Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The 2007 Mid-Summer Classic...Live-Blogged for your Pleasure

Hello all, GoCM here and I'm going to be live-blogging as much of this game as I can, perhaps taking some breaks. I'll be updating after each half inning so keep your fingers on that F5 button. Some other TSEers may be joining in later.

The game is on Fox, and will be called by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (oh joy).

8:32 - Chris Isaac "singing" the National Anthem. If he's not singing "Wicked Games" then I'd just as soon not listen. This is awful.
8:34 - it's over. And sung so fast that the fly-by is about 30 seconds off pace. Lovely organizational job, San Fran.

8:35 - and now it's tribute time for the "say-hey" kid. He's getting a nice ovation from the fans and players, but this really pales in comparison to the 1999 tribute that Ted Williams got at Fenway. I hated the movie "Fever Pitch" but Fallon was right about the old men crying in the stands...and Mays throws a rope to Jose Reyes. Impressive. Sort of. This is touching and all but the Derby went 58 minutes long and it's getting close to 9pm on the East and we haven't seen a pitch yet. It's gonna be a long night.
8:41 - Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammar in a new series? When's it on because I need to set my TiVo never to go anywhere near Fox on that night. Frasier and Mrs. Raymond, two of my least favorite people perhaps ever in a series. Kill me now.
8:45 - And there's Joe Buck...and now the show is ruined by McCarver. I would love to quote and re-quote everything dumb he says but I can't type that fast. And now Fox throws it to........Eric Byrnes. In a Kayak. Kenny Mayne is laughing in his luxury jet. And it's another commercial. I should probably get used to this - the commercials, that is.
8:50 - And there's Ironman Cal Jr. reading the AL lineup. The NL is presented to us by the Wizard of Oz. Nice gimmick but I give the award for not fucking this up to Ozzie - Cal's commentary was kind of like his last 5 years during the streak: dragging everything down despite his best efforts. JTBI would probably agree.

Here We Go...

Top of the First
Ichiro steps up and and Jake Peavy looks in and fires ball one and we're underway. True to
form, Ichiro singles to right, bring up Derek Jeter (has AIDS). McCarver tells us that 17 people from Simms, Alabama are here to watch him. I'm guessing it's pretty much the entire population of that town. And similarly true to form, a Yankee grounds into a DP. My brother, Jon, a Yankee fan, is saying that Ichiro should have utilized a take-out slide so that Jeter wouldn't have a negative at-bat. My brother is an idiot. Papi is up (Jon: "he's on roids") and grounds to second, throw to first aaaaaaaaand...Prince Fielder boots it. That's almost embarrassing as pissing your bed in Acapulco. More than once. Buck jokes that Ortiz probably shouldn't laugh too hard, as he's likely to do the same exact thing. A-Rod steps in, hard grinder to David Wright, who forces Ortiz at second. Barry Lamar will bat second in the bottom.

Bottom of the First
Jose Reyes leads off and hits the first pitch he sees up the middle for a single. The San Francisco fans now get their blue balls drained because here comes Barry Bonds. And out of nowhere, Reyes steals second. What? it's the first inning of an exhibition and LaRussa calls for the steal. He better not drive home tonight. Bonds swings and pops up to Vlad in right. I get the feeling that it's all downhill from here. Carlos Beltran comes up and Ks on a 94 MPH fastball, bringing up Junior Griffey, who is having a hell of a year so far. Buck credits it to lack of really strange injuries. I'd half expect to hear that kind of gem out of McCarver. And Junior singles off the pitchers mound bringing in the speedy Reyes. Is it racist if I call him Speedy Gonzalez? I'll let history decide. David Wright comes up with two outs here in the first. Danny Harren is pitching well but has thrown a lot of pitches. Luckily for him, one more will end the inning as Wright grounds out. Inning over, NL leads 1-0.

Top of the Second
Great DHL commercial about Kenny Lofton's travels. He's made an endorsement deal out of his career of skipping around the majors. I liked it. Brad Penny relieves Peavy and he'll begin with Vlad Guerrero who breaks his bat while grounding awkwardly to third. He stepped back as he was swinging, too. This guy swings at everything...and I love it. Maglio Ordonez is up and slices a fly ball to Junior in right...two gone. Pudge up third this inning (Jon: Jorge should have started." Me: "shut up, Jon" get used to that one) and Pudge sends it over to Reyes. Inning over, NL still up 1-0.
Bottom of the Second
There's a schmuck dancing on a water trampoline. Only in San Fran (you can't do that in Pittsburgh, which also has a body of water in right due to the massive amounts of trash, bodies and dead cats floating in the Allegheny River. Trust me - I've seen all three). Prince Fielder walks to lead off and the AL is looking vulnerable for the first time in the last 9 years (it seems). Russel Martin, the starting catcher falls behind 0-2 and lines hard to A-Rod (sounds like a normal weekend...zinger). Chase Utley flies to Ichiro for the second out. Besides the Reyes at bat, Harren is looking great, getting outs and keeping the NL in check. He gets a strikeout and the inning is over, still 1-0 NL.

