Both Chase Utley and Evan Longoria grew up playing baseball at Blair Field (pictured above) deep in the heart of Long Beach, Ca. This being the second year in a row that a Long Beach baller (Troy Tulowitzki) is plying in the Fall Classic– and since this year we have two– why not keep an eye on our hometown heroes? Stick around, leave your comments, and here’s to rooting for Utley and Longoria going a combined 8-for-8. Go Long Beach!
The Trop is loud and Jayson Werth is on first for Jackrabbit Chase Utley… With a Jason Giambi-type defensive shift on, Utley tries to poke a bunt down the third base line, but is unsuccessful. He battles back from an 0-2 count– and wouldn’t you know it– it’s a good thing the bunt didn’t work… HOME RUN UTLEY! He got a fastball on the inside (a pitch he laid off two pitches earlier) and pulled it into the seats in right field. 2-0 Utley
B.J. Upton stumbles out of the batters box on an “excuse me” roller to second, and Utley easily turns the double play with a dish to Jimmy Rollins… Longoria is left in the hole.
Scott Kazmir is aiming his pitches, and inevitably loads the bases. That’s not good for the Rays… But wait! B.J. Upton more than makes up for that double play ball with a great throw home to get the Flyin’ Hawaiian tagging up at third. Out at home! Out of the inning.
Longoria leads off the bottom half, but Cole Hamels shows his best change-up of the night for the strikeout. Still 2-0 Utley
Utley comes to the plate again. This time the Trop is not as loud, and this time Werth is on second (and I’m pretty sure Tim McCarver just called that Werth hit a “plop job”) … Utley is seeing Kazmir’s pitches very will, and swinging very hard. He protects the strike zone when he has to, down 1-2, and moves the runner up with a ground out to second. That’s good team baseball!… But Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell waste the effort and Kazmir escapes trouble…
Speaking of wasting a team effort, Upton grounds into another double play, this time with the bases loaded. Longoria is left in the hole, again. Still 2-0 Utley
This time, J-Roll strikes out, leaving Utley in the hole, but not after a scoring ground ball makes it 3-0 Philly… Longoria comes up with one out and none on… Two quick strikes (one very questionable) and Longoria grounds out to third… Carl Crawford hits one to the same section Utley hit his… 3-1
Side Note: That song they play after the Rays score is just as annoying as you assumed. Click here if you dare and “Feel…..The Heat……Rays.” It’ll be in your head for the rest of the day. Also a side note, guess what comes up first when you search for Plillie Fan on YouTube?
Utley looks at two strikes from Kazmir with the Giambi shift on, and he pops out… In the bottom half, Iwamura gets in on the 2-out magic the Red Sox seemed to have at the Trop, and cuts the lead to one, 3-2, with an RBI single.
Side Note: I found another Rays song. They should play this every time T-a-m-p-a B-a-y Rays score… They’ve got a new name, now they’re here to change the game, apparently. (side note’s side note: YouTube is the Best. There’s no doubt this guy is Canadian, right?)
Ryan Howard bobbles Pena onto first, E-1…Oh! But Hamels catches him sleeping and they get Pena at second… A balk?.. Meanwhile, Evan works the count. He’s not getting any help from umpire Tim Welke, and Hamels gets the call for his second strike out of Longoria. It looks like the rookie is waiting for that perfect pitch… 3-2 Philly
Utley decides he’s sick of waiting for Kazmir to make a mistake (it looked like he was doing exactly that in his other at-bats, one of which he took over the wall) and lines the first pitch into center… On the first pitch to Howard, Utley swipes second with ease. He truly is a rabbit on the base paths, as he takes third base on a wild pitch (was that Chase cursing after the throw to third? Are he and Longoria talking to each other, or is Chase just cursing to himself? Both would make sense.)… The Rays bullpen strikes out the side, and the Utley effort is left on the bases again… 3-2 Philly
Ryan Madson (born in Long Beach) comes in and continues the Philly bullpen dominance that has been more than annoying this season (keep in mind, I’m a Dodger fan)… Madson finishes a perfect 8th with a fastball past Upton. Upton doesn’t get on base again. Longoria is left in the dugout (one good at bat from coming up with men on) again, and it’s still 3-2 Philly, headed for Lidge.
Utley gets the intentional pass, the ultimate sign of respect. Or, just a lack of fear concerning Howard… Lidge comes in and K’s Pena, Longoria and gets Crawford to pop it up, and the Phillies take game one, 3-2
LB Boys Stat Line:
Utley: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, HR, BB, 2 SB
Longoria: 0-for-4, 3K
Madson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R