The Left Field Line

NL Wild Card Game Live Blog

4:10- After some computer issues, we’re ready to go! After last year, I couldn’t be more excited.

4:14- Matt Holliday walks, but otherwise, the Cardinals prove useless in the top of the first. OTOH, people actually went to Turner Field! Good for them.

4:16- I love this “boring” credit card commercial. “Who’s boring now?” Dude, you looked at a picture, took a cooking class, and went to a concert. Still you, guy.

4:17- OTOH, whotta bitch to just be all like, “Boring guy, you’e just boring. Boring. Boring.” Humans don’t talk like that. She shoulda had food in her mouth while she said it.

4:19- Watching the Braves on TBS feels like being in the enemy camp. Because Tyler Perry and Big Bang Theory reruns are my mortal enemies.

4:32- Chipper Jones hit .287 this year. At seventy-eleven years old.

4:34- It took me like, half an hour to figure out how to upload the picture at the top, because I am a dumb. But I regret nothing. LOOK HOW DOUCHEY LOSHE LOOKS! LOOK INTO THE SPRAWLING MAW OF THE FINAL DOUCHE!

4:39- The entire Braves line-up looks like they spend the off season fighting Wolverine in a Canadien forrest. 

4:41- The ump tenderly kisses Ross on the forehead, says, “Don’t worry, I’ll never let a strike hurt you.” Bring back the union refs!

4:42- The tomahawk chop roughly translates to: “We can’t even wipe our asses without the ump’s help.”

4:43- Although some scholars contend that it’s closer to: “This is INCREDIBLY racist, but fuck it, you guys let Sherman burn our city to the fucking ground.”

4:45- Man, the things I could do with 4 stikes. The novels I could write. The diseases I could cure.

4:46- But alas, I am but one man, with only three strikes. Unloved by the inbred gods we call “umpires”.

4:47- Weird that it took me 35 minutes before I did my first inbred joke about a game played in Atlanta.

4:49- All of these stories about Garcia and Cox- how they consult on roster moves, how Garcia essentially left all of Cox’ stuff up in his office- are kind of fucked up. If you’ve got a shadow manager like that- and if he’s damn near the face of the franchise- it wouldn’t take much clubhouse discord to have a real crisis of authority on your hands.

4:53- Jesus, Jimmy Fallon. What life choices led you to this point?

5:07- Apparently, the Braves feel bad about the phantom strike on Ross, and they botch a double play. Runners at first and third, no outs, and Allen Me, the clutchiest Cardinal hitter, is up.

5:08- Fuck you, clutch is totally a thing when it comes to Allen Me. Numbers are bullshit. Just ask Republicans about today’s job report.

5:09- Allen Me bounces one off the wall. Beltran scores, and the game is 2-1. No outs, runners on second and third.

5:12- Alright, so, that happened. 3-2 Cardinals, off of some situational hitting from the heart of the order.

5:20- Jesus, are we really doing the chop for a successful bunt? YOU’RE CHEAPENING THE FUNDAMENTALLY RACIST AND DOUCHEY SIGNATURE OF YOU FRANCHISE!

5:21- Wow. There’s a lot of “WTF” that just happened. Let’s break this down.

5:22- First, Simmons, the #8 hitter, bunts with runners on first and third. WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT? “Oh, hey, let’s set up the pitcher for a two out at bat. THEY’LL NEVER SEE IT COMING.”

5:23- So, Simmons gets the bunt down because GRINDERBALL, Loshe scoops it up, throws to first…and it bounces off of Simmons’ helmet. Don’t worry: he’s okay. Or at least, no dumber than he was when he decided to bunt with the pitcher behind him.

5:24- So, the ball  goes off his noggin and it looks like all hell is breaking lose! EVERY RUNNER IS SCORING! FANS ARE BEING WAVED ONTO THE FIELD TO SCORE FOR THEMSELVES! There’s more scoring than at your mom’s house on Easter Sunday!

5:25- Except that the umpires notice- UN MOMENTO!- that Simmons was in fair territory when he went all Alex Morgan on the baseball. THAT’S RUNNER INTERFERENCE! CANCEL CHRISTMAS!

5:27- So, Simmons is OUT! The runners are returned to their bags! The score doesn’t change! It’s like the end of a Doctor Who episode- EVERYTHING’S BACK HOW IT STARTED, EXCEPT THE DALEKS ARE DEAD.

5:28- And then, the Cardinals strike out the pitcher, as one does. Bottom line: 3-2 Cardinals, and Simmons is a Dalek. EXTERMINATE.

5:37- BTW, It needs to be said- If Chris Carpenter had been on the mound for Simmons’ bunt, he would have been AIMING at Simmons’ head. Just ‘cause.

5:44- Matt Holliday crushes an inside pitch. 4-2 Cardinals. Colby dares to hope once more.

5:53- Now, they’re chopping as Matheney goes to the bullpen. Listen, I’d understand if they’d actually chased Loshe. But he just got an out, and is holding on to a 4-2 lead. Maybe save the chop for when it’s actually in response to a thing?

5:54- Then again, I suppose that would depend on the people in the stadium knowing anything about the Braves BESIDES the stupid chop.

5:56- Lance Lynn- usually a starter- comes in in relief. IT’S LIKE TONY LARUSSA NEVER LEFT!

6:03- Jesus, Scarlet O’Hara could play better defense than the Braves are tonight.

