Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's post goes in order of national importance

Phillies 5, Rays 4
Phillies 10, Rays 2

Color me surprised. I really didn't think the Phillies had much of a chance against the Rays' starting staff, but they sit one win away from capturing a World Series.

Saturday's game featured a five-man infield in the ninth, an exciting gimmick that typically doesn't work. The Phillies scored on a fielder's choice swinging bunt to Evan Longoria. He made a good effort to get to the ball but then underhanded it into the stands, and that was that.

Tonight's game had two things I did not expect at all.

1.) A good pitching performance from meatballer Joe Blanton.
2.) A home run from pitcher Joe Blanton.

The Angels regularly faced Blanton while he was with Oakland. He was not good. Frankly, he still isn't good, but he managed to keep men off base when the Rays homered and did a good job creating some offense for himself. Plus, you've gotta love when former A's win while the current Oakland club is rebuilding...again.

Philadelphia sends out heartthrob Cole Hamels to face Scott "Stoner" Kazmir tomorrow evening. As the sun rises on William Penn, the sun sets in St. Petersburg.

Patriots 23, Rams 16

I do not subscribe to the school of thought which states a midseason coaching change can make a real difference. The Rams are still bad, newfound "fire" and "desire to win" aside. The fact remains that the Patriots are a very average team who still beat St. Louis thanks to solid field position and excellent special teams play.

Cassel had a better game than the 2 interception linescore shows. The first interception was a weird bounce off a defender, and the second was the result of Wes Welker being on the ground instead of finishing his route. It happens. Matty C also threw a touchdown pass to Randy Moss which Moss promptly dropped, although he had a pretty solid game with 106 receiving yards.

New England is now 5-2 and tied for first in the AFC East as Buffalo lost to Miami (!) today. Miami is not good, but they're sure as hell better than they were last year.

The Pats play in Indy next week. The Colts will be on a short week as they play unbeaten Tennessee tonight on Monday Night Football. The Titans are the worst 6-0 team of all time, except for, perhaps, the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Going undefeated against crappy teams does not a great team make. And Mercury Morris needs to go away.

Huskies 5, Maine 0
Huskies 2, Maine 1

A weekend sweep in Orono is about as unlikely as Matt Cassel beating an NFL team. Which is to say, considerably more likely considering the level of competition. Maine is absolutely horrendous this year, with neither goalie filling the void left by 6'7" Ben Bishop. Bishop, incidentally, just got his first NHL win as the starting goalie for the St. Louis Blues. The Blues' usual starting goalie Manny Legace was injured on a carpet intended for Sarah Palin.

I'm not even going to touch that.

Friday night's game was not as lopsided as the score suggests, but the Huskies did get contributions from 5 different players. Freshman Alex Tuckerman notched his first collegiate goal, and Rob Rassey scored in his first start this season. The Huskies also got goals from Mike Hewkin, Chris Donovan, and David Strathman.

Saturday's game was stolen by NU in the third, with Rassey getting his second goal and IPNO favorite Ryan Ginand netting the gamewinner on a nasty backhand wraparound. Northeastern was badly outshot yet again, this time 27-13. This isn't a huge concern as they're obviously making their shots count, but I'd like to see them throw the puck at the net a little more often, particularly on the power play.

Brad Thiessen. Still awesome. That is all.

Wildabeasts 3, Kappa Sigma 2

I told Jeff before the game I'd need 3 goals to win. And even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

We tripled our career-best goals/game against a mediocre team, but we probably could've scored a couple more minus some bad bounces. The W sure looks nice now, though, as we're 2-1-1 with one game left. A win probably puts us in the playoffs.

As far as my actual play, I got to the arena about an hour early and tried to do the whole athlete thing, complete with heavy metal-laden iPod and hooded sweatshirt. I have to say, I was definitely more focused at the onset of the game, but I was feeling unusually tired even early in the first. As a result, I wasn't popping up quickly enough and was leaving way too much of the net open.

The first goal I allowed was an absolutely unacceptable squibber through the five-hole. I almost let in another but finally closed it up, making the save with my calves and the ball behind my body. I don't know what my deal is, but I just wasn't squaring up quickly enough the whole game.

The second goal was more respectable, although frankly still a shot I should've saved. They had a 2 on 1 breakaway, but I decided to stay deep in the net because I forgot that passing is damn near impossible. So instead of challenging the guy with the ball, I sorta stayed back and a shot flicked up over my weak side foot. I got a piece of it, but not enough, and had I come out and gotten closer I would've cut the angle and possibly even been able to poke it away. It didn't end up mattering, but that was not a fun goal to surrender.

My third period was generally solid. I had a sorta cool save where a liner hit me in the chest and popped up, so I sorta swatted it away with the stick with a forward incoming. It looked cool, although the right choice would've been to pull the glove over and pull it out of the air entirely. My last save was a nervous one on a high shot that I knocked down and then had to dive on. My teammates look nervous about those, but I can guarantee I'm more nervous about letting one of those squirt away onto the stick of an opponent.

The next game's not for a couple weeks, so I'll need to find a way to stay focused and maintain my mechanics.

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