Tagged: MLB.TV

The baseball gods are smiling today.

First, I kept trying MLB.TV several times in vain, knowing that it had worked once.  And suddenly, at about try number 7, it worked!  I don’t know how, but I’m certainly not turning it off again.

Next, I got those 3 additional Tigers home runs I asked for!  That makes 6 of them so far in just 5 innings.  Incredible.  Needless to say, Prior is gone and his replacement Novoa is probably not far behind.

Um……3 more Cardinal home runs, please?! 🙂

Tiffany

P.S.  Did anybody just see that play Scott Rolen made??  The human vacumn is at it again.

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5th try’s a charm….Soup gets his 100th

Cards fans are aware that players are pretty much "once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal."

Most Cardinal fans don’t consider Larry Walker’s time with Colorado, but his time spent as a Redbird.  Same with McGwire.  Who cares about the A’s?  He was a Cardinal!  Even guys that only played a year or two can become a fan favorite very quickly.

On rare occasions, a guy comes in, plays, and the fans never really get to like him.  Tino Martinez would probably be one of these examples.

Well, I’m not sure which game it happened, but Encarnacion has definitely entered the former category of "once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal."  It looked iffy for him when he first became a Redbird as his hitting went from bad to worse.  Then, he made a couple of errors in the outfield and we’re all thinking, "Why did we acquire this guy?"

Suddenly, he starting making more and more contact and now he’s on a tremendous roll.  He’s been hitting great here in June and last night he added to his rapidly increasing totals by hitting a double and jacking two homers.  He’s hitting .400 in June and slugging .667.  Compare that to April when he was hitting .222 and slugging a mere .333.  In June he already has 4 more hits, 5 more doubles and 2 more homers and 6 more RBIs than he did in April in about 30 less at-bats.  So, plenty of time to do even more this month.  Hopefully, he will continue this June trend.  If he does, he is definitely on pace to even break some of his personal season records in a few categories.

I said yesterday that I hoped I would get up today, watch the Cardinal game and hope that I would see that Suppan would have finally recorded win number 100, after trying 5 times to get there.  And, that’s exactly what happened.  But, just barely.

Suppan’s line was almost exactly like Marquis’ the night before.

On Friday, Marquis pitched 8 innings, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 3 and walking 2.

Last night, Soup pitched 7 2/3 innings, gave up 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 3 and walking 2.

Both pitchers gave up a homer as well.  They would have been exactly identical, had Suppan been allowed to finish off the 8th, because then they would have pitched the same amount of innings.  And, technically, Hancock gave up that 2nd run of Soup’s, but of course it is credited to Suppan because he allowed the man on base.

The difference was that after Marquis pitched, Braden Looper came in and shut down the 9th.  Soup wasn’t as lucky.  Josh Hancock gave up 2 runs before getting yanked.  Flores than finished off the 8th.  Izzy gave up his (sometimes) trademark run, but got the save.  I’m sure there will still be many Cardinal fans angry at him though.  Of course, this is despite the fact that he leads the Majors with 23 saves.

All that matters though is that the Cardinals won and Suppan finally recorded his 100th win.  So congratulations to him for that.  He certainly pitched well enough to deserve it and I’m glad that the ‘pen didn’t blow it for him.  Perhaps the pitchers really are feeding off of each other now as previously suggested.

Carp’s pitching today and he certainly can keep it going.  There is a rain delay going on, however, and I’m sure that can certainly throw off a pitcher’s concentration.  As I said before, there’s nothing I would like more than a sweep heading into our interleague play.

Cincy lost again, so we’re now 4 1/2 games ahead of them.

And, on the Pujols front, Berkman narrowed the RBI gap by pulling within 5 RBIs.  Soriano remains one HR behind Pujols.

As I said, the Cardinals are in the middle of a rain delay right now.  Before the delay, Rolen belted a 2-run homer.  That’s nice to see after he had an 0-4 yesterday.  In the meantime, I am derviving great pleasure watching the Cubs game.  It’s actually a 6-0 Tiger lead because Cubs poster boy Mark Prior, fresh off the DL, gave up 3 Tiger homers in the first.  Cubs fans have to be banging their heads against the wall by this point in the season.  You send Rusch to the mound, fine, it’s a loss.  But, Prior giving up 3 homers?  I don’t think Cubs fans thought it was possible.

And, of course, by "watching," I mean watching Gameday Live, because I have been wrongly blacked out of Cubs games for sometime.  But, I’ve refrained from saying anything because at least I was finally getting Cardinals games.  However, during the delay, I shut down the game and now when I’ve turned it back on, it’s saying I’m blacked out.  How is this possible?  Hopefully, I can get someone to help me by the time it’s back on, but I doubt it.

