Thursday, October 19, 2006

NLCS GAME 7 DIARY

Ok, here we go – Game 7, live from Shea Stadium.

It’s 8:15 and we are about 4 minutes away from the first pitch, and I am already tired of Tim McMarver tonight.

Who will it be? Mets or Cards? We’re about to find out, baby. A trip to the World Series in on the line.

8:16 – first commercial of the night – T-Mobile’s ad for their “5” campaign. Pretty stinkin’ funny. Best use of the song “secret lovers” I’ve ever heard. In fact, I believe that commercial is the reason the song was written… I can’t think of another one, can you?

8:19 – by my clock… last night commercials cut off several pitches.. if they do it again tonight I’ll be pretty upset. But we’re back, and apparently running a bit late. Still time for Joe Buck to tell me that State Farm insurance has everything I need. Well, I need a Mets win.. can they give me that?

TOP FIRST

Perez starts off with ball one, but Eckstein flies out harmlessly, one out. Is anyone else sick of the stupid Budweiser select commercials? “there’s a party over here, so you might as well be here, where the people care.” – Did Tim McCarver write that song?

Preston Wilson strikes out on three pitches – oh baby, Perez looks sharp. Strike one to Pujols too…. 4 in a row.. make that 5!!! Pujols pops-ups, but once again Delgado makes Perez have to work harder with an error on a routine pop-up.. UGH – he did the same thing last time Perez pitched… Pujols is on second.

Encarnacion pops out – inning over, Great job by Perez to put aside the error and go right after Encarnacion. If he continues like this its going to be a long night for the Cards.

BOTTOM FIRST

Whether its smunchy, cerfelty, or cruncheweesy, the Mets better come up big early against Suppan. Let’s see if the experts were right and Reyes has another big game tonight. The Mets line-up is sick. I would not want to face them if I were a pitcher. Suppan was awesome in game 3, let’s see how it goes…

strike one to Reyes, make that foul, strike two. (I think I have to change my approach here, no one wants to read my play-by play.) Anyway, Reyes grounds out…

Suppan has thrown first pitch fastballs right down the pipe and so far no one has swung at them… these guys better get a bit more aggressive on him… two down… another first pitch strike to Beltran… Suppan looks sharp too.

Oooooh bad call on strike two – it was pretty low. If that pitch is going to get called all night it could be trouble.

Beltran rips an opposite field double down the left field line. Close play at second though, and here comes Carlos Delgado who has had a tremendous post season so far.

McCarver: “This guy can pitch.” Thanks Tim. Full count to Delgado.

The crowd at Shea is going nuts as Delgado takes Ball Four and David Wright comes to the plate. Man... I was so close to being at this game tonight… it would be so awesome. Strike one to Wright. Man I love this kid!!! – a flare down the right field line for a base hit and Beltran scores, Delgado to third. He got jammed and stilled muscled it to right field. He is so good. Gonna be a breakout game for Wright I think. Here comes Shawn Green with men on first and third and the crowd is absolutely crazy…

OH – line drive right at Scott Rolen, but it was hit hard. That ends the inning, mets up 1-0. Not a bad start, we’ll take it! LETS GO METS.

TOP SECOND

Jay-Z is back apparently… did he go somewhere?

I love this commercial with the sharks and the guy who sinks his boat… good stuff.

Jimmy Edmonds rips the first pitch he sees threw the whole on the right side, and Rolen flies out on the first pitch he sees… Molina hits the same flare David Wright did, but down the left field line. Runners on first and third, one out… Belliard bunts and the run comes home – tie score, man on second, two outs… Man, I should have made plans for dinner… I’m getting hungry, but I am not moving!

Suppan is up. He hit a home run last time he pitched, against Trachsel, but Perez strikes him out here. Inning Over.

I wonder if FOX has an anti-NY bias altogether, or if the women in St. Louis are that much better looking than the women in NY? Every girl they showed on the telecasts in St. Louis was very attractive, and so far they have only showed rabid face-painted NY chicks tonight. It’s a conspiracy.

BOTTOM SECOND

I can’t decide if Jeff Suppan sounded brilliant or idiotic in describing how he controls his emotions in a big game like this. “I try to concentrate on only two things – what pitch I want to throw, and where I want to throw it.” Is this a real game? Or a Tom Cruise movie? I thought I was watching “Days of Thunder” for a minute…

Mets go in order, and MacGyver tries to make a come back in a MasterCard commercial.

