Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blogging Baseball

Good morning all!! It's a quiet Saturday here at Chez Chorus, so I thought I would do something that I've wanted to do since I started this blog, and that is to blog through a Blue Jays game.

Today is the perfect day for this task because it is SNOWING outside, and that's kinda sad.

So, today's game features the Beloved Blue Jays against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre (formerly and affectionately SkyDome) in Toronto. Starting pitchers are, for the Jays, Jesse Litsch, who looks about twelve years old, and for the Bo-Sox, Clay Buchholz, pronounced LOO-ZER.

While we're waiting for the first pitch, a quick comment on last night's home opener, the first of what will be a weekly Flashback Friday game, at which the Jays will wear their old powder blue awesomeness, in the original polyester!! I think they look like PJs...

Jays won that game though, so whatever works! And inducted Roberto Alomar onto the level of excellence, which made it a feel-good happy evening for all Jays fans, new and old. Over 50,000 people in attendance too - let's hope that good will and good attendance sticks around!


Top of the first inning: First pitch... a ball to Julio Lugo. (And for any who might be panicking that I'm intending to blog every pitch... don't worry; I'm not.) Lugo strikes out swinging, and looks ridiculous in the process. The Boston Manager looks stern.

The Red Sox have travleled 24, 828 kms since the middle of March... wow... that's a long way. Fort Myers to Tokyo to Los Angeles to Oakland to Toronto.

The Blue Jays manager looks stern too. Maybe they learn that in manager school.Great catch by third baseman Marco Scutaro! You've earned your allowance today, Scoot. (I don't know if that's his actual nickname, but if not, it should be.) Blue Jays play the shift for David Ortiz, who is a big big big man. Probably explains why his nickname is Big Papi. Litsch walks him. This seems like a good idea to me. And speaking of looking ridiculous, it's Manny Ramirez! WH makes the obligatory, "he needs a hair cut," comment, with which I agree. Ramirez gets a double and drives in Papi, who runs very slowly and now looks like he needs some oxygen. Lowell grounds out, inning over. Boston gets one hit, one run, one runner left on base.

Bottom of the first: Itty bitty David Eckstein leads off the inning for the Jays, hits a harmless grounder and winds up safe on first on an error by the 2nd basement. Mama cat has joined us downstairs and his sitting on WH and purring like a motor. She likes David Eckstein. They weigh roughly the same. Matt Stairs strikes out. Alex Rios is up, a day after signing a 6 year 64 million dollar contract. I look at WH and wonder why he quit Little League so many years ago. He tells me that it was because he couldn't throw or catch. Or hit. Fair enough. Buchholz throws over to first for the 47th time, drawing boos from the crowd. Strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play. Jays get no hits, no runs, one runner lob.

Top of the Second: We are told that Litsch is struggling with his release point, leading to the dreaded inconsistency. We see a slow-motion shot of his motion, which causes me to ask the question I always ask, which is how on earth pitchers' arms don't come flying off more regularly. Strike out of J.D.Drew. Jason Varitek has a head like a potato, but he wears nice high socks, which I like. He walks. Double-play ends the inning. No hits, no runs, no lob.

Bottom of 2: Vernon Wells leads off. We would all like to see Vernon play better this year than he did last year. The commentator attributes the bad year to a "barking shoulder." Woof, woof! Wells walks. (ooh! alliteration!) Frank Thomas hits a bloop single, Wells runs like a speed-demon, all the way around to third. Single for Overbay, Wells scores, tie game. Frank Thomas somehow manages to get his gigantic frame around to third on the play. Aaron Hill strikes out. Scoot strikes out too. Zaun pops up and has a bat-throwing fuss about it. 2h, 1r, 2lob

Top 3: Coco Crisp leads off. Coco Crisp is a baseball player, and not a breakfast cereal. Ground out. Litsch hits Lugo in the tricep with his first pitch. OW. Pedroia gets a base hit, setting up the kind of scenario that Bo-Sox fans love - two on, one out, Big Papi at the plate. Jays shift again, which works delightfully, as Paps grounds out to first. Runners move up though. Intentional walk for Ramirez and his dreadlocks to set up a force at every base. Lowell is out on a good catch by the first baseman. 1h, 0r, 3 lob.

Bottom 3: Ecks out at first on a close play. The Rogers Centre has a comfort zone, featuring big couches right at field level. I think that's AWESOME. 40 year old Canadian Matt Stairs is up to bat. I don't think that he ever comes up to the plate without the commentators mentioning that he's 40 and/or Canadian. He strikes out. Must be his age. Or his Canadian-ness. Double into the corner for Rios. Both of today's pitchers seem to have a fondness for necklaces. Buchholz is wearing four of them. Wells out on a grounder. 1h, 0r, 1 lob.

Chorus rushes off to sort laundry.

