World Series, Game 3
It's (NOT) Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Ballgame, 5-4 Phillies. See you in about six hours.
Balfour's first warmup pitch ...
... went high and off Navarro's glove and to the backstop. Pump factor 10.
End of eight, 4-4
If the Phillies lose this series, Jayson Werth will move to the front of the line to be the goat. An error in right that led to a run and doubled off first in Game 2. Then picked off second representing the go-ahead run here in the eighth. Not even Von Hayes will hang out with him.
I think i just heard a pin drop. The Rays have four steals, including B.J Upton's of third that facilitated the tying run, giving them a record 22 for a postseason.
End of seven, 4-3 Phillies
It's a game again now the Rays chased that young stud.
End of six, 4-1 Phillies
Garza's coming apart at the rivets and a man twice his age looks like he could pitch tomorrow, too. The uh-oh factor for the Rays is the fact Chase Utley and Ryan Howard now have some things to feel good about.
End of five, 2-1 Phillies
Moyer might as well be flipping rocks to the plate as bedazzled as the Rays look. They have two hits.
End of four, 2-1 Phillies
Cruising along now. And some very brave vendor just yelled "Last call."
End of three, 2-1 Phillies
Garza keeps finding trouble. Navarro's throw-out of Jimmy Rollins attempting to steal second base was impressive because Rollins was 47-for-50 in the regular season and 3-for-4 in the postseason. Notice the Upton smirk after the catch? And I must say, after all these years, the Phillie Phanatic doesn't seem to have aged at all.
End of two, 2-1 Phillies
Garza looked in command until the offering to Ruiz. Moyer plodding along. He always looks like he's thinking of something troubling, or his feet hurt.
It is silly dumb quiet in here now. Like everyone got tired.
End of one, 1-0 Phillies
Jamie Moyer is fishing inside and out well, humming his 32 mph heat. Matt Garza looked out of sorts - Chicago out of sorts - early, pawing at the mound, jawing missing everywhere. Allowing just one run might settle him down.
They're chanting "Eva" at Longoria. And he swung down Whiff-teria Lane.
Moyer appears to have widened the strike zone a millimeter or five already.
10:03: Phillies take the field.
9:42p: Just announced, first pitch, 10 o clock. Hurry-up pregame ceremonies underway.
9:24p: Hey! It's pouring again. I'm meteorogroundscrewologist, but it looks like they missed time the last cloud burst by five minutes. The infield is taking major rain.
9:18p: The tarp is coming off.
9:17p: I think it's stopped.
9:10p: The grounds crew is moving to the tarp, but likely just to broom off water. Here's the latest map.
8:58p: Hammering. New rumor floating around is an 9:45 start.
Times staffer Dave Scheiber was down in the dugout a little bit ago and tells me some players were hanging out watching it rain. Grant Balfour apparently didn't consider the precip and big deal. Certainly, it's nothing like Typhoon Myrtle or anything. Joe Maddon was chatting with fans along the rail and B.J. Upton was getting razzed by some fans.
8:41p: And here it is. Little liquid BBs.
8:35p: Raining, but they could probably play in this. The fact they're not suggests something evil this way comes. And the pressbox TVs have gone to the Ohio State-Penn State game.
7:21p: Rain began blowing into the press box, so the staff lowered these mechanized blast door window panel things.
7:04p: The skies just opened like any August afternoon about 4 o'clock in Tampa-StP. Much scurrying ensued. A few Rays players remained on the field to throw. Of course, they have the option of a shower and dry clothes.
6:59p: Still misty with some gusts, but the fans don't seem to mind.
6:22p: Raining and the wind is swirling it around like a snow globe.
6:08p: Lights on. Rain off. A couple Rays out checking the sponginess of the field.
5:52p: No rain, but gloom. Stadium officials have yet to fire the light towers and it's getting a bit dark out there.
5:27p: Rain stopped but it doesn't look good behind the Philadelphia skyline. Rays manager Joe Maddon just said he was told the game would likely start late at 9:30 p.m. would there would be enough clearing to finish it tonight. "We have gotten updates. From what I understand it's not going to start on time, but possibly relatively close. The proverbial window is like a 9:30 or so window, although this sounds like it may be a big bay window, where you actually could play a baseball game. They're saying after this weather clears out, it should be good for the rest of the night."
4:22p: Yes, now stopped.
4:20p: Stopp-no! Started again.
4:17p: Now it's drizzling.
4:12p: Rained icepicks for about five minutes. Stopped. Now the wind is crazy-blowin' straight out.
These Philadelphians can't keep anything nice. It's OK. They built a better one.
A local Philly talking orb just said one of the keys to the game is Matt Garza's "10-cent head."
Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia are culturally and historically important places. And even though I'm an elitist Northeasterner by birth, according to my Midwesterner father-in-law, I know you can find history and culture in Tampa-St. Petersburg, too, if you look for it. I think the bash-the-other city thing is played-out and honestly a little college paperish.
That said, I'd like to get your opinion on something. Is the cheesesteak not the worst of country's civic-identity foods? Mushy meat, CheezWhiz and a tough roll. Think about it:
Crab cake - Baltimore. Better.
Clam chowder - Boston. Better.
Pizza - New York. Better.
Ribs - Kansas City. Better.
Jambalaya - New Orleans. Better.
--- BRANT JAMES