10:29 p.m. Well, that was disappointing. But at least the game got interesting toward the end and, after all this, it’s over. Moylan your winner, Park the loser. And Martin Prado has to win Man of the Match honors with an outstanding performance, 4-for-5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI. Hats off to him.
And with that, we end my first Live Blog for The Phrontiersman. Good night and good luck.
10:24 p.m. That does it. A walk-off single for the converted horse jockey. I’m going to be sick. Braves 5, Phillies 4.
10:23 p.m. If Martin Prado goes 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and the game-winning RBI, I might never watch horse racing again.
10:20 p.m. Diaz yanks one to left past a diving Rollins. Moves to third on a single by Gregor Blanco. Second and third with one out and…oh, my God, it’s Martin Prado.
10:17 p.m. Park remains in the game, but he gets to face Diory Hernandez, whose career OBP is below .200. The Phillies have walked him twice this game, I’ll remind you. Hernandez strikes out, praise be to Allah.
10:13 p.m. Moylan owes Chipper Jones a beer. Not to be out-done by Pedro Feliz, Chipper turns a certain go-ahead double by Werth into an inning-ending double play. Great stuff. Unless you want the game to end or the Phillies to win. To the bottom of the 10th we go.
10:11 p.m. In other NL news, the Brewers jumped all over Johan Santana and lead the Mets 5-2 in the 7th inning. Moylan goes 2-0 on Werth. He’s sort of got a Brad Clontz delivery, as I reinforce the belief that I haven’t watched a Braves game since 2000.
10:09 p.m. Ryan Howard hits a line drive over the shift. And Bobby Cox comes out to call on the Aussie Peter Moylan, replacing one ridiculous accent with another.
10:06 p.m. Hillbilly wins out as Utley flies out to center. In related news, my dad just came downstairs and asked, “How old is Bobby Cox? 112? 115?”
10:05 p.m. Boone Logan? Can you get more redneck of a name than that? There were three things he could have been when he grew up: a farmer, a high school football coach or a relief pitcher for the Braves. Utley leads off in a matchup of the preppiest name in baseball and the hillbilliest name in baseball.
10:03 p.m. No , it’s Chan Ho Park, who saws off the hated Fancoeur with a second-pitch slider. Extra innings. I’m going to kill myself.
9:59 p.m. That Jimmy Rollins sure can field his position. A very tough play to his left, slides, spins and throws out Kotchman by two steps. And now Cholly chooses to waste even more of our time by bringing in a new pitcher (I swear to God, if it’s Taschner…)
9:56 p.m. Yunel Escobar makes an appearance off the bench and grounds out for Soriano. I can’t believe that this game is going to go extra innings. South Park is on, for crying out loud.
9:53 p.m. Victorino pops out to left. Matt Diaz has a little bit of an adventure, but he puts it away. In other sporting news, Kaka is going to wear number 8 for Real Madrid. What, he couldn’t convince Miguel Torres to give up his beloved 22? Who the hell is Miguel Torres anyway.
9:51 p.m. J-Roll is having himself an at-bat, but he strikes out on the 8th pitch. Tough pitch, a slider that just disappeared at 3-2. Now 0-for-24. Four days off makes a difference.
9:50 p.m. So how ’bout a game-winning hit right here, Jimmy? And Tom McCarthy starts talking about how managers love Mark DeRosa. Here at The Phrontiersman, we set the agenda for national sports discourse.
9:47 p.m. Ah, Wheels brings up the Smoltz-Perez-Byrd fight. I remember that vividly. I was 12 years old and I watched that from a beach house in the Outer Banks. The only good game in a shitty second half of the 1999 season.
9:43 p.m. I was positive that little flare would fall. I guess this is one situation where I’m willing to put the Phillies ahead of my fantasy team. Inning over, but the damage is done.
9:41 p.m. Thank goodness. It’s Romero. Though if you’re going to double-switch, why not just bring in Lidge? And Prado’s hit was a double and an E9.
9:40 p.m. Lord Above! Cholly is going for the double-switch. I’ve never seen him do that before. Though it just occurred to me that this double-switch might bring in Paul Bako and Jack Taschner.
