I wanted them to call last night’s Game 4 of the NLCS a stalemate so we could turn off the TV. Not a tie. A stalemate. Like in chess.
The game finally did get exciting…in the bottom of the 13th inning. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad as heck that the Dodgers won, but, dang, was most of the game slow as molasses running up a hill in January! 13 innings and only 3 runs scored – that should tell you the whole story.
Neither offense was good, and both bullpens were. (Our bullpen was just as good as the Brewers’. So how come we keep hearing about how great they are and no one gives our guys the credit they deserve?) At least that means I can stop repeating myself about the Dodgers’ problems stranding runners in scoring position. We still did it plenty of times…but so did the Brewers.
When we got runners on the corners in the 8th, Keaton and I said the same thing at the same time:
“Here we go again…”
And we did. For five hours it seemed like the only man on the team who’d gotten the message about runners in scoring position was Mississippi boy Brian Dozier: he hit an RBI single and got CT3 home. That was the only run the team scored for the next 11 innings.
After that it felt like it was nothing but Ks from both sides. There were 32 (yes: 32) in total. The guys on TV call themselves old fashioned when they say it, so maybe I’m old fashioned too…but it’s not cool to strike out. That’s what they taught us in high school back in Tennessee, and it’s stuck with me. Pop up, line out, ground out, anything…just so long as you don’t strike out. Even in Hickory, if you struck out twice in a game, you heard it from our manager. (And, like I told y’all, you heard it in front of all of the other guys in some of the worst language you’ll ever hear anywhere.)
But in the majors now everyone’s like “oh well” when they strike out. I don’t get why they think it’s ok.
Maybe because the Dodgers can only score on home runs. Tonight it looked like the guys on both teams were doing nothing but swinging for the fences. One of the Fox Sports guys said that, at one point, it looked like Chris Taylor was swinging so hard he was going to come out of his shoes. He wasn’t exaggerating.
So we got all those strikeouts. They don’t make for very interesting baseball. Yeah, the end was real exciting. So was that amazing airplane belly flop catch Bellinger made in the 10th…but the rest was mostly plain ole meh.
After the post-game show on the Dodgers channel was over, I looked at the clock and realized I was sitting in Keaton’s bean bag chair for 6½ hours.
We started off at 6 o’clock with Wingstop special of 25 boneless wings. (Boneless wings are pretty gay, I know…but I reckon it’s ok to get them when they’re offering 25 for $16 lol.) I had 3 bottles of Lagunitas to go with that, and then (starting in the 10th) two cups of Keaton’s super strong Mexican coffee with cinnamon. I was so starving by then that we broke into the Mexican sweet bread Keaton keeps for breakfast. (He gave me a pink one he says he bought by mistake. Yeah, in Keaton’s book pink sugar topping is as gay as a pink teacup on the ride at Disneyland.)
I’m seriously glad for Bellinger. He was playing like shit and swinging blindly like he did in the World Series last year, so it was time for him to do something good. He did. He deserved to be mobbed by his teammates in the outfield afterwards, and he deserved the Gatorade shower (courtesy Puig, of course.) I’m not sure if I liked the diving catch or the walk-off single more. And he looked so happy being interviewed with Gatorade dripping from his cap.
On the other hand… Machado.
Ok, so what’s the deal with this dude? To give credit where credit is due, he was amazing in the 13th, getting the hit, going to 2nd on the wild pitch, and then scoring from 2nd on Bellinger’s hit with that awesome slide. That’s great baseball.
It’s hard to be as happy for him as I was for Bellinger because, frankly, he’s been acting like an asshole for the past two games. Remember those two questionable slides in Game 3? Then there was some lazy base running, and whatever the fuck it was that happened tonight when he thought he’d called time and a third strike sailed past him when he was standing there looking in the other direction. And finally there was what happened with Aguilar, when he clipped his foot running when he was out at 1st. Anyone looking at the replay can see that he had plenty of time to change course and run clear of the bag and the 1st baseman’s foot. It looked deliberate…although I can’t see what he was trying to do if it was. The Brewers’ Christian Yelich called him a dirty player after the game. That may be going a little far…but there’s something wrong there.
And you’d think that a dude going into free agency would be on his best behavior so he can get the best possible deal when a team signs him over the winter. Instead he’s pulling this weirdass shit. And, like the Jerry Hairston Jr. said, Machado’s too talented to ruin it by being an asshole.
I’ve been able to write all this because I’m still getting over Keaton’s Mexican coffee. I can imagine that the guys on the team are even more amped up than I am…and they have to play again tomorrow at 2:00 PM. Of course, I have to be in the store at 10:00, so I really should sign off and get some sleep. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to keep track of the game at work. Svetlana is a huge Dodgers fan and she’s working tomorrow…so we’ll probably take turns watching our phones.
There was a white board in the background of the clubhouse when they were interviewing Puig (see? he speaks English just fine!). This is what it said: