I've been quiet today because I've been absolutely furious. I slept poorly. And my blood has been boiling all day. Honestly. I mean, my body temperature has been higher all day and I can feel myself sweating a little bit, even in my air-conditioned office, which means either I'm having a heart attack or I'm still really, really pissed off about last night. I'm sorry that these thoughts are coming so late in the day, but really I've been spouting obscenities for the past 16 hours like Tim Howard on Saturday evening, and I haven't been able to compose my thoughts into paragraphs.
I was there, with AC (sorry for the confusion in the GameThread; my bad). We laughed as Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez failed to field bunts. We reveled as the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead into the ninth inning. We had a gay old time watching A-Rod prance around like a dancer in the ballet scene from Top Secret.
We were even polite to mini-Jeter, the little kid in front of us wearing some Yankee's jersey (I'd never heard of the guy, but he did pretty well last night and may have a future in this game). Every kid's gotta have a hero, right? So who am I to tell this kid that his hero plays for the Anti-Christ? It's bad karma to insult the defenseless.
But watching the Dodgers implode in the ninth and tenth innings yesterday, I felt like I needed this kid's pacifier. Viewing the end of this game was an eviscerating experience rivaling the end of Braveheart. As a Dodger fan, it was just horrible to watch, especially since this trainwreck was clearly evident to everyone in attendance, and still NOTHING was done to stop it. It was like the wreck was happening in slow motion, right in front of us, but everyone was too weighed down by their Victory Knots to stand up and save someone from destruction.
I blame Jonathan Broxton, even though a more thoughtful Jon Weisman tells me not to. Maybe it was because he'd been trotted out there too frequently of late, including a four-out save the night before. But I mean, come on, it was a four-run lead; I haven't seen stats on this but a closer keeps the victory 96% of the time when given a three-run lead. To give up four runs is pathetic no matter how overworked you are, if you're a closer.
I blame Joe Torre, for not doing anything besides watching Broxton squirm out there, hanging him out to dry like a side of beef. 48 pitches by the Brox? If the argument is that we shouldn't take out Broxton too early as to ruin his confidence, I think the counterargument is that we've done enough damage now both mental (by letting him meltdown like that) as well as physical (he ain't pitching tonight against the Giants, that's for sure). So leaving him in, when he clearly had nothing in the tank and was fighting control (two BBs, 4 ER, and 4 first-pitch strikes in 9 batters faced), was useless. Everyone in the stadium groaned. But Joe didn't move.
I blame James Loney, despite having made a stellar double play to end the eighth, by not holding Curtis Granderson on third in the ninth after fielding the ball at first, allowing the tying run to score (while recording the inning's second out at first base). It was a bang-bang play, to be fair (I still love Loney), but his throw well wide to Russell Martin at the plate was a lost cause.
I blame Ramon Troncoso for coming out in the tenth and being useless.
I blame George Sherrill for being.
I blame Dodger Stadium's scoreboard operator by displaying "Insurance Run" when we scored our sixth run in the eighth off of Furcal's double. Fuck, it's not insurance if you know you're going to need that and more just to get three or six more outs.
I blame Garret Anderson (whom MSTI notes was in the game as a defensive replacement for Manny Ramirez, a ridiculously comedic note in itself) for his useless at bat in the bottom of the ninth, working a 3-0 count only to fly to left field. He was thrown out moments later, but unfortunately the .191 hitter was only thrown out of this game, not off the team.
I blame Russell Martin for going 0-for-4 with 3 Ks, for whining about a called strike in the bottom of the tenth, getting him tossed as well. You're batting .241. Until that average improves (and I think it will, but not yet), you don't get the opportunity to whine in extras (and you don't get the opportunity to whine when you overrun second inning earlier in the week and lose us the game, either).
I blame Matt Kemp, who sat in favor of Reed Johnson and was smiling and laughing in the dugout before the game like he was shopping with Rihanna for an iPhone. I want you to be mad, Kemp, that you're not starting. I want you to be furious. And I want you to channel that energy back into the excellent performance on the field of which I know you're capable.
I blame Vladimir Shpunt, speaking of lack of channeling.
I credit those Yankee fans, about a quarter of them that I saw, who stuck around to the end to watch the comeback. The Yankees fans sitting in front of me bailed in the seventh. Those Yankees fans who stayed deserved the reward.
But the Dodgers fans who stayed deserved a bigger reward--just a frickin' run-of-the-mill win, which would have given us a series victory. And we failed miserably, in what even Charley Steiner called "a devastating blow". And this particular hangover is gonna stick.
So F' this, I'm taking tonight's Game Thread and kicking it out another half hour so I can stew. I'm pissed off. We Dodger fans deserve better than this crap. And now that we're playing National League teams again (and divisional rivals, no less), we'd better fucking show up for nine innings this time.
photo from this blog