We’ve finally arrived at the day that most major league baseball players fondly call “the second day of my three-day fishing trip”: the MLB All-Star Game.
We made it through a lackluster Futures Game (though we don’t know why MLB treats it like the kids’ whiffle ball game at the company picnic), a Hamiltonian lightning strike at the Home Run Derby (with Justin Morneau sneaking off with yet another title someone else should have had), and the celebrity softball game. (By the way, we could not agree with this sentiment more: bring back Rock’n'Jock.)
And now we’re at the silliest of the silly season competitions: the game itself. We don’t mind this has become the forgotten event in both the MLB and NBA mid-season celebrations, between the above television fillers and the Borat-hangers-on celebrity parties.
After all, it’s baseball. They’re playing baseball tonight. We once got to a short-season Low-A baseball game in Vancouver an hour early and walked two blocks to watch 12-year-olds from a travel team league battle each other while we waited. We don’t need Bud Selig to tart up the night with “This Time It Counts”. It’s baseball; of course it matters.
Brooks is at the game tonight providing photos and reports, though we’re expecting he ran off to give blood to Tim Lincecum after he was taken from his hotel room to the hospital with “flu-like symptoms”. We mean no implication with the quotes; we just don’t want to be caught predicting Legionnaires’ Disease too quickly. (We always guess Legionnaires’ Disease.)
We have our first missive from Brooks after the jump. Join us, won’t you?
- Here’s Brooks’ first sighting from Yankee Stadium:
We understand Brooks’ concern for Jason Giambi, but we think too many people will be cut short by “abbreviated attire”.
- We just saw Mark Grace interviewing Kosuke Fukudome and Ernie Banks during the red carpet parade. We believe we know how this woman feels about that:
However, Yankees fans can’t understand the need for zeros on that sign.
- Spike Lee’s graphic upon his introduction for the pre-game red carpet ceremony was “Emmy Award Winning Director”. We imagine the Spike Lee from 25 years ago would be rather disappointed with that shot on a number of levels. Also disappointing: the white-bread fellow on the dais that referred to his great “lid”. Spike made him repeat it out of spite.
- We know Rudy Giuliani has given up on public office; he failed to mention 9/11 in his taped outro.
- Drew Curtis of FARK has joined Brooks at the game and will be providing analysis during the game. We expect nothing less than tomfoolery, Drew!
- Like we said: analysis.
- The introductions are, as always, 20 minutes too long at the fifteen minute mark as the Hall of Fame was emptied out to help introduce the starters. However, the unrestrained grins on the faces of Ben Sheets and Cliff Lee as they shook hands certainly justified the slow start for us.
- Speaking of unrestrained, there sounds like nothing but cheers for Alex Rodriguez in the Fox audio mix. We’re checking with Brooks to see if that was a fortunately placed parabolic mic.
- We could not be more pleased to see Milton Bradley starting the All-Star Game at DH.
- Manny Ramirez gives a huge thumbs-up to Willie Mays.
- Dave Winfield sneaks a Yankees hat onto the field to go with his Padres hat. Wise move, Mr. Winfield.
- Earl Weaver sighting! He should kick dirt on Tommy Lasorda until he’s thrown out of the pre-game ceremony.
- Sheryl Crow at the guitar. Bud, honey, did you have to make her wear a HUGE All-Star Game patch on her flag tank top? Jesus, just wrap her in Abbie Hoffman’s shirt. (Brooks notes that it was a lip-synch. ALL fake, Bud?)
- George Steinbrenner… Jesus. We’re legitimately disturbed. We knew he wasn’t well, but…
Last words from Brooks as the ceremonies mercifully end (and just in time for work tomorrow!):
- Amazing hotties here. More than I can remember at a ballgame. Perfect weather. Lotsa low cut tops everywhere. Wow.
- The girl pic I sent you guys is of a hottie sitting behind us.
- Loudest cheer pregame was for Mariano Rivera. (Ed. note: We never got that. He’s never been a good quote; he was never remotely gritty. Where does the love come from? His efforts on the field? That seems… so non-New York.)
- Can they make those patches on the legends hats any bigger?
- The only thing worse than that Ernie Banks pregame speech is the Yankee Stadium shrill sound system. BRUTAL.
