Monday, October 27, 2008

Suspended Disbelief (Live)

Tonight Cole Hamels takes on Scott Kazmir as the Phillies look to win the second World Series in franchise history. Joe Buck tells us that the Rays will win because it looks like they won't. Great analysis.

8:32: FOX's profile on Cole Hamels says he "may never have this chance again." Does Hamels have a terminal illness and no one told us? So far he's put his imaginary disease behind him and set the Rays down in order in the 1st.
8:41: Jayson Werth walks and Chase Utley follows by not leaning away from an inside fastball. Two on and one out for Howard, who is on a tear of late.
8:44: Not this time, as Howard strikes out on a fastball. Now it's up to Pat Burrell to get the offense going. Great...
8:46: And Burrell does what he does best. Draws a walk on two borderline balls. Shane Victorino comes up with the bases loaded. We've seen that before. Will history repeat itself?
8:49: You can't spell victory with Victorino. Well....okay, you can. But why would you want to? Shane drives in a pair. Feliz singles doing his best Vlad Guerrero impression, but Burrell is too slow to score. Bases loaded for Carlos Ruiz and his .417 World Series batting average.
8:51: That average drops a bit with a fly out to left, but the Phillies have a 2-0 lead after one inning. Not too shabby.
8:55: Carlos Pena tries to bunt for a base hit and fails. The Rays are officially desperate. Evan Longoria hits a lazy fly to center on the next pitch. Hamels has recorded 5 outs in 9 pitches.
8:58: Navarro walks, but it's all for naught as Baldelli flies out to end the inning.
9:09: After Hamels and Rollins go down, Werth singles to the left side, but Utley flies out to end the inning.
9:16: Another easy inning for Hamels, despite allowing his first hit of the night. He's on cruise control at the moment.
9:22: Kazmir mows down the Phillies. He's gotten into a groove since giving up the lead in the first. The 2-0 lead seems pretty safe with Hamels on the mound, but I'd feel a little better if we could tack on a few more.
9:28: Pena doubles and Longoria singles him in for their first hits of the series. Phillies still lead 2-1, but we could really use that insurance now. Hamels pitches to Navarro, trying to get out of trouble.
9:31: Navarro works a 3-1 count, then grounds into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Hamels hit a bit of a rough patch there, but, hey, no one's perfect.
9:36: Ruiz continues to be randomly good at hitting, slapping a single to left. Hamels tries to sacrifice him over, but Kazmir fires to second for the force. Hamels appeared to get hit on the index finger of his left hand on one of his bunt attempts. That better not affect his pitching.
9:41: Rollins draws a walk after working a full count and now Werth is up with a chance to give Hamels a little breathing room.
9:46: Werth draws a walk after about a gazillion pitches and David Price gets going in the bullpen. Utley now up with the bases loaded.
9:49: After getting ahead 3-1 and taking a very borderline strike two, Utley grounds out to second to end the inning. So I guess we're back to that not hitting with runners on business.
9:56: Rollins loses a Baldelli pop-up in the wind and it drops for a base hit. A bit ominous, but really it just brings reminds us how awful this weather is. Of course, it doesn't matter as Utley turns a fantastic double play, tagging Baldelli out and firing to first. Kazmir then strikes out to end the top of the fifth.
10:06: And Kazmir's done for the night after walking Howard and Burrell, giving him 6 walks on the night. Now we get to the once-vaunted Rays bullpen...which has gotten worse as the series has gone on. Grant Balfour comes in to replace him. Last time we saw Balfour, he was losing Game 3. Let's see if Victorino can give him a good old Phillies greeting.
10:12: As Balfour warms up, FOX cuts to a shot of the Make a Wish foundation. Where's Cole Hamels? Isn't he dying too? Maybe starting in Game 5 WAS his wish. That's the only reason he's out there. The fact that he's the ace is merely coincidence.
10:18: Victorino and Feliz pop out and now it's up to Ruiz. Normally that would be a bad thing, but Balfour should be terrified right now. Or not. Ruiz follows suit and pops out for the third out.
10:24: FOX delivers a montage of horrible officiating, which is surprisingly satisfying. Yes, they have been awful.
10:37: Well it looks like the Phillies are actually going to have to hit a little. Pena singles in Upton and it's a tie game.
10:39: Longoria lines out to center to end the inning, but the damage was done. 2-2 game. Some offense would be nice.
10:42: Now we get a long overdue rain delay, which is good because the conditions are abysmal, but bad because...well it's just lame. I want baseball now!

Well so much for that. The game's been suspended. We'll resume coverage...whenever.

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