TOP THIRD

In case everyone was wondering… Samsung makes the best HDTV’s available. I have carefully compared all the major brands side by side, and no one else even really comes close to the DLP technology. Plasma and LCD aside, Samsung DLP gives the most bang for your buck. Back to the game…

Top of the Cardinal Order is up… Full count to Eckstein and he rips a double down the left field line. The pitch was up in the zone – good bit of hitting.

Preston Wilson at the dish, so of course, the cameras find his Step-Father Mookie Wilson. Tim McCarver: “There’s the Mookster” – He’s never been called the mookster in his life, I’m fairly certain. Preston strikes out… way to go Mookster.

Pujols gets the intentional pass. Can’t blame Willie for making this call. Two on, one out for Encarnacion, who is battling with an 0-2 count while Tim McCarver makes bad Elvis Costello references. 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. The IB is successful, and we go to the bottom of the third.

BOTTOM THIRD

I bet 3 million Crispy chicken sandwiches (before taxes) that there is nothing to eat in my fridge. Jousting in wheel barrels with tape measures is ingenious marketing, and John Mayer is an awesome guitarist.

Woah – I stood up for a minute and we are back in commercials – the Mets obviously didn’t do a thing in the bottom half of the inning.

My wife is valiantly putting together the playpen we got last night at the baby shower. We got quite a haul. Very thankful for all those who came out to share this wonderfully joyous time with us. Now back to baseball…

TOP FOURTH

Nothing like a cold slice of pizza to fill the belly…

Edmonds down on strikes again. Perez has already thrown 52 pitches and we’re just starting the third. I wonder how he feels going on three days rest for the first time. He still looks pretty good.

Rolen is fighting off a bunch of pitches, making Perez work. And Perez wins the battle with another pop-up in the infield.

Wow – I just learned that when I runner gets on base and scores, that it is bad for the opposing pitcher… I never would have known… Thanks, you guessed it, Tim McCarver.

Molina flies out to Shawn Green to end the inning. This guy clearly needs a smaller hat. I don’t think I have seen him make a single play in the field where his hat has stayed on his head. I wonder if the equipment manager knows about this…

BOTTOM FOURTH

Suppan’s pitching carefully to Delgado, but the count just ran full. Ball Four. Delgado’s second walk. Wright comes up and hits the second pitch slowly to Rolen, not fast enough to turn the double play.

Has anyone noticed the “trivia” type facts they have been putting up when hitters come to the plate? I get surprised every time I see them. It’s not that they aren’t interesting in their own context, but I’m not sure how knowing Shawn Green’s favorite childhood book is Curious George helps me understand the game better… can someone else explain?

Speaking of Shawn Green, he goes down swinging, two outs.

I see some raindrops… what’s the forecast??

Come on Valentin, it’s time to come up big again. He hasn’t hardly hit at all, but most of his hits have been pretty darn clutch in the post season. But he gets plunked in the mouth, quite literally, and will get first base.

But Endy Chavez lifts one to right center, leaving two on, and we go to the Fifth.

TOP FIFTH

Someone please tell me where Jay-Z went please? Wherever it was, He’s back and doing music videos as Budweiser commercials. Cool song, at least.

Shea Stadium is so alive tonight. Every time a pitcher gets to a two strike count, or any time a Met does anything at all, the crowd is on its feet. Belliard takes that two strike offering and puts it in left field past a diving Jose Reyes, followed by a bunt by Suppan. One out, man on Second.

Grr… Eckstein gets HBP on the toe. Perez bounced his pitch too, so I guess it was retaliation for the bouncer that grabbed Valentin on the chin.

Perez strikes out Wilson for the third time – but Pujols is coming to the dish with two men on and two out… aww man… playing with fire here… he’s going to pitch to him! Willie is nuts… HAHAAHA but it pays off!!!! Pujols pops out and the inning is OVER!

Phew…

BOTTOM FIFTH

The HP campaign has been pretty good. Guys like Pharrel and Jay-Z doing the mid-to chest shot, throwing graphics around the screen. I like it.

