Braves game from Turner Field in Atlanta, as broadcast on TBS by Chip Caray (this should be fun) and Joe Simpson (aka the most anonymous of the 15 announcers employed by the Braves). Kyle Kendrick vs. Tim Hudson on the hill.
5:06 p.m., Time for reflection, Braves 9, Choking-dog Phillies 8
OK, postmortem time. Phillies blow their second 5-0 lead in four days. Their bullpen is atrocious, but the lineup can't be let off the hook; they left 14 men on base. Third-base coach Steve Smith should be fired for his mistake in the second inning. OK, maybe not, but boy does that mistake look huge now. All the mistakes do. This is absolutely crushing. The Phillies stay five back of the Mets with 23 games left for both teams. The third-place Braves are 7 1/2 back with 22 to play. All self-respecting Phillies fans attending Friday's home game with Florida will boo the team when it takes the field.
OK, I'm going to head to dinner and order 10 large Diet Cokes mixed with Jameson's. I hope you all enjoyed the blog as much as I did until the bottom of the ninth. Thanks for reading and Fire Manuel!
4:54 p.m., It's Over, Braves 9, Phillies 8
Diaz rips the ball into right, it ticks off Mr. Shitty Defensive Replacement Chris Roberson's glove, and with everybody running, Escobar gets the green light to come home with the winning run, and the throw is late. He scores. I hope Brett Myers' wife turns things around and beats him tonight. Charlie Manuel's wife, too. This sucks.
4:52 p.m., Bottom 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Yunel Escobar walks, and the bases are loaded for Diaz.
4:51 p.m., Bottom 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
High chopper off the plate fielded by Myers, who fires wide of first base. Prado safe, Francoeur to third. Dubee out to the mound. Pete Laforest just turned to the guy sitting next to him in the dugout and said, "Pardon my French, but this is fucking ridiculous."
4:48 p.m., Bottom 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
The 13 fans still left at Turner Field sit and watch attentively as Martin Prado comes to the plate representing the tying run after a Francoeur infield single.
4:47 p.m., Bottom 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Pena grounds out on an 0-2 pitch, and Francoeur is the Braves' last hope. Win probability tilted back to 70-30 in the Phils' favor.
4:45 p.m., Bottom 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Myers starts the inning on the hill. Teixiera is the first batter. Struck him out! Here comes somebody named Brayan Pena! Isn't he just Russell Branyan without the N?
4:42 p.m., Mid 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Diaz chases down a long fly ball hit by Howard into the left field corner. So here we go. Remember that little win probability graphic ESPN had during the College World Series? I actually think the Braves would be about a 60-40 favorite right now.
4:40 p.m., Top 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Hey, Soriano hit Utley in the thigh! Utley's OK, but he glares at Soriano, as does every Phillies fan watching on TV. The glare, actually, was a little like Lou Dobbs' face in the pic above. Ruiz now hitting (here's where defensive replacements suck). Two out. But wait, Ruiz gets a single, Utley to third, and Howard is up.
4:36 p.m., Top 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
The good news: There's a man warming up in the Phillies bullpen, indicating that Myers may not pitch the ninth. The bad news: That man in Jose Mesa. Two out as Rollins flies to Francoeur.
4:34 p.m., Top 9th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
I still haven't recovered from that last half-inning. I have no idea how the Phillies expect to make it through the bottom of the ninth, unless they score 10 runs in the top of the ninth. Corky Miller to catch, Martin Prado at third, Rafael Soriano pitching for the Braves.
4:32 p.m., End 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Popped him up! Werth's under it and grabs it to end the inning. Chipper Jones is a very Burrell-like 0-for his last 12 with the bases loaded and two outs.
4:30 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Full count to Chipper. Tension mounts.
4:28 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Kelly Johnson pops out on a 2-0 count, bringing Chipper to the plate with two outs.
4:26 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 6
Bases loaded walk. Myers' wife should head to the shelter immediately. Dubee out to the mound.
4:25 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 5
It's bad enough when a team beats you with solid hits. The Phillies can't afford this: another bloop, broken-bat single, this time of the infield variety, and another run scores. By the way, Abraham Nunez has replaced Greg Dobbs at third for defense.
