Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Playoffs, Day 8: A Sound as if a Million Sportswriters Cried Out In Terror

....and were suddenly silenced.

Wow. Just wow. I think that the only reason I wasn't crushed about the A's was because the Cardinals were still alive, and making it a respectable series at that. That feeling was vindicated tonight in another amazing Game Five for the Redbirds. Last year at this time, Albert Pujols was launching moonshots off Brad Lidge that probably still have yet to come down, and the series switched back to St. Louis for a sixth game, which the Astros won. Now, the series is switching back to New York for a sixth game, and if the Cards win, they're in. Who would have believed it. No one, absolutely no one, including to some degree myself, gave them a chance in this series. Certain smug Yahoo! sportswriters were publishing snide opinion pieces that the baseball world might as well crown the Mets the champs.

Well, said sportswriters can't be feeling that confident today. Jeff Weaver turned in six outstanding innings - yes, Jeff Weaver. Baby Dunc, also known as Chris Duncan, can't hit lefties and was put in against a lefty that was mowing the Cards down. What does he do? He hits a home run. King Albert retorts immediately after the Mets had scored two early runs with a homer of his own. And Adam... ah, I mean my husband, came in with two on and two out in the top of the eighth and absolutely bedeviled Jose Valentin (who had hurt the Cards earlier) with filthy stuff to end the inning before making similarly quick work of the ninth. I'm so in love with him I don't think it's possible for me to be more. I need to wear my Carpenter shirt tonight because Chris is pitching tomorrow with a chance to punch the Cards' ticket to the 2006 World Series, but DAMN. Adam, my baby.

Wow. To say that I'm thrilled with this turn of events would be a major understatement. And I know that I should write about something besides baseball, but baseball is my life right now. And speaking of writing about baseball, that's actually a job of mine. Yep, I'm now a sportswriter for The Phoenix, SLC's school newspaper, as I was recruited by a friend on the softball team who knows about my mutual passions for a) baseball and b) writing. How enthusiastic am I about this job? I already prepared a piece - 700 words on the World Series. I did two versions of it, one with the Mets as NL champs and one with the Cards as NL champs. I pray I never have a need to send the Mets' one to my editor.

The Mets have to be worried. They admitted they felt tremendous pressure to wrap this up in six games, and now that's not possible, unless of course the Cards wrap up things in six games, which they have a good chance of doing with Carp on the mound tomorrow. They have to win two games started by John Maine and Oliver Perez while the opponent throws the NL Cy Young winner and a guy with a 2.39 ERA after the All-Star break. That has to be in their heads just a little bit. Game Fives are pivotal for series that are tied at 2 - something like 6 of 7 teams that won 5 went on to capture the title.


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