Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Game 145: What's wrong with the strike?

"This guy needs a new pitch. By which I mean a strike."
-Old Baseball Truism

Starting the Bottom of the Ninth, tied 1-1, Aussie Grant Balfour of Tampa walks Mike Lowell, American Hero. Replaced at first by speedy Alex Cora.

Mark Kotsay, Professional Hitter, up now.

The speculation is that Kotsay may bunt.

Rick Sutcliffe says there's nothing Mark Kotsay can't do in baseball-pitch left handed relief, drag the infield, sell popcorn, nothing.

Apparently "homer into the Monster Seats" isn't one of them, because Kotsay flies out to center.

One out.

Farmer Jed is up now.

Lowrie whiffs on a ball down by his shoetops for the second out.

Chris Carter, who did not direct the X Files movie, is up now.

Both teams have phenomenally deep benches tonight, because it's September. I think it was Bill James who points out how silly it is to play a whole month of the season under completely different rules than the rest of the year.

Chris Carter keeps his hands in and slices a workmanlike single into left field for a base hit. Nice work, kid.

Now it's Jacoby Ellsbury, who is at the same time incredibly talented and deeply overmatched.

Tampa has Chad Bradford, who has gotten more chances than Susan Lucci, warming up.

Ellsbury swings (at a ball) and sends a chopper to third, then beats the throw to first.

But he is called out, causing great consternation and vexation upon the faces of the people. But, according to baseball's iron law, he is out and always will be. According to the replay, he was safe.

But he wasn't.

Bonus Baseball, everybody.

10th inning, with Metropolitan District Commission on the hill. This does not give me a peaceful easy feeling.

I have a feeling he will let me down.

MDC does get a strikeout to start the inning. David Ross, another bright waiver pickup by Theo the Genius, is now behind the plate.

MDC gets the second out on a 3-1 groundout. Youk gave MDC a lousy flip, but MDC grabbed it and was able to make the play.

Willy Aybar? There's been a Willy Aybar sighting, everyone!

MDC does not get two very questionable strike calls to go 3-2 on Aybar. Grumble.

Aybar flies out to left, ending the inning. If that ball had gone for a hit, after he had him struck out twice, I would have eaten my hat. Fortunately for me, I don't wear a hat.

Bottom Ten

Our Man DP is up now. Chad Bradford on now. Chad Bradford has been pitching for 611 years, and always seems to have a good year, yet he keeps changing teams. Is he a colossal prick, or what?

And our man DP slices a double, neat as you please, into the right field corner.

Ortiz is walked intentionally, which is the right move, of course-DP is the winning run.

Now it's Our Other Man, Youk.

And Youk, after a couple of tantalizing fouls, pounds into a DP, sending DP to third, but now with two out. Argh.

Jason Sittin By The Dock Of The Bay grounds out. Argh argh argh.

Top Eleven

Fernando Perez lays down a bunt, but Farmer Jed makes a marvelous scoop and throw to just get him at first. Sweet.

Navarro now. Strikes out looking.

Gabe Gross now. Gross goes to two strikes and then doubles down the third base line. Ulp. Stay icy, big guy.

Jason Bartlett now, who couldn't hit when he played for the Twins, and MDC takes him to 0-2 right off the bat.

Bartlett battles, but grounds out to end the inning.

Bottom Eleven

Alex Cora battling against JP Howell. Thurston's son.

Cora grounds out on a nice play by Bartlett.

Mark Kotsay, professional hitter, now.

Kotsay hits a 45 hop single into center field.

Farmer Jed now. Lowrie walks, and here comes David Ross. What a time to park one, big guy.

I remember I owned him in rotisserie last year with the Reds.

Howell is changing speeds pretty effectively. Everything a different velocity and a different spot.

And Ross strikes out swinging, and Ellsbury is up again.

Ellsbury sends a tantalizing fly into center, but Perez runs it down. Damn.

Twelfth inning. I may have one more in me, but that's probably it.

Javy Lopez (not that one) now pitching.

Iwamura up now. Groundout.

Rocco Baldelli, the pride of Rhode Island, now. Groundout.

Pena strikes out to end the inning!


We GOTTA win it now, come on, guys.

Bottom Twelve

Howell still on.

Our Man DP first.

DP is hit by a pitch, and then Ortiz BUNTS him to second. (?)

Our Man Youk now.

Youk walks, and now it's time for the Bay State.

Jason Bay strikes out swinging. Argle bargle fargle.

Now it's Alex Cora, who is definition 2 or 3 under "Red Sox hitters you don't want to see up in a key spot, infielders division."

Cora hits a LINE DRIVE...........

right at Perez to end the inning. Son of a son of a sailor.

Work beckons. However this turns out, I'm going to have to summarize it tomorrow.

Good night, America.

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