THE GAME: Dodgers vs Cubs
I was going to make something last night and write about the Sunday Night Baseball game, but by the time it started, I was too exhausted to do much of anything: yesterday afternoon was as exciting as any afternoon of sports watching I have experienced in years.
The Cavs blew a 26-point 4th quarter lead, the largest blown 4th quarter lead in the NBA in more than 14 years. (Since December 6, 2002, when the Lakers came back from 27 points down to beat the Mavericks. About a month ago, I was cleaning out a storage shed at my parents' house and came across the LA Times sports section from the morning after that game.)
Sergio Garcia finally won a major, taking home the green jacket at Augusta National. And at the exact same time that he and Justin Rose were walking down the 18th fairway, the Angels were in the process of scoring seven runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat Seattle, their largest 9th-inning comeback in 31 years.
After all that, the Mets vs. Marlins just didn't excite me.
But a Monday NLCS rematch starting at 5 PM? Definitely.
(5 PM is my absolute favorite start time for a baseball game: It feels like both an afternoon game and a night game. That's part of why I love Sunday Night Baseball so much.)
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- Normally I cook my quesadillas in the cast iron pan. Tonight, I had tortillas that were slightly over 12 inches - they wouldn't fit. So I baked this in the oven.
- I used a mix of cheddar and smoked provolone cheeses. I usually use mozzarella, but I was out.
- I added a couple of handfuls of roasted chicken breast.
- Also caramelized onions and chopped scallions.
- On the other half of the tortilla I smeared a not-small amount of Zankou Chicken's legendary garlic sauce and several pickled jalapenos.
- Normally, I use one of my favorite barbecue sauces, something with a lot of spice or flavor. But there were already plenty of strong flavors present, so I just used a middle-of-the-road, Kansas City-style sauce.
- I've made hundreds of quesadillas in my life. This was one of my five best.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- The Cubs are hoisting their championship banner tonight... but they're not having their ring ceremony until Wednesday night? Why am I not surprised that they're going to drag this out as much as possible? Hell, why not just give a different player his ring every night? They could have ceremonies until the 4th of July.
- I just tuned into Baseball Tonight fifteen minutes before the start of the game to see that the pregame ceremony is delayed because of the weather. You mean it's not 77º and sunny everywhere in America today?
- I'm watching Washington-St. Louis while waiting for this game to start. The ESPN announcers keep gushing over the 8-pitch at-bat between Harper and Wainright. I was guessing they were asleep during King Felix and Trout's 14-pitch battle the other night... but as my friend Nick pointed out to me, ESPN doesn't really consider the AL West to be part of their baseball coverage.
- Lester just threw the first pitch at 7:02. So basically nothing I said about a 5 PM start time applies here.
- The Cubs are wearing glittering gold names and numbers on their jerseys. I would describe them as somewhere between "unatractive" and "fucking hideous."
- Apparently, most of the broadcast is going to be split-screen segments with the game on the right side and some feature on last year's Cubs team on the left.
- Puig dropped an easy catch of a Schwarber foul ball for the third out of the inning. What happened next was as predictable as anything you will see in baseball: after Schwarber walked, Kris Bryant smashed a double - the first hit of the game for the Cubs - to score Schwarber. 1-0 Cubs.
- Dave Roberts pulls Wood and brings in Stripling to face Kris Bryant with the bases loaded. Not exactly a low-pressure situation. (But he got Bryant to pop out before I'd finished typing that sentence.)
- Commercial Note: My English teacher during sophomore year of high school bet the class that Eddie Vedder wouldn't live to see the end of the school year. "He's on a death trip," Mr. Garfield proclaimed. Even at the time, I realized he may have just been saying that to show that he knew who Eddie Vedder was, that he didn't really believe what he was saying. But still, it amuses me that not only was he wrong, more than two decades later Eddie Vedder is strumming jingles in an ESPN commercial. You can't get more establishment than that.
- The Dodgers get on the board with a Seager double that scores Pederson. It's gonna be fun watching those two hit in the top half of the Dodgers lineup for the next half-decade (or more).
- One inning later, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no outs and couldn't get a run across. It's still only a one-run game, but it's hard not to feel like that was the best chance the Dodgers were going to get to put up a crooked number.
- They did, however, get one run on an error by Addison Russell, so now we're going to the 9th inning all tied up.
- Commercial Note: Carl's Jr.'s new advertising campaign is that they're getting rid of their ridiculous, overly-sexualized commercials, and are now focusing on the food. They have rebranded themselves "pioneers of the great American burger." But here's the thing: they haven't said anything about changing the quality of their food. And their food is awful. It would be one thing if they were saying "Okay, we're going to start making better food"... but they're not. They're acting as if they've been making good food all along. If they were, they would never have had to use commercials of almost-naked women to begin with. (You'll never see In-n-Out doing that.) Maybe I'm taking this whole thing too seriously. I haven't eaten a full meal at Carl's Jr. in years. Maybe they deserve another try.
- Kenley Jansen vs. Kris Bryant in the bottom of the 9th with a runner in scoring position. Moments like these are what baseball fans live for.
- Cubs walk off. 10:39 PM. Not exactly the early bedtime I'd originally planned for, but oh well.