Your NLCS-ending Game Log Starring Bureaucratist


Two of my favorite internet writers are Arf Ortiyef and long time reader bureaucratist, whose horrifying temper, hard drinking, and harsh judgment never cease to impress me.  He was kind enough to form a guest post for tonight’s heart-shattering journey to shit-land, and I present it to you because it is funny and also I won’t have to update tonight if I put this here.

Go Phils.


Pregame:  In my dream scenario, this is the 1996 NLCS redux:  underdog (the Cardinals, in 1996) take a 3-1 lead over the heavy favorite (Braves), but the favorites return home and no one really believes the underdogs will steal from them what is rightfully theirs.  And so it turned out, a series for which I happened to be in St. Louis, a (great) town I would move to in 1998, for game five.  I had no such luck this time around, and have been within a thousand miles of neither San Francisco nor Philadelphia.

But still.

I feel like I should say that I fully supported Charlie’s decision to pitch Oswalt in game four and still think it was a bold and imaginative decision, from a manager who does not specialize in bold imagination.  If the Phils had needed three or four innings, better to get them from Oswalt and then bring in Lidge to close it out than to pitch Lidge for his inning, maybe two (no one wants to see Lidge pitch even two innings), and then Oswalt for an indefinite turn.  I also feel like I should say that I don’t have any particular worries about Roy-O tonight, either because he relieved three nights ago or because he relieved poorly three nights ago.  That doesn’t mean I’m confident he’ll do well, or as well as he needs to; Sanchez’s  left-handedness worries me.  “Sinister” is derived from the Latin for left-handed.  Of course this also describes the performance Utley, above all others, and I would like him tonight to lay to rest the rumors that he took a payoff or just wants to go him to California.  I would at least like that dumb motherfucker to appear to try.

754pm.  Must go smoke pregame weed.

755pm.  OK, I finally have legitimate internet at home again, so still without TV I am watching online (and wild sources couldn’t drag my source out of me) but there is no sound.  Not that I mind.  Silence is a far better companion than Messrs. Buck and McCarver.  I watched most of game five in Spanish, a language I do not speak, and that was better than Buck and McCarver.

And now … weed.

758pm Top 1

Got back just in time for first pitch!  This weed I got when I went back home last week makes me cough and choke like a thirteen-year-old’s first time, for some reason.  I don’t think it’s especially great (although it is good), and it’s pretty smooth.  The hash this time is world-class, though.


Roy-O looks good, no doubt about it.  Slotting that fastball and if he locates the slider tonight like he did on strike three to Sanchez it will be a long night for the Giants.


Life on that fastball!


Buster Posey is the Eric Mangini of NL Catchers.  Stand up and sit down, little puss.


Oooh, went out and then came back, with sound, just in time to hear Harold Reynolds!

Going to get a caffeine-free diet coke.  Not sure what if anything (yeah right) I’ll be drinking tonight.  Maybe absinthe in honor of my last (and only, before this one) game diary.

Ah the dulcet tones Joseph M. Buck.


And Sarge!


Did Sarge read the teleprompter wrong, or am I just high?  I thought he said that Ruiz was playing left field and Oswalt catching.

Bot 1 817pm

Has there been any thought of playing Valdez for Rollins?  I’m not sure I wouldn’t support that.  I know that Rollins is hurt, but he looks like he isn’t even trying, which just kills me.


Uh oh, first serious coaxial flutter.


Sanchez does not look comfortable, that is for sure.  Utley’s up.  This is the crucial at-bat.  It’s too much to expect Howard to produce.  He’s been hitting, but not with authority, and it’s doubtful he can break out against a tough left-hander.  But Utley can.


He’d thrown six straight balls, but I guess you have to swing at that.  It was a good pitch to hit.

822pm Phils 1-0 / 1 out

And a weight or a fog has lifted …

Still got lots of hatred for Utley right now, though.


Hey, FYI, as per Tim McCarver, it’s not true that all walks score.

Is Howard intentionally going the other way this series?  All his hits are little bloops over the shortstop.


The desire to see Burrell’s arm tested on that play was nearly overwhelming, although I’ve never really had a problem with Burrell.  Classic case of Philly haterism.

825pm Phils 2-0 / 2 out

Boy my heart really leapt into my throat on that play.  It didn’t sound right, but it looked right.  No problem with the sac fly though.  2-0 is better than two times better than 1-0.