6:04- Medlen leaves the game, and the Braves fans give him a standing O. At least it’s not a chop, but…really? You’re down 4-2, and about half of that is errors from the deps behind Medlen, but Holliday’s Homer and Craig’s double were all Medlen. Not saying he’s been the problem here, but he’s not been standing O-level good, either.

6:06- JIMMY CARTER! TED TURNER! ALL THE STARS IN ATLANTA’S SKY HAVE COME OUT TONIGHT TO WAIT FOR DEATH’S SWEET EMBRACE!

6:09- Jesus, did Uggla drool all over the ball or something?

6:18- The Turner Field is playing “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. FACT CHECK: over 400,000 people live in Atlanta.

 6:20- Edward Mujica looks like the contestant on Top Chef who specializes in fusion cuisine, but doesn’t want to be known as the guy who cooks Mexican food.

6:22- In this seventh inning, TBS’ broadcast crew is talking about bridges more than a Congressional infrastructure inquiry.

6:24- THIS is actually an appropriate time for the chop. Not because of Costanza’s hit, but because all Native Americans are watching their local news right now.

6:25- Did I just indicate that it’s okay to be racist so long as no one’s looking?

6:27- CORRECTION: It was CoNstanza that hit, not Jason Alexander’s character from Seinfeld. My apologies, I always get those two confused.

6:32- Let Chipper Jones’ failure be a lesson to you: old people can’t get shit done. It’s a hip hop world, keep up or get out tha way.

6:40- I also love this Arby’s commercial with the retired detective. What a good use of his time. I SEE HOW HE MADE DETECTIVE. Also, the blurring out thing ain’t fooling anyone. We all know he’s talking about Wendy’s.

6:42- Mitchell Boggs looks like one of the thugs working for a super villain who woulda fought Swamp Thing in the ’80s.

6:46- The Cardinals’ “bridge” relievers are looking about like a Minnesota expressway right now.

6:47- Yup. Way too soon. But we went there together, and that’s important.

6:51- Oh, you assholes.

6:53- Kozma and Holliday got their wires crossed, and let a ball drop in shallow left field (but not THAT shallow). And an ump called…the infield fly rule. That’s pretty well bullshit.

6:54- Atlanta fans are throwing shit- a lot of shit- on to the field. The TBS crew is getting all paternalistic on them, and yeah, I grok that, but seriously, Sam Holbrooke’s call was horseshit. I couldn’t blame them for even thinking Holbrooke is on the take.

6:55- Well, we’ve got ourselves an #umpshow, folks.

6:56- Question for the room: does this get us closer to instant replay? This play actually wouldn’t be reviewable (At least not yet), but a major umpire fuck up in the MLB’s newest, most favorite-est toy? This seems like a significant embarrassment, which usually leads directly to change (See: NFL, Referee lockout).

6:57- If it does change things, I’m sure glad my Redbirds could be a part of it!

6:58- The players have been sent to the dugouts because of the debris. The umpires are conferring in the middle of the field, but it looks more like they’re just staying away from the fans rather than actually talking about changing their minds.

7:00- Tom Verducci is explaining a couple of the finer points of the infield fly rule and the exact nature of the Braves’ dispute. The Braves are right, but speaking as an attorney, OH GOD SHUT UP I JUST SPENT THE ENTIRE DAMN WEEK DOING THIS SHIT.

7:01- Despite all the chaos, Lance Berkman is still sauntering around the dugout with a shit-eating smirk on his face. Because Honey Puma don’t give a shit.

7:03- The TBS crew is still chastising Braves fans. Again, it’d be better if they were more mature, but I really completely understand the frustration. Maybe we can try to fix how the game is called before we tell the fans how to be fans?

7:04- Fredi Gonzalez has officially put the game under “protest”, which I’ve never even heard of. The ump looks up at the official scorer and performs the Expecto Patronus spell or something, who the hell knows.

7:07- “Folks in Atlanta haven’t been this angry at boys in blue since Sherman  burned the city for its insolence.” -Friend of the Blog Jeremy.

7:11- After 18 minutes of delay, we’re back to- nope, another TO, as Braves fans have thrown another half-empty beer can.

7:13- It’d be pretty hilarious if, after all that, Jason Motte walks the bases loaded anyway.

7:14- So, is the story that Kozma heard the ump’s late call on the infield fly thing, and that’s why he bugged off?

7:15- Huh. Turns out I’m not laughing, after all.

7:16- Jesus, Motte, buddy, whattup here?

7:17- Motte K’s Boune, ensuring that Atlanta will burn again tonight.

7:19-  Jeremy:  So if the Cards lose, does Jason Motte return to his job of touring with Bon Iver?

7:25- At the same time: The Braves DID end up with the bases loaded, with their leadoff  man at the plate. Granted, with one less out than before, but still- at some point, the Braves have to take responsibility for not delivering. Besides, they were down three before the whole mishegoss started…

7:34- Breathe, Colby, breathe…

7:35- The first base ump gave Chipper a nice retirement present, but I prefer the gold watch- classic, understated, a real conversation piece.

7:36- Aaaaaaaaaand EXHALE.

7:37- Holy shit, this single game shows how fundamentally and completely flawed this one-game wild card thing is.

7:53- Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha.

7:54- Okay Cardinals fans- any landing you can walk away from, right?