9:36 p.m. You have GOT to be kidding me. Okay, we’ll call him Martin. Either a triple or a double with a two-base error. A triple. Phillies 4, Braves 4.
9:35 p.m. Boy, has Prado’s night gone downhill in a hurry or what? At this rate, we’ll never stop calling him Edgar. Madson’s pickoff throw hits Blanco and the Braves’ center fielder moves up a base. I guess this is where the wheels come off.
9:34 p.m. An interesting side note about Turner Field–it’s the only current Major League Baseball stadium that was the main stadium for an Olympic Games. Blanco walks with two outs.
9:32 p.m. Madson gets Diaz out on a 96-mph fastball. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as climbing the ladder on a hitter. In bullpen news, the Braves are warming up Rafael Soriano, baseball’s equivalent to The Other Boleyn Girl.
9:31 p.m. Feliz sucks up another sharp grounder and OH MY GOD JACK TASCHNER IS WARMING UP IN A CLOSE GAME! HIDE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN!
9:29 p.m. Mayberry remains in the game to play left. And Mike Gonzalez sits on the bench looking like he wants the ground to open up and swallow him.
9:27 p.m. Ruiz grounds out innocently to third, but as a CSN graphic reminds us, these Phillies come from behind more often than a gay porn star. That was quite exciting.
9:26 p.m. Well-hit home runs both. It’s good to see Mayberry doing well. I see him as a sort of skinny, right-handed Ryan Howard. Look out for a “We Should Trade Mayberry” post in the coming weeks, though.
9:24 p.m. Luckily, I got back in time to see the back-to-back home runs by Mayberry and Feliz. McKenzie Awards for both of them! Who’s the boom king? Phillies 4, Braves 3
9:20 p.m. A double-switch for the Braves, with Mike Gonzalez coming in for O’Flaherty and Diaz for Anderson. Or the other way around. Gonzalez retires Howard and Werth. Hang on a second. I just heard a sound like gunfire on my block and I’m going to check it out.
9:18 p.m. Lance Armstrong commercial: “The critics say I’m arrogant, a doper, a fraud, that I couldn’t let it go…” At the risk of sounding French, I’m sort of inclined to agree with them. I’m rooting for Christian Van De Velde or a Schleck brother at the upcoming Tour.
9:17 p.m. Another astonishing play at third base by Feliz to rob Jeff Francoeur of an unsophisticated double. Did I mention that I hate Jeff Francoeur?
9:13 p.m. Durbin out for his second inning of work. Garret Anderson works the count full before flying out to the warning track in left. In other news, my 13-year-old brother just peeked at the TV and asked, “Wait-Garret Anderson’s still around?”
9:11 p.m. It was Carlton. I told you that an hour and a half ago. It’s good to know that Wheeler shares my thought process though.
9:10 p.m. A little dancin’ music for your seventh-inning stretch:
9:09 p.m. Top o’ the marnin’ to ya! An Eric O’Flaherty sighting! And O’Flaherty gives a nice soccer-style assist to Edgar Prado, who retires Victorino. Peter Moylan up in the pen, but he is not needed as he retires the side on six pitches. Come on, kids, let’s keep it moving.
9:05 p.m. Cocaine is a helluva drug, and Feliz is a helluva third baseman. He saves a run with the stop and then incredibly gets the throw off to retire McCann. Great for the Phillies, bad for my fantasy team.
9:02 p.m. Chipper bounces the ball off the plate. Durbin retires Jones and Blanco to third. Joe Morgan wets himself with joy at the productive out.
9:01 p.m. Blanco singles and Prado bunts him to second. Assorted sabermetrics snobs shake their fists at the heavens in anger at the sacrifice bunt.
8:59 p.m. Coste strikes out to put the rally to death. Finally, a managerial move that I second-guessed and was right about. On my GameCast, a very funny SportsCenter commercial where Jose Reyes teaches Karl Ravech to salsa dance.
Blanton’s done and Lowe should be too. I know he’s not a high-stress pitcher, but he’s 36 and he’s thrown 103 pitches on a hot night, including some in very high-stress situations.
