Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

What a clincher! Certainly helps erase bad memories from the last time the Phillies played playoff baseball in Colorado.

Now, I didn't see one pitch of Game 3, since the game didn't start until after 9:00pm local time for me, and I had to get up at 3:00am the next morning.

Nothing like going to the Yahoo MLB page, and tilting my head away from the main part of the screen, focusing instead on the scoreboard in the lower right corner, and slowly dragging the sidebar down until I got to the Phillies score, saw "Philadelphia" in bold -- an indication that they won -- and seeing the score.

From what I read, that was a doozy as well. But, hard to imagine it was anywhere near as exciting, and riveting, as Game 4.

I did watch all of that one. Well, most of it. I purposely had the game on DVR so I could fast forward through the commercials -- the only way to watch a sporting event -- and, it allowed me to (kind of) fast forward through other parts of the game I didn't want to every Rockies' at-bat.

I just didn't care to hear the Rockies' crowd going nuts, or watching the Phils give up runs. No thanks.

So, I saw Vic's solo home run, and Werth's, and through the magic of double speed fast forwarding in play mode, gathered that the Rockies had cut the lead to 2-1.

Then it went to the bottom of the 8th, and all hell broke loose. The Francisco catch, Giambi's hit off Madson, then Torrealba seemingly hitting the game winner with a two-run double -- followed by a bad karma-inducing amount of celebration on second base. As my hopes dipped well below the Mendoza line, I fast forwarded to the top of the ninth.

Dobbs strikes out. Rollins works a single off of Street, and at least the tying run is at the plate. Victorino -- who already has a home run in the game -- hits a comebacker! Double-play? No, Vic's too fast and beats the throw.

Utley up, Vic is allowed to steal second. And, Chase draws a HUGE walk bringing up Howard. At this point, I'm about 5 minutes behind live television, and my wife -- unbeknownst to me -- is watching the game upstairs (live) while rocking our youngest daughter to sleep.

I hear her get up to put Sarah to bed, and I think for a second, "was she watching the game, saw Howard strike out to end it, and then got up at that point to put Sarah to bed? Am I thinking too much? Is it too late to start drinking?"

She comes down the steps, and I tell her -- again, not knowing what she knows -- that the Phils gakked up the lead and were down 4-2 with two outs in the ninth. She looked at the TV, smiled a bit, and made one of those "it doesn't look too good" faces.

She sat down with me to watch the rest of the game though. Not that I thought much about it at the time, but in hindsight, if she knew Howard was going to make an out, she certainly wouldn't want to be in the room with me when it happened.

Sure enough, after Howard crushed the double to right -- which when it left the bat, for a split second I thought it was gone, then at least was relieved to know they'd tied it, then thought, "oh, no, they'll just lose it in the bottom of the inning, or worse, have to go to extra innings. All of this was followed by the horror of the possibility that they wouldn't even tie it, as when they cut from the shot of the ball in the outfield back to Victorino (the lead runner) he was JUST TROTTING HOME FROM 3RD! Where was Utley?? Would he even score?? Turns out, Vic had initially missed third base, and after going back to tag it, then had to hustle to get to the plate before Chase who was right behind him -- my wife told me she had seen Howard's at-bat, but didn't know anything else.

Then Werth followed with an equally huge hit, serving a line drive into right-center to score Howard. Thank you, Jim Tracy for not walking Werth to face Cairo!

Up 5-4 with Eyre starting the bottom of the ninth thanks to a slew of lefties set to hit the plate for Colorado. Suddenly with two out, two men are on base, and TUlowitzki is coming up, and here comes Brad Lidge.

By now, I'm pacing in my seat, hands up to my mouth. My wife is still in the room rooting along with me -- not for her love of the Phillies, but her love of having me in a pleasant mood -- and three pretty decent sliders later, "Tulo" strikes out, and the Phils move on.

Amazing win.

Hopefully there are eight more nights in the near future where my wife and I are clapping and high-fiving after a Phils postseason victory. They don't all have to be this exciting, either. We'll gladly take a few 10-2 routs, guys.

No comments: