First, a disclaimer: I never meant this to be a Mets-only blog (the few scattered posts about tennis and a Lou Piniella tribute points to that, barely). I didn’t really know how this blog would take shape when it started, but considering I lived and died with the Mets’ every game this season, I suppose it was only natural that the vast majority of the content would be about them. But their season is done. Is that supposed to mean that this blog is done until April? I would hope not. I still love the fuck out of baseball, even though it hurts that my team is out of it. I still love the feeling of October baseball. And there’s always rooting against the Phillies.
Rockies d. Phillies 4-2, lead series 1-0
I would like to think I helped the Rockies because, the night before at the Jeffrey Leonard Invitational, I named my team “Cole Hamels is a PUNK BITCH.” I’m sure the fact that the Rockies have won 15 of their last 16 games will be seen as only a minor footnote to the large-scale hexing of Cole Hamels given by me. You’re welcome, Colorado.
How crazy has Colorado been playing? And who would have thought that, in that bandbox called Citizens Bank Park, these two offensive juggernauts would experience a pitching duel? Quelle surprise! Jeff Francis’ only mistakes were back-to-back homeruns to Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell, which cut the Rockies lead to 3-2. Otherwise, he was straight up dealing, and the top four in the Phillies lineup went a combined 0-for-15 with 9 Ks (siddown, Chutley).
As for Hamels, it all unraveled in the second inning as Todd Helton ripped a leadoff triple and was then sent home by a Garrett Atkins double. After Brad Hawpe struck out, Hamels walked Ryan Spilborghs, and Atkins came home on a bloop by Yorvit Torrealba. A Francis sac bunt moved the runners up, and Kaz Matsui (hey, look at that guy playing in the postseason!) walked to load the bases. Troy Tulowitzki drew another walk, plating Spilborghs. Matt Holliday justmissed a grand slam before striking out to end Hamels’ 40-pitch inning. Hamels blamed his undershirt. Hey Cole? Maybe when it’s a sunny afternoon game, you don’t wear long-sleeves? Just sayin’. Ya punk bitch. [Full disclosure: I am quite sure that if Cole Hamels were a Met, he'd give me a boner.]
Meanwhile, Holliday atoned for his missed grand slam with a solo shot in the eighth off of Tom Gordon. Matt Holliday, you are a big fucking pimp, even with your game-winning chin bruise on Monday. Also, best quote about Philly heckling:
“Yeah, I’ve heard a little about the chin. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it’s so visible. Or maybe it’s because I’m such a good-looking guy anyway.”
Red Sox d. Angels 4-0, lead series 1-0
One game and it already looks over for the Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim, Orange County. With Josh Beckett pitching like a madman, the Angels couldn’t wreak their particular small ball havoc. Big Papi and YOOUUUUUUUK homered. Ho-hum, wake us up when they’re facing the Yankees.
I have to admit that I feel complete ambivalence about this series. As soon as the Sox won it, I received a gloating call from one of their fans, telling me that Anaheim sucks (in the background was a mass–heh–of cawing and squawking Massholes. Shit sounded like a barn, for real). Seeing as I lived there once, yes I know. As a proud Southern Californian, I feel compelled to root for them. But bleh, really. I grew up a Dodgers fan, and the Angels were always just the baseball version of the Clippers to me. But then the Dodgers traded Piazza and became dead to me, inciting Mets fandom, and so my slight SoCal baseball allegiance shifted to the Angels. But still–bleh. I did of course root for them in 2002, but that was SoCal vs. NoCal, and fuck the Giants seriously.
Then there’s the matter of the Red Sox–and, more specifically, their fans. I admire and sometimes love the team. They’ve got an all-time lovable goofball dunderhead in Jonathan Papelbon, and Big Papi seems like the awesomest dude this side of Tom Waits. But the fans! I love all the dudes I know who are Red Sox fans. They are stand-up, funny, charming, hot pieces of ass. It’s all the ones I don’t know that give me pause. In some ways they are a perfect distillation of the town: when the Sahx are winning, there’s drunken hooting yahdoodery. When they’re not, it’s self-flagellating, histrionic Irish-or-Italian/Catholic suffering.
Still, I’m rooting for the Sox here, because anything else would be tantamount to treason to my Red Sox buddies as well as the season-ending MetSox Desperation Pact (hey, so glad it worked for at least one of those teams. Harumph). Also, I wouldn’t want to hear Whadayahfackinretahtid? on a daily basis.
Diamondbacks d. Cubs 3-1, lead series 1-0
Whew! Two of the best pitchers in the bigs going head-to-head, and the big story manages to be Lou Piniella pulling Carlos Zambrano in the sixth inning…right after the Cubs had tied the game! You drama queen. Lou, ayahfackinretahtid?!
“I’ve got a good bullpen here, OK? And I trust my bullpen. I’m bringing back a pitcher on three days’ rest on Sunday, and I took a shot with my bullpen. It didn’t work today. They’ve done it all year. I’ve got confidence in them — period, end of story.”
Maybe I’m biased, considering I’m only aware of the Cubs bullpen through its collapses against the Mets *coughRyanWuertzcough* but it’s a puzzling move by Lou. I understand maybe wanting to have Zambrano have rest for a possible Game Four, but you could maybe not even worry about it if you win Game One! You’re really gonna trust Carlos Marmol with a tie game instead of Big Z? Okay. Here’s a leadoff tie-breaking homer for your faith.
Meanwhile, in Metsland, Omar Minaya has assured us that Willie Randolph will continue as manager next year. Willie celebrated by shaving off his stache:
Stan immediately commented:
I’m sure there are many Mets fans who are as scared about Willie still having a job as Harry Potter is about whatever-the-hell that-is or whatever-actually-happens to Harry Potter when whatever-the-hell-that-is shows up.
Meanwhile, Paul Lo Duca cleaned out his locker and showed us that he wears metrosexual Chelsea fag mandals.
Those are some sharp-looking jeans too, Paulie.