not so triumphant returnHello out there to anyone who is still listening! Katie and I apologize for falling off the map for a minute there, there was work and then it was springtime but now it's cold and rainy and like a Stockholm Syndrome conditioned resident of New England, that is the weather I associate with baseball, so let's play along with tonight's game and also catch up with the events of the last several weeks.
top of the first
Oh jeez, I hope we can blame these two runs on unlucky defense, because I am enjoying the Bartolo Colon era so much, I would hate to see the wheels come off.
(I have great affection for every member of the Red Sox rotation, active, on the DL, currently demoted to the minors and otherwise. Unlike my co-author, I even enjoy the blogging styles of Curt Schilling. But the rotation feels overly populated with slow workers: Dice-K, who needs to figure out if he wants to go 3-2, 3-1 or 3-0 before attempting to actually make an out, Josh Beckett, who just needs a little extra time to perfect his menacing glare and then, of course, there's Wake, who may not necessarily work slowly, but the speed of his actual pitches always seems to guarantee you a 3.5+ hour game. Coming into tonight's game, Bartolo Colon has been a strike throwing machine. He throws a strike, he gets the ball back, he throws a strike.)
bottom of the first
NANCY! Nancy is certainly blossoming in the three spot, but we'll say no more about it because then he'll go out next inning and break his fingernail and be out for five games.
(VERTIGO? I MEAN. SERIOUSLY. VERTIGO? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I would be remiss, of course, if I failed to mention the reason that Nancy is currently inhabiting the three spot, the wrist injury of David Ortiz. I know many people are gnashing their teeth over whether a -- god forbid -- season-ending injury for Ortiz might mean a spot on the roster for Barry Bonds, but I believe we previously discussed that I am one of the last three Barry Bonds fans left on the East Coast. The first rule of being a Barry Bonds fan is that you never attempt to justify for Barry Bonds fandom, so I can't really get into it, but it's an awkward position. If you think that's bad, wait 'til you hear about how I hate both Lance Armstrong and Magic Johnson.)
Also, do you think Papi has figured out how to bedazzle his cast yet?)
top of the second
Okay, three up, three down! That's more like it! I can't tell you how much I have come to love Bartolo Colon in such a short period of time.
bottom of the second
Here is my thing -- if a player is going to get upset because the second baseman is blocking the base, or because the pitcher throws at him, he should be upset because these actions aren't letting him play to his full offensive potential. Coco Crisp's at-bat with two outs with the bases loaded: fouled off home plate, fouled off own foot, fouled off home plate again, couldn't hold up on a pitch that was set up outside. If this is your full offensive potential, don't bother charging the mound.
(Which is not to say that brawls are not wonderful. I'm just disappointed that there wasn't a camera guy following the bullpen out into the fracas, because I have been wondering since the summer of 2005 how Papelbon would react in the middle of a full-scale throw-down and I rewound that sucker about 18 times on my Tivo and still don't have the shot of Papelbon giving Scott Kazmir a wedgie at the bottom of a pile that I have to believe exists. But let's give out a few brawl awards:
Player I was most surprised to see acting the peacemaker: Julio Lugo
Player I was most surprised to see throwing punches: Sean Casey (?!?!)
Player I expected to bite a few more ankles: Dustin Pedroia
Player who looked like a wimp when his attempts to pull people off Coco were limited to tugging at the backs of their jerseys: Jacoby Ellsbury
Former Red Sox player I missed the most during the course of the brawl, 1a: Julian Tavarez
Former Red Sox player I missed the most during the course of the brawl, 1b: Pedro Martinez)
top of the third
Have I ever mentioned that Ichiro has a really weirdly pear-shaped ass? Seriously, watch him the next time he's up to bat. It's weird. Weirder than Derek Jeter's surgical ass implants. The Mariners scored again this inning. It was lame.