I guess Howard couldn’t make second even on that deep sac fly?  Probably would have scored on that Victorino squirter if he had.

First really good pitch of the night from Sanchez, that curve to leadoff Ibanez.

And now he’s really getting squeezed by the ump, whereas Oswalt got a couple of calls.  But, as McCarver is saying, that’s the added penalty for being wild.


I’m also texting tonight with this 21-year-old Spanish I made out with early one morning (don’t ask) when I was back home.  Stay tuned, I’ll share anything particularly delicious.

831pm Top 2 Phils 2-0

No thought to playing Francisco for Ibanez?


First curve of the night from Oswalt.  A little sharper and less loopy than normal, closer to a slider, but very handsome.


Goddam it, Jimmy Rollins.  You see what I mean?  And he absolutely would have had a play on Burrell.  He’s slower than I am (although I am actually pretty quick).

Spectacular pick by Polanco.  Jesus Christ, great double play.


Wow, 5-1 strike/ball ratio for Oswalt.

Dammit, this coaxial flutter just cut out a few seconds, at least.


My feed is ESPN American, which paradoxically is ESPN Europe, and they’re showing ads for Sports Nation.  Sorry about Colin Cowherd, Brits.

842pm Bot 2 Phils 2-0

Tough at-bat from Chooch.  He never looks like he’s not trying.


The thing about the Giants is I’m not even sure that running up Sanchez’ pitch count like the Phils are doing is all that helpful.  I’m not super-eager to get into that bullpen.


Nasty change to strike out Rollins.  1-2-3 inning, but Sanchez still doesn’t look great.


Just got two calls (that I did not answer) from that broad’s area code, but not her actual number.  I can’t imagine who else would be calling me, but it would be extremely bizarre if she were calling me.

850pm Top 3 Phils 2-0

Oooh, just remembered that I bought white cheddar popcorn to snack on during game time.  Chances of me eating the whole bag?  Approximately 85%.

Again, with the Utley.  And so you can see why my hatred.  Maybe not an error, but a play he absolutely should have made.  It’s not like his range is spectacular, so he has to field the balls he can actually reach or he’s worthless.  Shithead.


No voicemail left.

853pm none out, men on first and second

I know that’s a spectacular play if Victorino makes it, but Jesus Christ.  Should be grateful to have men on first and second, I suppose.


Jesus Christ, it looked like Victorino was lollygagging that play because he didn’t expect Torres to run, but I guess he had plenty of time.  McCarver’s right, that’s a huge break, not clearing the mound with a throw and still getting the out.

856pm 2-2 / 2 out

Posey did look as though he was running inside the foul line, which my understanding is should make it interference.  But, still, Jesus Christ, Polanco.  I didn’t think he had any chance to get Huff, he must be world-class slow.

901pm Bot 3 2-2

Victorino got his redemption, Placido, this is your chance …


Got to piss like a racehorse.  Wasted the last commercial break catching up on Jezebel, which I am currently obsessed with and of which I will share any gems.

903pm Polanco at first / none out

Now your chance, Utley …


This is crazy.  Sanchez throws at Utley’s head and he’s pissed off that Utley tossed him the ball?  What was he supposed to do with it?  No shortage of pussies on this Giants team.  Maybe I can sneak a pee in.


Made it.  But it occurred to me while I was peeing that I don’t know how I’m going to eat white cheddar popcorn while I’m diarizing this game, it will get my keyboard all dirty, which is one of my pet peeves.  Maybe I can put it in a plastic cup and pour it directly into my mouth.

912pm men on first and second

The tension just ratcheted up about fourfold.  I’m seriously nervous now, playing with my hair, picking at my nails, etc. etc. …


Goddam it, Howard.

Almost time for a drink.


Werth is swinging awfully hard tonight.  Just take one right up the middle, Jayson.


Coaxial flutter is getting bad.

919pm 2 out men on first and second

I wonder if one of the Giants will get in the bottom of the inning.  I doubt it, but I hope so.


Shot of whiskey.

Jesus Christ, I’m gone for 45 seconds and Oswalt allows another leadoff baserunner?

924pm Top 4 2-2

Now this broad says, “Muahhhhh!! I want one of your kisses!”  I’m not responding.


