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Welcome to my first ever live weblogging experience. This is just the warmup post, its still over an hour until gametime. I will post again in a few minutes. I am saving 3 positions under here for "future" past-posts to keep this sticky for a while.
MLB.tv is playing "Stayin' Hot" right now, and are talking about the streakin' Tigers, and their concerns over the possibility of failure during this game. Also interesting is that the Tigers have had to switch hotels in St. Louis due to the rain delaying of this game. This is bad news for Detroit, naturally. Also relating how rain delays hurt the visiting team because boredom sets in with a situation like this.
The pre-game show just discussed The Catch. You can view The Catch on YouTube here.
"Not a trace of rain". Looks like we're within an hour of gametime!
Well, the game is going to be just a little over half an hour away, and I'm going to get on some dishwashing and cleaning before I spend 3 hours doing nothing but drinking beer and eating nachos and watching baseball and posting regular updates on this blog. See you at gametime!
Okay, one last post. KMOV in St. Louis has a stadium cam pointed live at Busch.
I'm showing here a screencap of how it looks right now. (Sadly, this is taking an awful long time so I just gave up...I should have put all the images up last night, and just linked to them as need be today)
Well, it is as I feared. Blogger is currently unable to post photos, and no word as why this is. Kennedy at Seminary and Play It Again, Max are also impacted by this. Peace Corps Cape Verde is apparently not affected and C'est la vie has partial functionality.
Who's the black guy doing the national anthem? MLB.tv just cut from the live quiet stadium feed (where they were starting to announce who was singing with the Naval Academy providing colour guard) to the FOX-TV broadcast (where I just saw a name fade away from the screen). He's doing a nice straight-ahead job, and now this game is about to be underway. I sure wish blogger cooperated. Okay, he just went weird with "land of the FREEEEEE" and the last bits of the anthem. Why do people do this? Nobody does this in performances of other songs.
Did you ever heard the story of the frog who dreamed of being a king...and then be-CAY-AY-AY-AYYYYYYYYme one!(photos still offline)
Joe Buck: I'm tired of looking at radar screens!
And I'm tired of looking at "Now uploading your photos". I've moved everything to Flickr for now at least. (Update October 28 4:31pm: moved everything back to blogger)
We're almost underway. Bonderman versus Suppan. Leyland vs. La Russa. 53 degrees Farenheit. Chance of rain. "The finish is clean. Inspect everything". Corporate sponsor? Or keeping an eye on Kenny Rogers? Graderson just took Ball 1 to start off the game.
Keys to the game. Collective effort from the Tigers. Take advantage of errors for Saint Lou. Graderson is out, and Craig Monroe up to the plate. Three pitches, two outs. This is not smart Detroit. Remember how you let Carpenter get away with as many pitches as an NHL team plays games all season?
First half inning over without so much as a whimper. Detroit needs to play with a lot more intensity, and I know the perils of saying something this soon. Busy uploading the rest of the graphics to Flickr so I can express myself in photos as I'd intended. I'm not a Flickr fan. I did do a little playing to make a little graphic showing off matchup for today, and have posted it at the top of this page. Enjoy!
Foul ball by Eckstein followed up by a single. Bonderman's pitch count is 9 already after a single batter, while Suppan has only pitched 7 in his entire first half-inning. Tigers falling back early.
I won't be posting so often, but Bonderman just struck out Pujols after the Tigers got a 643DP to make it two outs and none on. Onto the second inning, with Maglio Ordonez up to the plate. Over the postseason MLB.com brought in "enhanced gameday", and maybe I'd enjoy it if I had experience with it. For now though, I find "classic gameday" to be a more useful little website. Get it yourself at MLB.com, and click the little green baseball diamond next to the scoresheet on any active game (which today is just "the game" of course). Time to order pizza too, I think, to go with the AGD I'm sucking back. Sleeman and Strongbow waiting in the fridge. Of course, I got no cleaning done...
HOME RUN TIGERS! The "mighty" Sean Casey just homered to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Just before that hit they showed a good sign in the crowd: "Today's Supp: Tiger Stew!"
