Who: Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
When: 8:00 PM
What Channel: ESPN2
Announcers: Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, and Steve Phillips
Baseball Tonight begins at 7. I'll chime in here and there with thought on the show and the live blog will get under way at 8. Just hit refresh on the computer screen to keep up with the updates. All comments (unless they are deliberately trolling/spam *cough*cough*NathanBrice*cough*cough*) are welcome!
Just turned over to ESPN during the commercial and if you thought last year's women's Final Four court was utterly hideous, wait until you see this one. Words can't describe how bad it is. And, oh yeah, for your audio enjoyment, Mike Patrick is on the call!
I just got goosebumps watching that World Series montage for the Phillies.
"We have a beautiful night here at Citizens Bank Ballpark." - Steve Phillips
It's Citizens Bank Park, Steve, not Citizens Bank Ballpark. And some advice to Dave Winfield: lay off the valium.
Impressive homerun by NBA analyst, Jon Barry. But seriously, waving your hat to an empty crowd?? And do realize, Jon, that a very talented monkey could hit a homerun out of Citizens Bank Park.
Peter Gammons just picked the Mets in the NL East. The analysts always go for the New York teams every year they make a big move or two and it never pans out for them.
"We'd like to thank Dave Winfield for all that he has brought to us." - Karl Ravech
And I'd thank you very much if you gave Dave Winfield some 5-hour energy!
Um.....a children's story vignette to kick things off?? Okaaayyy...
"You look exactly the same as you did 19-years ago." - Jon Miller
"Thank you." - Joe Morgan
Notice that Morgan did not say the same about Miller. And maybe it's just me, but it looks and sounds like that Miller aged big-time just over this off-season (I did not watch the WBC).
And the banner has been raised at Citizens Bank Park! Damn, I was hoping ESPN would show more of it. I'd rather see that than 3 Winfield, Kruk, and Gammons give meaningless predictions. I'll have to find a YouTube video that someone took in the stands and I'll post it.
Top of the First Inning
The first pitch is a ball by Myers to Kelly Johnson. High pop-up is caught by Victorino. Next up is Escobar and on one pitch he grounds out. Now it's Chipper Jones. Myers works it to a full count. 3-2 pitch is a base hit by Chipper Jones and there is the first base hit of the single. Brian McCann is up next. McCann HAMMERS THE CHANGE-UP TO THE SECOND DECK! 2-RUN SHOT FOR THE BRAVES. And subsequently, they now lead 2-0. Garret Anderson grounds out and that's the end of the top of the first inning. 2-0 Braves.
Bottom of the First Inning
Rollins leads off and he starts off with a 1-1 count. Rollins grounds out to first. Up next for the Fightin' Phils is Jayson Werth. 2 quick strikes to Werth. He hammers the next one foul. And another foul. Ball down low by Lowe and it's a 1-2 count. Werth pops it up and Johnson brings it in. And here's Chase "World Fucking Champions" Utley. First pitch is a ball.
"I don't think that too many people were taking the Phillies to beat the upstart Rays in that World Series." - Jon Miller
Actually if I recall correctly, if anything, more people were taking the Phils. Stop watching Around the Horn, Jon. Utley decides to pop one up deep.....but it's caught at the warning track by Francoeur. End of 1 and the Braves lead 2-0.
Top of the Second Inning
Francoeur leads off the inning for hte Braves. AND FRANCOEUR LAUNCHES ONE! GONE! 3-0 BRAVES! Typical Phillies opening night, so I'm really not surprised.
Myers strikes out Kotchman. Up next for Atlanta is Jordan Schafer, a 22-year old who played in the minor leagues last year. 2-1 count to the rookie and Myers should be going after him more. 3-1 now. And Brett Myers may have to "boom outta here" soon. And wouldn't you know it? On his first at-bat, THE 22-YEAR OLD ROOKIE HITS A HOME RUN! 4-0 ATLANTA! Like I said, the Phillies are infamous for stinking up the joint on the first day of the season.
Myers easily strikes out Lowe. And Joe Morgan is rambling on making no sense. Kelly Johnson is back up at the plate. 2-1 to Johnson.
"Now the question is once you hit a homerun on your first at bat, where do you go from here?" - Steve Phillips
"You retire" - Joe Morgan
Johnson flies out and that ends the inning. 4-0 Braves.
Bottom of the Second Inning
Howard starts out 2-2. Howard foul tips it into McCann's glove and that's a strikeout. Here comes Pat Burrell's replacement, Raul Ibanez. And his first AB as a Phil is a ground out. 2 up and 2 down thus far in the second and here is Shane Victorino. The Flyin' Hawaiian grounds out on the first pitch and it's an easy 1-2-3 for Lowe. Braves lead 4-0 after 2.
Top of the Third Inning
Up next is Drew Escobar. ESCOBAR HAMMERS IT! DEEP.......OFF THE WALL! He gets a double out of it! Here's Chipper Jones now.
