Post-Game(s) Reaction: ALDS Games 3, NLDS

Oh come on, not again!!!

Nope. No blurb today. Let’s just get this over with, I’ve got Gotham, Flash and Korra reviews to get through.

This is what I get for actually writing semi-consistently, I guess.

ALDS GAME 3: LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM @ KANSAS CITY ROYALS

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Royals Hitter: Nori Aoki (3 Hits in 3 At-bats, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 1 Walk)

Munenori Kawasaki dances. Just sayin’.

Royals Pitcher: James Shields (6 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

James Shields erased any memory of his bad start in the Wild Card Game by reminding everyone why his nickname is “Big Game James” (Actually, it’s because all the good nicknames have been taken).

2nd Royals Hitter: Eric Hosmer (1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 Walk)

Eric Hosmer put up a whopping 2.083 OPS to play a big part in- JESUS CHRIST, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE!?!?!?

Royals Clutch Relievers: N/A (Not close enough of a game)

Angels Hitter: Erick Aybar (4 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 2B)

The Angels’ 8-3 loss never looked particularly close after the first inning, but that sure wasn’t Aybar’s fault, as he got a hit in each of his four plate appearances. Too bad every hitter after him in the lineup (The 6 through 9 spots) went 0 for 14.

Angels Pitcher: N/A

C.J….Buddy…What happened out there???

Angles Clutch Relievers: N/A

ALDS GAME 3: BALTIMORE ORIOLES @ DETROIT TIGERS

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Orioles Hitter: Nelson Cruz (2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 HR)

Nelson Cruz has made everybody who shied away from his PED-label look like a damn fool this postseason. He’s plated 5 out of the 21 (24%) runs that the Orioles have scored so far.

Orioles Pitcher: Bud Norris (6 1/3 Innings Pitched, 2 Hits, Shutout, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

If you would have told me before the playoffs hat Bud Norris would outduel David Price, I would have… Well, actually, stranger things have happened, so I guess I wouldn’t have laughed in your face. The smart money was definitely on Price, though.

 2nd Orioles Pitcher: Andrew Miller (1 2/3 Innings Pitched, o Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 0 Strikeouts)

That’s attractive. Seriously though, Miller’s been wonderful, hasn’t he?

Orioles Clutch Reliever: Andrew Miller

Tigers Hitter: N/A

Tigers Pitcher: David Price (8 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

A statline like that should really be enough on most days with the Tigers’ lineup backing you up. Too bad Game 3 wasn’t most days.

Tigers Clutch Reliever: Joe Nathan

NLDS: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Giants Hitters: Joe Panik (Game 1: 2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Brandon Belt (Game 2: 1 Hit in 7 At-bats, 1 HR, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Game 3: N/A, Joe Panik (Game 4:2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Run, 1 RBI)

He was really terrible in games 2 and three, but the rookie second baseman quietly made the difference in the first and final games.

Giants Pitchers: Jake Peavy (Game 1: 5 2/3 Innings, 2 Hits, Shutout, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts) Yusmeiro Petit (Game 2: 6 Innings, 1 Hit, Shutout, 3 Walks, 7 Strikeouts)  Madison Bumgarner (Game 3: 7 Innings, 6 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) Ryan Vogelsong (5 2/3 Innings Pitched, 2 Hits, 1  Earned Run, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts)

I could have easily gone with Tim Hudson for game 2, but then I realized that every time the ball came out of Petit’s hand, the game could have been lost. THAT’S a save, right there.

2nd Giants Pitchers: Tim Hudson (Game 2: 7 1/3 Innings, 7 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 0 Walks, 8 Strikeouts),  

Giants Clutch Relievers: Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla (Game 1), Jean Machi, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Yusmeiro Petit, Hunter Strickland (Game 2) N/A (Game 3), Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla (Game 4)

Nationals Hitters: Bryce Harper (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Anthony Rendon (Game 2: 4 Hits in 7 At-bats, 1 RBI, 1 Walk) Bryce Harper (Game 3: 1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 1 Walk) Bryce Harper (Game 4: 2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Double, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 Walk)

3 home runs in 4 games is pretty fucking great. What more do you want me to say?