- Just got a photo of Bobby Bonilla in the outfield seats. Nice ticket hookup, Bobby Bo! (Ed. note: We’re efforting the photo.)
- Canadian anthem was booed at the beginning. Drew said, “How can you boo Canada? That’s like saying, ‘Boo Montana!’” (Ed. note: Yeah! Screw Montana right in its statehood!)
- Big cheers for A-Rod. Steinbrenner response was underwhelming.
- Drew said Steinbrenner drove that golf cart all the way from Florida.
- Amazing how muted reax was to him. He took a second lap and no one was even paying attention!
And now… the game. No, really. We’re serious. Bill Kurtis just found the game ball; they were stalling until he tracked it down.
- Hanley Ramirez strikes out as the first victim of Cliff Lee that anyone outside of Cleveland noticed this season.
- Chase Utley joins him. We hope he can find a puppy to make him feel better.
- Lance Berkman shines a light on Josh Hamilton with a fly to center and we’re through the top of the first toot sweet.
- Back-to-back Cubs-based commercials. We feel the power of the goat over our shoulder, but we can’t see it. Fear!
- Ichiro takes a Holliday and we’ve got a quick out in the bottom of the first.
- There’s a mummy on the loose… and he’s batting second and playing shortstop for the AL team.
- Jeter takes first when Utley has problems going to his left for a grounder. It’s kismet.
- Jeter takes second when Ben Sheets injures his peripheral vision and can’t see him take off.
- Josh Hamilton strikes out. Joe Buck threatens us with his story in his next at-bat. Thanks for the warning.
- Alex Rodriguez refuses to be clutch and pops out to Cubs C Geovany Soto. Manny Ramirez fails to patrol his 18 bats around the on-deck circle and Soto slips on one, causing the goat to cackle. Soto appears well, but the goat’s point is well-taken. End of one.
(There’s the promised Bonilla pic. Hey, we’re just thrilled he still wants to attend games. We don’t… wait… Brett Favre wants those seats now. He saw Bonilla had them and now he wants them. Poor Bobby.)
- Pujols grounds out; Chipper gets the first legitimate hit of the All-Star Game. He would like it applied to his year’s average, please.
- Matt Holliday grounds out to Kevin Youkilis; Denis Leary lights a candle. Jeter and Jones share a “we both met Kelly Clarkson” laugh, but we suspect Jeter’s laugh was more knowing.
- Ryan Braun strikes out and off we go to the bottom of the second. Bobby, get us a beer while you’re up!
- Manny Ramirez dun struck out. You’ll be shocked to find out that the pitchers at the All-Star Game are quite skilled at their craft.
- After which Milton Bradley walks. Stop ruining our storyline, Milton! You’re always a subversive… (maybe this one will stick.)
- Bradley steals second, showing he’s more clutch than Jeter. Utley has problems getting to the throw. Maybe he needs another hug.
- Youkilis strikes out, temporarily losing his Greek god powers. (Except to walk back to the bench, natch.)
- Ben Sheets walks Joe Mauer, who flexes his man muscles all the way to first.
- Dustin Pedroia flies out to Fukudome, ending the threat and Sheets’ day. Apparently, the sonic power of boos can knock a fly ball down. That’s the end of two. By the way, it took less time to play two innings of All-Star baseball than to survive the pre-game ceremony.
We’re sitting in the wheelchair area so I’m in a folding chair. Didn’t get our seats until 5 minutes before first pitch. There’s 100 people in the wheelchair area and not a single wheelchair. (Ed. note: Not anymore. Jeter came by to lay hands before the game at Bud’s request to make more room.)
- Youkilis hates it when people have to throw to him, so he fields a weak grounder from Fukudome. The pitch came from Joe Saunders, the new pitcher for the AL.
- Yogi Berra tells a story about getting $500 and Soto flies out during the story. Barely noticed. Joe Buck keeps naming celebrities and not naming players on the field.
- Utley grounds out to Youkilis, though we don’t know why we should have to give you more detail than the broadcast team. Bottom of third to come.
- Is that a blogging commercial? Are they making commercials about bloggers now? Brooks, we want a raise!
- Yogi Berra did indeed call Joe “Jack” at the end of the interview, but he called him “Jay” at the start of the interview. So.