Gregor Blanco to lead off against Chad Durbin. in the bottom of the 6th.
8:55 p.m. Wild pitch by Lowe, both runners advance. That’s exciting.
8:54 p.m. Ruiz pops up and out comes Chris Coste–wait–Chris Coste? Sarge can’t think of a reason not to use Stairs, and neither can I. Blanton looks disappointed, but doesn’t throw anything. Very mature.
8:52 p.m. Assuming Ruiz doesn’t hit into a double play, do you hit for Blanton here? Rally in progress, down by 1, Blanton looks exhausted even though he’s only thrown 93 pitches through 5 innings. I would. And so would Cholly, as Durbin warms up in the pen.
8:48 p.m. Greg Dobbs draws a walk. It’s good to see him doing well at the plate again. And Pedro Feliz, like Edgar Prado (sorry, man, get another RBI next time up and I’ll remember your first name), continues to hit beyond his ability. He’s now 2-for-2 with a walk. Well done.
8:46 p.m. Werth retired on a nifty play by Kotchman. In other news, kudos to the camera dudes for Comcast. I could look at hot chicks from Georgia all night long.
8:45 p.m. So I have GameCast by ESPN open in another window. And inexplicably, Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World started speaking from my computer. I had no idea where it was coming to and I was about to piss my pants for about 10 seconds. I didn’t know they did commercials on those things.
8:43 p.m. Let’s talk about Diory Hernandez. He has 6 hits in his major league career. And Cholly has walked him intentionally to load the bases twice in the first five innings. But since Derek Lowe has popped out both times, I guess I can’t be too mad. Inning over.
8:42 p.m. Sweet Jesus, I hate Jeff Francoeur Braves 3, Phillies 2
8:41 p.m. Blanton looks like he’s tiring. I’ve been to Atlanta in the summer, and it can’t be fun to wear long pants in Atlanta when you’re 6-foot-3 and 244 pounds. Blanton walks Kotchman and earns a visit from Rich Dubee. Who is not one of the Doobie Brothers. I just found that 0ut about a week ago.
8:39 p.m. Does Elias Sports Bureau have an official stat for catches made on the dead run by outfielders? If so, Jayson Werth (the man who can’t spell his first OR last name) must be among the league leaders. Anderson follows up with a single. Runners on first and second, one out for Atlanta.
8:36 p.m. J-Roll boots a tough grounder to his right. Chipper gets on, and if they score this an error I’m going to be very unhappy. They don’t. I’m not. Carry on.
8:35 p.m. Someone should tell Prado that he’s not a major-league hitter. He hits the second pitch out to left. Phillies 2, Braves 2. Second RBI of the night–any more and I might stop calling him Edgar. A McKenzie award for the Braves second baseman.
8:34 p.m. On to the bottom of the 5th. I didn’t think Howard’s ground-out warranted mention. Which is why I’m mentioning it now. At any rate, we’re official now. Should Atlanta disappear in a nuclear haze right now, this game would count.
8:32 p.m. Utley hits a rocket out to right-center, No. 17 on the year, netting him the Bret McKenzie memorial “Who’s the Boom King” award. Phillies 2, Braves 1
8:29 p.m. This at-bat was AWESOME! Derek Lowe wins the Matt Stairs Memorial “Pounded in the Ass” award for taking a blistering Victorino line drive between the cheeks. The Flyin’ Hawaiian gives him a sympathetic pat on the back on his way back to the dugout. Lowe seems fine and will continue.
8:27 p.m. The next time Tom McCarthy mentions this stupid Movie Night, I’m going to murder someone. J-Roll grounds out and falls to 0-for-3. Victorino chucks his bat into the stands and almost kills a kid. Most interesting thing that’s happened all night.
8:25 p.m. Let’s talk about how absurd the Elias Sports Bureau is. So Gary Matthews Jr. stole home Sunday and they could find out, quickly, not only that Sarge had stolen home in the 1970s, but that Tony and Eduardo Perez were the last father-son combo to do it. Ridiculous. Blanco grounds out to second to end the inning.
8:21 p.m. Lowe strikes out on a fastball after working the count to 3-1. I can breathe again.
