Live Blogging Tonight’s Game – 8/20 vs. Yankees

Cheerstixi

After a somewhat disappointing road trip (it’s always disappointing
when Curt Schilling gets a win against you), the Angels come home
tonight to start a three game series with the New York Yankees.  This is always one of the most exciting series of the year, and it’s always a blast to be at Angel Stadium to watch the game live with all the Yankee fans coming out of the woodwork.

I’m going to the game Wednesday, but for the first two games of the series, I’ll be watching here at home.  I split my time watching baseball between my computer room and my dad’s room.  Because of my dad’s disability, he has to get in bed earlier, where he watches TV for the rest of the night.  We have some programs we watch together, and we usually watch home games together in his room.

Tonight, though, to shake things up a bit, I’m going to try to live blog the game.  I’m sure it’s a futile enterprise, as A) I’m not that good a blogger, and B) I doubt anybody will be following my blog while they watch the game, but as I said before, I blog for my enjoyment, and this should bring me some!

So, without further ado, the game is about to start, and so is my live blogging of the game.

7:00 PM: It was a breath of fresh air last week when the Angels were in Toronto.  OK, so they lost the series 2 games to 1, but for that series Rory Markus and Mark Gubicza were the broadcasters.  Unfortunately, the Angels are back home, and that means I have to listen to Steve Physioc and his idiot partner Rex Hudler.  At least back in 1991 when Reggie Jackson was doing color commentary for the Angels I had the option of muting the television and listening to the radio while watching the game.  But thanks to Janet Jackson, TV now has a 7-second delay, and they can’t be synced up.  Perhaps this shuffling of announcers is a sign that they realize that Physioc and Hudler are the only remainders of the Angels status as a B-level franchise, and they tend to bring some class to the airwaves next year.

My vote is for Markus and Gubicza!

Let Hudler do the post game show.  I don’t watch that anyway.

7:17 PM: If you’re watching the game, you now know why Vladimir Guerrero has always played Right Field.  The Yankees are up 1-0 after the top of the 1st because "Big Daddy Vladdy" played a ball off the bat of A-Rod with all the skill and grace of a third grader.  On crutches.  And blind in one eye.

On another note, I know I’m getting old, because fashion is really starting to **** me off.  Dustin Moseley’s wannabe Justin Timberlake beard is another in a line of hideous examples of facial hair.  It’s like these guys want to have that Don Johnson stubble look from the 1980’s, but they want to look well groomed as well, so they spend hours shaping their beard.  Either shave it or grow facial hair like a man.

Ooh, Angels have a baserunner on Robinson Cano’s error!  And Vlad is up!  Hopefully he can make up for his error earlier.

Also, I feel I should note something here:  Above, where I called Rex Hudler a "idiot," I originally typed something else that MLB.com won’t allow – M-o-r-o-n.  However, MLBlogs.com don’t edit the word "retard," either. It seems that it’s better to call someone a retard than the M-word…

Dammit, inning over…  Eight left though!

7:35 PM: Gary Matthews was either very brave or very stupid going for two on that play, but regardless of which it was, he was VERY fast!  Once again, Robinson Cano is leaving a very big hole at second base, and Matthews took advantage of it.  The announcers and cameramen were taken by surprise.

Kotchman walks.  Runners on 1st and 2nd.  Howie Kendrick up to bat.  It’s good to see Howie again, and Phil Hughes is really pitching him inside for some reason.  Kendrick is thought by many scouts to be a future batting leader.

Hughes has now walked Kendrick, and the bases are loaded…  WOOT!  Go Jeff Mathis!  Last person I’d want batting in a clutch situation, but nothing like clearing the bases!  I can just imagine all those arrogant Yankees fans at the stadium shutting up now.

8:07 PM: Karch Kiraly is in the booth.  Yeah, I never heard of him either.  He’s a BEACH VOLLEYBALL PLAYER for chrissakes.  Why the **** is he in the booth?  Oh, yeah, must be advertising something on FOX sports, the same guys who put an ad for "The Simpsons" movie in their COMMERCIAL FOR THE ALL STAR GAME!  Not only do they have this guy in the booth, but Hudler and Physioc seem to have forgotten there’s a game going on.

Karch Kiraly: Blah blah blah Olympics blah blah blah Volleyball
Steve Physioc:  Oh, that’s fascinating.  By the way, there’s a triple by Matsui.

But the BEST part of this is how clueless this Kiraly dude is about baseball.  He asked (and I quote) "So, if the ball hits that yellow stripe thing on the wall, it’s fair?"

That’s an OK question from a new fan.  NOT FROM SOMEONE IN THE BOOTH!

8:28 PM: BRILLIANT double play at the top of the 5th inning!  Moseley strikes out Melky Cabrera, then Jeff Mathis throws out Andy Phillips as he tries to steal 2nd.  What is that scored as?  Probably a K plus batter thrown out, but it sure looks much cooler as a 1-2-6 Double Play.