Give me 3 more Tigers homers,

Tiffany

Gameday just not good enough

I’m unable to watch MLB.TV tonight, but I’m up so I thought I would try to follow the Redbirds on Gameday Live. But, after just a few short innings it’s become clear to me that this will not work. I started watching in the 2nd inning and when I went back to see what happened in the first inning, the entire Cardinal’s half inning wasn’t there. But, looking at the stats, I was able to figure out that Taguchi had walked and Encarnacion had hit a home run.

Then there are things like in the 2nd where it said that Molina was thrown out stealing. Clearly, this is not what happened. Miles was batting and likely it was a botched hit and run play.  But, there’s no way for Gameday to record something like that.

I also miss the insight that the announcers have on certain players.  For instance, David Eckstein was out last night with a headache from a mild concussion.  His tests came back negative, so he was allowed to play once the headache subsided.  Today he’s still out.  This is something that announcers would talk about so you could find out.

It’s interesting because I’ve used Gameday before for specific information, like what a guy is hitting or how many pitches someone has thrown.  But, I never realized that when you only use it how much you miss out on than when you watch it on TV or MLB.TV.

So, even though I am encouraged and excited about a 3-1 Cardinal lead at the end of 4 (and even more so that Soup just pitched out of a bases loaded jam), I’m going to go to bed and then tomorrow I’ll head to the office to watch this on MLB.TV.  When I do, hopefully I will find out that Suppan finally recorded his 100th win.

Good night,

Tiffany

Bits and pieces, plus a sweeeeeep

Thanks to everyone who came and read the liveblog as it was going on yesterday and to everyone who has come to read it after the fact today.  I noticed that yesterday (and today is on pace to be the same) I had about 3x as many hits as I had been averaging.  So, apparently people like to read live blogs.  My counter website recorded that I now have had 750+ total visitors to my site, but the counter you see on my site has only recorded barely 600.  So, I’m not sure why the discrepancy.

Anyway, the live blog was a lot of fun.  Reid did a fantasic job of the Royals side and I hope to do one again soon.  Is your team playing the Cardinals soon?  If so, let me know and we’ll talk about doing a live blog.

I previously mentioned some things that happened around the league yesterday, but let me elaborate on a couple of them now that I have some time.

  • The Cubs/Sox boxing match

I still haven’t gotten to see the whole thing, because for some unknown reason, I am still being blocked by MLB.TV for yesterday’s game.  That’s right…..YESTERDAY’S GAME.  These games are supposed to be free of blackout restrictions shortly after the games are over, so whatever.  But, from the quick highlights that I saw, I was pretty amused.  A.J. was pretty worked up afterwards and was cracking me up.  I hope all the Cubs players are suspended indefinitely.  Maybe then they will lose.  Oh, wait.  They’re already doing that.  Poor Cubbie fans. 😉

  • Bonds hitting #714

First, here’s the best post his home run that I’ve seen so far.  Second, I’m glad this part is over.  I know it won’t happen, but I just want him to go away.  I mentioned in a post about Barry that on MLB’s ‘milestone tracker’ page Barry was due to hit #715 against the Cardinals in the upcoming San Fran series.  It took him so long to get to 714, they have sinced moved back the estimation for 715 to May 26 vs. Colorado.  The fact remains though, that he could hit 715 at any time.  And, it very well could be against the Cardinals, but I hope it’s not.  Clearly, he won’t be able to DH against us, so we will see how many of the series he participates in.  I imagine all since he will want to break the record in front of a home crowd.  I watched the post game interview.  He said, "Now you all can go watch Albert Pujols."  Thanks, Barry.  We will.

  • Minnesota/Milwaukee game

Both teams put up some high numbers with Minnesota coming out on top of the free-for-all.  Here’s the line score from the game.

  Minnesota 6 0 0 5 1 0 1 2 1 16 15 1
Milwaukee 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 3 10 13 3

16 runs on 15 hits for MN and 10 runs on 13 hits for Mil and 4 errors total.  Pretty unbelievable.  The even bigger fact is that Minnesota only hit one home run.  But, they had plenty of singles, sac flies and Milwaukee errors to eventually bang home 16 runs.  In addition, every Brewer pitcher used gave up at least one earned run.  That’s a problem.

Last, but not least, the Cardinals/Royals.  As I’m sure most people know by now, we swept them.  That in itself is not a big accomplishment, because as one astute Cardinal fan pointed out….Albert Pujols has more home runs than the Royals have wins.  (22 Pujols homers to 10 wins.)  I enjoy this stat so much that I think it may become a regular feature around here.