Nationals Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (Game 1: 5 Innings Pitched, 8 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 2 Strikeouts) Jordan Zimmermann (Game 2: 8 2/3 Innings, 3 Hits,  1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) Doug Fister (Game 3: 7 Innings Pitched, 4 Hits, Shutout, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts) N/A (Game 4)

Coming off a no-hitter, Jordan Zimmermann nearly had a complete game under his belt, but coughed up the lead, where the Giants eventually won it in extra innings.

Nationals Clutch Relievers: Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton, Tyler Clippard (Game 1) Tyler Clippard, Matt Thornton, Jerry Blevins, Craig Stammen, Rafael Soriano, Tanner Roark (Game 2) Tyler Clippard (Game 3) Jerry Blevins, Rafael Soriano (Game 4)

NLDS: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Cardinals Hitters: Matt Carpenter (Game 1: 2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Double, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 4 RBI) Matt Carpenter (Game 2: 2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 2 RBI) Matt Carpenter (Game 3: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Matt Adams (Game 4: 1 Hit in 3- At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 3 RBI)

Matt Carpenter: Apparently the second coming of Babe Ruth. Who woulda thunk it?

Cardinals Pitchers: Marco Gonzales (Game 1: 1 Inning, 1 Hit, 0 Earned runs, 0 Walks, 0 Strikeouts), Lance Lynn (Game 2: 6 Innings, 7 Hits, 2 Earned runs, 2 Walks, 8 Strikeouts) John Lackey ( Game 3: 7 Innings, 5 hits, 1 Earned run, 1 Walk, 8 Strikeouts) Shelby Miller (Game 4: 5 2/3 Innings, 5 Hits, 2 Earned runs, 3 Walks, 4 Strikeouts) 

It’s official: I’m sick and tired of John Lackey.

 2nd Cardinals Hitter: Matt Holliday (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 3 RBI)

Actually, I’m pretty sick of the Cardinals in general.

Cardinals Clutch Relievers: Seth Maness, Marco Gonzales, Pat Neshek (Game 1)

Dodgers Hitters: A.J. Ellis (Game 1: 4 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Home run, 3 Runs, 2 RBI), Matt Kemp (Game 2: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 1 RBI)

On a team composed of stars like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, A.J. Ellis ws the top offensive performer. Go figure.

Dodgers Pitchers: Zack Greinke (Game 2: 7 Inning, Shutout, 2 Hits, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts)  Hyun-jin Ryu (Game 3: 6 Innings, 1 Earned run, 5 Hits, 1 Walk, 4 Strikeouts) 

Sure, Greinke can pitch, but the man can hit as well!

Dodgers Clutch Relievers: Scott Elbert, J.P. Howell, Brandon League (Game 1) Brandon League, Kenley Jansen (Game 2) Pedro Baez, Brandon League (Game 4)

 

 

Gone Girl (Movie Review)

That cat has seen some shit.

So, who else  is getting tired of me writing about baseball? I sure as hell am! Let’s just sit back, relax and settle down to watch a nice popcorn flick. Let’s see what’s in theatre right now…

Oh…. This is gonna be weird as fuck, isn’t it?

 Gone Girl

 Directed by: David Fincher

 Produced by: Leslie Dixon, Bruna Papandrea, Reese Witherspoon, Ceán Chaffin

 Screenplay by: Gillian Flynn

 Based on: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 Genres: Thriller, Mystery

 Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick  Fugit, Casey Wilson, Missi Pyle

 Music by: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

 Plot: In a sleepy town in Missouri known as North Carthage live former writer and current barkeep Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife, Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike), another former writer and, weirdly enough, the inspiration for a series of children’s books known as “Amazing Amy”, written by her parents. They are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, but unfortunately, it isn’t quite being celebrated under the best of circumstances, as they have grown distant from one another, ruining what used to be quite a lovely marriage. On the morning of, Nick returns from the bar he co-owns with his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), to find that his wife is missing from his house with no prior warning, and there are signs of a struggle in the living room. Understandably, he freaks the fuck out and calls the cops, and the whole community rallies behind him.