4:20 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 4
Results of the production meeting are already showing. Chip says, "Will Turner Field be a House of Payne for the Philadelphia Phillies?" Brett Myers on to pitch, Carlos Ruiz on to catch. Myers spikes his first pitch into the dirt, and the wild pitch lets a run score. Hoo boy. Four pitch walk. Bases loaded. Diaz up.
4:18 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 3
Another blooper, bases now loaded, and Gordon out of the game. No lead is safe when the Phillies are playing.
4:13 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 3
Roberson and Utley go Keystone Kops on a pair of bloopers and Gordon's E.R.A. rises. Are you sure we can't put Burrell back in the game? Brian McCann looks like he pulled something in his leg (I'm not a doctor, clearly) and Chris Woodward pinch runs. Scot Thorman pinch hitting, too.
4:10 p.m., Bottom 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Elsewhere in baseball, the Indians are up 3-2 in the ninth on Minnesota, closing in on their fourth (!) sweep of the Twins this year. Wait, just saw an ad for 1-800-PETMEDS. Betty White is the pitchwoman. Shouldn't Michael Vick be forced to do these ads to fulfill some sort of community service component of his impending sentence? Tom Gordon on to pitch. His native Avon Park, Fla. rejoices. Chipper doubles. Disappointed Avon Park residents comfort themselves with knowledge that the spicy french fries from Checkers are only a few blocks away. Yes, I'll have a medium fries and a BIG DAMN GIANT DIET COKE!!! (... ok ... calm down ...)
4:01 p.m., Top 8th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Saw during the commercial that Dave Matthews Band is giving a free concert to the "college who wants it most." This is a good development, because now we'll know which college campus has the most unbearable female student body. This isn't because I dislike DMB. It's because everyone I knew in college had at least one crazy girlfriend whose favorite band was DMB. It's some inexplicable sociological syndrome. Oh yeah, the ballgame: Roberson just atoned himself with a one-out single off Ascanio.
3:56 p.m., Bottom 7th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Craig Sager in the booth, showing off his madras shorts. He's going to be doing sideline reporting during the Division Series, and he's working this Sunday as a warm-up. Tony Gwynn's doing the same. Sager now giving us some of the finer points on the laborious research sideline reporters do. He just told us he spent eight hours this weekend studying the Mets. I think Erin Andrews has spent eight hours total studying anything her entire life.
3:52 p.m., Bottom 7th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Roberson on in right as Werth moves to left, replacing Burrell. Yunel Escobar promptly singles to right, and Roberson boots it, allowing Escobar to second. God, this is so weird ... Burrell keeps looking more and more valuable by the inning. I don't know how to deal with this, especially with my therapist out of town on vacation. Wait, wasn't this the premise to "What About Bob?"
3:48 p.m., Mid 7th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Burrell walks. Say, Bobby Cox has some nice shades on. Not as good as the ones being sported by Mr. Fedora Tank Top, but not bad nonetheless. Bases loaded for Ryan Howard. As Caray's grandfather would say, C'mon Ryno! He promptly grounds out, which would have led Harry Caray to curse, spit and quickly transition to a shout-out to Billy and Doris Burton watching from Skokie.
3:44 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 8, Braves 2
Utley singles, raises his RBI total to 90, and advances to second on a throw home. Bobby Cox pulls off a double switch, taking out Villarreal and Andruw Jones, and replacing them with Ascanio and Matt Diaz. By the way, that's pronounced Matt "Die-azz," thanks to his grandfather, who changed it when he came to mine coal in West Virginia. I'm honestly not sure how Lou Dobbs feels about this.
3:40 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 7, Braves 2
Wild pitch! Werth scores and Laforest moves up to second. Villarreal still pitching with Utley at bat now. Bobby Cox taking Lou Dobbs' advice on raising the E.R.A. of foreign-born pitchers.
3:38 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 6, Braves 2
Base hit Laforest! Run scores. Skip and Joe dipping into the French-English dictionary they used to keep around for Expos games. Rollins batting now, and oddly enough Villarreal still pitching.
3:36 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Pete Laforest taking his first at-bat in the pitcher's spot for the Phils. He's a Quebec native and former Expos farmhand. Greg Dobbs' dad feeling even more dispeptic.