Regardless, we swept them and played some good baseball along the way.  We also played some not-so-good baseball, but since we won, I’ll skip that part.  Pujols went deep in all 3 games.  The thing with Pujols is that I try to talk about other guys a lot because everyone contributes and plays hard and everyone else talks enough about Pujols, but you can’t help it.  The guy is amazing and his numbers beg to be talked about.  He is literally crushing everyone in the home run and RBI categories.

The lineup was also a bit unorthodox for this 3rd game of the series.  According to the Royal announcers yesterday, even though Spiezio was DH-ing for the 2nd straight day, LaRussa had promised a "surprise DH" in the lineup today.  Well, it was certainly a surprise to me.  I had been gone and hadn’t even read about Chris Duncan’s callup, so it was quite a surprise when I turned on the game and saw he was in the lineup.

And, he came through with a home run in the 5th.  That was after Pujols jacked his 22nd homer of the year and before Luna also went deep.  Edmonds was also inches away from the long ball, but it was brought down at the fence by the left fielder.  He came through later, however, when they intentionally walked Pujols.  He hit a 2 RBI single to right field.  Later, the Royals would walk Pujols again.  I know he’s a dangerous hitter, but the Cardinals are doing a great job of making pitchers pay when they dare to intentionally pass Albert.  But, they keep walking him.  I guess it’s kind of a lose-lose situation for the opposing pitchers.

Going back to the unorthodox lineup for a minute.  This probably looked less like a typical Cardinal lineup than any game thus far.  Getting a day off were Eckstein (with Luna in his place) and Rolen (wiht Spiezio in his) and Encarnacion (with J-Rod in his), and Molina (with Bennett in his).  On the other side of the outfield was Bigbie and then, as already mentioned, Duncan was the DH.  Some of these reserves get more playing time than others with Spiezio filling in just about everywhere and Bennett playing more and more for Molina these days, but of what is considered the "typical Cardinal starters," the only ones in the lineup were Miles, Pujols and Edmonds.

Miles, 2B

Rodriguez, RF

Pujols, 1B

Edmonds, CF

Spiezio, 3B

Bigbie, LF

Duncan, DH

Bennett, C

Luna, SS

Yet, a look at the ending score doesn’t tell you that story.  Crushing the Royals 10-3 was more of how I felt a 1st place team vs. last place team score should look than the feeble numbers we put up yesterday.  It’s also important to know that the RBIs for those 10 runs were passed around, with 7 different guys racking up at least one.

Soup turned out a solid outing to raise his performance to 5 wins and Flores and Thompson both contributed from the bullpen.

All in all, a good day, a good series to raise our record to 29-15.  We would have the best record in baseball if it wasn’t for those pesky Detroit Tigers who keep winning.  They have won 9 of their last 10 and we remain a half game behind them in the standings.

I look forward to playing San Francisco tomorrow, where we will see several old familiar faces playing in Giants uniforms and where we will hopefully keep Bonds at bay.

Everything you ever wanted to know about MLB.TV.

I love my new counter that lets me know how many people are reading my blog.  (The downside, of course, being that it also lets me know how many people read without leaving comments.) 

One of my favorite aspects is seeing what google searches people use to reach my site.  I’ve only had the counter a little over 3 days and already 6 people (so who knows how many before that) have found my site by some of the following searches:

  • problems with MLB.TV
  • how to get MLB.TV to work
  • MLB.TV blackout restrictions

And, my personal favorite…..

  • MLB.TV knows where you live

Since half of these people live outside of the United States, I decided to write the following post.  Enjoy.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time at all, you would know that I subscribe to MLB.TV because I live in Madrid, Spain and cannot see ballgames on the TV here.  (And, as soccer is hands down the predominant European sport, that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.)

Reading my blog, you would also know that I have not always had the kindest words for MLB.TV.  I have ranted and raved about it for quite some time on my blog. (here, here and here for a few examples.)

So, why all anger directed at MLB.TV? 

It’s not the quality.  Quality of it is great.  I started using MLB.TV during the post season last year and was amazed at clear everything was.  Sure, it’s smaller compared to the TV I am used to, but when you blow it up on your computer full screen, it’s actually quite big.

It’s not the streaming.  It streams awesome.  I know a few people have complained about the streaming due to having a lower connection speed or computer, but with the computer I have, it streams great.  I get everything in (nearly) real-time and I love that.

So, why?

