I’m coming to you live from inside and outside Angels Stadium tonight, with a Live Brog of ALDS Game 1 between the Red Sox and the Angels (we’ll just leave off the whole ridiculous L.A. thing, if you don’t mind).
(The fateful night St. Peters screwed me out of that dratted six-team parlay)
I’m hoping to take some interesting pics from outside the stadium and inside the Anaheim Hooter Girls breakroom the ballpark during the game. The in-game stuff (photos, commentary) can be problematic depending on cell reception, but SbB Managing Editor Jason Kaifesh who is pissed about losing a night off will be cheerfully overseeing the entire operation and have some snappy commentary and photo/video fun regardless. And you’re welcome to join in on the post thread anytime.
Of course, I wouldn’t be at the game without My Boy Barry, who is (by far) the biggest ticket broker when it comes to affordable Angels and Dodgers playoff tickets. Hit his website or call 888-820 8499 and get your SbB discount (use code SbB 010).
So I’m all set to
fumble hand the baton to the honorable Mr. Kaifesh, and get this show on the road. Start refreshing just before the game starts at 10p ET.
So, we’re still about 30-40 minutes before first pitch (more time to enjoy those ads for that new TNT show starring Timothy Hutton!). But Brooks has this pre-game report from the most important locale for any true sports fan - the local drinking establishment:
Hung out at a sports bar before the game. Across the street from stadium.Surrounded by sweat-stained dockers and bad salt n’ pepper combovers.
So obviously the whole bar is Angels fans and what do they all do for the two Dodger home runs?
Cheer!!! Pathetic. Can you imagine Yankee fans cheering for the Mets? Very sad.
Gee, we wouldn’t know, since neither New York club made the playoffs.
So, how ’bout them Cubbies? I’m surprised it took so long to turn a 2-0 lead into a 4-0 deficit. (James Loney is not a welcome man on the North Side at the moment). Now it’s 7-2, and the Dodgers are three Greg Maddux-hurled outs away from taking a 1-0 NLDS lead.
Dick Stockton just politely informed us that the Friendly Confines gave the ex-Cub Maddux a friendly welcome when he game into the 9th. Not so surprising, since the Cubs fans have had little to cheer about for the past few innings.
And wouldn’t you know it - James Loney crushes the Cubs’ hopes again by catching the final out. Dodgers win 7-2, lead their NLDS 1-0.
Wow. It’s enough to drive Cubs fans to drink. Fortunately, these lovely gals appear to be able to help:
Unfortunately, they’re too busy quenching Angels fans’ thirsts. Guess you guys will have to stick to your Old Style.
We still have a few minutes to go before TBS resumes its MLB playoff triple-threat triple-header. Like you, I have bore witness to the myriad of “Frank TV” sports and Dish Network ads also featuring master impressionist Frank Caliendo. Yeah, they may be a bit too much, but what network promos for various comedies & crime drama airing during games aren’t annoying?
Besides, I’ll let Frank slide, just because he does such a hilarious Charles Barkley.
The music for the “Life with Blackberry” ad sounds an awful lot like Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Compare for yourself.
And Joy Division:
Weird, isn’t it?
Ok, enough TV banter. It’s game time!
John Lackey on the mound for the Halos.
Jacoby Ellsbury up first, starts with a double. Dustin Pedroia up second, out at first. David Ortiz up third, out at first. Kevin Youkilis up fourth, out at first. My, that was quick.
Jon Lester on the mound for the BoSox.
Chone Figgins up, but Chone’s soon gone -1 out. Garrett Anderson follows up by smacking a single. Mark Teixeira makes his postseason premiere, and it’s quite a debut, as he hits one to the gap in right-center. Vladimir Guerrero plunks a one-swing pop-out. 2 down, 2 men on. (Not to be confused with 2 Girls, 1 cup - don’t ask.) Twins refugee Torii Hunter up to bat, and goes for a short walk. Bases loaded,two outs - isn’t this exciting?
Howie Kendrick hopes to hit one for the Halos, and he does - right to third base for the easy out.