Still 3-2 Angels.  More scoring would be OK, so long as there’s no lead changes!  Seattle has already won today, and while I’d love to see the Yanks pass Boston and stick it to those whiny, snobbish Red Sox fans, it’s not worth the Angels falling behind in the AL West race for them to do so.

So, I root, root, root against the Red Sox while I root, root, root for the Angels!

Alexrodriguezsmackshomerun
8:45 PM: And a score change there is.  The best player I’ve ever
seen hit a 2-run shot into the bullpen.  I don’t often admit to having
favorite players, but if I were being tortured in a CIA prison
somewhere in Eastern Europe, I’d have to say my current favorite player
is A-Rod.  As I said above, he’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen, and is proving that to the world this season.

And it’s obvious I’m not alone, as Angel Stadium went NUTS when he hit it.  Even though he’s on the opposing team.  Even though it erased the Angels lead and forces the home team to play catch-up.

Perhaps, like me, they’re just hoping he opts out and signs a 10-year contract with Anaheim…

On another note, Moseley’s beard has stopped giving him Sampson-like powers.  In the top of the 6th, he hasn’t gotten a batter out.  A single to Abreu.  A-Rod Home Run.  Matsui hits a blooper into left field.  A walk to Jorge Posada.  Oooh…   Nice!  Robinson Cano hits into a double play.  Too bad there’s still one out to go…  And there it is.  Andy Phillips pops out to Guerrero.

But at least I got to see A-Rod’s 504th home run!

8:59 PM: My bad…  It wasn’t Moseley pitching, it was Bootcheck.  Lovely move, Scioscia, pull out Moseley when he’s leading, bring in Bootcheck who proceeds to blow the lead and put four consecutive batters on base without an out.  It’s obvious Mike Scioscia manages the Dodger way…  including Tommy Lasorda’s mental retardation when it came to managing pitchers.

9:31 PM:  GO FIGGINS GO!  There’s a reason this guy is batting .400 since May 1st…  He can hit!  And the momentum switches!  CABRERA IS THE MAN!  Phil Hughes looked MAD before Cabrera got that hit & drove Willits in.  Can’t say I blame him.  Scioscia pulls Moseley, Bootcheck gives up the lead.  Torre pulls Hughes, Vizcaino gives up the lead.  Vladimir Guerrero is up.  Man on 1st & 3rd, 1 out…  Vladdy grounds out to Jeter, but Figgins scores, 6-4 Angels!  WOOT!

9:46 PM:  My dad is watching "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on HBO, so I missed how A-Rod got on base.  Nice to see Justin Speier pitching.  I really like this guy, and think he was a good pickup last offseason.  The time he missed due to an intestinal virus was painful for the Angels, and having another reliable arm in the bullpen sure has helped.

Last Monday morning, a friend of mine (Brian from "The Baseball Card Dugout") took me to Anaheim Stadium as the Angels boarded the buses for their road trip to Toronto and Boston.  Mike Scioscia signed autographs for everybody there, but most of the players ignored the autograph seekers or pretended to be talking on their cell phones.  Justin Speier was the exception.  While he didn’t sign, he did say hello to everybody and asked how they were doing.

DAMMIT!  Posada tied it up with a shot to right field.  What a year this guy is having

Well, so much for that lead…

10:05 PM:  Once again, Hudler shows the great baseball mind he has.  Matthews on second, Kotchman on first, Kendrick coming up to bat, no outs.  The whole time Kendrick is making his way up to the batter’s box, Hudler is saying "There is no way Kendrick bunts here.  He’s been down in the cages taking cuts blah blah blah more stupidity blah blah."  So, what does Kendrick do on the first pitch he sees?  He bunts.

It’s a wonder Hudler hasn’t been offered a managerial job, he’s such a great baseball mind.

Well, a brilliant stop by Wilson Betamit on a shot by Maicer Izturus got Matthews at the plate, and Willits strikes out with a check-swing…  Oooh!  Scioscia ANGRY!  I can see him turning green and ripping that windbreaker off…  And, he’s tossed!  And, of course, Hudler is sounding like an idiot trying to explain this situation.

Next year, I’m spending the $200 and buying MLB’s Total Access package for cable.  That way, I can watch the Angels on out-of-market broadcasts for the team they’re playing.

Unless, of course, they fire these jackasses and give Rory Markus the job.

10:35 PM:  Extra innings!  Of course, Frankie Rodriguez almost blows it again.  The angels threatened in the bottom of the 9th, but alas, to no avail.  So now it’s extra innings, when the Angels bat it’s the bottom of the order.  So, my project goes on for who knows how long…

10:50 PM:  Ryan Budde.  What a name, huh?  Makes you feel like he’s your, well, buddy.  I’d never heard of him before a few games ago, but now, he’s a hero!  His first Major League RBI is a walk-off in the 10th inning against the Yankees!

Gotta love it.  Ryan Budde is a hero, if only for tonight.  The Angels stay two games ahead of the Mariners (who won today), and produce a great start to the home stand.

Can’t wait for Wednesday!

Hope this was enjoyable to read, as it was fun as **** to write!

REX HUDLER QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

"That pitch went where he threw it."

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