Sunday, June 17, 2007

Running Diary: Mets - Yankees

Because today is what today is, I have to say one thing before we get started:

"Today is Father's Day, so to all you dads out there, Happy Birthday."

-Ralph Kiner

Now, with that said, I kept a running diary of yesterday afternoon's Mets/Yankees game. All 3 hours and 43 minutes plus a 40-minute rain delay of this absolute and utter mess of a ballgame. I hope you enjoy it, although I should probably be institutionalized for having done such a thing.

It’s been a while since either El Guapo or I have live blogged a game (in fact, I have never done one at all), and several times, plans we have made for a dual-live blog have gone by the wayside. But I have the time this afternoon, a new laptop so I can sit in front of the TV and watch the game and type at the same time, so why the hell not?

12:50 pm - LIVE! From Ballclub HQ, Bronx Bureau as we wait for the game to start. I’ve got SNY on for now, with some dope on Mets Weekly singing some reggae beat poem about Endy Chavez. Earlier, a feature on Delgado, and how he’s back from the two surgeries he had in the offseason. One, an elbow operation, and the other being on his wrist, a surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome, which I will likely give myself today from all the typing. He was back, it seemed, for a while, and now he’s not. Definitely not. Last night’s Golden Sombrero proved that.

12:57 – It’s The Captain and Tennille on Soul Train here on Channel 11. Who the hell knew this show was still on? When did 70s retro garbage become all the rage again?

12:59 – Here we are. Welcome to Hardcore, Yankee-lovin’ Stadium. It’s the full roster in the booth, Keith, Ron and Gary. First, a quick recap of last nights game, which can be summed up simply: Oliver Perez, Jose Reyes. Nothing else. And with the current state of the team, Perez really pitched his ass off. Also kudos to Carlos Gomez, who pulled a near-Endy and nearly had a Jeffrey Maier pulled on him at the same time in the 4th inning.

Promotional consideration provided by Hebrew National and Orval Trappist.

1:04 – To get a free coffee at McDonalds, all you have to do is walk into the restaurant and scream in gibberish!

(what’s scary is I’ve seen that work…)

1:08 – It’s Rookie Tyler Clippard going for the Yankees today. The Guap and I had the poor fortune of being at Shea for his major league debut last month. Hopefully that success won’t repeat itself the second time around. I don’t like being shut down by a pitcher who looks like he should be on his way to Social Studies class. His ERA’s up to 5.32. Someone’s been hitting him. Hopefully the Mets can follow suit.

1:11 – Keith’s first slip of the day – At second base for the Yankees, Robinson Cono! Clearly audible is the Roll Call coming from the official Sack-O-Nuts section in the RF Bleachers. El Guapo sat out there last night. I haven’t heard from him since. Clippard walks Reyes on 5 pitches.

1:12 – Torre is busy greasing himself up in the Yankee dugout. Wonder what that’s all about?

1:14 – You know, Tyler, if Proactiv Solution worked for Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys and Lindsay Lohan, it can work for you too! Look into it.

1:16 – And, we’re on the board! After Beltran popped out, Reyes stole second when Clippard bounced a 58-foot curve to Wright. Wright then worked the count full before nailing a single under the glove of Cap'n Jetes, scoring Reyes.

Delgado subsequently flew out to left on the first pitch. At least he put his bat on the ball. If he’d been able to do that last night, that would have meant a few more runs.

1:18 – Wright steals without even a throw. That curve from Clippard is one of those loopy 12-6 curves. Posada had no chance. That’s 16 steals in 16 attempts for Wright this year, and 30 is a very real possibility. Not bad for someone who wasn’t ever regarded as a speed threat. Kevin McReynolds used to be the same way. “Sneaky Dangerous,” they called him.

1:20 – LoDuca strikes out. Excuse me while I tend to some hot dogs on the grill.

1:23 – Tom Glavine makes his 13th attempt to get win #296. At least it seems that way. Glavine has one of the all-time great selections when it comes to entrance music. One of my favorite moments ever at Shea Stadium came last year at Game 1 of the NLCS, as Glavine warmed up and Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” was blasting from the jacked-up sound system. He gets Stepford Johnny Damon to ground out.

1:25 – Love that hustle, guys! They’re busy talking about how Reyes, Wright and Jeter all have dirty uniforms in the 1st inning. Jeter promptly responds by inside-outing a pitch into the RF corner for a double. What great intangibles! He just goes with those pitches and lines them the other way.

1:30 – “Good Hustle by A-Rod,” says Keith as he reaches on an iffy safe call after hitting a tailor-made DP ball to Wright. A-Rod is also wearing these ridiculous Biker sunglasses while he’s batting. Keith says he never wore sunglasses while hitting. I would think that might hinder your ability to see the ball. Then again, what the hell do I know? Posada pops to Center on the first pitch to end the Yankee threat.