Has anyone ever one anything more than a small soft drink or small fires playing Monopoly at McDonalds?? If they have, I’ve never met them…

Pickles, I think, are one of the greatest discoveries/inventions to ever bless the food industry. Dill pickles, deli style…

After a busy couple of innings, this game is quickly becoming a pitchers duel. It’s going to be whoever wears down first… Apparently the rain is going to pick up in about an hour… that should get us to the 8th inning or so… I hope the Mets can score a bit more by then, though I can’t imagine them calling a playoff game seven due to rain…

LoDuca lifts one deep to left center and Wilson and Edmonds collide going after the ball and BOTH players come up gimpy, but Wilson holds on… man, it must be SO LOUD at the stadium.. Apparently FOX is muting the crowd so that the announcers don’t have to compete… man that stinks, I’d like to share in that energy…

TOP SIXTH

I think Paul LoDuca might be the most underrated catcher in the NL. He does such a great job behind the plate, blocking balls, calling games. And he even does OK throwing guys out… but that’s his weakness. And he is the unquestioned emotional leader of this team. He’s a fire-ball and I’m glad we got him.

I wonder who decides how the outfield grass is cut and what shape they make out there. They’ve had some pretty cool designs at Shea this year. The best was the Mets NY symbol in the middle of center field.

Perez is making Edmonds look silly in this at-bat so far… but Edmonds runs the count full and eventually walks, and here comes Willie Randolph….but he doesn’t take Perez out!

And IMMEDIATELY Scott Rolen takes Him deep over the left field wall, BUT CHAVEZ PULLS IT BACK!!! CHAVEZ MADE AN AMAZING CATCH AND STOLE A HOME RUN FROM SCOTT ROLEN – Edmonds thought it was gone and he GETS DOUBLED OFF at first base, INNING OVER!!!

Oh man! That was AWESOME!! I am so PUMPED right now... WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

BOTTOM SIXTH

OK – case in point – biased announcers – any announcer with a PULSE would have been going out of their mind with that play – How about Joe Buck? Nothing… like he’s watching the grass grow… UNREAL CATCH.. Chavez lept about 4 feet from the wall and got WAY up to take away the Homer… wow… But Buck and McCarver have virtually nothing to say – no emotion… nothing… Jon Miller would have made a great call on that catch… and I can’t imagine what is happening right now in the Mets radio booth… And Chavez takes TWO curtain calls, as Beltran grounds out on a slow roller…

WOAH – Delgado nearly had his head taken off… 3-1 – NO WAY.. ball four… called a strike… ugly call BLUE… ugly call. 3-2. Ball FOUR. Delgado takes his FOURTH walk of the night… bringing David Wright to the plate…

David Wright routinely grounds to third… but Rolen air mails it over Pujols head. He must have been thinking Endy Chavez was at first… Runners on first and second, one out. And the Cards are WALKING Shawn Green intentionally to pitch to Jose Valentin… BIG MISTAKE, in my opinion.

Ball one to Valentin… the fans are going nuts… the “Let’s Go Mets” chant is blaring…

1-1… Valentin fooled badly by a curve ball.. 1-2.

1-2 pitch fouled off… man the tension is thick…

I hate when they show people praying in the stands….

And as if God was reading my mind... Valentin strikes out… bringing up Endy Chavez – if his amazing catch is an indication………..

Ugh… popped it up on the first pitch…. What a waste! Momentum killer…

TOP SEVENTH

The Toyota FJ Cruiser (read, wanna-be Hummer) is just about the ugliest thing on four wheels… and Dunkin Donuts really does make the best coffee…

Here comes the Mets Bullpen…. It starts with Chad Bradford, the submariner who occasionally scrapes his knuckles on the ground. He’s starting off slow going 2-0 to Molina, but there’s a strike, 2-1. After fouling off a few, Molina works the count full, and flies out to left.

Ronnie Belliard cannot keep his tongue in his mouth to save his life. And it’s not like a Jordan thing, where he sticks it out when he is actually doing something, but its when he is standing still that the ugly piece of meat lumbers out of his mouth to, I think, play with his chin hair…. And to punish him, he grounds out to Second.

Suppan grounds out and the Cards go in Order.

Time to stretch!

BOTTOM SEVENTH

The rain is picking up, and the Mets will have the top of the order after a pinch hitter for Chad Bradford. And Jeff Suppan comes back out to pitch to Michael Tucker, who I am pretty surprised is even on the team... but he’s done alright when called upon.

After painfully fouling one off the inside of his foot, Tucker flies out to center.

Man, the Ump’s strike zone is all over the place tonight… 0-1 to Reyes, who grounds out to Pujols (or Poo hole, as my wife calls him – not because she is a Mets fan or anything, but because she hates baseball, and to make the time pass, she makes fun nick names for all the players). LoDuca quickly grounds out as well, and the Mets go in order….