T4: I'm back, and the Sox have a runner on third with one out. Sean Casey is up to bat, and was apparently voted Nicest Player in the Majors last year. I wonder if he got a plaque. He gets a single off the first baseman's glove, and drives in the run. I watch for signs of his niceness, and see none. Breakfast Cereal is safe at first on a fielder's choice; Mr. Nice Guy out at second. Lugo out pitcher to first base. 2h, 1r, 1lob

B4: Thomas flies out deep to right field. The ground shakes as he jogs back to the dugout. Lyle Overbay gets a single. Aaron Hill gets an absolutely perfectly surprising bunt down the third base line. Hill is WH's favourite player. A walk for Scoot; bases loaded! And the pitching coach comes out!! By reading lips, I can see the coach clearly telling the pitcher that four necklaces is too many. Shuffling in the Boston bullpen begins. Greg Zaun reaches base on an error by the first baseman; two runs score. Little Davey Eckstein comes up and hits a single, Scoot around to score. Crowd goes wild. The 40-year old Canadian strikes out again. Rios tagged out on his way to first to end the inning, but a good inning nonetheless for the Jays. Chorus does love some nice manufactured runs. 3h, 3r, 1lob

T5: Another good crowd at the game today. Not quite what they had last night, but entirely respectable. Great pitching match tomorrow for the last game of this series - Halladay vs. Beckett. Ground-out to start the inning. Shift on Ortiz works again, as he grounds out to second too. The shift involves moving the infielders over because a specific batter always hits the ball through one side of the infield. Papi always hits the ball through the right-side, so the Jays stack the infield there. So far, this has worked very well today. Manny flies out to Vernon Wells. 0h, 0r, 0lob.

B5: The commentators offer Happy 92nd Birthday wishes to a gentleman who has kept scoresheets of every Jays game since 1977. Impressive! Wells out on a grounder. Thomas out on a grounder. Overbay strikes out. 0h, 0r, 0lob

T6: Mike Lowell starts the inning off with a single and that will be all today for Mr. Litsch. He gets a nice ovation has he leave the field. Brian Tallet in to pitch. He is also wearing multiple necklaces. Mama Cat gets up, turns around three times, and lies back down again. Life is rough. Big fly ball safely caught by Rios. Varitek pops up to the first baseman, a good catch in foul territory for Overbay. Casey out on a little dribbler right in front of the plate called fair, a call with which he vehemently disagrees. Lots of jawing at the ump, followed by the manager coming out and jawing at the ump. 1h, 0r, 1lob

B6: New pitcher for the Bo-Sox, one Kyle Snyder. No necklaces for Kyle, thank goodness. He walks Aaron Hill on 4 pitches. Hill advances to 2nd base on a wild pitch. Maybe a necklace would have been a good idea after all. Snyder is 6'8" and weighs 230 lbs, so maybe they don't make necklaces in his size. Scoot walks too, which lights a fire under the bottom of the Boston pitching coach because he leaps out of the dugout very quickly. Greg Zaun lays down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move the two runners up. Snyder's out of the game and Bryan Corey is in. No necklace. Eckstein drives in both runners on a single. Yay! Stairs flies out to center field. Alex Rios gets a double to left field and Eckstein alertly runs all the way home, sliding in just under the tag. Vernon Wells drives the ball up the middle, and Rios scores. If you've lost count, the Jays are now up 8-2. The fans begin the wave. Frank Thomas hits a massive home run to center field. 10-2. Overbay flies out off new pitcher Julian Tavarez to end the inning. 4h, 6r, 0lob

T7: Coco Pops grounds out to start the inning off of new pitcher Brian Wolf, who's necklace status is unclear. Lugo singles. Pedroia moves him over to third with a double. Big Papi strikes out. Ramirez grounds out to end the threat. 2h, 0r, 2 lob

And now, everybody SING!

B7: Hill flies out, Scoot grounds out, but Zaun moves his large catcher butt down the line in a good way and beats out a single. They show some footage of the new Jays clubhouse and it is STUNNING. Leather chairs, big-screen TVs... beautiful! Explains why all the Jays looks so happy and comfortable. Eckstein grounds out. 1h, 0r, 1 lob

Chorus rushes off to use the bathroom.

T8: New pitcher Jason Frasor for the Jays. 1 out already by the time I get back. Single for J.D. Drew. Kevin Cash strikes out. Baby Cat makes herself at home on my lap, making blogging much more difficult. Sportsnet is having some technical problems, but I gather that Sean Casey just threw his bat into the crowd and then he flied out to center field. 1h, 0r, 1 lob.

B8: This should be the last at-bat for the Jays, barring a disaster in the ninth inning. Coats flies out. Rios flies out too, and says "firetruck" loudly enough for the mics to pick it up. Vernon Wells walks. Thomas grounds out. 0h, 0r, 1lob

T9: The Jays will bring in Randy Wells now to pitch the ninth. This will mark Mr. Wells' first major league game, and he looks just a teeny tiny bit excited. And someone has given him a necklace, so that's good. Crisp grounds out. Julio flies out to right field. Pedrioa walks. Big Papi grounds out, so it's a pretty good first game for Randy Wells. Congrats to him!!

And that's the ball game!!

Have a great day everybody!


Chunklets said...

Well, you certainly picked a good game to blog! Well done - you should do more of this (and I think the Baseball Prospectus really needs to look into the necklace thing... :) )!

Oddly, since I did keep an eye on things during the off-season, I had no idea whatsoever that the Jays had picked up Marco Scutaro...

Chorus said...

Thanks Chunklets! I did think it was a very good game, especially in the manufacturing of runs when the opportunities presented themselves.

And I hope that Scutaro will keep getting plaing time when Rolen comes back...

Crimson Rambler said...

I don't know when I've laughed so much over a game. thank you Chorus!