Since I knew that I was working a Sunday shift on the blog today, I planned my Saturday around watching as much of the MLB playoffs as possible. The day started off well in that regard, as the Philadelphia Phillies took control of Game 4 against the Atlanta Braves, with the initial barrage capped by former Miami Marlins Legend J.T. Realmuto hitting the first catcher inside-the-park home run in playoff history.
I do not really like the Atlanta Braves, so this was fine with me. The second playoff game of the day started not too long after Realmuto’s dinger—can you call an inside-the-park home run a dinger?—and I had similar rooting interests. I do not really like the Houston Astros, either, and the Seattle Mariners are scrappy and fun in the way that not-that-good teams often are, and had, until running into the Astros, a faint team-of-destiny sense that not-that-good teams sometimes acquire in the postseason. I was hopeful that Seattle would extend its postseason stay at least a little longer with a win on Saturday after dropping the first two games in Houston. Well, extend their postseason they did: It took six hours, 22 minutes, and 18 innings for the Mariners to finally, mercifully, be put to rest.
In the time from first pitch until Seattle’s final out, I had myself an entire weekend day. How could I not? Six hours is a long time. You can watch both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in that time, and still have some minutes to spare. I did not do that, though—I absolutely would, but I had other plans. Here are the things I did do in the time that it took Houston to score what would end up being the series-deciding run.
4:16 p.m. ET: After Drew mentioned in Slack that Alabama was on the ropes, I began to check in on that game on my phone; at that point, it was 21-7 Tennessee. We will come back to this.
4:25 p.m. ET: I had been watching the Phillies-Braves game since just before J.T. Realmuto’s inside-the-park home run. It had stayed close since then, but it was around this time that Philadelphia broke open a 4-2 game, starting with Rhys Hoskins’s two-out RBI blooper.
4:31 p.m. ET: I got hungry, and since we still had three hours until dinner, I put two frozen French bread pizzas into our new air fryer. They were not fully cooked when I took them out, so I put them back in for another five minutes.
They were fine.
4:41 p.m. ET: Since the Phillies game seemed safely in hand, I played a game of Hearthstone on my phone. I played as Reno Jackson, and got second place playing a Pirates build. You never want to play a Pirates build on your phone.
5:26 p.m. ET: The Phillies eliminated the Braves. I switched my brain over to Alabama-Tennessee. I probably do not need to mention that the Astros and Mariners were still in a scoreless tie.
5:55 p.m. ET: There was a lull in my attention towards all of the sports, so I went to take a shower and get ready for dinner. My partner and I had 7:45 p.m. reservations at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster to celebrate her new job.
7 p.m. ET: Checking back in on Astros-Mariners while brushing my teeth. Still no runs.
7:34 p.m. ET: While walking to dinner, I got to spend a few minutes as the annoying man streaming the end of the Alabama-Tennessee game on my phone. This is not who you want to find yourself being, really, but I got to see Alabama’s Will Reichard miss his potentially game-winning 50-yard kick, and the Hendon Hooker-to-Bru McCoy heave that put Tennessee in position to kick a game-winning field goal of their own, and of course, one of the butt-ugliest but most satisfying game-winning field goals I’ve ever seen:
7:45 p.m. ET: Dinner! It was lovely, we got the following: a bottle of bubbly, a half-dozen oysters, an order of crudo, fish cakes (too much tartar sauce, weirdly), a side of shishito peppers, and this beast of a whole steamed lobster:
8:57 p.m. ET: We got key lime pie on the house, which was nice. I am not a huge fan of key lime pie, despite being from Florida. This one was pretty good, I thought.
9:10 p.m. ET: On the walk home from dinner, we ran into Friend of the Program and former Splinter editor-in-chief Aleks Chan at a bar nearby. I found out said bar has karaoke now. Saving that information for later.
9:30 p.m. ET: At this point, I believe that the Astros and Mariners were in the 15th inning, give or take. The game had expanded to fill pretty much an entire Saturday at this point.
10:00 p.m. ET: My partner went to give the puppy his nighttime walk. She was convinced that the game would end during said walk.
10:10 p.m. ET: They return from the walk; the score is still 0-0.
10:12 p.m. ET: Finally, freedom.