1:34 – “If I could be any food in the world, I’d be a hot dog! I’d smother myself in brown mustard, and I’d just be delicious!

(Will Ferrell as Harry Caray in the bygone days of SNL. One of the few funny things Ferrell has ever done)

1:40 – Keith has just been extolling the virtues of Ruben Gotay, and how he’s been a great spot player for the Mets. And no sooner are the words out of his mouth than Gotay takes a fastball and drills it out into the seats in Right Field. 2-0 Mets!

1:42 – Ron is talking about how great the production the Mets have gotten from their second basemen over the last couple of seasons has been. “Valentin, Easley, and now Gotay have all been productive,” he says. Gary then asks, “What about Kaz Matsui?

I don’t know, Gary. What about Kaz Matsui?

1:47 – Glavine has been missing all over the place. I don’t know if he’s been squeezed a little, because he’s been getting low strikes and inside strikes from Bruce Froemming, but he’s been behind on almost every hitter, not getting the outside edge, and he’s now walked Cano after a leadoff single by Hideki Matsui. I don’t like where this is going…

1:52 – And it’s tied. After a questionable sacrifice by Cabrera and a run-scoring ground out by Cairo, Glavine was actually ahead of Damon 1-2 before nibbling on a couple of pitches, and then Damon hit a little flare that Gomez probably should have caught. He might have had to dive, but still, he appeared to pull up before playing it on a hop. I often worry about the reads he gets on fly balls sometimes. He gets mixed up.

1:54 – Cap’n flies out to right. Phew. Since he’s only hitting about .843 with runners on base, you can’t help but worry. Especially with all the intangibles.

1:58 – Reyes walks leading off the 3rd. That’s the second time Clippard has walked Reyes, which is just inviting trouble.

2:00 – After the Yankees pitched out on 0-1, Reyes takes off on 1-2 on Beltran and steals easily as the pitch by Clippard is well inside. Beltran then grounds to second, Reyes crossing to third. Heaven forbid! A productive out!

2:03 – And Wright promptly negates that by lifting a short pop out to Abreu, but Reyes being Reyes starts dancing down the line with Delgado up and Froemming calls a balk on Clippard! Posada screams and cries like the big baby he is. Turns out Delgado tried to call for time but didn’t get time called. Reyes strikes again. Good thing too, since Delgado would likely have struck out.

2:07 – I was wrong. He popped out to Jeter.

2:10 – “For all you kids out there…” Keith extols the virtues of Jeter holding up his glove to shade his eyes from the sun on Delgado’s pop out.

2:12 – Good work, Glavine. After nibbling to Abreu, who lines a single in front of Gomez, he nibbles some more to A-Rod, before hanging an 83MPH fastball that A-Rod promptly blasts into the Mets bullpen. 4-3 Yankees. Way to hold that lead.

2:20 – Kevin Burkhardt is upstairs interviewing Bob Sheppard, the unmistakable PA guy at Yankee stadium. He’s been doing the PA there for 57 seasons, and he looks every bit of it. He says he’s going to be getting a full suite at the New Yankee Stadium. God Bless.

2:22 – And back and forth we go! (and Gary says the same thing as I type this)! Clippard walks Shawn Green with one out (and he should walk, it is the Sabbath, after all), and Castro follows by slamming one into the same place A-Rod’s HR went. OK, maybe not as long and majestic, but a HR is a HR, and I’ll take it from Castro. Where’s he been? It seems like he hasn’t played in a month. And Gotay follows up by lacing one into the gap in right-center, but Melky Cabrera cuts it off and holds Gotay to a single.

2:25 – And Gomez follows by hitting one of his now-trademark 65-foot single into no-man’s land. Cairo fields it in between the mound and first, but Gomez is far too fast, and Cano didn’t bother to cover first, so Gomez is aboard, and Clippard is done. Nice to see you again, son. Don’t forget to wash your face a few times before your next start.

2:28 - And the Yankee Bullpen Parade begins! Luis Vizcaino begins, the first of 4 pitchers that have appeared in just about every game for the Yanks – Next up, Brian Bruney, then Scott Proctor, and then Kyle Farnsworth. Chances are, we’ll see them all before the day is done.

2:31 – “And we let ‘em off the hook!” Reyes swings at a sucker pitch and pops one out to left, although Matsui certainly took a roundabout route to the ball. Beltran followed by popping out to Posada. So it’s 5-4. Let’s see if Glavine can actually get through an inning this time.

2:32 – Whoever came up with those Geico Caveman commercials needs to be severely beaten with rusty chains, boiled in oil and then quartered.

2:36 – Heaven forbid! Glavine actually has an 0-2 count on Damon! Of course, he then nibbles before Damon finally swings at a ball off the plate and taps into a fielder’s choice to third.

