Ok, I skipped the last 2 games, the games that allowed the Phillies to pull the series to 3-2. It's been a crazy week. I sat down to this one, hoping against hope, that perhaps, just perhaps, I'd be able to let this go; that maybe all of the Buck/McCarver ridiculousness is all in my mind. It's not. I sat through the first inning just taking it, like some gun-threatened customer in a bank robbery. But this cannot stand. I mean when it comes to baseball, there are clearly only 3 things McCarver loves the Boston Red Sox, Pedro Martinez, and the Phillies. And with Philadelphia it's more than just brotherly love; it's that frightening Flowers-in-the-Attic kind of love. Get cozy kids, because here comes the game, starting in the bottom of the 2nd.
JB: "Our Booth is lined with crab fries"
TM: "Nice aroma from down below"
JB:"This stadium has some of the best food in baseball"
(Seriously, that's the first conversation of the inning)
Tim's really up in arms about Sanchez's walks. He's already said in the previous inning that all pitching coaches should tell young pitchers "all walks score" followed by "of course, it's not true, but that's what they should tell them". His cleverness and clear coaching prowess are indeed impressive. Now he's ranting about another term that he's "inventing" the fall-behind:
TM: "You know the one thing I think that pitching coaches should become more aware of than they really are? Is a term that I've been thinking about for a long time and it's called the 'fall-behind'. If a pitcher 'falls behind' a hitter, for instance, sometimes that's worse than walking them...Sanchez for instance, has 5 fall behinds of the first 8 hitters and that's not good".
Buzzword for the night "Fall-behind" learn it, love it, use it kids.
Oh this is brilliant. Buckey throws Carvey such an easy one:
JB: "Well what did you think of the Texas Rangers performance against the Yankees"
I know it's gonna be another banner night
Instantaneously, almost right on the heels of the last "ess" sound:
TM: "SPLENDID! Young, fast club, underrated pitching. A very very tough club"
Sorry, but HOW IS RANGERS PITCHING UNDERRATED, THEY HAVE CLIFF LEE YOU IDIOTS!!! It's not like it's really a shock that the Rangers won that series. I mean it's not like the Yanks were going up against the Little Sisters of the Poor or the Bad News Bears. They make it sound like a stunning upset similar to when those pesky rebels busted open the base door on Endor. Are you joking me?!
MWOW (McCarver's Words of Wisdom, for those who didn't read the last blog):
"Who has the advantage on a 3 and 2 count? When a hitter goes from 0-2 to 3-2 the hitter has the count...uh..the count...to his advantage"
Thank goodness Sanchez makes that pitch a strike to put an exclamation point on the uselessness of MWOWs. For those of you who don't know, I'll explain. When a batter strikes out on a 3 and 2 count, he no longer has the advantage. He has to go sit his butt down on the bench because 3 strikes means an out. I hope that was almost as helpful as McCarver would provide for us baseball neophytes, you know the people still sticking around to watch the playoffs who apparently don't know the rules of the game we love. Bananas
MWOW: "Any pitcher on base is not going to be a good baserunner"
"You see Sanchez, a pitcher, not a good baserunner, no pitcher is".
"Well again, but you see the pitcher is the lead runner and he's not a good baserunner, as you just saw"
McCarver is like the oldest dog with the moldiest bone. He just can't let anything he says go without at least one reiteration, I think because he believes what he says matters, but it could be because he's borderline delusional as well.
By the way, there have been 2 horrible fielding mistakes made by the Phillies and they've gone virtually undiscussed. The center fielder bobbled a ball up against the fence allowing the first and second situation and, after Sanchez scored the first run, Polanco attempts to throw to Howard, but it's again, bobbled, allowing Posey to first and Huff to score, so it's tied 2-2. The official ruling is an error on Howard, but McCarver was pretty sure it was interference by Posey. Because Posey is a member of the Giants, so it should automatically be his fault. To add insult to injury, the score is changed to an error on Polanco.
Oh....NOW, when the inning is over, after roughly 3 plays and a commercial break, McCarver throws some credit to Huff who had some sweet base running in the last inning. He probably ran the bases better because he's not a pitcher, or that's what I've been told.
Utley is a whiny crybaby after getting hit and flipping the ball haughtily back to Sanchez
Oh good, now we get the way McCarver saw that. Put on your Philly-colored glasses kids:
TM: "The way I saw that there's no way that Jonathan Sanchez was throwing at Chase Utley and there was no way that Chase Utley was doing anything other than tossing the ball back to Sanchez, otherwise, he fires the ball...Chase Utley holds the Philly record for being hit by a pitch 125 for the regular season, he just did a little soft toss to Sanchez...much ado about Utley" I audibly groan at this last, heinously offensive pun.
Jayson Werth does make a good catch but somehow I'm not wowed, I'm simply annoyed. This guy seems almost superhuman and he just bugs me. Anyway, here's what Joe Buck has to say about that catch:
JB: "tell ya Scott Boras, Jayson Werth's agent, probably had to catch his breath after that play in right"
And then more yammering about the agent. Who cares about the agent? Not me. And then discussion about him leaving the Phillies
Now the Carve pops in:
TM: "Anybody would miss the talent of Jayson Worth (the chosen one) how about the choreography of that play in foul territory?!?! Of Howard getting down, Werth getting down and neither getting hurt".
He is simply incredulous. In fairness, I did add the parentheses on my own. But that was the tone implied.
JB: "here ya go Fosse" (along with a replay of the video for the third time)...yack
Jayson Werth is on the E-trade Stockwatch, his stock is, unsurprisingly, going up.
