& In which Yr’s Truly tries his hand at “live blogging” (does that mean opposed to “dead blogging?) baseball’s All Star Game …
So everybody else is blogging from God knows where, why not an attempt from the high desert of the Southwest?
Why not? Ask I.
I missed the first three innings, in which nothing, except somebody named Trout got a single for the Americans and Robbie Cano got hit by a pitch, was replaced by pinch runner, and neither scored, and the first nine batters for the Nationals went down in order. Then I tuned in.
Cabrera got a double in the fourth, and Tim McCarver (hasn’t he retired yet?) told us during the replay that Cabrera’s “eyes were right on the ball” when he swung. No kidding, Tim? Where else would he have had his eyes, on some blonde in the third row? The cotton candy guy?
Then Davis got a single, moving Cabrera to third. He tagged and scored on Bautista’s outfield fly. Americans 1-0. Joe Buck said Jim Leyland is “managing this game to win.” Well, duh.
Bottom of the fourth: Beltran got a hit. Nobody else did. Still Americans 1, Nationals zip.
Fifth opens for Americans with Jones’s double, and Mauer’s single off the glove of Tulowitzki; Jones to third. Nobody out.
J.J. Hardy at bat. Grounder to Phillips at 2nd, flips to Tulo for force out, Hardy safe at first, Jones scores, Americans 2-0.
Phillips makes classy one-handed pivot on double-play flip from Tulo, getting Hardy at 2nd and Trout at 1st. Go to bottom of the 5th, still 2-0.
Cargo grounds to Pedroia. 1 out.
Molina grounds to Hardy at short. 2 out. McCarver shows his ability to count pitchers and tell us the number. He’s full of… info.
Tulowitzki pops out to Pedroia. 2-0 Americans.
Top of 6th. Posey catching for Nationals. Fernandez pitching. Pedroia at the plate.
Fernandez gets Pedroia on punchout. 1 out.
Cabrera pops to Goldschmidt at first. 2 down.
Davis swings, strikes out. 2-0 Americans, bottom of the 6th.
The Nats need some bats! Tim McCarver, with nothing else to do, would give you some learned, incomprehensible, unimportant b.s. about the activity in an anthill in February, even if you weren’t listening. Aren’t you about to retire, Tim?
Seeing faces in the crowd: Seinfeld, Bloomberg, Guliani, Sadie Hawkins, Li’l Abner, Al Capp.
Cuddyer at the plate. Balfour on the mound. Four pitches, four balls, Cuddyer on 1st, coaches watching Balfour closely. You’d better throw a strike soon, dude.
Strike one to Harper. Sigh of relief for chances of relief pitcher. Harper pops to Hardy at short. 1 out.
Carpenter at the plate. Flies to Jones in center. 2 out.
McCutchen, dreadlocked, steps in. Looking to hit one and tie it up. He’s got 10 homers this year.
Misses a hanging slider. 2-2. Fans. The bat, that is. Threat ends. 3 outs. Still 2-0 Americans.
Top of 7th.
Two more innings and we’ll see Mariano Rivera, in his final season, on the mound for Americans. When that happens, nite-nite Nats.
Chapman pitching, Cruz standing in. Walks.
Encarnacion batting. Chapman wild, coaches restless.
Grounder to Segura, flips to Carpenter, over to first for DP. 2 out. Bases empty. Joe Buck reminds us that so far the Nats have had one, count ’em, one, hit. Never been a one-hitter in an All -Star game.
Adam Jones strikes out.
Seventh inning stretch. In which we now hear from Mark Anthony, singing God Bless America. I like All Star games because we usually don’t have to be embarrassed by somebody trying to sing God Bless America. They usually get a pro for this one. Like tonight. And he didn’t even try to hit the high note at the end. Thanks, Mark.
Bottom of the 7th. Goldschmidt up — the good news: he’s the RBI leader. The bad news: There’s nobody on base to drive in. Holland pitching.
Manny Machado at third makes stunning play on Goldschmidt’s high-hopper over the bag, guns him down with cannon shot to Fielder at first. 1 out.
Wright gets single to left. 2 hits for Nats, one on, tying run at the plate. Holland goes to the showers. Leyland, I guess, really is managing to win this one. On the other hand, leftie Brown’s at the plate. New pitcher Brett Cecil may be better suited to handle him from the southpaw side.
