Morning Wood: 9 Mas

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Pic via (@kvte)


What’s that sound? 

It’s a funny, squeaky sound.

We aren't very lucky in Philadelphia. Sure, it's always sunny here and for the last four years we’ve been spoiled by the riches of our baseball team, but let’s face it, we still sort of expect the worst to happen. 

Last night, I watched Jaime Garcia nibble on the bottom edge of the strike zone for the better part of five innings. My general demeanor can best be likened to the bald Natalie Portman (her head, perverts) jail cell scenes in V for Vendetta. At times I watched from the fetal position, and when Phillies batters would chase off-speed crap early in the count, I screeched in horror like when those zealous shower nozzles handed Natalie a forced cleansing. Why is this happening to me?

It was all horrifying, really. And judging by Tweets like this one, I’m guessing you felt the same way.

Then something funny happened. 

As Cole Hamels began to develop his angry eye (you know what I’m talking about), the feeling of impending doom subsided. The Cardinals had baserunners in every inning last night, yet they were unable to get any of them across the plate with Hamels on the mound. In the sixth inning, what shaped up to be Hamels’ last, a faint sound sauntered in from center field. A funny, squeaky sound:

Squirrel!

As someone who just watched the ESPN special on Steve Bartman (and who paces the living room between every pitch during the final innings of playoff games) I’m a big believer in signs and superstitions. Watching that furry bastard scamper behind the left side of the infield made me realize that by the end of the night, one fan base was going celebrate nature’s gift to Disney… and the other would start stocking a cache of slingshots. 

I don’t like violence, but I love animated shorts. Please let this be our good luck charm.

10 minutes later, Ben Francisco (Ben. Francisco.) hit a three-run home run. The squirrel, as it turned out, was a Phillies fan:

Squirrel_upvia Muscles in the comments

Incredibly, the two elements we hear so much about – Tony La Russa’s quirky managing and Yadier Molina’s superb catching – teamed up to nip the Cardinals in the ass. First, Molina fanned on a catchable pitch in the dirt which allowed Victorino to advance to second. Mayberry and Polanco were retired, but then, with Victorino still on second because of Molina’s error, La Russa – for once – made a sound baseball decision by walking Chooch to get to the pitcher’s spot. He’d do it again, too: [STLToday.com]

Well, if you follow our club with Ruiz over the years, he's gotten as many big hits as the guys in the middle of the lineup. He just terrorizes us, and he's already hit two balls hard. The matchup we liked, I liked. I made the decision. Francisco has had a tough time with Jaime, so it really wasn't a tough call.

 

Unfortunately for La Russa, Ben Francisco punishes fastballs. 3-0 Phillies.

Oh yeah, and that funny, squeaky sound?

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 10.28.32 AM

Whoomp… there goes another rubber tree plant. 9 mas.

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 10.30.09 AM
Photo via Getty, NBC Philadelphia. Galleries here, here, and here.

Side note: As reader John pointed out on Twitter, what were the Cardinals fans who reached out to catch the squirrel going to do with it once they got it? Put it in a coat and smash it with a hammer? This seemed like a losing scenario anyway you sliced it.

Video here. Scott Franzke’s call here.

Funny La Russa quote on Moneyball. He's also been a victim of intentional postseason walks before.

What if the squirrel ran on the field in Philly?

Game time tonight, 6:07.

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31 Responses

  1. Did anybody else hear chooch scream when ben touched home plate! it was audio-awesomeness! love me some chooch!

  2. You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.
    /great article here invoking the Christmas Vacation squirrel scene Kyle.

  3. Love the V for Vendetta line. It sums up my night. Only addition I’d add is switching from beer to whiskey in the bottom of the 7th to the 9th. When the going get’s tough, the Philly fans get drinking.

  4. Is it me or did Ross Gload seem less than euphoric with Francisco’s homer last night? When they show the dugout immediately after the ball leaves the yard, all the players in the dugout leave the railing, screaming and clapping yet Gload is still up there looking somewhat unhappy. In fact, he doesn’t leave the railing until Francisco, Shane and Chooch are about to come into the dugout and he still doesn’t look thrilled.

  5. muscles, thanks. that’s actually the picture i meant to use and uploaded wrong file. works better there. i made the change.

  6. It’s just so weird with Francisco seemingly hitting about 20 balls to warning track at CBP this year, that were close to HRs, and then he hits a huge 3 run bomb in spacious Busch stadium of all places.

  7. Anyone watch the interview that schmuck from TBS had with Francisco after the game? He was criticizing Ben right to his face. “Unlikely hero,” “hasn’t hit a HR since May.” Yes, it’s true, but still.

  8. Is there any other name for that squirrel other than Rocky? I don’t think so. The real question is who is Bullwinkle in this scenario?
    Let’s go Phillies!!!

  9. I did hear Sagan’s interview with Ben, and yes, it was bad. Not QUITE as bad, IMO, as Stockton’s calls during the game. THAT MAN NEEDS TO GO….NOW!!! He was so shocked and surprised that Ben’s shot left the yard, it was like he just heard his mom died. Then they blamed Berkman for not going hard after it saying he could have caught it. After the game, they said the Phils finally got to a “tired” Jaime Garcia. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The guy had 80 pitches at the time, compared to Cole’s near-120. Stockton will take any excuse he can get to insult the Phils (or any Phila. team, for that matter) and praise the Cards/opposition.
    My suggestion (and I did this) – go to TBS’s website, FAQ’s, then “contact us”. You’ll find a phone number to leave a msg telling them you’re sick of Stockton’s BS calls ruining a great game.

  10. Oh, I also saw a tweet by “SFGiantsFans” or something like that saying how Phils fans still have nightmares of Cody Ross. #werestillplaying #livinginthepast

  11. I think the squirrel’s name should be “Wheels” or “Muff the Squirrel.”

  12. J.T.: Thanks, I’m honored. Don’t squirrles eat cardinal birds?
    BTW I don’t think that was a squirrle. That was La Rusta’s toopay running away hahahahahah. That’s the squirrle’s name “Tonay La Russa’s hairpiece”.
    Uncle Meat: Sager: http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19838799
    I think Craig just got flumocksed by Ben’s nervous interview. Don’t think he meant a jab just that Ben got his chance and made the most of it.
    And on Stockton: http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19840039
    Even the Cards KMOX announcer had more excitement. Retire now, please, Dick


    Like Alberta Pujols, I think that squirrle was a little angry about the game being in the afternoon. he’s probably used to having the run of the park at that time.

  13. “As reader John pointed out on Twitter, what were the Cardinals fans who reached out to catch the squirrel going to do with it once they got it?”
    John and Laddie, the Cards fans were going to give the squirrle rabies hahahahahahah.

  14. PS:
    I miss E.G. Marshall, John Randolph, and William Hickey. So many greats in one movie. They don’t make actors like they used to. Brad Pitt can’t hold a candle to any of them.

  15. goddamnit! “Tony La Russa’s hairpiece” turned into a Dead Birds fan.
    Actually, unlike Tue nite, I think that poor critter commited bonzeye suicide by running into the stands. Somebody got a free meal last night.

  16. Iron Balls, I will follow you everywhere in the world just to make you suffer. YOU SUCK just like the Phillies.

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