Well, it was the fact that I was blacked out of every game I wanted to watch, even though I am clearly (in Madrid, Spain), living out of market.  Because, it wasn’t every game, but games that are broadcast where I used to live in the States (Illinois), such as Cardinals, Cubs, and the Braves, I assumed it was my credit card that was the issue.  Obviously, it’s not an IP address detection of some sort, or else they would detect that I live in Spain.

But, as I called customer service, I was assured again and again, that it was not because of my credit card, but just an unexplainable error.  They would confirm I live in Spain and send me a "token," by e-mail to use.  Not my first choice in the situation, but I could live with this.

Then, the situation got worse.  Now, the customer service line would be busy half the day and when I finally got through, I would sit on hold forever.  By the time I actually got a person on the phone, the game would have already started, sometimes being half over.  Every time the person would assure me that they would fix the situation.  Once, I asked to speak to a manager.  Having been in the customer service field in the past, I knew that a manager would have the authority to do what the phone represenative could not and perhaps could solve the situation.

This "manager" assured me that he would personally handle the situation.  He said he would call me before the next game and see to it that I had a token. 

He never called.

I suggested all kinds of ideas, such as sending me an automatic token before every game that I could use or just permanently allowing me access to the games, since they knew I lived in Spain.  I was only told that this couldn’t be done and tokens were the only way around this. 

I tried emailing for tokens, thinking it would be faster and I would reach no busy signal.  But, this didn’t work either.  I wouldn’t receive an answer for days and when I finally did, it was either an automated response or someone who (from their response) had clearly not read my email.

Finally, at the absolute peak of frustration (and waiting on hold for 1 hour and 25 minutes) I wrote this post.  And, finally my complaints no longer fell on deaf ears.

I received an email from someone who actually wanted to help correct my problem.  I was skeptical at first, but emailed him the info he asked for.  He had MLB.TV working permanently for me by the next game.  This was almost a week ago and it has worked ever since.  I have watched quite a few Cardinal games live since then and it’s been great.

I promised before that I would love to write great things about MLB.TV and that I would once it was working correctly.

So, now I would  like to say that I love the quality of it, I love the streaming and I love most of all, that it works.  As with any technology, there are ocassional bumps and sputters in the feed or audio, but that’s to be expected.  And, honestly, it really doesn’t happen very often.  So, I would just like to say:

I Love MLB.TV! 

There.  Maybe that makes up for the not as nice things I’ve said.

If you are one of these people, accessing my blog because of MLB.TV, I can’t help you out with the unresponsiveness of the staff.  (After all, it took over a month for me to get help and that was mainly because I had a blog to vent my frustrations.)  But, if it’s just a general problem, such as you don’t know how to get it to work, leave me a post or send me an email and I’ll try to help you out.

And now that I have MLB.TV working, I would like to try something I never could before.  A live blog.  I had thought about it, but I was never guaranteed that I would be able to watch the game I wanted to in order to promote it ahead of time.

So, I would like to let all of you know that this Saturday, I will be live blogging the Cardinals game against the Kansas City Royals.  It will be the first time they meet this year and the first time since May 22 of last year.  I was looking for a Royals fan to blog this game with me and even though he’s not a Royals fan, Reid has volunteered to blog the Royals side because he has a few things to say about this game.  If you’ve ever read his blog, you know he’ll keep you entertained and if you haven’t, you should check it out.

I encourage everyone to stop by and check out both of our blogs throughout the evening and also to comment your reactions.  If anyone else is interested in doing a live blog and your team is playing the Cardinals soon, let me know.  Keep in mind the 7 hour time difference, so it will have to be a weekend or an early game, or else I will never get up for work the next day. 🙂  But, I’m up for it otherwise.  Well, assuming this one goes well anyway.

On more immediate things, we start our series against the New York Mets tonight.  I am personally looking very forward to this series.  The Mets have gained a lot of attention this year because a lot of people seem to think this is year that they will topple the Braves from the throne they’ve had atop the NL East for 14 straight seasons.

Both are in first place, so it should definitely be exciting.  But, this is getting onto an entirely different subject, so I will stop here and write a new post about the Mets soon.  Until then, Mets fans?  Are you out there?  Do you think one team will sweep or that it will be an even matchup?

Faithful MLB.TV watcher,

Tiffany

Does anyone actually work at MLB.TV customer service?

Well, the Cardinal game has officially started and of course I’m not watching it.  Of course I’m blacked out.  Of course no one will answer when I call customer service.  I have never been more angry at something I have paid for in my entire life.