Remember all that talk of the heart of the order in a slump? Rodriguez just singled, and now it looks like Detroit has its heart back in place. FOX just made its first "Leyland and La Russa are friends" comment. This should be a drinking game. I'll take a sip in dedication to that.
The recently demoted Polonco hits deep and Rodriguez did an amazing job of tagging first and making it to second on the catch by Jim Edmonds (who just finished admonishing Chris Duncan for not warning him). A great play by Pudge, since now Brandon Inge gets a walk, Bonderman is up (0-2, likely to strike out), and the worst case scenario is the top of the order coming back up in the third. "Sup's On!" reads another sign. What, no stem cell jokes? Why is Suppan letting an 0-for-27 career hitter (Bonderman) go from 0-2 to 2-2 on three subsequent pitches?
Whaddidimiss? My computer crashed, as it is wont to do, and now MLB.tv is lagging like you wouldn't believe (remember that I don't have cable TV). It's the bottom second inning, I gather, but other than that I am without any knowledge. This may happen several times, and that concerns me. On the bright side, I got a few dishes done waiting for the lengthy reboot sequence. The FOX crew just discussed that the rain is some 3-4 hours away, but for now the players report that the field is in good condition, with the exception of the back left area of left field in front of the warning track. Let's see if that ends up meaning anything.
Second inning just completed. Looks to be a fast-running game. I just got a text message asking "what are you up to tonight?" -- er, sorry, "wut r U up t0 2nite". When responded with "watching baseball" the first response was "shitty". Women just don't understand.
Leadoff double for Granderson. MLB.tv has this weird tendency to stall just as a big play is starting. I thought the 2nd pitch in the at-bat was going to be the hit, as the screen froze just as the ball left Suppan's hand. It was just the ball to make a 2-0 count, though, and the next play where Granderson doubled a dribbler to deep right came through loud and clear. That's a real surprise. MLB.tv has more than its share of problems, and yet other than some chatter on Colby Cosh's page (where apparently half the city of Edmonton uses this program: myself, my buddy, Cosh and his two (or was it three?) letter writers). We should lobby as a group or something.
Shit on a brick. It's now 3-0 Detroit after my computer crashed again. I tune in just in time to watch Pudge Rodriguez shoot up the opposite field to score the third run. I think its MSIE (MLB.tv) and Firefox (Blogger/Flickr) together causing this trouble, I hope. I need a nice new computer for Christmas. Thanks to Gameday, I see that Sean Casey got his second RBI on a single to right field. Suppan just got a coach's visit, and that's a good sign for Detroit. The whole postseason, it seems the REAL "key to the game" for the Tigers is an early lead. That's the insight you get here rather than watching Joe Buck.
3-1 Cardinals, Pujols up to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs (a "rare October RBI opportunity"), and Bonderman got out of it: Pujols hits a grounder to Inge, who gets it to first for the out. Are those raindrops I saw on the on-field cameras as they cut to the top of the 4th?
On Monday night I sat down at 7:58 to enjoy a new episode of CTV's Corner Gas. I then end up receiving a phone call, and the next thing I know its 8:26 and I've missed the episode. Tonight it happens again: a phone call at 7:35 (just before the last post), and now I just got off the phone in time to barely be aware of Molina doubling to left field scoring Scott Rolen and making this a 3-2 ballgame. 71 picthes now to Bonderman in the bottom of the 4th, Inge makes another assist, and now its the top of the 5th. On the downside, only 62 pitches in 4 innings for Suppan and the superior bullpen.
Suppan's not going to go much past 70 picthes. Tyler Johnson and Josh Kinney are now warming up in the bullpen.
Bonderman strikes out his fourth batter after 85 pitches and is holding steady as we enter the sixth inning. Still a long way to go, however, as St. Louis looks poised to start using their highly rested and strong performing bullpen with Polanco up to the plate. So far this hasn't been much of a wild game nor a dull game: the pitchers have been throwing well but not being lit up. So far Suppan's ERA is 5.40 and Bonderman's is 3.60. The FOX team just noted that the St. Louis Blues are playing the Red Wings coming up later this week. Polanco is now out, and FOX has to finish talking hockey to promote a bunch of stupid shows nobody cares about (including "The O.C." which apparently has done a "Desperate Housewives" style collapse, which is always enjoyable). Inge, my main man in 2005 fantasy play (due to his catcher eligibility) is up to the plate. With Bonderman coming up, no way Inge is going to see anything of value.