8:19 p.m. So a member of the Argentine FA’s executive committee doesn’t think that they’ll qualify for the next World Cup and he’s blaming Maradona. I don’t care how bad a coach he is, if Argentina doesn’t make it to the World Cup, I’ll eat my hat. But I digress.
8:16 p.m. So the Braves sacrifice with runners on first and second and the pitcher coming up. Am I missing something?
8:15 p.m. Adventures in fielding continue, with Chase Utley putting Casey Kotchman on base. And Jeff Francoeur swings at the second pitch and punches it into left. A very unsophisticated single to put runners on first and second, bringing up Diory Hernandez. Nice name. I think I’m going to name my firstborn child Diory.
8:12 p.m. Oh, I forgot who was coming up. Chooch hits the ball hard, but within the reach of Garret Anderson who, for several years was an honest-to-goodness Angel in the Outfield, and Blanton strikes out on three pitches to end the inning. Cheers.
8:09 p.m. A shot of Roger McDowell in the dugout. What an unlikely major league coach. It’s like John Bender from The Breakfast Club becoming a high school principal. This guy was the biggest bullpen clown of the 20th Century. I might be dating myself here, but he’s like Bass from Angels in the Outfield combined with Bowers from Little Big League. Unbelievable. And while I was referencing John Hughes movies, a ground-out by Dobbs and a single by Feliz. So the Phils are in business.
8:06 p.m. Garret Anderson grounds up the middle, which would have been great except J-Roll was covering for a steal attempt by Prado. J-Roll scoops, steps on the bag and sits on the jockey to end the inning. 55 minutes for the first three innings. This game is interminable. Imagine how bad it would be if Steve Trachsel and Randy Johnson were pitching.
8:02 p.m. Edgar Prado rode Funny Cide and Barbaro. Cool. Chipper hurts himself striking out. Bad for the Braves, bad for my fantasy team. Then McCann pops out behind first base. Worse for my fantasy team.
8:00 p.m. So of course I bring up Blanco’s lack of an extra-base hit, then he hits a triple. Prado drives him in with a single. Phillies 1, Braves 1
7:58 p.m. Since we’re talking about Otis Nixon, what would be the best all-time team made up of people who share names with presidents? Nixon might play center between Reggie and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Travis Jackson at shortstop…maybe they’d all be Jacksons…
7:55 p.m. Werth flies out to Gregor Blanco to end the inning. But still, I’ll take a run.
7:53 p.m. Boy was I wrong. Howard hits a ground-rule double on a low breaking ball. Howard really has a Griffey-like left-handed swing. Beautiful stuff. But he does strike out constantly. Phillies 1, Braves 0.
7:51 p.m. You know who doesn’t get nearly enough credit? Davey Lopes. Statistically, you have to steal successfully about 75 percent of the time in order to actually help your team. Under Lopes’ tutelage, the Phillies have been stealing a TON of bases at a mid-80s clip.Oh, the game. Great hit-and-run by Utley and Victorino. First and third, 2 out for Howard. He’ll strike out on a low breaking ball.
7:46 p.m. Yup, I was right. It had to be either Carlton or Phil Niekro, given that it’s a Phils-Braves game.
7:45 p.m. Hey, a hit. And the answer to the trivia question, I believe, is Steve Carlton.
7:44 p.m. While Milt is spouting gibberish, Joe Blanton’s actually having an excellent at-bat. Eight pitches, but he strikes out looking on an inside cutter. Shades of Myers-Sabathia last fall. And J-Roll then tops the first pitch he sees straight to second. COME ON, JIMMY! I can’t wear my “J-Roll for MVP” t-shirt out in public while you’re hitting under .220.
7:42 p.m. Milt Thompson: In order to hit well, don’t think, stop trying and have fun. I guess plate discipline, bat speed and hand-eye coordination are overrated.
7:40 p.m. Well, that worked out well. Pop out to end the inning.
7:39 p.m. Not to be outdone in bizarre intentional walks, Cholly walks a .130 hitter. To get to the pitcher, who is hitting .174. He must be a hell of a leader of men, because Uncle Cholly sure can suck as a strategist sometimes.