After 1, it’s Angels 0, Boston 0.
So, let’s see how Brooks’ seats turned out:
Mark Kotsay’s sister in front of us. Safe to assume the only Kotsay jerseys in the park tonight.
Too bad Kotsay’s wife Jamie wasn’t in attendance. Talk about a heavenly body.
J.D. Drew up, draws an out. Jason Bay puts on a Bay of Pigs show by striking out swinging. And Mike Lowell feels low for lining out.
Mike Napoli says arrivederci with a strikeout. Gary Matthews Jr. runs like a senior to first, gets thrown out. Erick Aybar does no better. 3 up & 3 down.
After 2, still no score.
Jed Lowrie gets plunked, takes his base. But Jed’s stay is short, as he gets thrown out at second on a Jason Varitek smack up the middle. Jacoby Ellsbury gets to first, but Varitek also thrown out at second. Pedroia’s 2nd at-bat leads to a walk. 2 out, 2 men on for Big Papi. Riveting.
But the rivetness isn’t to last, as Papi pops up & out.
Besides the absence of Jamie Kotsay, how does the Angel Stadium crowd look, Brooks?
Lotsa sweaty drunks here, so it’s a surprise that there aren’t nearly as many Red Sox fans as normal. 90 percent Angels fans at least.
Maybe they’re staying away from SoCal after all the hurtful things Lisa Guerrero said about Pats fans. But there has to be some scintillaing scenery in Anaheim, doesn’t there?
Luckily, there is:
Nice. Very nice.
Speaking of top-heavy, the BOTTOM 3rd beings with the top of the Angels’ order. Figgins strikes out - go figure. Anderson starts the game 2-for-2 with another single. Teixiera out on a called check-swing - unlike Ortiz in the inning before. Guerrero (Vladimir, not Lisa) should be out at first - had Jed Lowrie not bumbled with the baseball.
And once again, it’s 2 outs and 2 on for the Angels. Now it’s up to Torii to take it to the yard - but a bloop landing in front of Jason Bay will do. Anderson heads home. Angels 1-0. However, Howie Kendrick can’t bring any other Angels in.
After 3, it’s Angels 1, Red Sox 0. Bet Lowrie feels lousy at the moment.
So, here I am, having to endure a TBS telecast (which, to be fair, has been fine so far), while Brooks gets to check out lovely sights like the ladies above in person. How do I know he’s not sitting at home? Here’s the proof.
Otherwise, that’s quite a photoshop job.
OK, back to the action.
Youkilis starts things off with a hit. J.D. Drew stops things with a flyout to Anderson. Jason Bay doesn’t flyout - he strikes out. And Mike Lowell repeats Bay’s at-bat.
Ok, folks - time for a insta-poll!
Meanwhile, Brooks updates us on his ballpark observations:
Only thing whiter than the Red Sox lineup? The crowd at Angels Stadium.
Oh, no he didn’t! Brooks also chimes in on Ortiz’ earlier at bat:
A delayed boo from the crowd on Ortiz’s check swings because of replays being shown at club level. Replays tho weren’t on many video screens for stadium.
Oh, so only the rich snobs in the luxury boxes get to partake in replays, while your average seat-sitting spectator gets snubbed? Damn economy.
Mike Napoli says arrivederci once again. Gary Matthews Jr. does the same. And Erick Aybar becomes the Angels’ third straight groundout. Lester seems to have regained control.
After 4, our score remains Angels 1, Red Sox 0.
Chip Caray points out that if the Angels somehow bow out of the playoffs early, the Aybar family can always pin its postseason hopes on Erick’s brother Willy, who plays for the Rays. Good for them!
Matthews gets a little revenge for his previous inning popout by snaring Jed Lowrie’s fly. And Gary grabs another one, snatching Vartiek’s high fly. But Ellsbury gets on base once again with a daring bunt - and gets another with a daring steal. But it’s all for naught, as Pedroia’s follow-up fly is snagged by - you guessed it, Gary Matthews Jr.