However, things are shaken up a bit when Nick’s facade of being the perfect, worried husband starts to slip and what was once perceived as being a shy, awkward, kind person starts to look more and more like an angry, remorseless sociopath. It doesn’t help his case much when evidence gathered by the police starts to shift the blame in his direction, and even less so when the media jumps all over his case, all but screaming for the governor’s office to fry this man for murder. Did Nick Dunne kidnap, or even murder his wife? Or is there another explanation?

Weirdly enough, the first people that I want to praise for this movie are not the actors, director or writer, but the marketing team. Whoever green-lighted the decision to only use scenes from the first third of the movie or so in the trailers for the film. I was completely oblivious to the whopper of a twist that was to come, and for that, I thank them.

Before I get into some of the numerous stuff I really loved from this movie, I’ve gotta get the one thing I didn’t like in the movie out of the way, so here goes: I thought some of the dialogue from when Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike’s characters were meeting for the first time was kind of annoyingly pretentious.

Well, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for me to voraciously kiss this movie’s ass.

Holy crap, was this movie ever the definition of perfectly cast. I heard that some people, mostly fans of the novel that the movie is based on, were bitching about Ben Affleck being cast in the main role. I, personally, have been a huge Affleck supporter ever since he came back onto he scene in a big way with The Town, and I was one of what seemed to be the few people who weren’t losing their minds over him being cast as you-know-who.

“What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am?”

Well, it puts my ever-worrying mind somewhat at ease to know that Ben Affleck absolutely brings it to this movie. His character is not always shown doing the nicest things on-screen. In fact, I probably should have hated him at one point, but throughout the whole movie, he displays a type of charm that makes Nick Dunne irresistibly likable. He’s a nice guy (Or he seems to be), but he also most certainly is not a perfect person., rather a very complicated human being who’s dealing with a lot of crap, some of it it brought on by himself.

Affleck’s co-star, Rosamund Pike is…Well…..I don’t know if I can say too much about her or her character without spoiling the movie, but I will say that she is fantastic. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that she delivers one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. No joke.

The supporting cast is perfect as well. Carrie Coon (From The Leftovers) is funny at times and has some good lines. Neil Patrick Harris is very good as a slightly unhinged ex-boyfriend of Rosamund Pike’s. Tyler Perry is also in this movie, in his second appearance in a movie not directed by him since his cameo in the 2009 Star Trek movie (His first was 2012’s Alex Cross, and the less said about that, the better). I’ve never been a Tyler Perry fan, not because I don’t like the guy, because he seems nice enough. I just find Madea unfunny,  the Madea character insufferable, and religious movies in general to be incredibly preachy, bad pun intended. Eh, different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

But hey, Tyler Perry was excellent as well as Nick’s somewhat morally ambiguous defense attorney.  The dude can act! Now, Hollywood just needs to get him into some better movies and the world may soon forget…Well, anything that wasn’t Precious, Star Trek and Gone Girl.

We have a lot of forgiving to do, folks. A lot of it.

Much praise is deserved by the director as well. David Fincher, director of such masterpieces as Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network (As well as the hunk of shit that was Alien 3)  and probably one of the best directors working in Hollywood today, really, creates a very dark, unsettling nature in direct contrast to the idyllic suburban setting of the story. It also helps that he brought his frequent collaborators, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Who had previously done the soundtracks to The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), along to do the music, which is, in a word, eerie. Eerie, eerie eerie. Electronic buzzes and drones aren’t that much fun to listen to on their own, but holy shit, did they ever provide the perfect atmosphere in this movie. If this movie isn’t at least nominated for a “Best Original Score” prize at the Oscars, I will be very, very angry.

Kudos to writer Gillian Flynn as well. It’s not very often you see the author of the source material write the screenplay for the script. The only author I can think of who really makes a point to write the movie adaptations of his work is Frank Miller, and everything he’s done that isn’t 300 or Sin City is utter shit. Flynn, on the other hand, writes a pretty fantastic script, aside from the minor gripes I mentioned in the beginning. She also does a really good job of incorporating elements of black comedy into the movie, which was a pleasing surprise.

Overall: Sure, it’s a long movie, clocking in at over 140 minutes, but it’s such a wild ride that you don’t care. If you don’t have a weak stomach, this is a must-see movie. I sure as hell loved it.