- Carlos Zambrano’s in. Ichiro scoops a ball into right for a single.
- Jeter hits into a double play. Orphans weep.
- And the Josh Hamilton weeper begins. Josh MERCIFULLY grounds out to Utley before Joe can get two paragraphs into his prepared tale. End of three. 0-0.
(Bobby Mercer’s death, brought to you by Nike.)
(Drew’s vaginesque Cracker Jack prize. We told Drew to stick to the box.)
- Lance Berkman strikes out to Roy Halladay.
- Our first kudo to Fox tonight: a fine piece of tape on Roy Halladay and Scott Kazmir learning the cutter from Mariano Rivera.
- Pujols is called out at second on a quick throw from deep right by Ichiro. Replay shows he should have been safe. Anyone that mentions instant replay gets a QuesTec shiv in the ribs.
- Chipper grounds out to Jeter and onto the bottom of the fourth. Does everyone have an early flight tonight?
- Zambrano pitching to Soto with Lou Piniella on the bench. We could not be happier.
- A-Rod could be happier. He strikes out.
- Manny could not be happier. Ever. Carlos puts a breaking ball lazily over the top of Manny’s helmet and Manny giggles.
- Manny grounds out to Utley. No puppy picture this time. Manny’s our lost little pup.
- A-Rod gives a high-five to Manny on the way to the bench. We expect back pages to fill by morning with triptychs of the Event.
- Milton Bradley elicits an error from Hanley Ramirez on his throw. Add it to the stack for Hanley.
- Milton Bradley gives it forward by being caught on his off-foot when Carlos breaks out the A-pickoff move. It’ll be blamed on Milton in the morning, but that was all Carlos. End of four, zilch-cero.
Ryan Braun has thrown 10 balls in the stands; Manny has been ignoring us. Much more interested in adjusting his Lone Ranger chaps-looking pants between pitches. (Ed. note: Hi-ho, Brooks, and away to the fifth!)
- Ervin Santana enters the gladiatorial arena and gives up a home run to Matt Holliday. McCarver’s studied response? “He’s a big guy.” 1-0 NAT.
- Look where generosity got you, Ryan Braun! It got you a groundout to Pedroia. Learn to be selfish.
- Alex Rodriguez is replaced by Joe Crede on the field mid-inning to give A-Rod a shot at an ovation. Unfortunately, since that never happens, we don’t think the crowd noticed. But, hey, at least it reminds Josh Fields that he can never have a real job as long as Joe Crede lives in Chicago.
- Fukudome is embarrassed by a Santana slider for another strikeout.
- Same for Soto. Go Cubs go to the bottom of five.
- For those of you scoring at home: Russell Martin, Nate McLouth, and Dan Haren have entered the game. (But seriously, haven’t you heard of the Internet? They have scoreboards and stuff.)
- Youkilis flies out to center. We haven’t been able to express our admiration for the pitching to this point, but it has been roundly impressive. Few gifts from the umpire.
- Mauer gently cascades a bouncer off Haren’s glove for an infield single. He’s lifted for Ian Kinsler and the merry-go-round begins in earnest. This gives Man Muscles time to hit the gym one more time before he leaves the stadium. Could you, uhm, just tell him where it is? And what the stuff in it does? Thanks.
- Kinsler steals second, which has been the entirety of the AL offense today.
- A walk to Pedroia; Haren’s out to ruin yet another storyline for us. We’ve seen Haren wild this year in person. This is what it looks like.
- Ichiro strikes out. As McCarver points out, Haren was effectively wild with Suzuki. You know, like a Fox reality show participant.
- DO NOT TELL US THE ALL-TIME STATISTICS FOR AN ALL-STAR GAME, JOE BUCK. JUST NAME CELEBRITIES OR SOMETHING.
- Haren fields this grounder from A-Rod and ends the inning with relative ease.
- Ad signage EVERYWHERE in Yankee Stadium. A far cry from just a few years ago. I can’t imagine it’ll be like this in the new park. They’ve really whored this place out. (Ed. note: As Brooks sent this to us, Fox superimposed an ad over the Yankee Stadium field from a blimp angle for one of their fall shows. Do not underestimate the power of the ad genius.)