2:38 – Amazing. Simply amazing. Glavine again can’t get out of the inning. He hangs one belt high to Jeter, and Jeter pops it out to left. Another HR. Another blown lead. 6-5 Yankees.

2:41 – This tense moment in the game is brought to you by Family Guy! I bet Peter Griffin would have thrown more first-pitch strikes than Glavine has today. He walks Abreu, and now it’s A-Rod again.

2:43 – Mercifully, Glavine gets A-Rod to reach for Ball 4 and fly out to left. Good thing, because warming up for the Mets…Scott Schoeneweis!

2:50 – One batter short of the first 1-2-3 inning of the game…and LoDuca puts a stop to that. He hits a drive down the line in right, debatably fair (but it was, it hit the line) and Abreu dives about 10 feet too soon, so it bounces in for a double. And now Vizcaino intentionally walks Green, and here’s Castro again, and here’s Guidry on the phone again…

2:53 – It’s Mike Myers warming up. Forgot about him.

2:54 – Long pause, long pause, longer pause by Vizcaino, then he steps off.

Ron: “What’s going on?"

Keith: “He sees dead people.

Vizcaino and Posada can’t seem to be able to get together on a sign. I guess this is one of the many reasons why the Yankees don’t seem to play games shorter than 3 hours and 40 minutes, and this game is heading that way as well.

2:56 – It was probably Ball 4 to Castro, but Froemming must be so tired of waiting for Vizcaino and Posada to get together on a sign that this low, inside pitch to Castro is called strike 3. Inning over. Hold your breath, folks…

3:00 – And back to the Grind. Posada drills a double down the line off of Glavine. Finally, perhaps mercifully, Glavine is pulled. Then again, with Schoeneweis coming in, Glavine may have been the lesser of two evils.

Ron states that Carlos Zambrano is throwing a no-hitter through 7 against San Diego. He then wonders if Marty Barrett is catching him. That would be difficult, since Marty Barrett retired in 1991, and he wasn’t a catcher anyway. Michael Barrett’s not catching him either. It’s Koyie Hill behind the plate today. They neglect to mention that the Cubs are barely hitting either. 2 hits in an 0-0 game. Stark contrast to what we have here.

3:03 – And here’s Schoeneweis. I feel sick.

3:05 – Nice job. Cano singles to right. Posada, slow as molasses, tries to score, but Delgado attempts to cut the throw off from Green and manages only to knock the ball down, so not only does Posada score, but Cano goes to second. Delgado gets an error on allowing Cano to get to second. He just can’t do anything right lately. 7-5 Yankees.

3:09 – And a broken bat, and another break for the Yankees. It’s raining now (although it’s not raining where I am), and Cairo’s broken bat bloop falls in between Green and Gotay, and Cano is able to scoot home with yet another run. Funny how things can turn around. All of a sudden, it’s now 8-5 Yanks, and things are just looking great for the Mets.

3:12 – Schoeneweis K’s Damon and mercifully this inning is over. Close the book on Glavine, and literally, since he was nothing short of Abominable today. 4.1IP, 13 H, 7ER, 8 BB and 0 Ks. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But it sure felt that way.

3:14 – Yankee Bullpen Parade #2 – Now pitching, Scott Proctor!

3:15 – It’s really raining at Yankee Stadium now, and Froemming is now consulting with the rest of the umpires. The grounds crew is dashing around, and nobody knows what to do. Froemming goes back to the plate, and we play on.

Word is that Zambrano just lost his no hitter in the 8th.

(it’s still not raining here.)

3:17 – Kevin Burkhart just reported that Carlos Gomez sniffs his bat as he steps to the plate. Why, you may ask? Well, it seems that he wanted to be different and do his own thing. So, he began sniffing his bat as he walked to the plate.

3:19 – Still pouring, and Froemming has had enough. He waves the grounds crew on, and we have a rain delay. What does one do while live blogging a game and there’s a rain delay? Ron says, “Order the Pizzas, break out the card game, and let’s go!” Channel 11 sends us to “My Wife and Kids.” Whatever that is. It appears to be a program with a Wayans brother. Hilarious insanity ought to be found here! I’ll be back.

4: 13 – And, we’re back. I’ve passed the time in the rain delay by running a few errands. Of course, the game resumed while I was out. Now, it’s not raining at Yankee Stadium, but it’s raining where I am. And also, of course, what has happened while I was out is the Mets rally in the 6th never materialized, and Mota came on in the last of the 6th and promptly gave up 2 runs. Good! Now it’s 10-5, and I’m ready to shut the game off completely. Right now, Delgado’s on first with one out. Apparently he got a hit, but I can’t say I’m convinced that that actually happened. And now LoDuca follows by lining one into right. Maybe a mini rally…?