During a brief mid-inning stroll, Brooks comes across a display celebrating the Angels’ 2002 World Series triumph:
And who’s that #23 jumping for joy?
Why, it’s Scott Spiezio! We’ll drink to that - then vomit in a friend’s apartment afterwards.
Figgins’ shot grabbed by Lowire. Anderson’s hitting streak ends with a throwout to first. But Teixeira takes up the slack by smacking a single to left field. Then Vlad gets into the act by smacking his own hit. But Torii’s smack it sent right back to Lester, who tosses Hunter out at first.
After 5, we remain Angels 1, Red Sox 0.
If you’re done admiring the snapshots of Scott above, Brooks informs us that he indeed spied Spiezio in the building:
So I’m loitering on the concourse and take that funny pic of Spiezio in the World Series mural. 5 minutes later I see this platinum blonde woman at the concession stand.
As she’s waiting for her food, who walks up to her - but Spiezio! Looking very red and bloated. Which must be why he eschewed the condiments with his giant pretzel.
And some photographic proof (as seen through beer goggles, I guess):
What are the odds? I recommend not using the restroom after him.
Big Papi pops out yet again. Youkilis takes a walk. J.D. Drew also takes a walk - back to the dugout after a strikeout. Jason Bay also takes a strike - all the way to the left field bleachers with a 2-run homer. The Beantown boys take the lead - Red Sox 2, Angels 1.
Mike Lowell manages a quick out, but the damage has already been done.
Wow, watching an exciting inning like that gives me an appetite. Maybe this Angel Stadium chef can help us out - as soon as he’s done with his surgery:
Guess I’ll settle for a hot dog. Um, on second thought, I’m not really hungry.
Kendrick takes a quick seat. Napoli says arrivederci for the terzo time. Matthews triesbut just can’t outrun the first base toss.
After 6, our score is Boston 2, Anaheim* 1.
(*As Brooks earlier pointed out, screw the ‘L.A.’ thing. What do you think? Vote in our poll above!)
Lowrie sits after disagreeing with a strikeout. Varitek at least makes contact, but still groundsout. But Ellsbury smacks one, and Matthews, who caught those three straight fly balls, misjudges Jacoby’s - and Ells makes it all the way to third. Pedroia takes a stroll, and that will be it for John Lackey.
Darren Oliver comes in, and just like that, send Ortiz back to the bench - along with Ellsbury & Pedroia.
Lester still says on the mound for the BoSox. And Aybar, Figgins & Anderson go down 1,2,3.
After 7, score remains Red Sox 2, Angels 1.
Oliver takes down Youkilis & Drew before Mike Scioscia takes him out. Scott Shields in, and immediately gives up a double to sudden batting phenom Jason Bay. But luckily Mike Lowell grounds out to first before more damage can be done.
Lester’s night is done, Justin Masterson comes in to hold the BoSox’s lead. He gets help from Ellsbury, who makes a great grab on Teixeira’s hit to right. But Justin gets no help from Vlad, who gets on base with a shot to left. However, Vlad returns the favor by trying to make it to third on Torii Hunter’s bloop to right, but Youkilis easily throws him out. And Kendrick once again can’t make it happen.
After all that, the score stays Boston 2, Anaheim 1.
Nice to see that Carl Yastrzemski made it out to the ballpark tonight:
Well, at least he made it to the beer vendor.
Lowrie starts things off with another base hit. Varitek tagged out on a slow bunt, but Lowrie advances to second.
..um, sorry folks. We’ve been hit with a slew of technical difficulties. Thus the delay in updates.
As for the rest of the game - Red Sox score a couple more times, Angels do not. Your final: Boston 4, Los Angeles of Anaheim, CA, USA 1. Sox leads series 1-0.
So with the Dodgers’ earlier defeat of the Cubs, the SoCal squads went 1-1 today. The White Sox hope to strike a similar record for the Windy City when they face the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday.
Thanks for checking the live blog. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. We know you Sawx fans will.