Sunday, September 30, 2007

How it happened

I stalled before the games started Sunday, watching Silence of the Lambs.

Lovely stuff: "His pulse never got above 85, not even when he ate her tongue."

My pulse was closer to 4,000, and I was ready to eat my own tongue. The Phillies and Mets were tied for the division lead with one game to play each.

I commandeered my lovely, understanding fiancee's computer, watching the video feed of the Phillies on my laptop and following the progress of the Mets on the other.

Though I hadn't had breakfast, all I could eat during the games was two bites of fried chicken. It's like it was when I ran track and XC ... too nervous to get anything down.

As both games went in a positive direction, I began to count half-innings ... three at-bats left for the Mets, four for the Nationals. I left the couch maybe twice. And when the last pitch buckled Wily Mo Pena's knees, I bellowed a few ohmygods, high-fived, hugged and kissed my girl, and then, um ...

OK, I cried. Pretty enthusiastically. But only for 15 to 30 seconds.

Then it was time to place a few phone calls and texts to fellow long-suffering Phillies fans. Dad, Mom, Joel and Duc and Stew.

I also got a congratulatory message from a guy who had a lousy day: my brother-in-law, Brian, the classiest Mets fan in the business. And I don't mean that in a damning-with-faint-praise manner. Mets in '06, Phils in '07 ... one of these years, we'll both be there, man.

Now on to baseball-nerd business: the postseason roster. The Phillies can bring 25 players to the Division Series. If they make the LCS, they can tinker with the roster to bring another 25, and same with the World Series. Here's who I'd take:

Starters: Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Kyle Lohse.
(No surprises here. You only need four starters in the postseason, and Adam Eaton is the obvious odd man out. I wouldn't even want him around as an innings-eater if one of the four starters does an Adam Eaton impression and stinks up the joint.)

Relievers: Brett Myers, Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero, Geoff Geary, Clay Condrey, Jose Mesa, Fabio Castro.
(The first three are obvious. The next two pitched brilliantly in September: Geary 2.65 in 17 IP, Condrey 0.73 in 12 1/3. Mesa was at 3.72 this month, and he's a former closer, whatever you think about him now, so he's in there. Castro's the wild card, a lefty with potential, though his stats have been nothing to write home about. Maybe Antonio Alfonseca or J.D. Durbin takes this spot instead. But I think the other six have to be a lock.)

Catchers: Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste.
(I haven't heard anything about how badly Ruiz was hurt on the HBP that knocked him out of the game. Rod Barajas only makes this roster if Ruiz absolutely cannot play anymore this year.)

Infielders: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Tadahito Iguchi, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs, Abraham Nunez.
(Enough with Wes Helms. I don't see him making a positive contribution.)

Outfielders: Pat Burrell, Michael Bourn, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Chris Roberson.
(Roberson not Helms? Yeah. This team has enough hitting ... pinch-runners and defensive replacements are more important in the playoffs than in the regular season.)

4 starters
7 relievers
2 catchers
6 infielders
6 outfielders
= 25

Maybe that roster is sort of the one I WANT them to use. I think it'll be hard for them to leave Alfonseca and Helms off the roster in favor of Castro and Roberson, and maybe Barajas squeezes on even if Chucha Ruiz can still go.

I guess we'll see Monday or Tuesday. Can't wait. And can't wait to relax Monday night while our two prospective opponents fight each other.

Best of all, the Padres throw Jake Peavy, the best pitcher in the National League, Monday night, and the Division Series games are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

That means if the Padres win, they'd have to throw Peavy on two days' rest at least once to start him in two games. Thursday, then Tuesday? More likely they save him for Saturday on four days' rest, pitching Game 3 in San Diego. But regardless, the fact that the Padres saved Peavy for Monday rather than throwing him today to sew things up was a huge miscalculation.

OK, enough blogging for tonight. Enjoy the playoffs, those of you who are so inclined. As court jester extraordinaire Dane Cook says, "There's only one postseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeason!"


  1. It was pretty much exactly half your life ago last time, right?

    In 1993 you were about to turn fourteen. In 2007 you're about to turn 28.

    Too bad there's no Lionville Junior High secretary to pepper the morning announcements with a strangely unenthusiastic "Woot, there it is" this time around.

    You're right, my Mets fan husband is a class act. It's a good thing too, because otherwise I would be a lot more hesitant to say: I'm damn excited.

  2. We have to do some manipulation to get Geary on the post-season roster, since he wasn't on the 25 man squad on August 31. Reminds me of 1980 when management had to do some fancy footwork to get Marty Bystrom on board. Someone has to be "injured" - but who? What's that? Did I hear someone say that Adam Eaton has a hangnail?