. . . . . and we're back

the entire SB Nation network was down for 7 hours yesterday; i picture cables unraveling, servers liquifying, IT dudes fanning the smoke and flame away as they peer into their flat screens. the source of the problem, we are told, was "bad RAM" ---- just installed a few days ago. this is extremely rare and therefore was only discovered via a painstaking process of elimination --- ie, after nearly every other possible cause for the outage was investigated. that’s why the system was down for so long.

we’re cautioned that the server might still get balky today when normal network traffic ramps up. so if the site goes down again today --- or if it should ever go down for any length of time at any point in the future --- i’ll use the VEB page on facebook as a channel to keep everyone updated re the tech situation. the page is easy to find --- just type "Viva El Birdos" into the facebook search bar. i’ll write on the wall there and share whatever information i have.

my apologies to everybody for the long outage.

although we didn’t have a game thread last night, i kept picking up telepathic signals throughout the evening and jotting them down. so here they are --- an abbreviated game thread for last night’s 7-4 loss:


ryan’s not starting tonight? TONY!
way to get us started schu.
kennedy got another hit? mercy.
and miles kills the rally.
     ryan drives in the runs there. no question about it.
attaboy, welley!
9 up, 9 down.
     don’t jinx it.
           too late --- there’s the basehit.
                 nice going, loudmouth.
there goes the shutout.
c’mon welley, bear down.
we need some more runs.
crap --- tie game.
c’mon albert!
when was our last base hit anyway?
fourth inning.
another hit for kennedy? i can’t believe it.
     . . . . . and he’s caught stealing. never mind.
here comes reyes.
come on anthony!
what the hell was THAT??
     second baseman’s supposed to be covering.
           yeah, but where was he throwing it?
                 ryan would have caught it.
come on anthony, shake it off.
uh oh. there goes his trade value.
time to bring up mark worrell.
that was depressing.
we suck.
it was la russa’s fault.
late, everybody.

regarding reyes’ errant throw in the 8th, it sounds like he was a tad jumpy. he told the p-d: "I turned around a little too quick and thought somebody would be there. I was just hoping that it would get to him." very costly mistake, and the string of two-out hits that ensued was all too reminiscent of reyes v2007. but i can’t pin the loss entirely on him. the cardinal bats fell asleep after the first inning, putting just 7 men on base after the 4-inning rally. the at-bat that really hurt, imho, was duncan’s in the second inning. the cards had 2 on and 1 out; they’d put 8 of their first 12 men on base against snell and were poised to drive him out of the game. snell threw him a slider at the ankles on the first pitch, and duncan chased it ---- i often defend first-pitch swinging on this board, but that was the type of hack that gives first-pitch swinging a bad name; if it’s not a pitch you can drive, let it go. i suppose duncan might have been looking for a fastball in and got fooled; snell had thrown him 4 fastballs in his previous at-bat. then again, maybe chris was just overeager and took a bad swing. in any case, he swung and missed at a pitch that should have been ball 1; then he chased a borderline fastball on the second pitch and grounded into a double play, getting snell out of trouble. what might have been a fatal inning for snell ended up being a 7-pitch picnic; he cruised thereafter.

i thought the sb attempt by kennedy in the 8th inning was a good call --- sensible time to try a one-run strategy. it was late in a tie game, so they didn’t really need to play for the big inning --- one run probably wins it. and the hitters due up (pitcher, then miles, then schu, then ankiel) weren’t likely to put together a big inning anyway. so the cost of a CS was lower than usual, whereas the reward of a successful steal was higher than usual --- it’d get the go-ahead run to 2d with nobody out, and he probably would’ve scored. the pittsburgh infielders were all in motion, playing for the bunt, and the catcher (doumit) is really an outfielder; he’d only thrown out 1 of 8 basestealers in 2008 prior to kennedy’s attempt and nailed just 22 percent of baserunners in limited duty behind the plate last year . . . . all around, the attempted sb was a good percentage play. it took a very good throw, which doumit made, and the play was very close (i couldn’t say for sure he was really out).

before i sign off, i have to call everyone’s attention to the 1986 replay over at the sporting news. they’ve been dutifully simming over there for almost 6 months; the season is almost complete, and deadspin’s will leitch has miraculously skippered the cardinals to the brink of a division title: they lead the mets by a game with 10 left to play. in real life, you may recall, the 1986 cards finished 28.5 games behind new york; in the fantasy world, the cards went into shea a few days ago and swept a two-game series (winning both by 1 run) to open up a 2-game lead. last night they took a 3-2 lead into the 9th against the phillies, but ray soff (???) blew the save.

remember, everyone ---- head to facebook if the server ever bombs again.



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