Midnight Dose of Buffa

Settle in because I am going to fire at will here.  Why mess around when time is money and it isn’t waiting for the slow people?  I have to get here and lay it out and get on with the daily walk.  I am not Kane but I will have to do some work tomorrow that doesn’t include unplugging here and going full steam ahead on my normal range of topics.  Feel free to send me topics to rant about.  I can do anything.  Chinese Ping Pong Strategy.  Iraqi Freedom Fighter outlook.   Washington DC watercooler talk.  I will look it up, get a perspective and fire at will.  Let’s get on with it.

*They didn’t bust up Clayton, who is now 4-5 against us lifetime, but we did just enough and got a couple timely hits.  We manufactured some runs tonight early on and nicked the kid for 2 runs in 6 IP.  He doesn’t have a sub 2.00 ERA for nothing.  He’s really good and would have 15 wins right now if not for terrible run support in April and May.  I said get a win against either Kershaw or Greinke and we did, so the rest of the series is open season to win or pull out even.
*Joe Kelly matched Kershaw and held the Dodgers to less damage in 5.1 innings.  He required defensive help and labored like Jake Westbrook but got the job done.  He outdid Kershaw for long enough and got another win.  He validated to the home crowd that he deserves to be in the rotation from here on out.  In 24 starts, he has pitched decent in 75 percent of them.  
*The Cards got some great defense.  Jon Jay ran to the wall and tracked down a deep fly from Mark Ellis.  We turned 4 double plays, including the 12th from Seth Maness.  Sometimes it’s like he types “DP on this pitch” into his Predator arm band and just gets it.  Tony Cruz threw out a runner at third on a failed sacrifice attempt.  Edward Mujica stoppped a line drive and fell to his back before firing a strike to Craig in the 9th inning.  
*The Pirates won so we remain a couple games out, but there is time and this was a close win.  This season, we are only a game over .500 in 1 run games.  Those kind happen a ton in the postseason and we must get better.  The one thing the Cards don’t do is come back late or win in extra innings.  In August and September, close wins are gritty and stress inducing but frequent.  
*Yasiel Puig is a marvel and a fun kid to watch.  He swings with majestic pride, has a cannon in right, and includes a little flair that implies, “I’m good so deal with it”.  He doesn’t approach Bryce Harper arrogance or Ryan Braun snark and is a player to watch and be in awe of.  He is hitting .376 and can big time power.  I’d like to contain him for two more games and worry about him in October.  
*Hat tip to Don Mattingley.  His job was under fire in May and now his team is in first place by 4 games.  Good for him.  The team came together, Puig came by and the season has taken off.  They are tough.  They hit well, field good and pitch great.  We aren’t seeing them with the .361 hitting Hanley Rameriz either.  Be glad.
*My take on the Carlos Beltran bunting crappola from Monday.  He did it on his own.  So what?  It’s still a bad move.  He has 20 HR after tonight, hitting above .300 and is capable of changing a game with one swing.  He told the media that he bunted in the 7th inning and moved the runners over.  Why give away an out?  If it’s a one run game, I can maybe see it but still not with Beltran.  It comes down to using your head.  You have 2 runners on, zero outs, a 2 run deficit and you give Zach Greinke an out.  He needs to swing the bat.  There’s no place for excessive bunting in winning baseball.  It’s not just bad baseball.  It’s stupid logic.  And Mike Matheny bunts way too much. The Cards rank 5th in the league in bunts attempted and are 3rd worst in execution.  Basically, they suck at it yet try it a ton.  Unless Matheny wants to make them practice more in BP and do it against splitters and cutters, then stop attempting so many easy outs.  I don’t get it.  Also, Mike can be more candid with the media about it.  If you feel so avid about it man, then back it up and discuss it.  Quite little league for Matheny to go all Tony La Russa on the media when asked about Beltran’s bunt.  He gave away three outs in Monday’s ONE RUN Game.  It’s the media’s job to ask questions Mikey so be nice and answer them or we will ask you about your real estate investments again.  
Yes I went there.  And yes the font color of this blog changed a bit.  Instead of a thick bold, it’s grayish.  Call it a mistake in trying to copy and paste from another window.  Don’t do it.  
What else?
*Rent The Place Beyond The Pines or Mud.  Both are quality films with good stories and acting.  Pass up Oblivion unless that is where you want your mind to end up.  
*The Spectacular Now is a gem.  Watched it yesterday morning(it comes out August 23rd).  Coming of age tale with some real teeth and grave honesty about transitioning from high school to “do something with your life” arena.  Miles Teller is a breakout talent and he will break your heart in the third act.  You heard it here first.
*Go see Fruitvale Station.  Pass up 2 Guns.
*Looking forward to Elysium, the new Matt Damon Sci-fi action thriller.  Damon shaved his head for the role, which is funny.  When actors want to look badass, they shave their head.  I shave mine every week.  That’s why I’m a BAMF!\
*Ever feel like catching an oldie?  Watch the classic Midnight Run.  DeNiro, Grodin, Farina, and Kotto.  Great comedy.
*Ray Donovan would be a shitty NBC crime show without its superb cast. Watch it now.
*Rent Banshee on DVD and soak up that ridiculously fun first season.
*True Blood is retarded and I watch it merely for the nudity these days.  Yeah, I do.  
*I fully expect a quality Entourage movie.  It’s coming in 2014.  Doug Ellin has a chance for a home run here with 90-120 minutes so don’t waste them.  Focus more on Jeremy Piven and Kevin Dillion and not the duller than dogshit actors who play Vince and Turtle.  I think they do adequate in their roles but Adrian Grenier and Jerry Ferrera aren’t worth a lot of minutes.
*Sopranos could have done a movie but then James Gandolfini died.  Oh well.
*I’ll be watching the Low Winter Sun on AMC this month. Why?  It has Mark Strong, the gifted British character actor, in the lead.  Done.
*I could bitch about traffic and other drivers but then I would have no time left in the day.
*Shaw’s Coffee on the Hill has the best coffee in St. Louis.
*If I don’t get this Mark Strong interview this week, there will be blood in the water.  When I interview C-List directors, I would like my shot at the B-List and A-List actors.  Thanks.
*Watching Lee Daniel’s The Butler on Monday, which has the best cast ever assembled for a film.
*I love lamp.  Very much.  Only film-addicts will get that one.
Dan L. Buffa

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