(I'm loving this Josh Beckett titanium necklace commercial. He moves his head around way more than is natural when he's adjusting the necklace, and ends up looking like one of the characters from the "Night at the Roxbury" SNL skit. Fantastic.)
bottom of the third
How many runners must they leave in scoring position during the course of this game? Do they want me to drink Drano?
top of the fourth
I was told that the Mariners were terrible. I would really like to see more evidence of this. I realize that the results thus far might have more to do with the Sox three throwing errors and less with the Mariners' lack of suckitude, but I still do not care for this one bit.
(Clearly I picked the worst game ever to do a "Hey, I'm still here! I still love the Red Sox!" running blog. Without an appropriate segue, let's just cut to the highlight of our three-week absence, Jon Lester's no-hitter. I wasn't watching the game, I watch an unhealthy number of the 162 games the Sox play each year, I figured a good game to skip in order to have a boozy dinner with my friends Martha and Anne would be a Jon Lester Monday night start against the Royals. I was getting ready to leave their house and I said, hey, can we check the Red Sox score really quick and it was the end of the sixth inning and I was like, "Uh, I know you guys don't like baseball that much, but I'm not leaving your house until this is over." This is the third game I've watched with these two friends in the last year, the first one was five-run comeback against the Yankees last April, the second one was the sixth game of the ALCS. I hope they think it's cool when I show up at their house on a random night and demand that they serve as my human good luck charm.)
bottom of the fourth
Don-O is pointing out that the silver lining is that at least King Felix has thrown a lot of pitches. Oh, for Christ's sake.
(Speaking of announcer boy -- I moved in with a new roommate last September, and while we get along great and have a lot in common, she has zero interest in baseball. I have been slowly brainwashing her, and it's coming along well. I keep meaning to start writing down the questions she asks me about Remy and Don-O. She'll walk in the room, look at the television, they'll be giggle-festing about Sox Appeal or some such and she'll be like, "Do they realize that they're on live television?" From the mouths of babes, man.)
top of the fifth
I've pretty much given up on this game. I'm not going to lie, I spent this entire half-inning looking at pictures of Barack and Michelle Obama. Please regard their fist-bumping! She's pretty foxy, also.
bottom of the fifth
Well, at least we were spared the indignity of stranding a runner in scoring position.
top of the sixth
AAAAAAAARDSMER! Sweet! I have not managed to learn any new facts about David Aardsma since was last spoke. I feel like we're really overdue for an Amalie Benjamin puff piece about him, yes?
bottom of the sixth
Ugh, seriously, this sucks. After all the injuries, the suspensions, the bizarre slap fight between Youks and Manny, it sucks to see the team come out flat against freakin' Seattle. Maybe deciding to get back to posting was a jinx. Maybe I should delete this entire post. But I've already written about a billion words, if I delete them now, I'll never get back on the blogging horse.
(This is getting way too depressing for a team that's going to be first place in their division at the end of tonight no matter what happens. Let's talk about Manny's 500th home run! Katie and I were actually at Camden Yards for the game before the 500th home run game, the epic, ridiculous thirteen inning game. So I can report that the total Red Sox fan hegemony is completely accurate. The game we were at coincided with the sixth game of the Celtics/Pistons series, and there were many "Let's go Celtics!" chants at many points during the night, which is kind of douche-y if you think about it, but endearing. Manny? Manny is Manny. You know what I mean.)
top of the seventh
So Javier Lopez actually get a ground out double play, which will convince Tito that he's actually useful for another couple months, great.
bottom of the seventh
Can the Red Sox finally score a run? No! No they cannot!
top of the eighth
More Lopez times!
bottom of the eighth
Roommate: "But why do they sing 'Sweet Caroline?'"
top of the ninth
Well, Lopez shouldn't be able to pitch for about three days after this three-inning appearance, so I guess that's a positive.
bottom of the ninth
This guy who is pitching for Seattle has a very long name. Is this the Australian guy? Hey, it is! Sox have Casey on second with nobody out and can't even get him home for the dignity-saving run, they lose 8-0.
I'm sure we all missed my cheerful optimism. We'll try to get back to posting more often.