7:38 p.m. Jeff Francoeur must be the least sophisticated player in baseball. And, as such, he hits a very unsophisticated double to the wall to put runners on second and third.
7:36 p.m. So how about Joe Blanton suddenly turning into a strikeout pitcher. HUGE curveball on the outside corner gets Anderson. But Kotchman follows that up with a two-out single up the middle. So I guess I can say the words “perfect game” now.
7:31 p.m. Well, it pays off as Ruiz grounds into a 5-3 double play to end the inning. I guess that’s why Bobby Cox has 2,327 more wins as a manager than I do.
7:30 p.m. Side note, does seeing No. 1 in center for the Braves cause anyone else to have Otis Nixon flashbacks?
7:28 p.m. Poor Blanco. He misplays a Dobbs fly ball into a double. CSN cuts to Bobby Cox, who has a look of “Wherefore Art Thou, Nate McLouth?” He is so incensed that he walks Pedro Feliz intentionally. Who the hell walks Pedro Feliz intentionally in the second inning?
7:27 p.m. Jayson Werth walks, becoming the first baserunner of the game and extending his reaching-base streak to 11 at-bats. Looking up the record on that.
7:24 p.m. Excellent play by Martin Prado (the second-most-famous Prado), playing short field (that’s a softball position, folks) to throw out Ryan Howard.
7:23 p.m. The aptly named CB Bucknor is our first-base umpire, btw. I really wish that someone hits a double between his legs.
7:22 p.m. Prado grounds out and Jones’ sinking line drive gets snagged by Werth. Inning over.
7:20 p.m. Does anyone remember when the keys to the game actually were keys to the game? Now they should be called “most compelling storylines.”
7:19 p.m. So for Los Aborigines, it’s Blanco, Prado, Jones, McCann, Anderson, Kotchman, Francoeur, Hernandez, Lowe. Gregor Blanco has a .207 OBP and hasn’t hit an extra-base hit all season. J-Roll’s fine. Blanco flies out to Dobbs. Who could have predicted that?
7:16 p.m. Utley flies out innocently to end it. Fantasy baseball update: Paul and I have a combined three players going for us tonight, all Braves. He has Lowe and I have McCann and Chipper Jones. Interesting side note, I just found out that Paul’s got Mark DeRosa, the subject of yesterday’s 750-word diatribe, on his fantasy team. I’d trade him Ryan Zimmerman for a decent middle infielder.
7:12 p.m. Lowe records 7 pitches, 6 strikes and two outs in two minutes. We should be out of here by 9.
7:11 p.m. Welcome back, J-Roll. Strikes out on four pitches. Fooled by three straight forkballs.
7:10 p.m. Tonight’s starting lineup for the Phillies: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth, Dobbs, Feliz, Ruiz, Blanton.
7:06 p.m. So I went to the University of South Carolina and am currently dating a girl from Atlanta. Freshman year of college, she took me to a game at Turner Field. Gavin Floyd started for the Phillies and Bobby Abreu homered. That was only three years ago–damn.
Anyhoo, let me tell you something about the Tomahawk Chop. It’s hypnotic. It’s unlike any other cheer in sports that I’ve ever seen, and I spent four years in an SEC Football student section. I almost caught myself doing it. When can we get ourselves a cheer like that?
7:01 p.m. Oh, yeah, J-Roll returns to the starting lineup tonight. According to Chris Wheeler, that means that he’ll be back in the starting lineup tonight. But he’s still second at his position in all-star voting.
6:59 p.m. Tonight’s starting pitchers, for the Braves, sinkerballer Derek Lowe, 36, and for the Phillies, Joe Blanton. I’m blogging this game because, let’s face it, I don’t want to be here very long and these are two very quick-working pitchers. This season, the two pitchers have combined to make 30 starts and weigh 474 pounds.
6:53 p.m. Hello and welcome, sportsfans. In best blogging tradition, we’re coming to you live from my parents’ basement. That’s not a joke. So, until the game comes on at 7 p.m. I’m watching Friends on TBS. Tonight’s special guest star, Dina Meyer of Starship Troopers and Star Trek: Nemesis.