In the midst of a nipple-shattering cold snap, Game 3 of the only NLDS to not end in a sweep began in ended surrounded by swirling Western winds and a sea of visible breath. A blistering 54 degrees at 10pm, as the Denver night descended on Coors Field like a friend overstaying it’s welcome (“Okay, freezing temperatures, you’ve had your fun. When was that early flight tomorrow?”), the number was only destined to go plunging downward, ruining everybody’s coffee, but turning the Coors mountains blue at an astonishing rate.
And all they had to do was a play a baseball game.
Thankfully for me and my punching arm, the cowboy hats and just plain stupid mascots went home with their heads hung low.
“GOD DAMN IT” was the phrase of the night, as my fist continued to find the coffee table, and roommate sat nearby, a satisfied smile on his face as his precious Yankees giggled their way into the ALCS.
My night, however was not to be so simple, as we swapped a small lead with the Rockies for what felt like an eternity of slate-grey TBS sportscasting and Scott Eyre tripping over his own feet (God, I hope he’s okay).
A one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth has not been our strong point, not that I even had to type that or say it out loud to myself like I just did. Nor did I have to shriek like an animatronic Halloween decoration when I saw Lidge warming up in the bullpen last night.
As one of the biggest Lidge de-cryers out there, I should have sat back and did what we did all season when he came back into a game after a few days off:
Pretend it was last year.
And it would have worked, too, because the dude earned his fist pump.
A 6-5 victory was the end result, and Phillies fans up and down the east coast sent a wave of relieved sighs out toward Colorado. Despite the monstrous offensive onslaught of the terrifying Carlos Gonzalez, the Phils scored last with a little small ball care of Jimmy, Shane, Chase, and Ryan (and a poor throw by Huston Street).
Like I said before the playoffs begin, I hoped Lidge proved me wrong. I hoped he went out and gave me and all the other assholes calling for his head a reason to sit down and shut up and quietly eat the rest of a frozen pizza during the post game. And that he did, so for that, I must say, way to go, Brad.
If that wasn’t the confidence boost people were talking about, then confidence isn’t his problem.
POST GAME BITCHING
- I’ve touched on this before, but TBS Sports is terrible. By the end of the game, it sounds like these guys didn’t know they were signing up for nine innings. Jimmy Rollins’ last at bat had one of them say “Rollins, who has been struggling through these three games of the NLDS…” and followed that gem up with “Rollins, who has hit safely in all three NLDS games…” after he got on base. Listen to the difference between the TV and radio broadcasts and tell me that team’s play-by-play guys shouldn’t be calling these games.
- The debate between Pedro starting with his experience and Happ starting because of his left handed-ness got somewhat of an answer. Happ didn’t pitch awfully, but he wasn’t getting some calls he wanted, so you’ve got to wonder what Pedro’s post season experience would have brought to the table. Would he have been dominant, or would his bones have shattered into a pile of dust in the frigidity of Denver in October?
- Shane Victorino, clearly heard as J-Roll came into score: “F*CK yeah, Jimmy!”
- Seriously, good for Brad.
- Seriously, TBS sucks.
- Okay, so apparently his name’s “Dinger,” and there was a ten-minute meeting to decide what he would look like, but the final costume was decided on whatever they could find in the dumpster behind a local children’s TV network studio lot.
- I stuck my head into the NFL briefly yesterday, cringed, and immediately immersed myself back into MLB playoffs.