4:20 – Maybe not. Proctor got Green to pop out, and then he struck out Castro. I believe that makes the Mets 1 for 34 with men in scoring position over the last 2 games.

4:34 – Mota actually has what for him is a relatively drama-free inning. He gets the first two out, walks Damon, gives up a hit to Jeter and then strikes out Abreu. In his second inning, too. Last year, he probably would have given up a triple to Abreu and incinerate the game entirely.

4:37 – Yankee Bullpen Parade #3 – Now pitching, Kyle Farnsworth!

(Conventional wisdom would have Farnsworth pitch two innings to close this out. Knowing Torre, he’ll likely bring in Rivera in the 9th, even if the Yanks have a 6 run lead).

4:44 – With Gotay on first, Carlos Gomez lines a single up the middle, moving Gotay to 3rd. I’ve gotta say, Gomez is beginning to look a lot better at the plate the last few days. He’s hitting the ball on the ground and using his legs, and he’s even working the count and fouling off pitches. Now, the trick is, can he, or anyone else on the Mets get Gotay home from 3rd with no outs?

4:46 – Sort of. Reyes lofts one to Center. Sac Fly as Gotay scores easily. 10-6 now.

4:52 – Nice. Farnsworth gasses Beltran and Wright. Gomez stole second in there somewhere, so obviously the runner in scoring position took the wind out of the Mets sails.

4:56 – You know it’s garbage time when we have an Aaron Sele sighting…

5:02 – A-Rod singles, Posada walks. The Yankees are going to score 6 this inning, mark my words. Keith and Ron are busy talking about going to pubs in London.

5:05 – Keith: “I knew it was OK to go into a bar at 10am in London because everybody else was in there!” Then a quote about his Black and Tan breakfast. Meanwhile, I'm flipping between this and Red Sox/Giants on Fox. Dice-K pitching to Bonds. Fascinating stuff. With 2 on and no outs, Sox up 1-0 in the 6th, Dice-K gets Bonds to hit a sure DP ball, but thanks to the shift, there's nobody there to cover second, so the Sox only get one out.

Yeah, it’s a blowout.

5:15 – OK, so maybe Sele didn’t melt down completely. There was a ringing ground-rule double by Cano in there to score A-Rod. Something tells me all these tack-on runs will bite the Mets in the ass. That’s probably just wishful thinking. 11-6, going to the 9th.

5:18 – Yankee Bullpen Parade #4 – Now pitching, Mariano Rivera!

(You just knew that was coming…)

5:23 – Rivera doesn’t look especially sharp. I think he’s only pitched in about a dozen games this season because the Yankees either don’t win, or they win by 10 runs. And so Rivera just hasn’t had any save chances this year, and he’s blown a couple of the ones that he’s had. It’s not quite the same unhittable Rivera. I’m not complaining about that. Especially after Delgado and LoDuca have both singled off him. Yes, this actually happened. I saw it, I have proof.

5:29 – And Castro singles. Bases loaded. Blazing speed on the bases now…

5:32 – Ugh. Gotay just looked silly, watching one of those backdoor cutters from Mariano. Of course he buckles down and gets the outs he needs most. I hate him. Put a toe tag on this game.

5:36 – Or not…Great, GREAT at bat from Gomez. I figured he’d be overmatched, but he really worked the count well after being down 0-2. Fouled off a couple of pitches and took a few balls that were real close. Then he finally got a pitch to handle and nailed it off Rivera’s leg before it rolled to a stop in front of Jeter. With everyone running, everyone’s safe. Play on!

5:37 – Reyes bats righty against Rivera. I Love it. That’s the perfect move right here. Rivera’s cutter tails into the lefties and breaks bats. So if you can turn around and try to reach for one righty, go for it. Gary mentions that Reyes is 0 for 6 against Mariano, so if you can try something else, why the hell not? Great bit of gamesmanship by Reyes.

5:40 – And it pays off! Reyes works the count just as well as Gomez before lining a clean shot up the middle to score LoDuca. 11-8! And Rivera looks totally gassed right now. He’s thrown about 35 pitches here and the Mets are nicking him to death.

5:41 – AAAARGH! Beltran, like a ninny, swings at the first pitch and pops it right to Posada. Game over. Dammit. Beltran is really scuffling right now, and it’s costing the Mets. How the hell do you go 0 for 6 in a game where there are no pitchers?! Really. Reyes and Gomez can work the count, but Carlos came up there swinging out of his shoes. Rivera’s on the ropes and you let him off the hook. Well, it figures. Nice job to make it interesting in the 9th, but like I said, those tack-on runs came back to bite the Mets. So, it’s a rubber game tomorrow night with El Duque set to return to Yankee Stadium. We’ll see which Mets team shows up. The one that hits, but can’t pitch, or the one that pitches but can’t hit. Right now, I don't know, and I'm not sure I care. I need a nap.

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