- The entire American League lineup swapped for the people sitting in Section 107, Row 14. We won’t pretend we can keep up anymore.
- Hanley Ramirez singles to left. He has every intention of stealing a base. There’s a bit of an obsession from Justin Duschehrhehrhecheher on Hanley.
- First and third on a base hit to right by Utley. Puppies!
- Berkman slams the ball to deep center for a sac fly, clutching it up. 2-0 NAT.
- Jeter gets a huge ovation as he’s replaced defensively. Michael Young makes sure to hold Jeter out there for a moment so people notice.
- Pujols singles and Justin Duschehehrhehherina continues to serve up easy lovin’. Jeter takes the time to talk to Kevin Kennedy a few moments after he comes out of the game. He’s so generous!
- Two gone as Chipper Jones strikes out. He’s rescinded his request to carry these stats over to the regular season.
- Matt Holliday ends the threat neatly with an infield fly. Thanks for trying to bring spice to our All-Star life, Justin D. Bottom of the sixth forthwith.
- The National League roster switches places with the Yancy Street Gang. Again, scoring should be only done by professionals during All-Star contests.
- Josh Hamilton singles to start the inning and Joe Buck could not be more giddy at the chance to pour the rest of the story into the pic. Joe Crede’s at-bat might as well be happening at Yogi Berra’s house.
- Joe Crede pops out to Dan Uggla. McCarver and Buck are forced to cram his storyline in quickly over Grady Sizemore’s at-bat.
- Josh Hamilton swipes second to interrupt the cram session. He’s really enjoying screwing with Buck’s prepared notes.
- Sizemore strikes out and we’re not sure if the maple bats haven’t been replaced by maple syrup.
- Bradley pops out to center and the race to LaGuardia continues. End of six. 2-0 NAT.
(One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just isn’t the same…)
- JoeNate strikes out Ryan Braun. The American League had a Jeter interview; the National League gets Matt Holliday. That’s like going from Derek Jeter to Michael Jeter.
- Nate McLouth flies out to Grady Sizemore. Buck then spends 60 seconds lingering over the Chevy Tahoe hybrid. Joe, it’s okay to be good at shilling for product; it’s not cool to sound like you enjoy it.
- Russell Martin does the same and all Yankee Stadium denizens are locked in their seats for “God Bless America”. Tonight’s ASG logo-wearing lover of America and Jesus: Josh Groban. Phil Spector would be jealous of the Wall of Sound jammed into this version. Also, Josh’s hair.
- They just showed highlights from 1977 All-Star game from Yankee Stadium. Goose Gossage as a pirate. Richie Zisk!
- Now they have the real Village People on the field doing “YMCA” in lip syncing that would make Ashlee Simpson blush. Sarah Jessica Parker, the real Village People? Who’s booking the entertainment tonight? Was this all Bob Watson’s idea? (Ed. note: No, it’s Joe Buck’s wet dream. Next year, we insist Joel Zumaya picks the entertainment. Ought to be interesting, anyway.)
- “God Bless America” AND “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” BOTH lip synched as well. We can’t handle all that crazy spontaneity!
- And we’re back for the bottom of the seventh. Edison Volquez gives up a huge double to the Canadian Crusher, Justin Morneau. Corey Hart tries to get to it, but… well, for all his defensive struggles, he looks like a defensive specialist in Milwaukee.
- Ian Kinsler grounds out to short, moving CC to third.
- Dioner Navarro has taken Jason Varitek’s place as a pinch-hitter. We assume the AL got tired of not having a catcher for so long in this game.
- Navarro strikes out. Apparently, he didn’t borrow the clutch from Varitek.
- Because Varitek insisted he hand it only to another Red Sock. J.D. Drew releases a cannon shot just over the right field fence. 2-2. The Yankees fans seemed confused about how hard to cheer for his. It’s okay, Yankees fans; the Red Sox fans have the same problem when it comes to Drew.
- Joe Buck calls the reset button the “refresh button”. He’s so hip. He’s going to drop a Konami code on us soon, only to screw it up and actually start the Time Warp again.
- Michael Young strikes out and we leave the seventh with Bud Selig biting his nails and checking his own scorecard feverishly.