Nothing happens in the bottom of the 4th and top of the 5th
Shockingly, McCarver gives quite a bit of credit to Torres, the Giants center fielder, on a good play. But then it's back to his beloved: "There's no doubt that Rollins is running better"
Tim McCarver is best buds with Burrell, which is weird because he's a Giant, but he's also a former Philly:
"When Pat Burrell was released by the Tampa Bay Rays he went back to his home in Scottsdale he said, it was May 15th, 'wait a minute it's too hot here to stay here in the summertime I've gotta play baseball', he told me that before the game"
If you're wondering what this anecdote has to do with anything, don't look at me, I'm baffled.
Things have also been quiet through the top of the 7th, when the below photo appears. Words fail me:
MWOW: "Madson normally comes in for the Phillies in the 8th inning, I think the reason Charlie Manuel wants him in the 7th, he expects two innings out of him".
Oh really that's what you think Tim, how insightful. I was thinking it was because 7 was Madson's lucky number, or maybe because Manuel was playing the draw-a-pitchers-name-out-of-a-hat game that's so popular with the National League.
According to the Carve, Madson's strikeout of Torres means that "Madson blows another away".
He manages to get out of the inning, but he doesn't blow anyone else away.
The Taco Bell Joe Girardi/Mariano Rivera/XXL Chalupa commercial burns like salt in a wound, but I can't blame that on McCarver or Buck, unfortunately.
Madson does indeed come out for the 8th. It seems that foresight of McCarver's is never wrong.
Just when I think I can take it easy, I get a gem. That's why I love these guys though. This one starts off nice and ends nasty, like if you were to tell someone, "Wow, that dress looks fantastic on you...but have you gained 30 pounds?"
TM: "Cody Ross has had such a good series" wait for it "and coming in to this series here in postseason play was PALTRY against the Phillies. This year 6 for 41 as a member of the Florida Marlins so he did NOT hit the Phillies well during the regular season".
Break to check in on Lincecum who's picked up the ball and started throwing, you know, like you do in the bullpen when you're warming up to come into a game, but Tim isn't convinced
TM: "I think Lincecum is throwing between starts but I'm not sure. Sometimes starting pitchers will do that, they'll go down and throw late in the game, but I'm not sure"
He's warming up, but I don't have the heart to scream at the screen, plus my roommates are already in bed.
Even though Cody Ross is the batter, and it's noted that he did just miss, let's bring Jayson Werth up again, shall we? Oh sure, Tim, let's.
And now it starts to dawn on Tim:
"tell ya Lincecum looks like he's warming up to come in the game and not just warming between starts"
And here's Lincecum in the game, in the bottom of the 8th. I love it.
TM: "It's probably one of those situations where Bochy went up to Tim before the game and said 'Can you give me a couple of outs if I need them' well big outs with Werth and Victorino"
If there's one thing I love about sportscasting, it's conjecture.
Werth has a horrible swing on a nasty slider that was low and outside, but apparently, Lincecum doesn't have enough to blow anyone away. That pitch was a thing of beauty.
MWOW: "Victorino's definitely dangerous because if he gets on he could steal a base". Forgive me, but this is a general accepted danger of letting a man on base, no? This is why pitchers try NOT to allow people on base, correct?
TM: "Oh to be 26 again". It's not even acknowledged by Buck, which makes it seem even more regretful.
Tim is great at math too:
TM: "27 base runners stole second base in 30 tries on Lincecum this year. Only 3 of 30 caught stealing"
I'm actually not certain if that had to be written down for him, but it sounds kind of like it was.
By the way, where is Ken Rosenthal?! Is he sick or something? Perhaps overindulging in the park's delicious delicacies?
Blackberry Game Summary TIME!
I love that the Phillies fans boo the trainer coming out.
TM: "Wicked slider to get Huff" but no acknowledgement for Lincecum's strikeout of Werth
"I think Pablo Sandoval is out there as a decoy. I don't think Bruce Boce is gonna pinch hit for his closer. I don't think he'd take that chance. You pinch hit, Sandoval makes an out then you've still got a one run game with someone other than Brian Wilson out there. I think that's a decoy by Bruce Boce"
Wait, so you think it's a decoy Tim, I'm not following.
I hate it when McCarver's right.
And Wilson grounds out in a double play with bases loaded. Boo Bears!
But it's a-ok
THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT. And the booth is strangely quiet
Oh there's Ken Rosenthal!! Looks like he pulled himsef away from the crab fries:
And here's what he comes at Aubrey Huff with:
1. Aubrey people say Giants baseball is torture. Is this torture or is it heaven?
Huff mentions how big Uribe's home runs have been. This will be important later
2. Aubrey talk about your bullpen. 7 innings from them tonight, scoreless could you have imagine it going this way?
3. You've played a long time. You've waited a long time for this moment to go to the World Series, does the journey make it worthwhile?
4. Last question, Juan Uribe, game winning sacrifice fly in game four, go ahead home run tonight, how is it that that guy is always in the middle of everything?
ARE YOU KIDDING?! HE GOT PAID TO ASK THOSE QUESTIONS?!?!
In case you need reminding, the game changing play was Uribe's homer. You know, the one that won the game for the Giants.
Ken's back with Pat Burrell:
1. Pat, you more than anyone know how good the Phillies are, how did you beat them?
In the midst of attempting to answer this confoundingly stupid question, the answer to which should simply be we scored more runs, a question that a Little Leaguer could answer no problem, boos start erupting from the crowd. Pat says "I don't know what just happened", Ken says "they're not happy"
2. How nerve wracking was the final inning?
3. Wednesday night, Cliff Lee and San Francisco, how much are you looking forward to it?
Burrell brilliantly just answers "we'll worry about that then". haahahaha shot down Rosenthal, shot down.
I'm pretty sure I'm actually going to be a Giants fan for the World Series. Oh man, I hope Rosenthal goes to work on his post-game questions immediately. He should have to submit those hours before the game for an idiocy check.