Rating: 9.5/10

“Oh, shit, it was the cat who did it, wasn’t it?!?!”- A thought that I’m ashamed to admit crossed my mind multiple times during the movie.

Post-Game(s) Reaction: ALDS Games 1&2- Kansas City @ Los Angeles / Detroit @ Baltimore

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, seen here seconds away from biting Salvador Perez’s face off.

Suddenly, the American League Division Series just got a whole lot more predictable, as both the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles are one win away from heading to the League Championship, thanks to late-inning heroics from Mike Moustakas of the Royals and, well, the entire Orioles offence save for Adam Jones and Nick Hundley in Game 1, and Eric Hosmer of the Royals and Delmon Young of the Orioles in Game 2.

The two series have been  different in the respect that while the Orioles and Tigers games have been characterized by timely offensive outbursts (Mainly by the O’s, obviously) the Royals and Angels pitching staffs have mostly held the other team in check, thanks to great performances from Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker, and solid relief, which was seen as a weakness of the Angels prior to the playoffs. It still is, really, but hey, they’ve done well until extra innings. As long as someone in their offense not named Kole Calhoun can make literally anything happen, they stand at least a minor shot at maybe winning the next three games.

If you’re betting money on that happening though, you’re either very brave, or very, very, very stupid.

I’m  little less hard on the Detroit Tigers, as their rotation is still really good (Even if Scherzer and Verlander underperformed) and their offense is hitting… Just not as much as the Orioles. Also, their bullpen (Aside from Anibal Sanchez) has been just the worst, with an ERA well over twenty. FUCKING TWENTY.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME(S):

Orioles Hitters: Nelson Cruz (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 3 RBI) Delmon Young (Game 2: 1 Hit in 1 At-bat, 1 Double, 3 RBI)

October is the time of the year when the baseball world takes the time to remember that Delmon Young still exists. And holy shit does he ever exist in a big way for the Orioles.

Orioles Pitchers: Andrew Miller (Game 1: 1 2/3 Innings Pitched, 0 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 3 Strikeouts) Kevin Gausman (Game 2: 3 2/3 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 5 Strikeouts)

Kevin Gausman, the young, donut-loving hurler from Colorado, outperformed his predecessor, a horribly out-of-form Wei-Yin Chen, to hold the powerful Tigers offense to a mere 1 run over almost 4 innings.

2nd Orioles Pitcher: Chris Tillman (Game 1: 5 Innings Pitched, 4 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) 

I would’ve preferred a 6-inning outing, which is why I ended up giving the “Pitcher of Game 1” title to Andrew Miller, the reliever, but hey, Tillman was pretty great as well.

Orioles Clutch Relievers: Andrew Miller (Game 1), Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach, Zach Britton (Game 2)

Tigers Hitters: N/A (Game 1) J.D. Martinez (Game 2: 1 Hit in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 3 RBI)

Former Houston Astros reject J.D. Martinez has driven in 4 of the 9 Tigers runs in this series with his two home runs. He gave the boys from Detroit a lead in Game 2 with a 3-run blast, but then their bullpen happened.

 Tigers Pitchers: N/A (Game 1) Anibal Sanchez (2 Innings Pitched, 0 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 2 Strikeouts)

Sanchez has literally been the only Tigers pitcher to escape the first two games with a good statline.

Tigers Clutch Relievers: Anibal Sanchez (Game 2)

Royals Hitters: Mike Moustakas (Game 1: 1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 1 RBI) Eric Hosmer (Game 2: 3 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 2 RBI) 

I could have just as easily gone with “Every KC runner to get on base in these playoffs.”

Royals Pitchers: Jason Vargas (Game 1: 6 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 2 Strikeouts) Yordano Ventura (Game 2: 7 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 5 Strikeouts)

“You put your right leg in, you put your right leg out, you put your right leg in and you shake it all about…”

Royals Clutch Relievers: Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis, Tim Collins, Jason Frasor, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland (Game 1) Wade Davis, Jason Frasor, Brandon Finnegan, Greg Holland (Game 2)

Angels Hitters: N/A

Angels Pitchers: Jered Weaver (Game 1: 7 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts) Matt Shoemaker (Game 2: 6 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

Grrr!!!