- Miguel Tejada singles to start the eighth. Funny how Fox didn’t mention his drug cloud but happily went on about Josh Hamilton.
- Papelbon takes chants of “Overrated” to the strikeout bank for one out.
- Navarro continues to make us look like an ass by throwing his attempt to get Tejada out stealing into center, leaving him at third when the dust settled.
- Adrian Gonzalez hits the ball just far enough into left to leave Carlos Quentin too deep to get even Tejada out on the sac fly. 3-2 NAT. (We’ve seen Carlos make impressive throws this season.)
- David Wright strikes out, giving the Yankees fans one more shot at Papelbon on the way to the dugout. Only Jon’s fault insomuch that he was the one on the mound when the bat-first All-Star squad did exactly what they’re expected to do with their defense. Bottom of eighth shortly.
- Carlos Quentin flies out to start the frame. No time for anyone to break out old chestnuts about fielding and hitting the next half-inning and serendipity and all that.
- Joe Girardi takes on the role of bullpen catcher to warm up Mariano Rivera. We would have seen more of this rather touching moment except a water bottler wanted us to have some kind of winning code. Ah well. It wasn’t that important, anyway.
- Carlos Guillen takes to the plate as the last bullet in Francona’s position gun.
- Joe Buck reads the laundry list of MLB officials that keep him in talk show pilots, making the “company picnic” metaphor feel a bit more apt. While he does, Carlos Guillen… did something, we guess. Ah well. It wasn’t that important, anyway.
- Okay, so he struck out. At least someone should note it.
- Bank of America sponsors Lou Gehrig’s death. We guess Gehrig was an adidas man.
- Billy Wagner steps in for relief and we plop plop fizz fizz with him.
- Grady Sizemore singles to right; Evan Longoria comes out to pinch-hit. Clint Hurdle sends out his pitching coach to stall for time.
- Joe Buck lists more people in suits. Nothing’s happening in the game, anyway.
- Except the theft of second by Sizemore. We guess that happened. We’ll wait to see if a regional VP wants to tell us about it to be sure, though.
- Longoria skips a ground-rule double into the left-field stands, scoring Sizemore. 3-3 and Selig continues to be restless.
- The Canadian Crusher grounds out to Wagner and the game’s afoot. See you in the ninth, assuming the Northwest sales VP doesn’t have a PowerPoint presentation to show us in the top of the frame before the cornhole competition.
(EEK! A BALL!)
Brooks update: Fans are leaving in droves in the eighth! Either that or those Yankee-branded enchiladas are taking a heavy toll.
- K-Rod leans in against Aramis Ramirez and barely loses him to a walk. The goat watches and waits.
- Cristian Guzman takes Aramis’ place on the basepaths. The goat pouts.
- Corey Hart flies out for the first out of the inning. Ryan Ludwick comes on to pinch-hit, causing Francona to leap from the bench for a pitching change. And the LaGuardia flights are being rescheduled as we speak.
- Joe Buck will regret not saving the names of a few suits for extra innings.
- Mariano Rivera enters. No man leaves (unless, you know, it’s to go to the bench).
- Now THAT was impressive. Strike-em-out-throw-em-out DP, Rivera to Navarro to Kinsler.
- Francona will seriously regret taking out His Clutchness as the bottom of the ninth approaches.
- Ryan Dempster faces Ian Kinsler.
- Ryan Dempster dismisses Ian Kinsler.
- Ryan Dempster faces Dioner Navarro.
- Ryan Dempster dismisses Dioner Navarro. Your double play can go here, in my twitch zone! says Dempster. (Except in a hilarious impersonation. He’s so wacky.)
- Good night, J.D. Drew. Three strikeouts and we note that all of the people that are leaving Yankee Stadium might have to work. It’s darned near midnight there.
- Ryan Dempster’s machinations before each pitch remind us of the Witch Doctor: ooh eeh ooh aah aah, ting tang walla walla bing BANG.
Brooks update: After Drew struck out to send the game to extra innings, some guy stood up and yelled ‘free baseball!’ At a thousand a ticket for upper deck seats, the word free is about as familiar to people here as John Sterling is with an ice cream scoop.
- Joining us for the tenth are Mariano Rivera, Nate McLouth, and… well, don’t settle in, Nate. Strikeout and off we go again.
