In the third inning, Joe Blanton was called out for some reason that nobody knew and had Charlie Manuel screaming in the umpire’s face. Immediately following, six shirtless men leapt from the stands the third base line and began to dance.
Not an incredible amount of time later, a guy ran onto the field waving a rally towel. Security, who hadn’t even noticed him until he was in center field, slowly circled him like a pack of the world’s most unobservant wolves. After 30 seconds of mindless scrambling, he was tazed in the back as he ran toward Shane Victorino pleadingly, as the realization of what was about to happen to him began to wrap around his booze-soaked brain.
Also, it was Dollar Dog Night. The hot dogs only cost one dollar.
And it was a terrible game.
Cardinals 6, Phillies 3
Nelson Figueroa drew the short straw tonight, as he was the name on the jumbotron when it came time for a relief pitcher. And as is our custom in Philadelphia, he was as dominant as a electrocuted young man, twitching involuntarily on the outfield grass.
“Who’s this ‘Garcia’ character starting for the Cardinals?” I asked Roommate on the train.
He shrugged. All I really knew was that he wasn’t Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, or the guy next to me who kept “joking” about sticking his head between the sliding subway doors.
Jaime Garcia put all the offense from the last two games on a horrendous pause, and laughed as he was doing it. Through six innings, he felled six Phils on strike and allowed a single run via a
Juan Castro sac fly.
And the best part was, Big Joe answered. After giving up a HR in the second, Blanton locked it up and continued to maintain his steady-as-she-goes mentality that had us miss him so. When he left after 6.2, there were still some Redbirds on the basepaths, and nobody could have brought them in faster than Nelson Figueroa, a guy who some will tell you was the absolute wrong man for the job. Five runs crossed the plate, two from Joe, three courtesy of his relief.
It was a night of Joe Blanton getting a raw deal, even on the base paths, when he was called out for runner interference.
“ITS NOT INTERFERENCE THAT’S JUST HOW HE RUNS!”
“You’re being irrational,” someone replied.
“YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I AM,” I screamed at not-sure-who.
It was a surprisingly Pujols and Holliday-less night as well, with the Cards’ offense coming off the bats of Colby Rasmus and David Freese; a man we kept referring to as “The Ice Man” and whose picture on the jumbotron looked like he was just told his wife and son were being taken from him.
“Disappointing,” I suppose is the word. Blanton got hosed a few times last year, and it seems the 2010 is in no hurry to carry him either, even after a solid start. Or maybe they would if a better hurler for the situation at hand had been considered, but even guys like Contreras and Baez would have been plenty capable of allowing runs. A dependable guy in the rotation who’s not going to lean heavily on the pen is a precious commodity on our staff, so when a win is canceled out by poor bullpen performance, it is all the more devastating.
Brad Lidge threw a scoreless inning. I celebrated by eating enough hot dogs to feed a junior high school.
At least there was that.
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