balboas. 9:19 — Success-rifice. Bruntlett legs it to third. 9:18 — Ah, he wasn't happy that Vicorino's right foot was out of the batter's box on the bunt attempt. 9:17 — If Joe Maddon jumped off a bridge, so would Charlie Manuel. 9:17 — Joe Maddon comes onto the field to recommend to Jeff Kellogg the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Why else the hell would he go onto the field? 9:14 — The magic of bearded running mercenaries. Eric Bruntlett will play the role of Pat Burrell's happy feet and Chad Bradford will assume the sidewinding position. 9:12 — Burrell doubles off the rim of the field. Philly fans are cheering over the successful rimjob. Top 7th 9:10 — On the replay, the third base coach actually was waving El Barto home. So the grown man was actually fooled. 9:07 — Chase Utley, you decoying motherlover. The pump fake to first on Iwamura's grounder entraps Bartlett to round third and head home. Rick Sutcliffe notes that Utley was "doing his best Derek Jeter impersonation." Which means he's having a four-way in the clubhouse between innings. 9:03 — Ryan Madson won't stay alive to see this inning. So, who's up for three innings of Brad Lidge? 9:02 — I rescind my previous cynicism. 9:01 — Well, this isn't a good idea. J.P. Howell squares up to bunt. 9:01 — Bartlett singles to left. Ha, Dave O'Brien. "He's now 1-for-3 tonight." 9:00 — Rocco ties it up with a solo blast to left field, and it's another tie. All right boys, cover the field, let's come back Saturday and finish the seventh inning then. 8:59 — Case Study #319 why Dioner Navarro makes a piss poor leadoff hitter. Strike three, one out. Bottom 6th 2
38:55 — They say every fly ball Ryan Howard hits in CBP is a home run. We found the rare one that stays in the park and, rarer still, is caught by a Rays infielder. 8:54 — Werth doesn't know how to play "Red Light Green Light" at all. He just outruns the pickoff. Also, Chase Utley struck out. 8:50 — Going to your bullpen after three batters. Tsk tsk tsk. Have you learned nothing from Dusty Baker's Usenet mailing list? 8:46 — Please remove the basket from Iwamura's ten-speed if he can't make catches over his shoulders. Werth's pop-up drops down and Pinchy scores the go-ahead run. Grant Balfour will now be replace, but hey, he lasted an incredible 46 hours pitching, tying Christy Mathewson's record. 8:43 — Rollins with the ol' Sacagawea bunt down to third. Golden. 8:42 — GEEE-OFFFFFFF ... JENNNNNKINNNNNNNS. A "leadoff" double to the right field warning track. Pregame 8:41 — So, next time they play Philadelphia, Tampa should just stay at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington. Said Joe Maddon of the lodging, "Quite frankly, it’s one of the nicest hotels we’ve stayed in all year. I got to my room last night and I couldn’t believe it. If you’re going to have to have a postponement, you might as well stay here.” 8:38 — Geoff Jenkins. There's your pinch hitter man. 8:32 — Please don't show highlights of how we got to this point. Unless it's footage of the Rays' traveling secretary trying to find a hotel. I will gladly watch that on a loop, freezing the video at the exact moment he realizes he's fired. 8:31 — So, about the actual game. Philly's going to bat with the No. 9 batter coming up. The Phillies have had almost 48 hours to announce a pinch hitter for Cole Hamels and they haven't done it yet.
Pre-Game Babble It's been over 70 hours since the last time a baseball game finished, which means my interest for baseball wavers somewhere between billiards and cup stacking. Granted, there were huge chunks of time, at night, where I was just asleep for hours. And when the game starts, my interest will probably sploink back in like a dislocated shoulder. And in any other year, in any other situation, I'd be gunnin' for a Tampa comeback. But it's almost October and like Dante Hicks, I'm not even supposed to be here today. To remember the last rain delayed World Series game, you'll have to go back to 1502, when it wasn't called the World Series, but rather the Spanish Inquisition, and they didn't use bases or baseballs or rosin bags. (But there were baseball bats.) The MVP that year? Jamie Moyer. Depending on whether you agree with NBC Sports' Mike Celizic's opinion of Bud Selig or the thesis of considerably more hatless Jeff Passan's article, this was a difficult situation made worse. But imagine if it was a Game 7 washed out due to rain in a 10th inning deadlock. Maybe Selig says both teams win. Or maybe, like a NASCAR race or U.S. Open playoff tiebreaker, you get the fucking rest of the game out of the way during the day. But no, they had to neatly file the T-ball-length game right after Senator Obama selling Ronco Veg-O-Matics to the middle class. But wait, there's more! If Tampa wins tonight and Game 6, we'll have yet another Series tickle its way into November. Order now and you'll also receive a set of Ginsu kitchen knives, free of charge. PLUS, you'll get
TuesMonday night's bingo card, because I'm too lazy and apathetic to drum up a new one just for 21 outs of baseball. So let's finish this bitch.