By Craig Elliott
Well it took a little more drama than was totally necessary, but the Astros popped the Cubs just hard enough and held on to the wildcard. Playoff time, baby! Fuck the Phillies, fuck the Mets, they’re all just color analysts now.
The Astros have knocked off everyone else in the NL East, so now we can make it a clean sweep by dumping the Braves. The Atlanta Cocksucking Braves. Don’t be misled by all that rookie talk. These are still the same moronic-chanting, wide strike zone-having, ugly as Bobby Cox’s ass, rocking on the bench, motherfucking Atlanta Braves.
But still, they do have some young sprouts. I mean, a couple of these guys are so young, their girlfriends are totally still in love with Chipper Jones. And they have to get Julio Franco to take them to R-rated movies. Which is handy, though, because he can get the senior discount.
Wednesday, October 5, 3:00 p.m. CDT – ESPN
MLB Extra Innings – Knowing my cable company, I’m probably already getting charged for next season.
Where: The Edifice of Greed
Even if they hang bunting all over it, The Turd is still the same old shithole. The only difference is that there may be fewer empty seats this year because of all the hoo-hah over the rookies. And despite the heavy coat of gloss, there are still some cracks showing in the Braves’ lineup. After hitting his 50th homer, AndrUw went 4-for-47 with no extra-base hits. And the team itself finished 7-12 over its last 19.
Andy Pettitte (17-9, 2.39) v. Tim Hudson (14-9, 3.52)
We’ve been waiting for this for two years. Finally, we get to see Starin’ Andy in the playoffs, peeking over his glove and giving the Braves the ol’ stinkeye. In a ridiculous 30 postseason starts, Pettitte is 13-8 with a 4.05 ERA. Dude has seen more red-white-and-blue bunting than nine Republican National Conventions.
And since about mid-season, Andy has been the cat’s ass. He went 13-2 after the break, and finished second in the league in ERA. Right behind Roger Clemens. He’s 4-1 against the Braves in his career, but the loss came earlier this year.
Current Braves are 28-for-96 (.292) against Pettitte, with most of those ABs coming from four guys. Julio “Federal League” Franco is 8-for-17 (.471) against Andy, and he’s the only current Brave who has a homer off him. Chipper Jones is 6-for-16 against Pettitte (.375), and AndrUw is 5-for-16 (.278). Brian Jordan is 1-for-11.
Hudson has a 1-2 postseason record. He’s faced the Astros twice in his career, and given up only one earned run in 16 innings. Earlier this year he went nine innings against Houston and gave up only four hits and no runs, but he didn’t get the win. But that was April 18, which was so long ago that Derek Bell also went 0-4 and grounded into two double-plays.
If we see Orlando Palmeiro today, keep in mind that he’s 12-for-29 (.414) against Hudson. Ausmus is 6-for-16, and Berkman is 2-for-3. But Biggio and Bagwell are a combined 1-for-14. Nobody on the Astros has homered off Hudson.
Players to Watch:
* Here’s how long it’s been since we’ve seen the Braves. Jeff Francoeur, their new young thang rightfielder, has never faced an Astros pitcher. Though one time Brad Lidge told him his nose was fucking huge.
* Speaking of fucking huge, AndrUw Jones’ face caused a minor eclipse the other day and 12 Braves’ fans were blinded. That’s what the dumbasses get for looking at his grill with the naked eye.
*And speaking of fans, the Chipperazzi may show up late today; they all got sent to detention for throwing tampons in study hall.
Houston – “Bunker Buster” Brad Lidge got hit with 25,000 pieces of shrapnel from his own F-Bomb. Phil Garner told him to rub some dirt on it. Ezequiel Astacio went back to his day job, making relief maps.
Atlanta – Traitor II and Jay Ka-Powell are out for the season. Reliever Blaine Boyer is also out. John Smoltz has shoulder problems, but should start Game Two.
* Note to the San Diego Padres – there are correct and incorrect ways to celebrate your division clincher. The absolutely most incorrect way is to hop in a gay circle like the Cincinnati Reds. The second-most incorrect way is to elbow your ace starter and break his fucking ribs.
* I mean fricking.