Friday, June 5, 2009

Liriano's Last Stand


I was considering watching Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy tonight, but I found out it's not actually about Hammerheads. It's actually about some kind of crazy Hammerhead/Human hybrid science experiment gone rogue. Think Armaggon from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (see above). Lame. How can I bitch about faulty science and shoddy research if the movie isn't about something real? That's the blessing and the curse of Sci-Fi; you can make up anything you want. The Hammerhead/Human thing could speak fluent Esperanto, shoot lasers out of it's eyes, and have a chainsaw for a left hand and it could just be explained away as "that was the result of the experiment that created the creature." I can't handle that. Plus I don't speak Esperanto and I hate sub-titles. So instead I'm going to watch Francisco Liriano try not to lose his job.

This is a huge game for Francisco. He's been a giant pile of dung lately, failing to get to the fifth in his last three starts. With Glen Perkins coming off the disabled list soon, and Anthony Swarzak pitching well enough to stay in the bigs (mirage that it may be), this might be Liriano's last chance to stay in the rotation. If he falls flat again, expect to see him either sent down to AAA once again or thrown to the bullpen.

Liriano will once again be taking on Felix the King, the third time these two enigmas have dueled this season. Felix beat the Twins 6-1 on opening day, and the Twins got him back with a 9-6 win on May 9th, chasing him after just four innings thanks in large part to back-to-back jacks by Mauer and Morneau.

Felix is having a lot more success this season, sporting an ERA of 3.41 and a WHIP of 1.28. The Twins are hot but honestly I don't really like their chances here. More important than the win though is Franky pitching well. Let's watch.

Oh, and I'm going with Sweet Tea Vodka and Lemonade tonight. Nostrovia!

9:09 - Hmm. Buscher DHing tonight. I was really hoping for some Delmon action. If I'm live blogging, there's nothing better than a little Delmon.

9:12 - Mauer is 10-16 lifetime against Felix. 10-16! That's unreal. He has a career OAVG of .260, and Mauer just owns him (small sample size, yes). Of course, a lazy fly out to center is the only logical outcome.

9:14 - A 1-2-3 first inning on something like 7 pitches. Yeaaaaaaaaaah!

9:16 - This is not a scary Mariner lineup. Just looked it up, and they are last in the AL in runs scored and on-base percentage, and 2nd to last in slugging. If he can't handle these guys, it's time to move him while he still has value.

9:17 - We get Gomez instead of Cuddyer, too. At least there's some entertainment.

9:19 - Fly out, Strikeout of Branyan (of course), and another fly out. Looked good too.

9:21 - Kubel whiffs, chasing a curve in the dirt for strike three. Tonight the roll of Delmon Young will be played by Jason Kubel.

9:23 - By the way, did you know Delmon Young has all of two extra-base hits this year? Two! His Isolated Power (slugging - batting average), basically a different way to look at slugging without singles and a high average mucking it up, is the fourth worst in all of baseball. You know is the worst? Nick Punto. You know who is the fifth worst? Alexi Casilla. Jesus, the Twins have less power than Obama, who we all know is just the nominal head of a shadow government working behind the scenes for a One World Order.

9:25 - Base knock for the pervy alcoholic (Brendan Harris) as Bert let's us know just how racist against asians Felix is. He is 1-3 with a 7.22 ERA when Kenji Johjima catches, and 4-0, 0.83 when someone else does. Bert tells us if you can't communicate with your catcher, you can't win. Maybe Bert is the racist one? Buscher stikes out to end the inning.

9:31 - Mike Sweeney ding dong to start the second. I think he was the clown who broke up Baker's no hitter last year too. In my experience watching Liriano, once there's a run, several more will soon follow. Like kids in a trailer park family.

9:35 - Liriano settles down, getting a weak ground out and two strikeouts to finish out the second. Got to see him use the elusive changeup, too, and got a swing and a miss. Oh, and it's some white dude catching for the Mariners, so it's safe to say the Twins are effed.

9:39 - Gomez leads off the third with an infield hit. They need to institute the Willie Mays Hayes program for him - every time he hits the ball in the air, it's twenty push ups. There's no reason for Vince Coleman 2.0 to ever hit the ball in the air. By the way, this is the guy Snacks said would hit 30 home runs some year. He's the next Scott Stahoviak.

9:42 - Infield hit for Casilla now. The Isolated Power here is off the charts.

9:44 - And of course, Gardy is having Span bunt. He's your second best hitter (canucks and roid-heads ineligible), don't take the bat out of his hands - especially in just the third inning. What, you really think you're only gonna need one or two runs? Freaking Liriano is on the mound, you better look to get at least five or six, which means no sac bunts in a potential big inning. God I hate Gardy so much. If this town wasn't so retarded about the "blue collar mentality" he would have been run out of here already for being a dipshit.

9:45 - Mauer walks, setting up the double-play. Speaking of Morneau, did you know that there are two Canadians in the top 3 in the AL in RBI? It's an invasion. We were busy watching the south, but they got us from the north. A classic diversionary invasion. Sun Tzu would be proud.