Angels Clutch Relievers: Joe Smith, Huston Street, Kevin Jepsen (Game 1) Jason Grilli, Joe Smith, Huston Street (Game 2)  

Gotham: Episode 2- Selina Kyle (Review)

That’s one sad looking cat.

So, in my review for the pilot episode of Gotham, I went into some detail about what I liked about the show in that 45-minute debut, and, as I found, there was quite a bit to like. The actors were great, the writing was tight, the atmosphere was appropriately dark, and its take on the Batman mytho seemed interesting enough to hold my attention. It’s not like it was flawless though. I found the framing of Gordon to be stupid, I felt that they tried to cram in too many villain cameos and in respect to the villains, there was a bit too much pointless fanservice.

Case in point: “Don’t call me Penguin!!!”

Were those problems resolved in the second episode? Well, kinda. The cameos feel a lot less pointless this time around, and it feels like every character served at least some semblance of a purpose to the plot. Problem is, the fanservice is still there, and it really got on my nerves this time around. It wasn’t so much Cobblepot’s dislike of the title of “Penguin” that bothered me this time around as the title character, Selina Kyle (Played by Camren Bicondova)’s insistence on being called “Cat.” Seriously. That is the very picture of violently beating subtlety to death.

Even if the fact that Selina Kyle is Catwoman wasn’t  already spoiled thanks to the show’s marketing campaign…

Case in point.

… We pretty much would have figured it out based on the fact that she dresses pretty much exactly like what you’d expect Catwoman to dress like, minus the skintight catsuit and gratuitous cleavage.

All of a sudden, I feel the urge to play through Arkham City again.

Also, is it just me or did the writing seem to take a turn for the worse? I wasn’t like it was a work of art, but it sure wasn’t as clunky as, say “My name is Cat” or whatever. And while I do like Bruce Wayne in this show, his dialogue seems a touch too formal for-what is he, a twelve year old?

While I’m still bitching about things I didn’t like, I really hope that the subplot about Allen and Montoya believing that Gordon is a crooked cop is wrapped up neatly and disposed of within the next episode or so. Man am I not interested at all in that being a thing.

Before I sign off, I feel like I should compliment what this episode does well, because honestly, there’s still a lot of good things to say. The show still looks fantastic (I’m a sucker for comic book visuals) the performance are still great (Robin-Lord Taylor is my favourite actor on the show at this point, and Camren Bicondova did a fine job as Catwoman Jr.), the villains were sufficiently menacing, I appreciated the reference to the Dollmaker (If you don’t know who that is, do yourself a favour and read the first volume of the new Detective Comics series) and hey, despite its’ faults, I still liked the episode! Yeah, it didn’t live up to the pilot, but I don’t think that it’s that serious of a setback. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the next episode brings.

Episode Rating: 3/5

Season Rating: 7.0/10

 

Ugh…

Well, the geniuses who decide film ratings in Canada decide to give Gone Girl an 18A rating, meaning that I’m unlikely to see it unless I can convince my parents to take me. If I can’t see what looks like the best movie of the year so far, I’ll probably end up seeing The Equalizer. It’s not like I can complain, as I wanted to watch that anyways, but still….Ugh.

Post-Game Reaction: NL Wild Card Game- San Francisco Giants @ Pittsburgh Pirates

And just like that, both of my favourite teams are knocked out of the playoffs. Fuck me, right?!?!

Yeah, after the thrilling American League Wild Card, this game was definitely a comedown in terms of quality. The Giants beat five runs out of Edinson Volquez, thanks mainly to a grand slam by Brandon Crawford, of all people.

The famed Pirates relief staff also failed to come through, and the end result was a resounding 8-0 victory for San Francisco, who will travel to the American capital  to play the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve decided to make these post-game posts shorter, as I need to devote more time to that fucking Gotham post. It really shouldn’t be taking me this much time, I admit, but what can I say? I’ve been busy.

With big, important things, obviously.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Giants Pitcher: Madison Bumgarner (Complete Game Shutout, 4 Hits, 1 Walk, 10 Strikeouts)

Duh.

Giants Hitter: Brandon Crawford (1 Hit in 5 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 4 RBI, 1 Error)

God didn’t have anything to do with it, bud. That was all you. I

2nd Giants Hitter: Brandon Belt (2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Run, 3 RBI, 2 Walks)

‘Nuff said.

