Matchups Set for the 2009 East Coast Extravaganza

Tomorrow I leave for my summer vacation to the East Coast where I will watch five games in five days in four different stadiums. I haven’t been this excited for a trip since my first time to Vegas, and my second time to Vegas… and my third time to Vegas. Anyway, here are the probable starters for the games I’ll be enjoying:

Philadelphia Phillies (Cole Hamels) @ New York Mets (Mike Pelfrey), Citi Field – Originally, we were going to go to Citi Field on Thursday and start off with the Nationals-Reds in D.C. My friend called me and said it’d work better logistically to hit NY on night 1 and then head down the coast and do the D.C.-Baltimore combo on Thursday-Friday staying overnight on Thursday. This logistical change ended up being remarkably beneficial for us in terms of our matchups. Instead of Jamie Moyer/Tim Redding, we one of game’s elite in Hamels and the youngster Pelfrey. Of course that could’ve stayed as Redding and I wouldn’t care as Hamels is obvious treat here. Imagine if Johan Santana hadn’t gone tonight and was scheduled to face Hamels!? Man, that would’ve been something. Ah well, I’ll settle for Hamels vs. the Mets. Of course the downside to our logistical change is that I could’ve worn my Stephen Strasburg Nationals t-shirt jersey the NIGHT AFTER he was drafted to the park! I know I’ve talked about this article of clothing ad nauseum, but I really like it! 🙂

Cincinnati Reds (Micah Owings) @ Washington Nationals (Shairon Martis), Nationals Park
OK, so I’ll just have to wear it TWO nights after the Nationals drafted Strasburg. Of course, it could be the only time a Strasburg Nationals jersey is seen in Nationals Park if superdouche Scott Boras meddles too much and keeps a deal from being completed. This matchup certainly isn’t turning any heads with Owings toting a 4.90 ERA and Martis up at 5.31. That said, it’ll probably end up as the pitcher’s duel in the quintet. My biggest regret for this game is that I won’t get to see Joey Votto, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite players in the game. I just hope he uses his time off to get his mind right and come back as good as ever. He’s an incredible talent and too often we pretend like these non-physical injuries aren’t important or somehow not serious which couldn’t be further from the truth. When you look how mental blocks impacted the careers of guys like Chuck Knoblauch and Steve Blass, two of the more famous ones, it’s easy to see how impactful these injuries can be to a player’s career. I will still get to see a handful of guys I really enjoy watching play: Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Elijah Dukes, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman. And I’m really excited about going to Nationals Park… that’s not a phrase you see very often.

Atlanta Braves (Tommy Hanson) @ Baltimore Orioles (Jason Berken), Camden Yards
This is great. With the new schedule, it ends up that I will get to see arguably the top two prospects in all of baseball, but certainly two of the top five. Hanson will have his work cut out for him against that Oriole lineup. I don’t think many realize how stacked that lineup is throughout and that’s without the Chosen One, Matt Wieters, hitting much yet. The Braves have a pretty awful lineup, but hopefully Chipper Jones is in the lineup along with Brian McCann and Nate McLouth. If I see Jeff Francoeur signing autographs for the fans, I don’t know whether I’ll punch him in the neck or have him sign my chest. He continues to burn me in the fantasy baseball realm, but I keep coming back for me so I’ll probably have a Sharpie’d chest if I come in contact with him.

Boston Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Antonio Bastardo), Citizen’s Bank Park
This is the only one of the four parks that I have already been to and it’s also the only one we’ll be hitting twice. My best friend lives in Philly so it only makes sense. Neither of us are Philly fans yet we’ll see them in three of the five games. If I see Matsuzaka, I’m likely to have the Francoeur reaction. I picked Dice-BB as the AL Cy Young and he’s been a total flameout. The silver lining is that I was SO HIGH on him that all of my leaguemates tried to get him before I could so his poor performance hasn’t impacted me in the fantasy realm. Citizen’s Bank is beautiful and I’m excited to head back there. Since I’m wearing something for every home team, I’ll bust out my Hamels t-shirt jersey here instead of during his start. I don’t want New York fans shivving me in the neck for wearing away team garb, especially if it’s not for my actual favorite team. At least if I got shanked in the temple for wearing a Curtis Granderson jersey during interleague or in a World Series, I’d bleed to death much happier than if my blood just seeped into my Hamels shirt changing it from their current bright reds to the maroon tint of yesteryear.

Boston Red Sox (Josh Beckett) @ Philadelphia Phillies (J.A. Happ), Citizen’s Bank Park
Woohoo, another ace! Sure, Beckett is giant bag of douche with the personality of a table, but I’m not hanging out with him, I’m watching him pitch. Happ lacks any legitimate track record, but he’s been brilliant so far this season so this could be a real pitcher’s duel. I really hope I don’t dropkick one of the thousands of worthless “Sawx” fans during the first game on Saturday so that I’m actually around to see this one instead of in jail. Once the Red Sox won the World Series, they acquired 4.7 million vomit-inducing douchebag fans that took them from lovable losers to just as hate-able as the Yankees. There are still some tolerable Sox fans, in fact I know a few, but they are diamonds in the rough these days. Meanwhile, I hope I get to throw out the honorary First Battery at J.D. Drew when he comes out to right field. I really don’t have anything against Drew, I just want to fit in with the Philly fans so after I plant a AA into the side of Drew’s neck, I’m going to shove an old lady down the stairs and steal something from a kid.

I’ll have plenty of pictures and updates from the trip, so stay tuned!!


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