TOP EIGHTH

Is eighth spelled right? It must be… MS Word is not underlining it in red. (Yes, I am writing this in Word, to be transferred to blogger later – only because I have far too often trusted blogger with long posts, only to have them erased right before I finish… nevermore!

Now Aaron Heilman toes the rubber for the Mets.

Eckstein grounds sharply to Delgado at first, and Spezio, with his stupid little queer dyed red soul patch, which I’d like to rip off his face, comes to the plate. (If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of Spezio) Quickly 1-2 to Spazio (yes, it’s childish), and the Shea faithful get to their feet… and Heilman gets him looking with a fastball inside.

Poo-hole to the dish. Doesn’t look like Heilman wants to give him anything close to the plate, so they give him ball four intentionally. Buck just pointed out that the hitters around Pujols are 0-7 with 6 strikeouts and a Double play ball… not much protection for the big boy…

Encarnacion looks like he will follow the trend, getting behind 0-2 and striking out swinging… Heilman comes through and we have the heart of the Mets order coming up!

LETS GO METS!!

BOTTOM EIGHTH

So Taguchi comes in for defense in left field, and Beltran comes up to bat. Suppan just threw his 100th pitch of the night. 3-1 to Beltran… a leadoff walk to B-train, and here comes Delgado – and Tony Larussa runs out to get Suppan – it’ll be Flores to pitch to Delgado…

Man these games are so gut wrenching… the suspense is crazy. Game 7’s really are magical... everybody is so pumped… let’s just hope the goat tonight is wearing Red and not Blue and Orange. Maybe it’ll be Flores right here… COME ON DELGADO!!!!

Beltran keeps Flores’ attention at first, and he is ahead of Delgado, 1-2.

Hehe, he throws his bat at a slider way outside to stay alive….but it means nothing... he strikes out trying to check his swing…

David Wright comes up, 1 for 3 on the night. Wright should get a pitch to hit, as he is now ahead 2-0…. Now 3-1…. Flores nearly balked throwing to first… but no call. Wright takes strike two… count is full… man is my hair falling out right now??

Beltran doesn’t move, and Wright strikes out swinging… 2 down, Green to bat. Green lines out to Pujols… no hits since the first inning… sheesh…

TOP NINTH

It looks like Wagner is coming in… in game two he gave up 3 runs in a tie game and took the loss… Let’s hope he has his fast ball tonight…

But no... it’s Heilman again? Hmm… Willie goes against conventional wisdom again…

Edmonds strikes out, one away.

Dang it… there is that chick praying again!! STOP IT!

Count is full to Scott Rolen… base hit to left. Go ahead run is on…. Still one out.

Heilman is pretty adept at inducing the double play – but UGHHHHHH

Not this time…. Heilman gives up the long ball to Molina… 3-1 Cards.

………………

Shea is silenced… you can hear Molina’s celebratory whoops all over the stadium….

I’m speechless…

The other two guys ground out….

Here comes the Mets last chance…

BOTTOM NINTH

Valentin works a full count to start it off…. YES – a flare to right center… lead off single!!

Chavez to the plate… my heart was in my stomach, now it’s in my throat…

YESSSSS!!! Two on, nobody out!!!!

CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG – GET R DONE!!!

Flashes of Kirk Gibson streaming to mind… 1-2 to Cliffy… 2-2… UGH struck out looking with a breaking ball… he had no chance really… awesome pitch…

Here’s Reyes… 0-4 tonight… One out, two men on…

Reyes…. UGH lined out to center field.. good piece of hitting, just right at Edmonds… it’s up to LoDuca now… come on DUUUKKEEE

LoDuca… surprised by a slider down the middle… now 3-1… I can’t take this man… I think I’m having chest pains…

BALL FOUR – BASES LOADED FOR CARLOS BELTRAN

Holy cow…. I can’t even believe this is happening….

DANNGGGGIITTTTT STOP SHOWING THAT STUPID CHICK PRAYING!!!!!

0-2 to Beltran….

Strike three looking… I think I’m gonna be sick…

No happy recap tonight…. And here ends the baseball season…

At least my wife will be happy.

LET’S GO TIGERS! I doubt I’ll watch even one pitch...

To end things on a positive note - it really was a great season for the Mets, all the way down to the last inning of game 7. The way things have gone all season, I expected Beltran to come through there at the end... but the Lord had other things in mind... and that's fine by me.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

That was a tough loss, to say the least. After that catch in left field, I thought there was no way the Mets were going to lose that game. And there was the perfect setup for Beltran to be the hero.

At least the Cardinals have a good chance of getting swept.