Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2: Look, I know all you Cardinals fans want to kill Matt Holliday right now, but (a) your guys may not have made the postseason without him; (b) he did hit a homer in the game; and (c) Ryan Franklin still had to walk Casey Blake, give up a single to Ronnie Belliard, walk Russell Martin, give up a single to Mark Loretta and deal with a passed ball in order for the game to go bye-bye. All of that said, This is still the picture of the postseason so far. In other news, you had two Cy Young Award candidates pitch the first two games of a playoff series and you’re still down 2-0? Welcome to the the world of the late-1990s Braves, Cardinals fans! UPDATE: I lodged this same Braves comment on Facebook, and the great Mark Armour weighed in thusly:
Did you know: the 1995-99 Braves (a) had the best record in the league five years in a row (matching the 1949-53 Yankees) and (b) won 9 of their 13 post-season series. An incredible team with a fine post-season record.
That’s great and all, but my response: “Who ya gonna believe Braves fans, the well-respected baseball historian stating what are no doubt accurate facts, or your irrational, Jim-Leyritz and Livan Hernandez-hating hearts?”
Rockies 5, Phillies 4: Cole Hamels allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings and then high-tailed it to be by his wife’s side in the maternity ward. But I think the most amazing thing about this game is that Charlie Manuel used two of his three options to start Game 3 — Happ and Blanton — as relievers. Blanton pitched an inning of relief because, hell, I don’t know why. He hasn’t done it in three years, and when he came into the game, every single member of the Phillie bullpen had at least three days rest under their belt thanks to Cliff Lee’s CG on Wednesday. Then, having used Blanton, he turns to Happ, who was promptly knocked out on a comebacker. Is Manuel that afraid of his usual relief corps.? I guess not, because he used a bunch of them eventually. Thirteen pitchers in all between these two teams, and 3:41 for a nine-inning game. Heidi’s labor probably didn’t last that long. Oh, one other thing: it snowed in Denver yesterday and there’s a chance of it again on Saturday. Not exactly Pedro Martinez’s element. Happ pitched college ball at Northwestern and based on the Big Ten baseball I’ve watched, there’s no doubt he has pitched in snow before. Too bad he’s not available.
Angels 5, Red Sox 0: Based on what I’m hearing via Facebook status updates, angry emails, and generalized chatter in the winds, Red Sox Nation is none too happy with the umpiring of last night’s game, particularly as it came from C.B. Bucknor. Very little of this chatter mentions the fact that none of the controversial calls — Hunter walking in the third, Youkilis’ “missed” tag on Howie Kendrick in the fourth inning, Youkilis stretch in the sixth — came in innings in which the Angels scored. Fair? Oh hell no. Those missed calls led to extra pitches by Boston pitchers that weren’t helpful by any means. But maybe the Sox’ complains would be better taken if they had managed to do thing-one against John Lackey. Quote from the game story: “the noisy Orange County crowd didn’t seem to be anticipating disappointment while clacking its ThunderStix and easily drowning out the surprisingly small Boston fan contingent on a slightly chilly night.” Holy crap, they’re still doing the ThunderStix thing out there? I went to an Angels game in 2003 and it was played out then. Angels fans, take it from a Braves fan: you don’t want to continue to be identified in the world by a group cheering thing that, while possibly amusing when it started, grows more and more ridiculous as time goes on. No, ThunderStix will probably never be as bad as the Chop, but you don’t even want to be half as bad as that, OK?