Inge grounds up to centre and makes it on base. Suppan didn't listen to me and fed a fastball right across the far-mid side of the plate (on a 3-2 count I might add). Bonderman bunts to Pujols, who has to tag the runner in front of him and lets Inge (not the fastest runner on earth) move to second base. Usually I take the sabremetrics angle that sac-bunting is not worth nearly as much as its claimed to be worth, but when its Bonderman and his complete inexperience hitting on the majors there is a pretty strong case for it. Now Granderson is up with a RISP and blows it. Suppan's three pitches are all in the same spot down and away, and Granderson swings and misses the first, takes the second, and hits the first to Pujols who struggles a small bit but makes the out. Where's that "FoxTrax" graphic when it can really tell you something. MLB Enhanced Gameday does a good job of it though.
Odd move by Leyland, warming up Fernando Rodney just after Bonderman wasted a plate appearance. Should have happened earlier, as Rolen doubles on his second pitch. Detroit was completely out of position for the inevitable (National League) bunt, and now its 1 out and a runner on 3rd in a 3-2 ballgame with Molina up to the plate. Now in the AL, nobody would sacrifice in that situation. In the NL, it would happen every time. The reason for this is the difference the DH spot makes in run production in the American verus the National League. But what I'm wondering, and maybe this takes an email to Baseball Prospectus or something, but is it a good idea to sacrifice to try and get an extra run at the cost of an out when playing against an American League team? It's worth some consideration, as Bonderman is pulled following another walk, this time to Molina. That's 4 walks and 6 hits in 5.1 innings, for a 1.88 WHIP on a very pissed off Bonderman.
Both Suppan and Bonderman are now out of the game, and this becomes a (early) battle of the bullpen. The edge now seems squarely in St. Louis' favour with the better bullpen (including a better closer-who-shouldn't-be-a-closer in Looper vs. Jones), the clutch performances of Pujols, the home crowd and stadium familiarity, and last at-bat. Rodney made a good addition to his resume in the bottom 0.2 of the 6th inning and I hope that he can keep it together at least for another inning. If they can hold off until the bottom 0.1 of the 7th or even the bottom 0.1 of the 8th to bring in Zumaya and Jones, that spells good news for Detroit. Do you think that Rodney/Grilli/Walker can handle that? Er, yeah, I'm worried too.
Molina shot a laser (I came up with that 5 seconds before Joe Buck did, really!) to second base, and now thanks to Guillen's baserunning Ordonez (0-3 so far tonight) has 1 out and a RISP to work with. Naturally he strikes out.
Colleen Schoendist is performing God Bless America (many Yanks I know believe this should have been the national anthem instead of Star Spangled Banner), and I'll take this time to plug that I'm also commenting on this game over at Sports Matter, that John Donovan has a writeup about the "83-win Cardinals", and there's another live weblog of tonight's game.
Tying run (Eckstein) on 2nd with no outs, and Granderson slips going for the ball. Oddly enough, the last time Tigers-Cardinals played in the WS there was a similar incident. TIE GAME! Rodney keeps the "Tigers pitching error" streak alive, barehanding a bunt down the firstbase line and throwing it too high, allowing Eckstein to score and Taguchi to be safe at second with no outs and a tie game in the bottom of the 7th. Zumaya is now warming up as Pujols steps to the plate.
MLB.tv is lagging beyond all belief again. Grilli and Zumaya warming up and Pudge calls a timeout, buying me some time to get MLB.tv updating again. The sound is live, but the picture is seizing regularly. This means that Edmonds should be hitting a homer right about now.
There, the picture is back. Edmonds' big hit was a foul, and a changeup sends him back to the dugout with nothing to show for it -- 85.0mph on release with 76.9mph on arrival. Just after I type this, Tim McCarver brings it up. I swear I'm beating them at this!
