So about Jason Grilli, Team Italy and this World Baseball Classic. We watched nearly every show on the dish last night, just waiting to see if Grilli would get the opportunity to actually throw a baseball in a meaningful game–you know, for his country.
The announcers mentioned in the sixth inning that Team Italy wouldn’t hesitate to go to Jason Grilli because he didn’t pitch last night. We got excited, watched a few pitches and changed the channel.
We headed back when the eighth inning started with Italy holding a 3-1 lead over Puerto Rico.
Nick Pugliese entered the game in the eighth, and well nevermind. Quickly runners were on first and third.
Que the announcers who added this tidbit as the skipper watched to the mound:
And the other thing we don’t know is if his organization, Pittsburgh said he isn’t allowed to pitch two innings.
Oh, the drama.
Yonkers native Brian Sweeney got the call from the bullpen which illicited this from the WBC announcers as the camera closed in on Grilli.
Announcers: Grilli still with the sweats on, and is yet to get hot.
Sweeney quickly got a groundball, but Italy couldn’t turn the double play. The Team Italy lead was down to one run.
Announcers: Still no sign of Grilli in the pen.
The bullpen phone rang again and the camera moved so quickly we couldn’t see if anything changed. (We should have known better.)
Sweeeney got squeezed on what was certainly a strike, and Alex Rios twirled his bat and adjusted his cup as he dug in and worked the count to 3-1 against the Italian right-hander On the next pitch, Rios lofted a single into right field.
God this isn’t going to turn out well we thought.
CAMERA PANS TO BULLPEN: Grilli was still in his sweats.
Announcers: Another pitching change.
The skipper walks to the mound and tapped his left arm.
Announcers: We will be right back.
A lot of insurance commercials, sensitve skin shaving commercials, and MetLife blimp promos run on the screen.
Announcers: Pat Venditte got the call. Yankee property. He is an ambidextrious pitcher. Huh? What???! Haha, so as we held our laughter we thought….Great! Use anybody but Grilli. We get it.
Pitch-out, ball one.
Announcers: still no sign of Jason Grilli up.
Flyball to center field and…..
Announcers: Puerto Rico has tied it up at three!
Camera pans to Grilli rocking the royal blue Team Italy sweat pants. Leg crossed.
Announcers: Obviously the best option for Team Italy, but you know….
A ground ball to short interupts my typing, the ball looked difficult from the time it was hit, the third baseman tried to cut it off, but he couldn’t the throw was short to first base. Bad defense. Awful. Why throw to first?
Rios scored from second. 4-3 Puerto Rico.
Another single put runners on first and second.
Still with two outs.
Announcers: A team like Italy played their hearts out, say the announcers, but…..to not have Grilli not pitch…
Another infield hit loads the bases.
Grilli is still in sweats.
The ninth batter comes to the plate. He grounds out to short. Puerto Rico had four hits entering the eighth inning. They got four in the eighth and took the lead.
Grilli is still in sweats.
He will probably wear them for the plane ride back to Bradenton to join the Bucs.
Maybe he can wear them again in 2017.
Thanks to my man @JimmyChick for the pics.