- Russell Martin is called “feisty” by Tim McCarver for his single to right. We guess this means he only needs three more bases…
- Now he needs just one more base as Tejada singles to center; Martin takes third.
- Unfortunately, Dan Uggla hits into a double play and we go on to the bottom of the frame without seeing four here or there.
- Uggla piles on at the beginning of the frame by muffing a simple grounder to allow Kinsler to take first. Steal in 3… 2… 1…
- Never mind; Dan Uggla takes it through the wickets for an error and sets up first and third with no outs. We think he should get the Tahoe hybrid for MVP work.
- Carlos Guillen steps to the plate for the necessary intentional walk to load the bases.
- Grady Sizemore locks into the batter’s box at the toll of 12 to try for the win.
- Uggla takes a small step towards redemption by getting the force at home for the first out. No out at first. Longoria approaches.
- Cristian Guzman, playing out of position at third, gets the out at home and there’s two gone. Canadian Crusher steps forward.
- Miguel Tejada (and why isn’t he at third?) charges hard on a soft grounder and throws high to Adrian Gonzalez at first. Luckily for Tejada, Gonzalez is 6′2″ and not 6′1″. Three outs and we go to 11.
(Brooks probably wants this to go to Dan Uggla to make him feel better.)
- The obligatory Bud Selig panic shot is shown as Adrian Gonzalez takes first on a single.
- Joakim Soria, the AL pitcher for the 11th, embarrasses David Wright on two straight hooking pitches. One out.
- Cristian Guzman pops to Sizemore.
- The Yankee Stadium team decides “Sunglasses at Night” would be hilarious to play for Corey Hart as he approaches the plate. He must find that so witty by now. (Brooks adds that “After Midnight” came up between innings. SO. BRILLIANT. Witty!)
- Does Bud Selig have to cancel the World Series if it ends in a tie? We may find out as Hart pops out and we carry on, tied 3-3.
- Kinsler singles against Cook in his second inning of work. Navarro considers bunting but ultimately passes.
- We didn’t know until now that someone wrote a song called “Exchanging Oxygen for Carbon Dioxide”, but the Yankee Stadium crew seems to have found it. Maybe the other songs were too subtle.
- Pitchout called; Kinsler steals second; the umpire disagrees. Apparently, actually tagging the runner is passé now. One down.
- Navarro walks; J.D. Drew hits a single up the middle. Michael Young steps in to save the day.
- Holy crap on a pogo stick in the sky with diamonds. A single to center brings Navarro around for scoreage, but Nate McLouth and Russell Martin don’t receive that memo. Navarro is gunned down just barely for the second out of the inning. First and second, two down. Carlos Quentin takes the stage.
- And grounds out to Tejada, the official third out thrower of the National League.
- We loved seeing Navarro and Martin combine for the biggest play of the game thus far; two young and awfully good catchers coming together for one great-tasting play. Off to the twelfth.
- Ludwick walks; McLouth bunts him over to second and decides to stick around at first. RYAN! MCLOUTH!
- Martin’s bunt probably would have gone foul, but Canadian Crusher takes the out at first. Tejada’s walked to fill the bases with one out. Dan Uggla has been asked to end it for the children.
- Dan Uggla hates children as he strikes out on three pitches. Soria will be replaced by George Sherrill.
Final report from Brooks:
I’m out on the live blog. Phone is dying. Need an external battery next time. Plus the hottie next to me finally left. Her boyfriend spirited her away ‘else she would’ve stayed. She came back though for her official allstar seat cushion and someone had already swiped it. In a very weak moment, I gave her mine, which turned out to be the biggest hit in the past three hours. (Ed. note: WEAK.)
Lots more about the game and SbB in NYC in the Brog tomorrow. And next time there’ll be a cell camera upgrade! No more shots from the bottom of a Finnish submarine.
- Adrian Gonzalez can’t handle the crafty leftyness of George Sherrill and the American League shows they have escapability that would make Mel Kiper, Jr. jealous.
- Carlos Guillen shows us love by getting to second on a looooong double to left. Ryan Ludwick overplays it but doesn’t pay for the bad bounce.
