The Cardinals just beat the Phillies 4-3. That was fun, right? Probably yes? Unfortunately for me, due to Comcast's raggedy service quality -- is Comcast a SBN sponsor? I hope not, because I am here to tell you: they are no good; they are bad -- I viewed this game as a series of loosely related vignettes and still images. Here they are.
Adam Wainwright started, coming off his worst game in forever, against Adam Morgan (who is bad). The Cards ran out an alignment on the left side of the infield that's curious at first glace, but maybe Mike Matheny has decided that Jhonny Peralta has lost so much lateral mobility that he's a wash vs. a non-shortstop like Jedd Gyorko. Honestly, it's... possible that this is not a crazy thing to think. And theoretically it doesn't matter much anyway.
Innings 1 and 2
Game time! Let's go:
Hmm, yes, I see. Well, Gameday told me Waino got off to the kind of start that makes us tug our collars: a single and a double to start the bottom of the 1st gave the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. But then it looks like he got some outs, so that's good. And then Randal Grichuk hit a home run! A quick look at his splits shows that he's been going Full Randal since the break: ISO over .300, strikeouts around 35%, bad OBP, good for the weirdest 133 wRC+ you can imagine. All of which is to say, here is your recapper's mental picture of the unseen home run:
Bottom of the 3rd
Hey, the video came up... sort of. Former Cardinal Peter Bourjos is shown to be rounding second, and Dan is talking about him thinking about a triple. Presumably he made it, because next thing I know Bourjos is on third and Emmanuel Burris is striking out instead of driving him in. That makes two outs with the pitcher up, and I later learn that Wainwright got him out somehow or other to escape the jam.
Top of the 4th, I think
Matt Carpenter hits a ball in the gap. Bourjos (playing RF) runs it down. Several still images of Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta staring out at the no-account pitcher then appear in sequence: an impressionistic study of older baseball players not succeeding. As if to emphasize the fleetingness of experience and the futility of fighting Father Time, the screen abruptly cuts to a commercial break.
I got to see this whole inning! Let's hope it's a good one.
It isn't, really. Grichuk and Kolten Wong get back-to-back-hits with one out, and after Wainwright pops out, Tommy Pham draws a walk to load the bases with two outs. But Stephen Piscotty lines out sharply to the dastardly Bourjos, leaving it 1-1. On the flip side, Wainwright faces Bourjos, Burris, and the pitcher's spot -- which, let's be honest, is not entertaining baseball unless somebody hits a triple.
The Cardinals are batting and McCarver is talking about velcro -- they need better velcro, I guess? The Cardinals still have not scored more off this guy. I dunno. They've got velcro issues.
Later, I get a crystal-clear look at the ground crew working on the mound to start the bottom of the inning. I guess it's wet? During this delay, I look up Comcast stock. Down 1.66% today. On cue, the video freezes.
It unfreezes at 3-1 Phillies, with Freddie Galvis rounding the bases after a homer. McCarver tells me it's the second of a back-to-back set. As Galvis jogs, the ominous sound of a tolling bell fills the silence left by an oddly somber Phillies home crowd. Is it possible that I fell asleep and am dreaming about Adam Wainwright's death? Can't rule it out.
Tim and Dan are laughing about Ryan Howard trying to steal a base (dream theory: strengthened). Gyorko stands on first, and a mashed ball is thrown in from left. The Phillies go to the bullpen as Grichuk looms. My MLB.tv player crashes, restarts at the beginning of the broadcast, crashes again. Somewhere out there, Grichuk looms.
We awake from a long session with the spinning wheel to find Jonathan Broxton pitching to Burris with a man already on. Still 3-1; perhaps Grichuk's looming was overstated. Broxton walks him. "Mm mm mm," says Danny Mac with resignation, as Matheny walks out to the mound to collect Big Jon yet again. Zach Duke enters. Later, an unidentified man strikes out with the bases loaded to end the inning. It is still 3-1.
Bottom of the 8th
Kevin Siegrist stands on the mound with the same score. A ball is hit into the gap that Grichuk double-clutches on; McCarver insists on blaming Wong, who was hundreds of feet away at the time and would easily have reached the bag in time had Grichuk simply thrown the ball there (Wong compounds things by taking the throw several feet off the bag). Anyway, the runner reaches second. The Cardinals win a challenge, however, which disappoints Tim (who would prefer to stay angry at Wong) and also seems incorrect.
I get a full minute of Pete Mackanin's lifeless stare. Siegrist escapes.
Gyorko bats and bats and bats and bats and bats against closer Jeanmar Gomez. Several times the screen freezes and I yell impotently, but when it comes back, he's still batting. Then he bombs a two-run dinger to tie the game, because he's Jedd Gyorko and he does that now. Tie game!
Bottom of the inning, Bourjos on second, two outs, Seung Hwan Oh in. Matheny calls for the IBB (actual good call) to Herrera to pitch to Freddy Galvis, since a hit wins it and Galvis isn't good. Alert to the irony, Galvis smokes one -- but right at Matt Carpenter. Free baseball.
Frantic for live coverage, I switch to radio. I'm informed that it's been a "fun and interesting game." I resent this.
After a scoreless top half, Oh pitches the 10th as well, and -- seeing how he's awesome -- holds the Phillies again. Peralta doubles to open the 11th, and Randal churchills him the hell in with a 400-some foot double off the wall: 4-3 Cards.
Excitable types like yours truly will tell you that Alex Reyes is the only choice for saves when Oh and Duke have already pitched,
but we all knew Matheny would go with Matt Bowman, and he did MATHENY AGREED WOOOOOOOOO. And hot damn folks, good call. He gave up a bleeder and a walk that probably should've been a K, but nothing hard hit. 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K for the first of what will, one hopes, not be very many career saves for Mr. Reyes. Did he look good doing it? You tell me.
A fun and interesting game indeed. Sell your Comcast stock.
Friday Night Comment of the Game(thread)
Of course, the answers were largely "no." We know who the real enemy is here and it's not MLBAM.
- It doesn't make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand, but Emmanuel Burris has no business being employed by a major-league baseball team. I saw maybe a dozen clear plate appearances during this technological debacle, three were him, and I feel even more ripped off.