9:48 - They end up getting one to tie it on a Morneau sac fly. Good use of the sacrifice that inning. I'm so proud.

9:51 - Some clown for the Mariners lays down a bunt and then tries to slide into first Punto-style. Shocker, he was out. Where is Punto? Is he hurt? No way Gardy has just stopped playing "his guy Nicky", right?

9:53 - I looked it up. He's on the DL with a groin strain, same injury I got last time I humped your sister.

9:55 - Liriano actually just walked Ichiro. Do you know how hard that is to do? In his career he walks in 6% of his plate appearances, and that walk right there gives him a whopping eleven this year. He's so awesome, he can even walk guys who hate to walk worse than fat softball players. And now we get to watch him try to pitch with a runner on, which is where he usually falls apart - and there's a single for Branyan, which actually I didn't know he ever did. Now here's Beltre. That god there are two outs.

10:01 - God dammit. Had him 1-2 and ended up walking him after he fouled off a bunch of pitches. I'm going to go ahead and say this is the at-bat of his season. If Sweeney takes him to a gap and clears the bases it's time to trade him before the implosion plays all the way out. If he can get out of it, maybe he can turn it back around and stop sucking.

10:06 - Lazy fly ball, out of the inning. Honestly, I think what Snacks and Sidler said about it being mental might be right. Watching him once a runner is on base is like watching a whole other pitcher. He's afraid to throw it over the plate, gets behind, and then has to groove it. He needs to stop that and get over it. Kind of like how Theory was afraid of being our softball pitcher because he was convinced he was going to take a line drive in the melon. Like that, but not as girly.

10:08 - Effin' Dick just stole my bit. Said that might have been a "crossroads" type inning for Liriano.

10:13 - Sean O'Hair can go to hell by the way. That little bitch dropped out of the Memorial at some point between round one and two. I can't find any news on why, but I'm going to guess his dad yelled at him and made him cry. Also, Adam Scott is absolutely wrecked somehow. He finished 77-81 and missed the cut at +12. Seriously, the guy has died faster than David Ortiz.

10:17 - What kind of name is Wladimir? I swear, black people can misspell anything.

10:24 - What the hell? Suddenly Span strikes out on a ball out of the zone. That means both of my favorites, Kubel and Span, who I love for their plate discipline, have struck out on pitches well out of the strike zone tonight. The only possible explanation is that Felix is the Jesus of pitching. He's the Joe Mauer of pitching.

10:31 - Two one, two out for Kubel and he just misses a pitch and ends up flying out. Twins are knocking Felix around and drawing walks, but can't get the big hit - which almost always comes back to haunt them. Middle of the fifth, still 1-1.

10:34 - Four pitch walk to start the fifth. Great.

10:40 - I've never seen anyone so afraid to throw the ball over the plate. The only called strikes he gets are when he nips the black on the outside corner with his slider. I have no idea if he doesn't have it since the surgery or if he just thinks he doesn't, but somebody needs to get in that guys head and fix it back up. He struck out Beltre with a low change up (a really good pitch) to end the inning after two walks, but he just looks like it's a struggle the whole time he's out there. Still, it's 1-1, and if he can get his confidence back up I'm convinced he can still be a 1/2 type pitcher. I BELIEVE.

10:45 - Joe Crede sucks

10:51 - Couple more hits, still no more runs. They are squandering every opportunity. It's not every day Buscher gets a hit, you need to take advantage of that, man.

10:57 - Two quick outs for Liriano, and then Wladimir somehow hits a soft ground ball that somehow gets passed Crede and down the line, and then Denardo drops it into the bleachers going from glove to hand. Ends up as a 2-out double for Vlad.

11:00 - Bert wants us to know that he hasn't seen Liriano shake off Mauer at all tonight. He then continues to praise Mauer and essentially give him the credit for Liriano's solid outing (which is likely now over after a weak fly out since he's through six and over 100 pitches now). What can the baby jesus not do? Oh, right, stay clean.

11:03 - Span down on strikes again. I hope he isn't broken. Mauer and Morneau follow it up with a couple of easy outs. It's now bullpen vs. bullpen. I have no idea who Seattle has, but I like their chances.

11:12 - Crain manages to get two outs, which is weird. Now we are going to get Mijares to go after Ichiro - who is still hitless and stuck on his 27 game hit streak. This might be his last time up.

11:15 - Easy ground out, still 1-1 going to the 8th. Good game. Not a lot to bitch about so far though, which sucks.

11:19 - Seattle goes with Sean white, who appears to be about 6-10 and Mrs. W says, "He could be cute. Wait. Nope, nevermind." He gets Kubel to ground out, but then somehow manages to walk Crede, which is nearly on par with walking Ichiro. Harris and Buscher coming up next doesn't exactly fill me with hope. It's more like, the opposite of hope. But not quite despair. We'll call it, Less Hope.

11:23 - When I mentioned to Mrs. W she made the blog, she asked how and I told her and she was underwhelmed. She would like me to mention to all of you that she ran 10 miles today in her prep for Grandma's half-marathon in two weeks. If I can have a moment of seriousity here, let me say that she is pretty awesome.