I'm going to take a break, but I'll be around with some highlights throughout...

Top of the Fifth
Jesus, this Eric Byrnes thing is getting mighty old. Byrnes says his dog is swimming toward the bacon, which means there must be a police boat in the area (zinger) And while they do that, Ichiro Suziki goes ahead and hits an inside-the-park home run. Ken Griffey, Jr. was caught by surprise by the bounce off the wall and Ichiro came in standing. That's the first inside-the-park job in All Star Game history, which is almost as impressive as Ichiro going 3-3 tonight with 2 RBIs and hits off of Peavy, Penny and Sheets, three of the best the NL has to offer. Looks like the Japanese star is taking home an American hybrid truck after this game. C.C. Sabathia replaces Josh Beckett, who was stellar in his two innings.
Top of the Ninth
A Victor Martinez 2-run shot in the 8th put the AL up by 3 runs as we head into what should be the final inning of this game. It's been reasonably exciting with the big blast by Martinez and Ichiro's inside-the-parker, and it's been really quick to say the least, as the pitching has been very good tonight. Trevor Hoffman is will be pitching the 9th for the NL. Carlos Guillen is out number one, grounding weakly to second. Brian Roberts follows suits for out number two. It looks to me like it's getting academic in San Francisco and with K-Rod warming for the home half of the ninth this All Star Game is heading for the books. Unless I'm completely wrong, which I wouldn't put past me. Jorge Posada doubles to center and the AL is in business again. Torii Hunter grounds to third, however and that will bring up the NL with three outs and three runs to score.

Bottom of the Ninth
J.J. Putz is in, actually, I'm guessing until a run scores when Leyland will have K-Rod and Fukijama at the ready. That's some good managing by Leyland. Putz begins his night by striking out Matt Holiday, who has been kicking ass in the big leagues as of late. Not so much tonight; he's 0-2. Bryan McCann, the Braves catcher who didn't think she should even be there stands in. McCarver has told us that the Braves are in second place in the NL East about 12 times tonight, informing us that they are "in second place", "2 games back of the first place Mets" and "2 games ahead of the third place Phillies". That guy's never met a point he didn't hammer into the ground with a shovel for 9 innings. Anyway, McCann pops out bringing up the last hope for the NL in the person of SteakGrowsOnDimitri Young. Putz is throwing hard to Young and Young is looking stupider than normal, but he legs out a deep infield single to second so the NL has a glimmer of hope left. Play is ruled a hit and I'll agree with that. Alfonso Soriano is up, still against Putz who should have been out of here by now but Brian Roberts couldn't handle what Dimitri Young threw at him.

Uh oh...

Soriano has just made it interesting hitting the piss out of a 2-2 fastball and putting it in the right field seats. 5-4 AL and Leyland looks like he could use a Marlboro or six. J.J. Hardy comes up now, in his first All Star Game with a big chance to be a star. Putz looks unaffected and is continuing to sling fireballs to Posada, topping out at 96 mph. K-rod is getting ready, the crowd is excited and Putz walks the tying run. Finally some intrigue. Imagine, had Roberts snagged that grounder. Here comes K-Rod with the tying run on and the winning run at the plate in the person of Derek Lee. I love K-Rod, this guy just throws and doesn't give a shit. Lee looks stupid after a 2-1 curve ball but works the count full. The runners are going. Here comes the pitch...Lee fouls it off his calf. We'll reset, then. full count, two outs, tying run going on the pitch, winning run at the plate...and Lee walks on a checked swing. This is getting very exciting now.

Interesting, with Albert Pujols available, LaRussa opts to use Orlando Hudson from the D'Backs. K-Rod is throwing bullets, but they're missing as he falls behind 2-0. Now 3-0. Now bases loaded on three consecutive AL pitching walks. Aaron Rowand comes up (no Albert?????) to face the jilted K-Rod with two down in the ninth. Finally K-Rod throws an early-count strike. And Rowand pops to right and that will do it. Great drama at the end but not enough. Why Pujols didn't get in is beyond me but the reactions will have to wait for tomorrow's TMA. I hope you enjoyed the live-blog and we'll see you tomorrow.

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