(Let's get the tarp off the infield and get right to the questionnaire) ...
WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT OF TONIGHT'S GAME? WAS IT THE 1-HR., 20-MIN RAIN DELAY? WAS IT THE INSTANT-REPLAY/VIDEO REVIEW HOMER BY A-ROID?
Nah ... the Phils lost Game 3 way back on July 31. At the trade deadline ... when they didn't pull the trigger as some of us had suggested.
ARE YOU SAYING ... ?
Exactly ... and we've been over this a dozen times. GM Biology Major shoulda dealt Colbert Hamels for Harry Leroy Halladay. "Hamels for Halladay, straight up," we said.
WOULD THE BLUE JAYS HAVE MADE THAT SWAP?
Back on July 31? In a heartbeat ... Now? No ...
Ever since that win at the D-Backs three days before the trade deadline, Not King Cole is 4-8 w/ an ERA hovering around 5.00. As we've stated previously, that's borderline Ruffinish/Carmanesque -- or as Big Stein said to Costanza after George attached the World Series trophy to the rear bumper of his car and dragged it through the Yankee Stadium parking lot, "This is unnnn-axx-sept-uhhhh-bulll!" (that was before Mr. Wilhelm burst in and told Big Stein, "I'm tired of all your macho head games!"). >>>> The thing is, Hamels -- from what he's shown outside of Oct. '08 -- is that he's capable of probably many more 10-11 seasons, which, in the final analysis, doesn't stack up against the four or five 15-7 seasons that Roy Halladay might have remaining in his tank.
THAT SEEMS HIGHLY JUDGMENTAL, BASED SOLELY ON A ROCKY PAST 3 MOS. AFTER ALL, A 3-0 LEAD VS. THE BRONX BOMBERS IS NEVER SAFE.
It is for Roy Halladay -- 'cuz Roy Halladay makes big-boy pitches with MLB command. The unraveling tonight for Not King Cole was a walk to Teixeira preceding A-Roid's homer, not to mention the sorry pitches he threw to Swisher, Pettitte and Damon in the 5th. Let's face it: Colbert Hamels still hasn't earned our trust enough to be ranked with our Top 3 Phillie lefties of the past 33 yrs. (Carlton, Rawley, Mulholland) and he's not ready to replace Nino Espinosa as the #35 on the All-Time Phillies Roster in our hearts and in our minds.
THAT'S UNDERSTOOD -- BUT, WHAT REMAINS UNEXPLAINED IS WHY ON HAMELS' BaseballReference.com PAGE, HIS FULL NAME OF "COLBERT MICHAEL HAMELS" HAS BEEN SWITCHED TO "COLE MICHAEL HAMELS"? WHY IS THAT ... WHEN ROY HALLADAY REMAINS "HARRY LEROY HALLADAY"?
Maybe that's a question better suited for LegalZoom.com. But, if it matters, Toby Harrah is still "Colbert Dale Harrah" on his BaseballReference.com page.
TAKING THESE FACTORS INTO CONSIDERATION, AT WHAT POINT DID YOU LOSE INTEREST AND STOP WATCHING?
Not long after Colbert left that pitch up for Damon to whack to the RCF gap to make it 5-3 ... which was only a few minutes after Jack Buck's overrated kid described to America the RBI dunker which Andy Pettitte dumped into shallow CF thusly: "Pettitte hits one in the air to left ..."
It just didn't seem as though Utley and Howard were going to engineer a comeback, given the manner in which Pettitte had them all tied up and waving at pitches.
It seemed like a good time to put this one in the rear-view mirror and to re-tool for a Sunday nite showdown.
DIDN'T THE FANS SEEM A LITTLE SUBDUED AND FLAT, TOO?
Sure did -- except for that chant in the early innings which many of us couldn't decipher (it wasn't as distinct as "Beat L.A.!").
For Werth's second AB (after homering in the previous AB), there was polite hand-clapping and tepid towel-waving when they shoulda been tearing the roof off the place.
Also, there's enough of an influx of Jankee fans probably -- at least more than the 17 Tampa fans last year scattered throughout The Cit.
NONE OF THIS NON-ROWDINESS WAS THE BACKLASH OF WHAT HAPPENED TO DAVID SALE THREE MONTHS AGO, WAS IT?
You mean the guy who was beaten to death ("allegedly") by those three losers (obviously) in the parking lot after some beer was spilled by somebody on somebody else inside McFadden's?