11:25 - Tolbert steals second, and I have no idea where Tolbert came from. Apparently he's so much faster than Crede that taking away Crede's bat and putting Tolbert's (the equivalent of a little girl) in is a worthwhile thing to do. Meanwhile Harris strikes out on a ball in the dirt, and Mrs. W (who is suddenly paying attention) sees Buscher at the plate and asks "Who is this Pud (pronounced with a long u)?" He then lines it off the second basemen's chest and somehow this all results in Tolbert being thrown out at home. Good call on taking out Crede, ass.

11:28 - I'm really in the mood for some chili. During some of the commercials we put it on a show that is doing a feature on a chili tavern in Seattle. Looks good. I'm making some tomorrow. If you know where I live you can come over and have some.

11:29 - Now that I see the replay, Tolbert is a jackass. He tried to run over the catcher, when he would have had a better chance trying to go around him and hook in like Dawg's guy Randy Bush, especially since his running into the catcher looked like a Deion Sanders tackle. I think I hate Matt Tolbert. Of course, Dick's reaction is "Wow, did the ball in the glove ever touch Tolbert, I'm not sure." God you're an ass, Dick.

11:30 - ASSDICK!!

11:31 - Guerrier in for the bottom of the 8th. I am predicting a three run Seattle lead after this inning.

11:33 - Beltre hits a weak fly ball which Gomez decides to break back on and can't get back for it. So it's now a single instead of a can-of-corn. Guerrier doesn't get that many people to hit the ball poorly. When he does, you really need to get an out.

11:35 - Double play. I've always been a big Guerrier fan.

11:37 - I've never been a fan of white pizza. I need the red sauce. And fancy toppings aren't really necessary either. Just give me sausage and pepperoni. I mean, I also like olives (green not black, sicko), peppers, and onions, but they aren't necessary. And thin crust, for the love of god thin crust. And I'm not adverse to weird pizza necessarily. I went to some super fancy pants restaurant and we had pizza as an appetizer, but it was goat cheese, bacon, and green apple pizza, and it was good. But for my money, there is nothing better than a thin crust, sausage and pepperoni cut into squares and not from a chain. Let me recommend Donatelli's if you are in the North St Paul type area? Second best pizza ever. I think I'm going to go there tomorrow. Pizza and Chili. I'm so healthy.

11:41 - Yes, we are still watching food shows during the commercials.

11:47 - Span gets tossed trying to steal with Mauer up. Man, the steal is such an awesome weapon. It's so important to get Span to second there with two outs. I mean, what are the odds Mauer would hit the ball in the gap? No way there's a chance at all Span could score from first on anything Mauer could do. Thank god we have Gardy to make all these super smart decisions for us.

11:50 - Hooray for more Guerrier. Also I want to mention once again that Gardy might be the worst game manager of all-time. That attempted steal by Span is simply inexcusable.

11:53 - I don't know how this happens, but Guerrier puts them away 1-2-3. I also don't understand how Mrs. W can be complaining right now because she's out of Michelob Ultra and "has to" drink my Red Stripe. That's like saying you have run out of Mike Redmond at bats and have to play Mauer intsead. And he's up right now, which is probably why I used that as my analogy. I'm not very clever.

11:57 - Roid boy hits it to the wall, but not over. I can't decide if that would have just been a fly out or if he is between cycles and a little weaker right now. Actually he was mostly helped out by Seattle's center fielder who played that fly ball like the helpless kid in little league who loves to play the piano and listens to Mozart but his parents want him to be well-rounded to get into Harvard so they make him play baseball.

11:59 - So that was a double, and then they walk Morneau to get to Kubel. The intentional walk is Mrs. W least favorite thing eve, and she is currently in mid-rant about how dumb and gay and stupid it is and how it should be illegal and I'd write more but Kubel just hit the hell out of the ball and it should have been a 3-run dinger but stupid Gutierrez, who is probably an illegal, made a great catch to rob him. So now we have first and third, one out, and Joe Crede isn't up because instead we have Tolbert. Sounds like a double-play waiting to happen.

12:03 - A suicide squeeze????? A suicide squeeze?????!! Gardy needs to go. This is the worst managing I've ever seen. Oh, they pitched out, so they knew it was coming and Mauer, who was on third, just 90 feet away from scoring with one out, is now out. Stunned. I'm stunned. I've heard people say they were stunned but I didn't really get it until now. What the fuck, gardy? I'm shocked he didn't pinch run for Mauer earlier.

12:05 - Tolbert doubles off the glove the same guy who misplayed Mauer's double earlier, scoring Morneau and giving the Twins the lead. So now they will win and everyone will forget how Gardenhire is the dumbest person in history. (ha ha they ruled it an error go to hell Tolbert)

12:11 - One out. Griffey pinch hitting. He's about to go yard and tie this garbage up.

12:14 - Or not. Two outs. Ichiro up. I kind of want him to get a knock here to extend his hit streak. But not a home run. Plus, if this goes any more innings Mrs. W is going to straight up kick my ass.

12:17 - Struck him out. Good win. Suck it Japan.