Brown down on three pitches, swings at 3rd strike. 2 outs. Leyland back to the mound, calls for right hander Delabar to face Posey. Lotta thinking going on in Leyland’s head.
C’mon Buster, Posey one, willya? Posey, poop. Strikes out. End of the 7th, still 2-0. If the Nats win this one, we’ll remember it.
Top of the 8th. Currently looking like this year’s World Series will begin in the American League park.
Craig Kimbrel pitching for Nationals.
Perez hits first pitch — down 1st base line for a single.
We’re being told Rivera may come in during bottom of the 8th — they may not need a closer in the bottom of the 9th, and the New York crowd’s gonna want to honor Rivera. So maybe he comes in this inning.
Peralta gets second single on 2-2 pitch. 2 on, none out.
Hunter at the plate. Kimbrel, bending over, right arm hanging out like an albatross, peers in for catcher’s sign.
Hunter grounds into 6-3 DP. 2 out, Perez on 3rd.
Kipnis, with .397 avg, steps in. Neil Diamond’s face in the crowd, gonna sing.
Kipnis hits RBI double. 3-0 Americans. Nite-nite Nats. It’ll be the first time a crowd ever was walking out on Neil Diamond.
Wild pitch to Machado, Kipnis goes to third.
Machado strikes out. 3-zip Americans, bottom of the 8th, Neil Diamond on the mound. Sweeeeeeet Caroline (has to do with support of city of Boston.) Oh oh oh…
Top of 9th.
Rivera walking in to his last All-Star appearance, fans going craaaaaaaaaazy!!!!!! (Everybody’s hoping Segura, Cuddyer and Gomez don’t beat him up in bottom of 8th.) Adoration. All players, coaches, managers, fans standing, clapping. Rivera, hat off, standing on mound for warmup,choking up. Another baseball Moment, this time in Queens. Jeez, I hope he can throw a strike.
Ye of little faith. 1st pitch a strike to Segura. Ball, 1-1. Foul. 1-2. Ground to Kipnis at 2nd. 1 out.
Allen Craig up. Kubek tells us something unimportant. Rivera blows strike two past Craig. 1-2. Rivera just misses 2-2. Line drive to left. Snagged. 2 out.
Rivera, even when he misses, doesn’t miss by far. 1-1 to Gomez.
High strike. Two. Now 2-2. Grounder to short, 16 pitches, 3 outs.
Top of 9th.
Grilli pitches to Fielder.
Fielder dumps one to wall in right. Prince, running like an out-of-control bowling ball, motors in his Detroit uniform all the way to third. No out.
Cruz at the plate. Grounds to 2nd, but “winded” Prince stays on 3rd. Winded indeed. They probably need a home run to get Fielder in from third?
Encarnacion grounds to Segura. 2 out.
Alex Gorden stands in on left side. 1-2. The panting Prince still stands on third base. 2-2. McCutcheon hauls in rainbow near centerfield fence. 3 outs.
Bottom of the 9th.
It’s up to Carpenter, McCutchen and Goldschmidt for the Nats to bring in some runs, and righty Joe Nathan to shut ’em down. Any bets, anybody?
Carpenter. Strike 1. Strike 2. Ball 1. Ball 2. (McCarver: more inconsequential stuff. Question: If Tim McCarver yammered on in a forest, would anybody hear him? Would anybody care?). Strike 3. 1 out.
McCutchen. Strike 1. Strike 2. Ball 1. Ball 2. Strike 3. 2 outs.
Goldschmidt. First pitch double to right field wall.
Alvarez digs in on left side.
Strike 1. Ball 1. Ball 2. Strike 2. Foul ball. (McCarver is strangely silent. Maybe he’s retired.) Ball 3. Pops up, Kipnis gloves it. Americans WIN, 3-0.
MVP: Probably goes to Rivera, if not for this game, for a career. Yep. Selig gives it to “the greatest relief pitcher of all time.”
First time two shutout All-Star games in a row. Nats won it 8-0 in 2012. Overall record, Nats still ahead: 43-39-2.
& McCarver’s at the end of his last All-Star Game and is all choked up. Happily, I’m outta here.
P.S. Apologies to “Tony Kubek, whose name I put in place of Tim McCarver during this stunning blogging performance. I’ve been trying to forget McCarver for many years now, and I guess I succeeded…just a little bit early. Nite-nite and buh-bye, Timmy. I’m gonna miss Rivera, tho.