Josh Beckett, man of few words, pitching tonight in Tampa. (Video courtesy of Texas Gal @ Center Field.)

Did TBS’ signal take a schvitz? For some reason I have Dick Clark showing news bloopers instead of the pre-game show. And now, Steve Harvey? Eff this. Back to football.

Hey, MLB: why not award the broadcast rights to a real station with a back-up plan if its signal takes a complete dump? Just a thought.’

I don’t have the heart to follow the game on radio, not when there’s football on. Feel free to follow the action here and talk amongst yourselves while I remain pissed off.

OK, the signal exists… we’ll do this now. 2nd inning, Youkilis up against Shields….and he just crushed one to tie the game. at 1. If you missed it, B.J. Upton jacked one off Beckett in the first inning, while the rest of us were watching Steve Harvey and bitching.

And J.D. Drew missed back-to-back jacks by inches. He knocks a 2-2 pitch through the right side of the infield for a single. Jason Bay is up — and Evan Longoria makes a great pick on a grounder on the left side to force Drew out at 2nd. WOW. Throwing that off balance is impressive.

Kotsay up. Shields gets him to whiff on a fastball, but knocks the next pitch past Carlos Pena at first base. 1st and 2nd, one out.

“We’re back, and you haven’t missed much.” – Chip Caray. I’d say a home run is a lot, asshat. (via Anon)

Fly out for the 2nd out by Jed Lowrie, as Upton tracks it down, and now we’re watching Jason Varitek hit in the 9 hole with 2 outs, and we learn that James Shields is Aaron Rowand’s cousin. 1-1 after an inside fastball. 1-2 pitch goes off the umpire’s mask. Popped to left, Crawford’s got it.

1-1 game in the middle of the 2nd.

“Chip Caray, nepotism at its finest.” – Vegas Cabbie
“TBS wins the Rudy Martzke Memorial Dreaded Glitch Award.” – James Craven

Carl Crawford grounds out on the first pitch to Pedroia. Cliff Floyd takes a strike. He’s got an 0-2 count, and Buck Martinez made a good point about Beckett trying to off-speed his way out of this start. Another breaking ball gets Floyd looking for the second out. Dioner Navarro flies out to Drew in right. Still tied after 2 innings.

Crisp is up with a 1-1 count right now, takes a ball high. 2-2 after he pops another one back; he then flies out to Upton. There’s enough cowbell to satiate Christopher Walken’s fever in St. Pete. Two close pitches called balls by the umpire against Pedroia. 3-0 count now. Pedroia draws a walk on what looked like strike 2, but it missed on the tracker. Big Papi is up, ball one is low. Ortiz knocks one down the first base line for a double, and Pedroia stops at third. That’s one way to beat the shift. Youkilis drives in Pedroia with a ground out to short. Boston takes a 2-1 lead. 2 outs for J.D. Drew, whom Shields walks to get to Jason Bay.

Shields throws a nice slider to get a 1-2 count on Bay. Next one’s in the dirt and Navarro blocks it. Next pitch is a ball, full count. Fouled back. Bay draws a walk with a change-up outside. Bases loaded for Mark Kotsay.

Shields throws 2 straight balls to the first baseman, make that 3.

“You gotta wonder if this isn’t a result of the long rest, he hasn’t pitched in 8 days.” – Buck Martinez

Kotsay flies a long way out to Upton in center; middle of three and the Sawx are up by one.

Beckett gets Gabe Gross looking to open the bottom of the inning, and we go to Craig Sager, who has a wild design on his tie, but at least it matches the jacket tonight. He plunks Bartlett on an 0-2 count, and Beckett’s griping about him leaning into it. Iwamura comes up for the second time tonight. He’s drawn a 2-0 count, as Beckett and Varitek pay attention to Barlett at first. 3-0 after another high pitch.

“And the problem is, Babe Ruth’s on deck.” – Buck Martinez, referring to B.J. Upton with the 3-1 count now. Iwamura pops up to Pedroia, and up comes Bossman Junior.

“That pitch humped up to 93.” – Chip Caray, earlier (from JFein)

0-2 on Upton after he swung for the fences again. Pitch is just outside, 1-2. Next one’s down and fouled off. 2-2 after another one outside. Upton hits it back to the mound, and Beckett’s out of the inning.

So, we’re back for the 4th inning, and the home plate ump is coming out because of that ball he got nicked on when Varitek was at the plate last. This means we’re going to have some variance again as pitchers get used to the strike zone of whomever will be handling balls and strikes.

Oof, feeling lousy…will have to call this off. Keep watching and have fun. See you later.

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