What are these St. Louis fans wearing on their head? A guy seemed have a pair of underwear (his hot girlfriends, I hope) on his head, and then they cut to a chubby middle aged white guy wearing a red balloon shaped like a Cleveland Indians logo.
Rodney just got Rolen, so now runners on first and second with two outs and the unimpressive Preston Wilson up to the plate. I see some more kids with these Cleveland-balloons, so I guess its a promotion. Also a woman wearing the "underwear" over her hat: must be a white towel promotion. And dear Lord the old grizzled woman they just showed has the widest frames ever. Seventh inning ends with a shot to left field, and St. Louis gets the lead mere seconds before Pujols is tagged out along the third base line. 4-3 game going into the 8th inning.
Only on my second beer of the night. None too bad. Sleeman's Silver Creek is all right, but hardly a Class "A" beer. And I've used up my patented sourcream/salsa combo bowl with some nice jalapeno/cheddar nachos.
Slump? What slump? Rodriguez gets his third hit in four at-bats, tearing full speed to second base and opening off the inning with a runner in scoring position and no outs. Buck/McCarver said that Leyland pondered resting him, but his experience as a catcher was too invaluable to leave sitting on the bench. Good move, and damn can that guy run. Hey St. Louis, don't you wish your catcher could run like that? I jest. Yadier isn't even the slowest Molina catching in the majors, let alone the slowest runner. Looper is up on the mound, and Wainwright/Flores are throwing just as Polonco sac bunts with Inge coming to the plate. Who is Saint Lou gonna use to close? Assuming the Cards get through this inning its a save situation.
Question? Answer. Wainwright is the Cardinals closer. When the hell did this happen? I see he got 3 saves this season.
Inge does his job! 4-4 tie and Pudge runs past home. This is poetic. Rodriguez had to stand there and watch Taguchi run past him to take a lead, and now he runs past Molina to give the Tigers a tie with one out and the Cardinals "closer" already falling into trouble with Zumaya warming up for the good guys. Detroit is starting to play with confidence, and that was sorely missing in the losses they played (and even in the Kenny Rogers victory). Even with a strikeout on Gomez, this is a game that looks to be on the turnaround for the Tigers. Again, the MLB.tv feed is annoyingly slower than the MLB Gameday page. I just saw a ball thrown to Graderson before Wainwright had even started getting ready. The next pitch will be a foul ball low...and it was! That gets annoying, but you keep watching to 'predict the future' and then get pissed off that it "ruins" the game for you. Its not like this is a taped game I'm watching the next day here. This is live! The only difference is a 5-6 second delay, probably one I can correct by closing MSIE on the next commercial break and then restarting. It's the bottom 8th now, so I'll try that.
Big Unit had his back surgery today. Naturally this will be bigger news in NYC than the current game. Also hilarious is George Steinbrenner fires Tigers from The Onion.
Zumaya just walked his first batter. The dude is trying to get himself banished from the major leagues for life! "[Molina] is one of the slowest runners in the National League in fact". I just said that!
Conventional wisdom says you don't lay down the bunt to advance Molina to second base because the fatass can't run to save his own buttocks. Modern wisdom says this isn't necessary because it takes eight pitches before Zumaya can throw a freaking strike.
That loveable MLB.tv again. Miles hits to Inge, and while Molina is out at second Miles is safe at first. Encarnacion is up to the plate, but this is all a radio show for me, I can only see a blur as Inge throws the ball from almost a minute ago.
A rare wild pitch gets past Rodriguez, and Encarnacion charges for first base, forgetting that he's automatically out if there's a runner on first (Miles). Miles does make it to second on the play, so now Zumaya has to start behaving himself with two outs and a tie game in the bottom of the 8th inning. Oh, I see it now. Those "Cleveland Indians" balloon hats are supposed to be around the head with the St. Louis arch running overhead. Nobody but a couple kids they just showed seem to be properly wearing them.
5-4 game on a play by Monroe that looks like something from Angels in the Outfield, bouncing just off the edge of his
Another live blog about this game as MLB.tv goes back to lagging so much I want to cry.
