Here's the Reader's Digest version of yesterday's post: Someone's a gonna git their heart broke. I assumed it was going to be in the World Series, as the Astros needed to win one game to the Cardinals three. The White Sox or Astros were going to slog all the way the Series, with one of them coming back and wondering if it would take another 50 years to get another chance. I also assumed the ultimate heartache could only come in the World Series. That assumption was proven to be ridiculous. Should the Cardinals come back and win the NLCS, only a select few collapses would compare.
The smart money is still on the Astros. Oh, you can talk about momentum, or Pu-mentum if you'd like, but the Astros will still have Roy Oswalt and Roger Clemens starting for them. They should be able to squeak out one of the two games. But, man, if they don't.... The Astros were one strike - one strike! - away from the first World Series in franchise history, with one of the game's best pitchers on the mound, two outs, and no runners on. I'm no huge fan of the Astros, but even I was rooting for that last strike. The crowd was delirious. I wanted to hear and see how they could possibly get louder.
Right before Eckstein pushed his 104-hopper through the left side, the camera flashed on Eric Bruntlett. His eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his skull. He was caught up in it all. It's easy to forget the march to the 2002 World Series after the...unpleasantness that followed, but David Bell coming around to score the NLCS-clinching run will always be a part of Giants lore. It's always fun to see fans experience something similar, unless they are fans of the Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Angels, Marlins, and now Red Sox. As a baseball fan, though, the Pujols homer made this postseason a squillion times more fascinating. And as a Giants fan who kinda wants to have company in the wretchedly cursed wing of baseball, the fascination holds just as true.
Couple of quick notes:
- I didn't hear the radio call of the Pujols homer, but I'm going to assume it didn't go like this: "Pujols swings, and hits a high fly ball to left-center. Tavares is coming over...going back...going back...he's at the wall...he jumps!...it is...did he come down with it?...no, it's gone! It's gone! Pujols has given the Cardinals the lead!" Man alive, that was one of the hardest hit balls I've ever seen.
- Going back to David Bell's winning run, I've always meant to ask this: Did J.D. Drew kick the ball in to home, or did he pick the ball up with his hat and try and fire it in lacrosse-style? I can't remember.