3:33 p.m., Bottom 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Runners first and second and Roger McDowell out to talk to Villarreal. Jose Ascanio warming up in the bullpen. Greg Dobbs' dad getting heartburn.
3:29 p.m., Bottom 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Oscar Villarreal now pitching for Atlanta. Greg Dobbs greets him with a base hit. Chip Caray, former Mariners announcer, can't figure out why the Mariners didn't hang on to him. Blame it on the Moose!
3:26 p.m., Mid 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Struck him out! Inning over. Mr. Fedora Tank Top not amused.
3:23 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Oh what a catch by Rowand! And he almost doubles off Johnson at second. Shit, now the Phils can't afford him again. Andruw Jones at bat.
3:22 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Kane's stats from two appearances this year: 0-1, 6.00, .353 opponent's batting average. Last time out against Florida: IP, 3H, 2R, two home runs allowed. Oy.
3:19 p.m., Top 7th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Here's the good news: Reds 7, Mets 0, Final. Mets' five-game win-streak is over, and the Phillies have a chance to move within four ... if new pitcher Kane Davis doesn't give up the lead with one out and two on. Francoeur to bat once Davis gets warmed up. Let's hope he warms up faster than Hudson.
3:17 p.m., Bottom 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 2 Walked him. Here comes the tying run with no one out. Brian McCann is up. Kane Davis warming up in the bullpen for the Phillies. I did not know the Phillies had Kane Davis on their roster. This is not good.
3:14 p.m., Bottom 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
It's J.C. Romero. Otherwise known as my fantasy nemesis. Uh oh. His first pitch brushes back Teixiera.
3:13 p.m., Bottom 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 2
Chipper Jones smacks an RBI double to the wall. GODDAMMIT WHERE'S MY DUBEE?! Actually, here comes Charlie Manuel. Kendrick's done. Chip Caray: "Will they blow another 5-run lead on this road trip? Fuck you, Chip. TBS shows clip of Gene Garber striking out Pete Rose to end his 44-game hitting streak in 1978. But they still haven't mentioned who's coming on to pitch. Nice job.
3:07 p.m., Bottom 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 1
Home run Willie Harris. Damn. Last home run for Willie: May 29 at Milwaukee vs. Ben Sheets. Kelly Johnson singles. Tomahawk music starts. GODDAMMIT WHERE'S MY DIET COKE?! Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee out to the mound.
3:06 p.m., Mid 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Was that the Oklahoma fight song playing on the bumper? The only thing I can figure is that the producer is an OU grad and his fantasy team is called the Galloping Goombahs.
3:03 p.m., Top 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Joe Simpson just asked this question to Chip Caray: "What are you, the galloping goombah?" It was somehow a transition into a discussion of Oklahoma Sooners football. A camera operator found someone wearing an OU hat in the stands. This has sent me scurrying to see if TBS is broadcasting the OU-Miami game this Saturday ... no, it's on ABC. So this is officially without explanation.
2:57 p.m., Top 6th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Royce Ring on the mound now for the Braves. TBS just played a montage over the Patty Smyth synth-pop song "Goodbye to You" to open the inning as a reminder this is the final month of Braves telecasts on TBS. Somewhere, Bob Horner is crying.
2:52 p.m., End 5th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Reds lead 7-0 now. Here comes Pete Orr to pinch hit for Hudson. 5 IP, 11 H, 5R, 5ER the line for the Braves' starter. Ed Wade just phoned in to say he thinks Hudson would be worth $55 million on the market right now.
2:46 p.m., Mid 5th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Chip has announced his surprise that no one has taken a flyer on Bob Wickman. Chris Coste fans and it's the first one-two-three inning for Hudson. If it winds up that Phillies 3B coach Steve Smith's blunder costs them the game, I'm going to conclude hiring wide receivers to coach third base is as bad an idea as letting veteran NBA shooting guards do it. Oooh, it's the Clyde Frazier-Keith Hernandez Just For Men Facial Hair commercial! Yes! Say it with me now ... BRUISED AND REFUSED!
2:41 p.m., Top 5th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
TBS just showed a shot of two rotund older women, one of whom was wearing turquoise shorts and a floral top, just entering the park. This production meeting has seriously gone off the tracks. Incidentally an ad for the Braves all-you-can-eat ticket package, which ties in limitless concessions with the price of admissions, is currently displayed on the scrolling marquee behind home plate. Right below Mr. Fedora Tank Top.