Apparently Wainwright took over in early September. Well then. Monroe just struck out, and now with an 0-2 count against Guillen it looks like this game is in the bag for the Cardinals. It's a shame, really. Unless Guillen puts something together here, there's only one out left and the anemic Maglio Ordonez is going to be the one to get it. Well, maybe tomorrow's Game 5 will be better...
Ordonez is up to the plate after Guillen hits a grounder to Pujols. The ALCS was won with a walk-off homer by Ordonez, but that was then: Ordonez just lost out a race against David Eckstein's arm. And with that, a 5-4 Cardinals win and a 3-1 Cardinals lead in the 2006 World Series. Eckstein is declared the player of the game. It would have been Casey if not for Monroe's missed ball in the 8th, or Rodney's costly error, or Graderson's slipup. The Tigers coughed up a lead against perhaps the Cardinals most susceptible starting pitcher. Game 5 has already been announced: Weaver is taking to the plate. (The good Weaver who plays for St. Louis, not the shitty Weaver who plays for Anaheim). It's not yet decided, but it seems that Leyland will be playing verus Justin Verlander, and that matchup has to go to St. Louis. It's gonna be a tough uphill climb. The worst of all of it, I'm going to be as lousy at predicting series outcomes as Greg freaking Zaun.
Remember when the "Keys to the Game" said that the Tigers needed offensive performance from their entire lineup? They did: except for Ordonez and Monroe. Even Bonderman outdid those guys. But St. Louis' key to the game was "take advantage of mistakes" which they certainly did.
They've played good enough to be 3-1. And we've played good enough to be 1-3.Jim Leyland speaking about the two teams. He's doing his press conference right now, and says he's talked to the team about the 4 pitcher errors (all costly) over 4 games of the World Series.
Right now I'm not very interested in Kurt Flood.Leyland says that outside Verlander all the starters have done well, and that its not surprising that St. Louis is doing so well despite the Mark Mulder injury.
Reporter:"What do you guys have to do to win the series?"Leyland says as I just did that the offense perked up, and referred to the Granderson slip as unfortunate. Leyland says that Tony La Russa -- WHO HE KNOWS BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN FRIENDS IN THE PAST -- is the "best" at making up a lineup based around the strengths and weaknesses of players who aren't superstars. Leyland also slammed somebody who asked about Kenny Rogers:
Leyland:"Win three in a row"
We need to win three games. Three games. Not one. If we had to win one game, this is game seven, maybe I'd play him. But we need to win three. Not one.Leyland sure does give a good angry quote. He also says that he hopes nobody in the back has a sad negative attitude, because that's the attitude of a losing team not a winning one.
Now its La Russa's turn, and he calls Eckstein the hardest working player on his team, the "definition of a clutch player". He credits their success because they had to go head to head against Bonderman. La Russa says that what the Cards do well is tuning out distractions [except for the Kenny Rogers incident -ed] and that it was a tough game to win and they just had to play baseball and come through. La Russa defended his 83 wins, noted that Leyland had defended them in the media due to their injuries throughout the season, and once Edmonds/Eckstein/Rollin were all in place then the team changed around. La Russa noted that all the Cardinal runs tonight were runs with two outs, and that Suppan fought a hard match. Some of these questions make me want to tear out my own ribcage, as I'm listening to two part questions jammed into one and questions that half answer themselves. La Russa has to come up with answers on the fly, but the reporters have 5 minutes to refine questions they've been aware of all game. What's their excuse?
Did Jim Leyritz just call Yadier Molina "Bengie"? Eckstein is now in front of the microphone, but nothing he says sounds particularly interesting. They did double him up with Adam Wainwright, which could make this press conference more interesting or more confusing. Answer: confusing. Nothing here gives any rivalry or interesting banter.
Bad night in sports all around: I turn off the postgame show and turn on 630 CHED in time to hear that the Oilers lose in Phoenix 6-2. With that, I'm signing off on my first ever live weblog. Comments are always appreciated, even now that the "live" portion is over.