No matter how badly the Red are determined to play the “overwhelmingly doubted scrappy underdogs,” sometimes they bury themselves a little too deep for the “underdoggening” (SP?!) to take affect.
Losing Game 1 in the historically epic fashion in which they did seemed to stack the fates against them, in such a definitive manner that not even the analytical geniuses of ESPN’s” tiny headshot brigade” would lend them the faith for a victory.
It would be puh-ret-ty easy for the Reds to claim they lost to themselves tonight. No one wants to rob them of that right. Four errors from the best defense in the NL is about as indicative of their regular season defense as getting no-hit in Game 1 was indicative of their regular season offense.
But seeing as how it was the 5th inning and they were up 4-0; and seeing as how the Reds’ motto had seemingly become “There’s still a lot of baseball left” since, you know, all the baseball that got used up in Game 1, let’s just not let them take all the blame for their loss.
The 7th inning was weird. The Reds’ four-run lead already cut in half, Phillies everywhere were getting decked with pitches, starting with Chooch’s grindingly painful to watch fastball-to-the-knee, followed by Benny Fresh and the high-grade concussion that wasn’t.
Then the camera cut to Mike Sweeney.
The game had been upsetting enough already, what with the losing and Oswalt getting swatted a few times, so when the Reds started chucking balls at our hitters, it was pretty upsetting. Benny Fresh had clearly just been struck in the brain and was laughing; no doubt an after effect of his pleasure center exploding as a result.
Then we saw a quick shot of Captain Hugs and for the first time ever, the first thing on his mind was not grabbing the nearest teammate in a passionate embrace.
It was vengeance. And it was a thunderstorm in his brain.
With the furious mindset of a bloodthirsty Care Bear, Sweeney came to the plate in the inning, his Phillies already using the Reds weirdly incompetent defense to their advantage.
Of course, it was already 6-4 at that point. The fallout of the Reds’ patented “double error” was fast and obvious, and Sweeney’s fury merely padded it. Last night was much more indicative of another alarming statistic:
The Phillies seem to, when incapable of playing a game well (we should have lost last night), be able to ignite series of humiliating failures in their opponents. This season and past seasons have been highlighted by both Phillies’ dominance and, when that was unavailable, epic collapses from who they were playing (Mets, Braves, now Reds).
I don’t know if it’s indicative of a particular skill on our end, but we seem to spread these heartfelt implosions from city to city. Is it a talent? Sure, in the same way that the kuru virus is talented at zombifying corpses.
The way it seems to me, as a guy who’d rather see his team win than just watch the other team lose, is that you may not have to be a great team to take advantage of four errors, but you are definitely not a great team if you crumble and commit four errors in the playoffs. After having the lead. The Phillies were more than ready to swallow that loss, but the Reds just wouldn’t let them die.
Blame the lights, blame the towels, blame us. And while it is ever so easy to play the post game-taunter (so easy), the Reds still certainly belong here. They’re just picking up all the “lack of no playoff experience” Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum didn’t use. Even two down, I don’t trust this team is gone, partially because of what scary talent we know is lurking just below the surface, and partially because we’ve yet to clobber them effectively for a significant amount of time in an instance where 1.) Roy Halladay isn’t pitching or 2.) The Reds defense isn’t sucking.
There is a window for just that slice of baseball to slip through, and it will occur in Cincinnati, the city of clueless fugitives.
It’s such captivating baseball even the Eagles are tuning in; let us bow before their might, stability, and endless respect. If these MLB playoffs were missing anything, it was the opinion of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We’re big fans of theirs.”
Kevin finally said “hi!” to me! I had to rush to the bathroom to use my inhaler. Talk about an exhilarating start to the week! That was an emotional/hormonal roller coaster we’ve been on, until the outward social acknowledgement of our relationship! But finally, after months of craving interaction with that toasty Southern prince, he delivers a heartfelt bomb shell that blew my brains out the back of my head.
*Sound of “Tonight I Met the Man I’m Going to Marry” coming on an old-timey record player.*
No I think inter-sports advocation is a beautiful thing in the same city we all have to respect each other know what I mean could I have some Flyers tickers.