Giants Clutch Relievers: N/A

Pirates Pitcher: N/A

Pirates Hitter: N/A

Pirates Clutch Relievers: Bobby LaFromboise

Post-Game Reaction: AL Wild Card Game- Oakland Athletics @ Kansas City Royals

Oakland Athletics' Eric Sogard, left, and Brandon Moss sit in the dugout after the Athletics lost 9-8 to the Kansas City Royals in 12 innings in the AL wild-card playoff baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Photo: Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

Eric Sogard crying. That is heartbreaking, right there.

I swear that I’m working on getting that Gotham review up. It should be posted later Wednesday night, though I would have had it up sometime tonight if not for this long-ass game. What was expected to be a pitchers’ duel between A’s ace Jon Lester and the Royals’ James Shields and, indeed, it looked like the A’s were going to cruise to the win after Brandon Moss hit two homers and Jon Lester turned in a decent (If not great) start, outlasting Shields, who got chased out in the sixth. However, the Royals struck back, clobbering Lester to make it 7-6 heading into he ninth and scoring the tying run off of a sacrifice fly from Norichika Aoki.

The Relentless Royals continued to put runners on base, and took advantage of the weak defense of Derek Norris (Substituting Geovany Soto, who was knocked out with a thumb injury in the fourth inning) by wreaking absolute havoc on the basepaths, with Aoki, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Terrence Gore, Jarrod Dyson and Christian Colon stealing a base apiece. It also didn’t help that outfielder Coco Crisp also left the game with a hamstring injury. A’s relievers Sean Doolittle and Danny Otero kept the game tied long enough for Josh Reddick to walk, Jed Lowrie to bunt him over, and Alberto Callaspo, of all people, to drive the lead runner in.

Leaving Otero in to pitch the bottom of the 12th inning, the A’s promptly got Cain to ground out, but fell victim to Eric Hosmer’s triple, which probably would have been a double had Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld not crashed into each other at the wall. Bad luck then befell the A’s, as Colon hit a bouncing ball that Josh Donaldson had absolutely no chance to convert for the out, which scored the tying run. After lefty specialist Fernando Abad came in and got Gordon to pop out, he was promptly replaced with Jason Hammel, even though Salvador Perez had only hit for a measly .632 OPS against lefties this year. After Colon immediately stole second after the ball bounced out of Derek Norris’s glove, Perez, mired in a terrible game, recent slump and an all-around disappointing year,  struck a liner down the third-base glove, just past the glove of a diving Josh Donaldson and into left field. Scoring Colon, this base hit won the game for the Royals (Their first postseason win since Reagan’s first term), eliminated the A’s, and means that the Royals will face the Angels in the ALDS. It also means that I, not exactly being the biggest fan of the Angels, will have to cheer for the Royals against them, despite the fact that not only did they eliminate my second-favourite team, but their clinching of the playoff spot a few days back means that my beloved Toronto Blue Jays are now experiencing the longest playoff drought in baseball.

Fuck me, right?!?!

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Royals Pitcher: Brandon Finnegan (2 1/3 Innings Pitched, 1 Hit, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 3 Strikeouts)

And to think that just a few months ago, Finnegan was pitching for Texas Christian University. Go Horned Frogs!

Royals Hitter: Eric Hosmer (3 Hits in 4 At-Bats, 1 Triple, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 2 Walks, 0/1 Stolen Base Attempts)

Salvador Perez may have gotten the walk-off, but without Hosmer, the game never would have been tied in the first place.

2nd Royals Hitter: Salvador Perez (1 Hit in 6 At-Bats, 1 RBI)

It’s not like I could have left him off though. Look at him! He’s adorable!

Athletics Pitcher: N/A

I wonder how much A’s fans are going to remember how tremendous Jon Lester was before this game…

Athletics Hitter: Brandon Moss (2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 2 Home runs, 2 Runs, 5 RBI, 1 Walk)

Proof that hitting two home runs in a game can only go so far if your pitching staff doesn’t back you up.

Royals Clutch Relievers: Wade Davis, Brandon Finnegan, Jason Frasor

Athletics Clutch Reliever: Fernando Abad