What happened there?  I couldn’t see because of the coaxial flutter.  Did Werth make the catch?  And am I just high in thinking that Oswalt allowed another leadoff baserunner?


OK this is getting unwatchable.

936pm Top 5 2-2

This lull means popcorn!


Is it me, or did that hit go off Utley a-fucking-gain?


That sure looked like it hit Torres in fair territory.  That’s what I thought seeing it live, but on the replay he was in the box.  And what is McCarver saying that part of the batter’s box is fair territory?  He’s higher than I am.

943pm one out men on first and second for the Giants

I don’t want to look.  I didn’t get that popcorn.  I also meant to do another bong rip and another shot.  Maybe I should leave.


A little more gas for Huff’s fire @ 94mph.

946pm full count on Huff

Got to freeze him with the curve, right?


Or the low gas for a pop to Polanco.


Posey is sure some kind of good-looking player, though.  He fights off pitches and handles the staff and makes all the plays.


Wow that was a helluva battle.  You can always count on the high heat.


All missions accomplished.  The plastic-cup-for-the-popcorn idea seems like a B-, as ideas go.  Huge bong rip, though.


Uh oh, the stream is totally out now.  Switching over to MLB Audio with Gameday, whic is not nothing.  Tellingly, I choose to listen to the Giants announcers.


Jesus Christ, there are already two outs?  I figured the stream ran a little bit behind, but this is ridiculous.


Who does the Giants color, Mike Krukow?  It sounds like Miller suffers him only very reluctantly.


I’ve got to tell you that I think a healthy Rollins scores.  It’s hard to justify playing a guy who is so visibly not 100%.

Cup of popcorn all gone.  But there will be future cups.  Oh yes.  There will be many future cups.

1003pm end 5

Goddam it.  That’s a big missed opportunity.  More popcorn.

1007pm Top 6 2-2

Oooh, the stream appears to be back.  I didn’t get more popcorn.

1007pm Burrell up

Damn I thought that was gone.  0-2 now.


Burrell fights back to 2-2.


Devastating hook.  Great strikeout.  New stream appears to be a doll, but just as I am writing that a little perpendicular crosstalk.

Now more popcorn.

But, wait a second, is what McCarver just said true, about Roy-O using his curveball a lot more tonight?  I would guess that he’s thrown fewer than six tonight.

Now I’ve got to stay and watch this, 0-2 on Ross now.

Oswalt due up 3rd in the bottom of the this inning, the sixth.  Unless there’s a man in scoring position, I say you absolutely keep him in.  Unless he gets into trouble, which all of a sudden looks plausible.  Fucking Cody Ross.

1015pm men on first second and after Oswalt hits Uribe

Now I need some more popcorn.

But what McCarver is talking about, the way the inside part of the plate gets taken away from the pitcher, is one of the biggest problems in baseball.  Here’s my rule adjustment to take care of it:  If a pitch hits a batter on a part of his body that is not inside (and not just over) the chalk line of the batter box, the ball is dead, and the result of the play is a ball; however, a player cannot achieve ball four in this manner, akin to the rule against striking out by means of the foul ball, unless the ball is bunted.


1019pm 2 outs men on first and second

And Renteria is not hit by the pitch!  Has there been an increase in selling it since the Jeter controversy?  He swore in a timely fashion, you’ve got to give him that, but it did sound like it hit the bat.  I love it.

But what I was really going to say was, What is the umpire checking the ball for? spit? scuffing? vaseline?  And even if you weren’t doing anything, wouldn’t that cause a huge jolt of unsettling adrenaline, like getting stopped by a cop when you hadn’t been speeding?

1020pm Mid 6

Oh, Utley, that is a spectacular play.



Got the popcorn.

1026pm Bot 6 2-2 / 1 out man on third

Sorry, I got distracted by Jezebel.  Nothing particularly quotable, although many extraordinary things.  Francisco pinch-hitting, of course you’ve to hit for Oswalt here.


Of course, this is a major at-bat in the game.

Cup of popcorn gone again.

1028pm 2-2 count

I guess this is why Francisco didn’t start for Ibanez, who just got the double.


And … then he strikes out looking.  Although that was a bastard pitch.

And Rollins flies out.  That ball sounded better than it looked.

Expect two innings out of Madson, at least.

More popcorn (is what I want).

1036pm Top 7 2-2 / 1 out now

Pitch was definitely off the plate, but it looked so good.  So pretty.