- Sizemore moved Guillen to third with a groundout to Uggla. He juggled it, of course, but he completed his task.
- Cristian Guzman has returned to third and nearly makes a great play to get Guillen out, but it’s foul. Still one out and still Longoria at the bat.
- Longoria strikes out. Two gone.
- The Canadian Crusher is sent to first without his supper on an IBB. Kinsler takes to the plate. Morneau takes second unopposed.
- Kinsler grounds out to Guzman; Cook has magic fingers, but Clint must be cringing at the number of pitches on his arm tonight. We go to the thirteenth and must remind the kids that they should get to bed because they all have sixteen soccer practices tomorrow and such. Baby Boomer men, however, should stay up and watch all the erectile dysfunction/hair coloring commercials.
- David Wright squeaks a single into a tiny safe hole in right-center against George Sherrill. Cristian Guzman takes the plate. We had no idea we would get a belly full of Guzman tonight. We would have taken Pepto-Bismol first if we knew.
- Guzman’s bunt goes right back to Sherrill, who throws out Wright. One down. Hart’s War now.
- Hart falls to the dreaded K. Two gone. Ryan Ludwick will take his shot at the invisible wall around the scoreboard.
- He pops out to Kinsler.
- Bottom of 13 arrives and we’re ready for action. Carlos Marmol time. We Cubs fans did not want to see this; we wanted to see him rest.
- Navarro grounds out to start us off. Drew arrives for his appointed tee time.
- You won’t believe it, but Uggla fails to make a play at second. Drew takes first.
- Drew steals second on an iffy Martin throw, but Michael Young strikes out in the same play. Two down. Carlos Quentin, come on down.
- Carlos Quentin, keep walking. Strikeout and off we go to the fourteenth.
(Thanks to Sooze at BABES LOVE BASEBALL for sharing)
- Nate McLouth is a ball tease; he slams the ball to deep right, but it’s not deep enough. One down.
- Russell Martin: roughly the same spot, exactly the same result. Two outs.
- Tejada grounds out. Three outs. Shall we dance?
- Brandon Webb sighting. The barrel bottom, she is scraped. Carlos Guillen lines out to Tejada. He is awfully impressive with the glove and arm tonight. You’d almost think he was a shortstop. One out.
- Grady and Evan strike out. Or so we think. Our cable just went out. We’re not going out like that, though. Back for the fifteenth as soon as we deduce what happened.
- Dan Uggla got out in some manner. We missed it. We found an antenna, though, and we’re back in business. We hear Joe Buck pumping the Scott Kazmir drama to the nines again. Wait… why did we rush back?
- Adrian Gonazlez strikes out.
- David Wright walks on four straight. The Kazmir intrigue continues… until Guzman grounds to the Canadian Crusher, though. Mid-fifteen intrigue should involve the various excuses you will all need for work tomorrow.
- Brad Lidge and Brian McCann join the party. We think Lidge is the last pitcher; this might well be the last hurrah for the NL. Maybe one more.
- Maybe it will finally not matter. Canadian Crusher takes first on a solid single to center. Slick.
- Ryan Ludwick shakes himself from his slumber in left and makes a lovely catch to send the Crusher back to first. Sorry, Ian.
- Youkilis is seen pounding Red Bulls. We ran out of caffeine hours ago. We feel so… needy. GIVE IT TO US. OUR PRECIOUS.
- Navarro singles hard as well. First and second, one down. Lidge hasn’t fooled anyone.
- J.D. Drew takes the count full and then collects his walk. Bases loaded, one out. Michael Young steps in. He should leave his bat behind and merely bring his Pujols mask.
- Young pops the ball to middlin’ depth in right; Canadian Crusher launches himself at home plate recklessly and makes it by about thismuch. 4-3 AME.
We will not be watching the 30 minutes of post-game. After all, we won’t be allowed to see the local affiliates get all stabby on Fox for blowing their news broadcast. We will happily point out, though, that J.D. Drew won the All-Star Game MVP honors in Yankee Stadium.
Analysis: Lots of pitchers did very good jobs and then Brad Lidge found his true self in time to save Bud Selig embarrassment he probably didn’t warrant. We saw a nook where a commercial could have been crammed in but was missed. However, we’re not telling where. Nyah.