"The Braves are teeing off, playing homerun derby at the Phillies expense." - Jon Miller
That's not as much of an exageration as it may seem. Full count to Jones. I'm pretty sure that I just heard Joe Morgan call Jeff Francoeur, Jeff "Francurl". Myers strikes out Jones and he needed that. Here's McCann who got this derby started. Starts out 1-1. McCann pops one up in foul territory. 2 down in the top of the third with Escobar on . Ground ball to first. Howard dishes to Myers who covers and after the lead off double no more hits for the Braves. 4-0 Atlanta.
Bottom of the Third Inning
Feliz leads off the inning and he pops it up. One down. Ruiz sends one to foul territory which is missed and the Phils fans cheer. Too funny.
"He put the glove on it but he could not put the squeeze on it." - Jon Miller
0-2 to Ruiz. Ruiz launches one along the left field AND THAT'S A FAIR BALL! A fan interfered with it but Ruiz will take 2 anyway. Myers swings at the first pitch and he grounds out. Here comes J-Roll back up for the Phils. Rollins skies one and that's caught and it ends the inning. Third of the way through the game, and the Braves still lead 4-0.
Top of the Fourth Inning
"You have to go back to almost 1980." - Jon Miller on when the Phils last won a World Series before this year.
Err, Jon, it was 1980. 3-2 to Francoeur. He lines out to J-Roll. And Myers looks like he is finally settling in. Now if only the Phils offense can wake up. Casey Kotchman is up to bat. 1-2 to Kotchman. 2-2. Kotchman grounds out. Meanwhile I miss how the inning ended because I was watching the womens' game but it's still 4-0 Atlanta.
Bottom of the Fourth Inning
2-1 the count to Jayson Werth as Jon Miller dropped in a WrestleMania reference. Werth grounds out. Up next is Chase Utley. Kotchman makes a diving stop and he dishes to Lowe who gets Utley out at first. Meanwhile, I'm trying to find a good WM stream. Taker's streak is one of my favorite WWE stories. Howard grounds out. 4-0 Braves after 4.
Top of the Fifth Inning
2 straight strikes to Kelly Johnson. The 0-2 pitch is fouled off. Ground to Rollins at short and apparently I missed what happened to Johnson I was too fixed on WrestleMania. Chipper Jones launches one....Victorino trying to make a play misses it! It bounces off the ground and into the seats for a ground-rule double. Brian McCann is up and he gets down 0-2 real fast. McCann strikes out. Still 4-0 Atlanta.
Meanwhile at WrestleMania, Taker and Shawn Michaels are battling it out. Oh! Missed moonsault by Michaels and that was ugly!
Bottom of the Fifth Inning
Raul Ibanez gets real quick . And the off-season acquistion is yet to produce. Here's Shane Victorino. HOLY SHIT!!!! UNDERTAKER JUST FLIPPED OVER THE TOP ROPE AND TOOK OUT MICHAELS, THE REFEREE, AND A CAMERAMAN!! 2-2 to Victorino and he sends it foul. Victorino strikes out. Meanwhile, Undertaker is still down and he is commanding the ref to count Taker out! Feliz is up for the Phillies. REF'S AT 8!.......9!!!!! AND TAKER MAKES IT BACK IN! AND THE STREAK IS ALIVE FOR NOW! Full count to Feliz. And Pedro Feliz strikes out. And it is still 4-0.
MICHAELS TRIES FOR SWEETCHIN MUSIC BUT TAKER CATCHES HIM AND GIVES HIM A HUGE CHOKESLAM!!! BUT MICHAELS KICKS OUT! AND MICHAELS TRIES FOR THE SWEET CHIN MUSIC AGAIN AND HE NAILS IT! TAKER KICKS OUT, THOUGH!
Taker tries for the last ride....NO! MICHAELS TURNS IT INTO THE SUNSET FLIP BUT TAKER CATCHES HIM AND GETS THE LAST RIDE AFTER ALL! AND HBK KICKS OUT AFTER THAT!!! WOW! I thought that was it!
Top of the Sixth Inning
WTF?!? Since when does Taker use a flying elbow? Meanwhile, Anderson gets a basehit to first. Francoeur grounds out but Anderson advances to 2nd.
MICHAELS TRIED TO SKIN THE CAT BUT TAKER CAUGHT HIM AND GAVE HIM A TOMBSTONE! AND MICHAELS KICKED OUT AFTER THAT!!!!!! UNBELIEVEABLE!
And somehow Anderson got to 3rd. I'll be honest, I am focusing way more on WM than this Phillies game. Make that 1st and 3rd. Must have walked.
Undertaker goes for the Tombstone again but Michaels counters into a DDT!!!
Runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 out for the Braves.