2:38 p.m., End 4th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Chip just gave us the "Glavine's not walking through that door, Maddux isn't walking through that door" speech about the Braves. Which reminds me he used to do Orlando Magic games in the early portion of their franchise history. Terry Catledge on the court, Chip Caray at the mike! Ratings gold!
2:35 p.m., Bottom 4th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
You know what's a cool look? A fedora and a tank top. That's what the guy sitting in the front row just to the right of home plate is wearing. Braves fans, always stylish!
2:33 p.m., Mid 4th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
If anyone in the Fort Myers area is reading this, I'll pay you $20 if you deliver a six-pack of Diet Coke before the end of this game. Just e-mail me and I'll give you the address. Rowand at bat with one out and two on. Double play! Hey, he might be affordable now. Another scoreless inning for Hudson. OK, this is officially as worried as I get when my team has a 5-0 lead.
2:27 p.m., Top 4th, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Hmmm, the Reds and Mets are already in the sixth ... how did this happen? Chase Utley is 3-for-3 and your NL leading hitter, folks ... every Mets fan can send thank-you notes to John Lannan care of the Washington Nationals. Do the Mets face Lannan down the stretch here? Do you think it would be a nice gesture if they've already clinched by the time they face him to let Lannan no-hit them?
2:20 p.m., Bottom 3rd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Suggested questions for those who want to e-mail Chip and Joe at TBSmailbag@atlantabraves.com:
1. Since this is an official production meeting now, have we decided whether we're working a "House of Payne" reference into the Division Series broadcasts every inning or every half-inning?
2. So how much was the FCC fine from that Bobby Cox tirade?
3. Whatever became of Chief Nokahoma? Did Lou Dobbs get him deported?
2:15 p.m., Bottom 3rd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Tim Hudson actually makes it through a scoreless inning! Time to add him to your fantasy teams, people! The Reds now lead 6-0, by the way. My buddy Alan has e-mailed to confirm that yes indeed, that is Lou Dobbs in the picture. And he wonders if Lou is Greg Dobbs' father. I'm not sure. I have to check Tom Tancredo's donor list.
2:10 p.m., Top 3rd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Kyle Kendrick just skirted a little single past Braves 2B Kelly Johnson on an 0-2 pitch. Any camera shots of Atlanta's bullpen? Any verbal mention thereof? Some production meeting you're having, TBS! Runners first and second, two out. Oh, finally ... Chip Caray says, "... you hear that bullpen phone ringing in the background, Roger's going to get somebody up."
2:06 p.m., Top 3rd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
By the way, I hope my use of two fonts in this post doesn't make Blogger's running hamsters go on strike. Blogger's great for notoriety, and really, really bad for user-friendliness. The old green-screen Macs we used in middle school ran better software. Oregon Trail rocked like no other educational video game! By the way, Chip and Joe have begun talking about Division Series format ideas, so this has officially ceased to be a game and become a production meeting, as far as TBS is concerned.
2:01 p.m., Bottom 2nd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Excerpted from the notes I took during a TBS broadcast of an extra-inning broadcast of a Braves-Astros game a couple of months ago (I've been waiting for a good time to use this):
In the 11th ...
Willie Harris takes strike one from Brad Lidge
Cox: "Let's go! Damn! ... Fuckin' get one god-damn ..."
Simpson: "It's gettin' late."
Caray: "Yeah. And yeah, Bobby knows this game means a lot."
And then the camera pans to Bobby with one arm leaning on the railing at the side of the Braves dugout.
And then the camera pans to Bobby with one arm leaning on the railing at the side of the Braves dugout.
1:56 p.m., Bottom 2nd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Brian McCann singles and Joe Simpson reminds us the Phillies gacked up a five-run lead just three days ago here in Florida. Hey, and look who else has a 5-0 lead? The Reds, who are pounding the Mets! And it's our first audio evidence that Bobby Cox is managing ... a loud "C'mon kid!" issued in a shortened Southern drawl directed at Jeff Francoeur. Good job, Bobby ... your motivation helped Francoeur strike out! Way to go! Now go have that mean old Rick Reed kick you out of this game so you can join the legions of Atlanta residents who are ignoring it.