"Shhhhhhhh!" ... that was a FOX Saturday game ... "shhhhhh!"
IF YOU STOPPED WATCHING WHEN YOU SAID YOU DID, THEN YOU MISSED WERTH'S SECOND HOMER. WHAT KIND OF A FAN ARE YOU?
Hey ... don't sweat it. I also missed his first one when I was out on the front porch wolfin' down a Pall Mall. Sometimes in life, smoke breaks happen ...
THOSE HOMERS SEEM A LITTLE EMPTY NOW, DON'T THEY? ... KINDA LIKE THE ONES DYKSTRA HIT IN THE PHILLY RAIN DURING GAME 4 IN '93.
Right ... and Carlos Ruiz's solo shot in the 9th was cheap window-dressing.
HOW NERVOUS SHOULD WE BE THAT IT'S UP TO JOE BLANTON TO KEEP THIS SERIES FROM GOIN' 3-TO-1 THE WRONG WAY?
That's not easy to quantify. What people forget is that Joe tied for the staff lead in wins (12), but he has as many victories as a starter in this postseason (0) as do the two guys he shared the wins leadership with (Happ and Moyer). Then, there's the simple fact that only ONCE in Phillie postseason history has the team ever rallied from a 2-games-to-1 deficit -- and that was back in '93 when Danny Jackson pitched lights out in Game 4 in the A-T-L.
DOES JOE BLANTON HAVE A CHAPTER 2 VERSION OF THE GEM HE AUTHORED IN GAME 4 LAST YEAR VS. THE RAYS?
Likely not ... but, here's the kicker: The last time that the Yankees played in the World Series (2003), lest we forget, they were beaten in Game 1 at The Stadium by the Fish before Pettitte and Clemens (neither of whom ever juiced, unless I've mis-remembered) completely shut down Florida in Games 2 and 3. Everybody was ready to hand that funky trophy with the 30 mini-flags on it to NYY, but then a funny thing happened to the Jankees in Game 4 -- (let's say it together) -- "Carl Pavano."
WHAT AN INTERESTING PARALLEL.
Isn't it, though? Pavano '03 was much like Hamels/Blanton '09 -- only Carl shoved the bats up the Yanks asses for 8 innings 'til Ugueth Urbina blew the win by allowing Ruben Sierra's, game-tying, 2-run triple w/ 2 outs in the 9th. FYI: Alex Gonzalez won that game with a walk-off homer in the 12th (that's the Venezuelan-born Alex Gonzalez, not the Miami-born Alex Gonzalez who kicked that routine grounder during the Bartman series ... the same Miami-born Alex Gonzalez whose final big-league days were the 20 games he played for the Phils in '06 ... probably The Wrong Alex Gonzalez, when ya get right down to it).
Either way, Gonzalez's homer tied the series, 2-2 ... the Fish won the next one at home ... and then Beckett rammed it up the Pinstripers asses in Game 6 in the Bronx.
COULDN'T WE ARGUE THAT THE YANKEES' '03 LINEUP WAS INFERIOR TO THE '09 LINEUP, GIVEN THAT KARIM GARCIA AND NICK JOHNSON WERE PINSTRIPERS THEN?
It's all relative. The '03 lineup had Bernie Williams and a heavily-HGH'ing Giambino as opposed to the current version of .255-hittin' Nick Swisher. And, now that ya mention it, aren't we all sick of, "Watch out, world! Nick Swisher's ready to bust out and hit .261 this year!"???
GRANTED ... BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE DIP IN SWISHER'S LOWER LIP?
That's The MLB for ya -- which is the shitty part about the Phillies' long run into October (and now, November). If this was Jankees n' Dodjerks, some of us would be watching 0.00 minutes of the sport which delivers the following message to America's children: Remember, kids ... if you're coaching the bases in Little League, high school, junior college, upper college, DO NOT wear a batting helmet -- because foul balls only kill minor league base coaches. And, if you do wear a batting helmet, make sure it has no ear flaps because foul-ball line drives in the major leagues only strike the coaches on the top of the head ... never in or around the ear (or what we call "the skull's Death Zone"). Also ... tobacco is a no-no -- except for Nick Swisher and Jayson Werth and the fistfuls they wedge into their lower lips.
ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT THE MLB MAKES IT UP AS IT GOES ALONG?
Always has, always will ... To twist the new slogan, "This is beyond hypocrisy, this is Beyond Baseball ..."