OH!!! FLYING ELBOW BY HBK!! Full count and I felt that that last one should have been strike 3. And he does strike him out!
SWEET CHIN MUSIC!!!! TAKER KICKS OUT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!
MICHAELS GOES FOR THE MOONSAULT AND HE'S CAUGHT!!!! TOMBSTONE!!!! 3!!!! TAKER'S 17-0 AT WRESTLEMANIA!!!!!!!
Back to baseball full time. They are sure to follow this up with some stupid gimmick.
Bottom of the Sixth Inning
Greg Dobbs is up with one out.
"Charlie manages people." - Joe Morgan on Charlie Manuel
BRILLANT!!! Dobbs kills it but it's caught by Francoeur at right-center! Not enough. Rollins with a basehit up the middle! And that's their 2nd hit and 2nd base runner. No walks by Lowe thus far. 1-1 count to Werth. Now it's 2-2. Werth smacks one that's caught by Lowe and that's the end of the inning. Does the same score need repeating?
Top of the Seventh Inning
Ex-Giant Jack Taschner comes on in relief of Myers. 2-2 count to Kelly Johnson. Taschner gets Johnson to ground out. Escobar grounds to Utley who dishes to Howard for the ground out. Here's Chipper Jones at the plate with 2 out and nobody on. 2-1 count. Taschner gets it up to a full count. Struck him out. And Taschner looks impressive in his Phillies debut. Utley, Howard, and Ibanez are due up in the bottom of the seventh.
Bottom of the Seventh Inning
Utley launches one into centerfield and Schafer makes the catch. Here's Ryan Howard now. Nice stop by Escobar and that's 2 quick outs of Utley and Howard. Here's Ibanez now. He gets out and that's another quick inning.
Top of the Eighth Inning
Scott Eyre comes in for the Phils. He strikes his first batter out. Garret Anderson is at the plate for Atlanta. Ibanez brings in that pop up from Anderson. Commercial. Pitching change? I missed the reason but I'm almost positive the inning was not over. Once again, I was more so focused on WrestleMania (it's been a helluva lot more entertaining than this game, that's for sure). Durbin comes in and he strikes out Francoeur.
Bottom of the Eighth Inning
Let's see if the Phillies can get some sort of rally here. And John Cena is the new World Heavyweight Champion after FUing the Big Show, FUing Edge on the Big Show, and then pinning the Big Show. Seemed a bit anti-climatic for WrestleMania to me. Victorino gets out, I missed how (again, WM). 3-2 count and Feliz gets out. Another lackluster inning for the Phils offense. Still 4-0 Atlanta.
Top of the Ninth Inning
Brad Lidge comes in for the Phillies. I'm not sure why the Phils have him in in this game, but be that as it may.
"His success will buy him some time if he does blow a save." - Steve Phillips on Brad Lidge
Um, Steve, if it happens in Philadelphia, Brad Lidge will probably be one of the first people ever to be given a standing ovation for doing so. Schafer strikes out. Greg Norton is pinch hitting for Lowe. And he strikes out. Bottom of the ninth coming up, 4-0 Atlanta Braves.
Bottom of the Ninth Inning
Bruntlett comes in to pinch hit for Brad Lidge. Bruntlett drives one down the left field line for a lead off double! Here's Jimmy Rollins. 1-1 and the fans don't like that latest call; thought it was too much on the inside. Called strike 2. 1-2 to J-Roll. Rollins pops one deep to Francoeur. 1 down but that allowed Bruntlett to advance to 3rd. Strike 1 to Werth. 1-1 now. Base hit for Jayson Werth and Bruntless scores from 3rd! 4-1 Atlanta but Utley is up! Werth only got to 1st on the hit. 1st pitch is high to Chase Utley. He is 0 for 3 on the day. Count's now at 2-0. 3-0!!! That one was way outside. Strike called on the outside corner. 3-1 now. WALKED!! And Ryan Howard, the tying run, is at the plate! Ball 1. Howard chases one and boy, he was swinging for the fences on that one. 1-1. 2-1 with Ibanez on deck. Howard waves at a slider and it's 2-2. Just a tad bit low and if this were in Atlanta, the ump would be read the riot act. Full count now. AND HE GETS HIM WITH A FASTBALL DOWN THE MIDDLE! 2 down and on comes Ibanez. 1-1 to Ibanez. 2-1 now. Make that 3-1. And Ibanez chases one to make it a full count with the game on the line. Tying run at the plate. 2 on and 2 out. STRUCK HIM OUT AND THE BRAVES WIN! 4-1 Atlanta.
Well, no need to panic. The Phils lost their opener last year and look what happened. Once Lowe left in the ninth, the Phils really looked like they got some mojo back. Thanks for joining me. I'll be watching the end of WrestleMania 25.
I'll have the hanging of the banner once it gets posted on YouTube. Hopefully later tonight or tomorrow.