1:51 p.m., Mid 2nd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
How to give up runs ... put a late hold sign on for Ryan Howard as he lumbers around third, and give no sign to Aaron Rowand, whose third-base coach (Steve Smith) cheated him out of a triple.
1:48 p.m., Top 2nd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
By the end of this game, Hudson's ERA will exceed the attendance. Hey TBS, anyone warming up in the bullpen yet? Anyone? TBS? Hello? The six people watching this game this afternoon would love to know.
1:45 p.m., Top 2nd, Phillies 5, Braves 0
Broken-bat RBI for Chase Utley, who drives home Rollins on a sac fly. Speaking of bats, PAT THE BAT GOES DEEP! I CANNOT BELIEVE I"M THIS EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING PAT BURRELL IS DOING!
1:43 p.m., Top 2nd, Phillies 3, Braves 0
Rollins hits his 17th triple with one out in the second. Two to go to catch the post-1900 record of Juan Samuel, set in 1984. You know, I'm really glad the pitching has come through this season so Rollins' career season has no chance of going to waste.
1:38 p.m., End 1st, Phillies 3, Braves 0
Harris slides hard into Utley to help break up a potential double play on Chipper's grounder. What, no bench-clearing brawl? Teixiera's up, and promptly fouls one down the right field line, giving us yet another look at the paucity of Turner Field fans. Something tells me the Time Warner chairman isn't as interested in dragging CNN employees to the game as Ted was. Ooo, and Chip Caray makes a regional college football reference! Kyle Kendrick's alma mater (South Carolina) takes on Caray's (Georgia) this weekend. Methinks this whole TBS-doing-national-games thing is going to be tough to get used to. I'll be keeping a Georgia high school football preview by my side during the Division Series next month just in case I need a translation.
1:32 p.m., Bottom 1st, Phillies 3, Braves 0
Aaaah, where's my Diet Coke?!! Addiction is a very sad thing, boys and girls. The grass at Turner Field must have been watered down a bit too much, because Chase Utley looked like he was on a slip-n-slide trying to field Willie Harris' grounder. Utley throws late and the ball goes careening around the infield and somehow winds up behind home plate. Harris, however, never took notice, and is still at first base. Love ya Braves!
1:27 p.m., Bottom 1st, Phillies 3, Braves 0
OK, Coste grounds out and the inning is over. Say, I've been looking at the Ted Turner-Jane Fonda pic up there, and ... is that Lou Dobbs looking over Ted's shoulder there?
1:24 p.m., Top 1st, Phillies 3, Braves 0
Call him Jayson Werth-it. A two-run single and this is starting to look like it could be the Phillies' day. As long as the Phillies keep scoring runs in the top of the first and never have to send someone out to pitch, that is. The suddenly appreciated Chris Coste at the plate now.
1:21 p.m., Top 1st, Phillies 1, Braves 0
Bases loaded, two outs and Jayson Werth up, so here comes Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell for a visit. Which reminds me, how's that Orioles job working out, Leo Mazzone?
1:18 p.m., Top 1st, Phillies 1, Braves 0
OK, Howard flew out to center, and it gave us a chance to notice that there are about a dozen total people sitting in the outfield seats. I still don't understand why it is that Atlanta is inexplicably the worst pro sports city in the world. I mean, it's not like their football team has sucked for most of its existence and had its best run of teams while being quarterbacked by a guy who liked to torture and kill dogs or anything in his spare time. Rowand singles home the first run. Nice. He's a free agent at the end of the year. Not so nice. Maybe he can get his money's worth on the free market by hitting up David Bell for cash this offseason.
1:10 p.m., Top 1st, Phillies 0, Braves 0
OK, I will warn you, I am sans Diet Coke in the apartment, so this could get ugly. When fellow Diet Cokehead and former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy tried to go three hours without a hit, you may recall he wound up twirling around on Alonzo Mourning's leg like it was a maypole. A nice subplot this afternoon will be Chipper Jones vs. the umpires, specifically Rick Reed, who just so happens to be working third base this afternoon, just like Larry. Burrell and Utley string together back-to-back singles in front of Howard. Here we go.