I waited on hold earlier today for about 25 minutes when I tried to watch the Cubs game.  I finally gave up and now I’ve called to try to get my token for the Cardinals game.  So far, it’s been 35 minutes, but this time I am determined to stay on the line until my call is answered.  I want to see how long it takes.

To top it all off, I finally got an email back from customer service today (after sending about 5-7 separate emails to them) and they informed me that "sometimes blackouts happen when you live in the local TV market."  Which of course was not useful in the least bit.  It just means they didn’t read any of my many emails in which I explained that I live out of the country.

I have begged, pleaded and everything else I can think of to get them to automatically send me a token to every game.  Or at least every couple or even every 3 games, because I don’t watch every Cardinal game live.  But, they refuse to do this.  Apparently, it makes more sense for me to sit on hold for eternity and get no help.

So, in case you can’t tell what my position is….I highly DO NOT recommend MLB.TV.

Tiffany

P.S.  I’m following the game through Gameday right now and the Nationals have now scored 4 runs and it’s only the 1st.  Boo.

Tuesday’s game…..a little late

Well, I was pumped about watching the game live tonight, since the Cards played at 12:10 CT, but I was blacked out (surprise) from MLB.TV.  I never recevied a token (surprise again) by email, so I called and after waiting on hold for 20 minutes, decided I could probably be doing something more interesting with my time.

So…..I did.

Now I am waiting for the game to be archived.  Until that time I thought I would try to remember some things from the post I accidentally erased earlier today.

For one thing, I was surprised at the response to my soccer post.  Guess the Europeans are coming out of the woodwork! 🙂  Well, I know squat about soccer, so until I attend another game (which could be a long time), you all will be seeing strictly baseball posts around here.

Ok, onto yesterday’s game….

First of all, way to go Juan!  Everyone is aware of the struggles he’s had.  So, it was great to see him take the Pirates deep over the right field fence.  This also led to the first curtain call he’s had this season.  It’s something Cards fans are known for and something I had hoped he would get soon, a topic I discussed awhile back with Christel in this post.  So, add to this Juan’s first triple of the year and I’m hoping he’s finally on the track LaRussa’s convinced he would get on.

Second, Suppan got the win.  Yes, he gave up a few runs.  But, they were unearned and considering his last start when he got pounded by the Pirates, I’m very happy with how he did today.  Good to see him in the win column.

Third, how about the bullpen?  They had a somewhat rough start as well, but they’ve really gotten their act together lately.  I counted that they’ve gone 18 innings without giving up a run.  This stretches all the way back to last Tuesday when the Cards were trounced by Pittsburgh 7-2.  Plus, I heard the announcers say they had the 2nd best ERA in the national league.  Can’t remember what it is though, sorry.

Next, Hector Luna.  I was very disappointed when we lost Abraham Nunez to Philadelphia.  He handled himself great with his glove and his bat when he played for us.  And, he did a great job filling some very big shoes when Scott Rolen was out hurt.  But, I can’t say enough good things about Luna.  He’s played some amazing defense at four separate positions and has made a lot of noise with his bat.  Nunez is hitting .194 is barely slugging that.  And Luna?  He’s hitting .438 and is slugging .594.  I’ll take that any day from a supposed "bench player."  He also went 3-4 yesterday in the number 2 spot, which had been sort of a drought for St. Louis this year.

I was also happy to see some timely production from Edmonds.  I mentioned in a couple of posts back that Pujols is more likely to get walked (especially intentionally) when Edmonds hits behind him than Rolen.  I believe the opposition feels that Rolen is the greater threat offensively.  The only way to stop this is to either let Rolen hit behind Pujols all the time (which had been starting to happen) or have Edmonds start making them pay.  Well, Rolen was off today so Edmonds was following Pujols.  And, he made them pay.  After getting the count to 3-1 and Luna stealing second, the Pirates pitcher intentionally put Albert on first.  And, Edmonds came through with an RBI single.  Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more of that.

Basically, this was a game of everyone contributing, everyone participating.  The only inning the Cardinals went down in order was the 8th.  That’s very significant.  It means that they have a lot of guys getting hits, getting on base to be driven in.  I’ve said it forever….the Cards can win via the long ball or they can win with solid defense and timely hitting.  They did it all today with a lot of various guys, especially some that hadn’t really stepped it up yet.

To me, it’s starting to feel that we are really getting it going with a lot of different guys coming up big.  It’s starting to feel like a World Championship.  And believe me, I’m ready to Party Like It’s 1982.  🙂

Well, I see the game has been archived, so I’m going to go watch some Cardinal ball. 

Ready to sweep Pittsburgh,

Tiffany