1038pm 2 out now, both by strikeout

Yow, you don’t normally see Madson this focused, this intense, do you?

Finishing up the second caffeine-free diet coke (CFDC).

1040pm after Sanchez’s double

Was that a high fastball or was it a hanging breaking ball?

I don’t know that I support pitching to Posey over Huff.  This smells like a move that will be regretted.  As McCarver says it’s a good move “regardless what happens”.  Um, you can’t really play that way, Tim, we’ll take our toys and go home.  You don’t get to declare in advance that you were right.  That’s what we call antisocial.

1043pm mid 7

Phew (long exhale).  I’ve rarely been so happy to be wrong.


Can’t stand this god bless america bullshit.

Wait a sec, Kane Kalas, Harry Kalas’s son?  What a douchebag this guy looks–and sounds–like.

1050pm Bot 7 2-2 / 1 out

Even if the Phils somehow win this game it won’t feel like they’re in control of the series, not like the ’96 Braves, and so I won’t be confident about tomorrow.  At least Cain is right-handed and maybe it’s somehow less likely that he’ll pitch well because of how well he pitched his last time out.  Or maybe it’s more.


They’ve been able to get Utley and Howard out when they needed to.  That’s been a difference in this series.


What McCarver just said makes no sense.  The fact that the second baseman is playing Howard more to pull than the right-fielder, like every team does, because he’s more likely to pull the ball if he hits it on the ground but hits to all fields in the air (but of course now he strikes out), has nothing to do with whether they’re going to pitch him inside or outside.  If anything it’s evidence that they will try to pitch him inside, and into that exaggerated infield movement.

1058pm Top 8 2-2 / 1 out now

That’s right, Joe Buck, Pat Burrell was hustling.  That was my perception, too.  He was always hustling.  He was often kind of awkward and lunky as he did so, but he always hustled.  That’s why I never had any problem with him.


Damn just got a call from a buddy of mine with whom I feel kind of obligated to drink with tonight, but I think I just want to stay home after the game and play poker.

And then Uribe hits the home run.  That will stoke my desire for drink.


The coaxial flutter is kicking in.  Thankfully.

1110pm Bot 8 San Fran 3-2 / 1 out

The stream is getting really hinky now, but comes back just in time to see Victorino’s base hit.  I would have him steal second and then third.


That bringing in Lincecum was a weird idea.  I’m not intimately familiar with the mechanics of their bullpen, but both Oswalt and Lincecum have now shown that even a very good starting pitcher can expect to struggle when asked to perform in an unfamiliar role.  And yet I would rather face Wilson than Lincecum right now.

No complaints, though.  I think Wilson is gettable.  Got to send Victorino to third, though, I think.  Why else have base-stealers on your team?

1117pm End 8

Or not.

1125pm Top 9 San Fran 3-2 / 1 out men on first and second

Jesus Christ, the stream froze with Huff’s hook in mid-air past first base and looking as though it would land fair.

1127 Top 9 San Fran 3-2 / 1 out bases loaded

Brian Wilson at the plate.  I was going to say that he couldn’t have had more than three or four at-bats all season.  I was wrong.  He’s had five.


Wait a second, did Charlie just walk a runner to third in order to face Wilson or did I somehow get fucked up in counting of outs or what?  Because now the inning is over.  The coaxial flutter is really bad.


Pee time.

1133pm Bot 9 / 1 out

Opening third CFDC.  Despondent.


Stream threatening to disappear for good now.  That’s like a mercy killing.


I mean, Rollins has to run unless he absolutely can’t, right?  I can’t see hitting and running in this situation, not in the bottom of the ninth down one.

Or maybe you do hit and run to avoid that near-double play.  Rollins did go in quite hard, it could easily have been a double play.

Utley’s last stand, big homo.


Typical pussy copout for Utley.  Although I guess it puts the tying run in scoring position.  The situation can’t really get any better for Howard, a right-handed power pitcher on the mound, if he isn’t as afraid as he’s looked this game.

McCarver’s right, they absolutely can’t play the shift, the runner would steal, putting the winning run in scoring position.

Just dump it over short, Big Boy.

1142pm bases loaded for Howard

At least the runners will get a start.  That’s not nothing.

1144pm game over

I can’t be mad at him.  I can’t be disappointed in the season.  I will watch the World Series.