Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger

Jesus. H. Christ. It's 2:25 AM, I have class in seven hours that requires me to be awake again after six of them, and only now is my adrenaline high wearing off enough for me to think about sleep. What a crazy night. The Phillies lost to the Braves (good!) the Padres stunned the shockingly shitaceous Giants (fuck!) and the Rockies themselves just kept up the good times, logging a 9-7 win over the Dodgers for, coincidentally, their ninth straight win. And boy, did they do it in a wild, roller-coaster, completely draining way. Now that I've resigned myself to the fact I'm not going to get a lot of sleep tonight, it's time to put this down so hopefully it will be out of my head and I don't lie awake hyperventilating for another hour.

What. A Game. And as I say, whatever doesn't slay you must toughen your resolve for the playoff games (I BELIEVE!) that will come. By my (admittedly inexpert... c'mon, I go to a liberal arts school) calculations, the lead changed hands or the game was tied five times. Kaz Matsui got the scoring started; Sullivan hit a single, Matsui did as well, and both scored. Confused? I'm sure the Gameday operator was as well. It featured the Rockies running wild on Juan Pierre's joke of an arm in center and Russ Martin throwing a ball into center field. End result, both Sullivan and Matsui scored in what must have been a very bizarre play to score indeed. 2-0 is a good edge to jump out to, especially in a must-win game (they all are) against Brad Penny in a forbidding Chavez Ravine that has been brutally unkind (4-12) to the Rockies. But the rollercoaster had just gotten going.

Ubaldo Jimenez had been dominant against the Dodgers in two previous starts, but forgot his lucky charms tonight, allowing a two-run homer to Chin-Lung Hu. The very next inning, the Rockies pushed across two runs on a RBI single and a botched DP ball. In the bottom of the inning, James Loney cracked a three-run homer to put the Dodgers ahead 5-4 -- dizzy yet? It also featured the unusual combination of strikeout-double play-strikeout, as Martin struck out but beat the wild pitch to first. Andre Ethier lined into a double play which featured lightweight Cory Sullivan gunning Jeff Kent down at home to prevent him from scoring; Torrealba redeemed himself for letting Martin's ball get away with a perfect block of the plate. Then Andy LaRoche struck out, leaving Ryan Speier successfully having gotten four outs.

The next inning, Kaz (the Purple Dragon) and the Iceman swungeth for the Rockies yet again. Troy Tulowitzki, long may his godliness grace us, hit a two-run shot to left to push it to a 6-5 lead. Visibily pumped, Tulo skipped and punched the air as Rockies fans had orgasms and heart attacks simultaneously. After Scott Proctor hit Holliday in the seventh (making a successful return from oblique injury, he didn't hit any bombs, but got two singles) Helton got his third hit of the game (he smells the postseason and you can bet to hell he wants it) to make it 7-5. The cavernous drought that is Dodger Stadium's center field stole a three-run shot from Atkins (it was out of any park except the hitter's abattoirs known as the Ravine and Petco). Matt Herges, having already gotten through a successful sixth, did the same with the seventh.

Then the real heart attacks started, better known as the bottom of the eighth. Brian Fuentes threatened so badly to revert to June form, Hurdle actually thought about putting Julio in. (Thank GOD he did not). Fuentes allowed a run, walked the bases loaded twice, and then let Matt Kemp hit a low, slicing liner into center field. In any other year, any other day, perhaps, it would have dropped for a two-run single, devastating a two-run lead for the Rox into a one-run deficit. But not in this day, this age, this moment, this charmed season that perpetually hangs on the edge of a knife. Ryan Spilborghs made a sliding catch and saved it. More simultaneous heart attack/orgasms for Rox fans. I was pretty much dead by this point.

The Rockies went to the ninth. Torrealba doubled. Mr. Clutch, Spilborghs, came through with the insurance double, and Jamey Carroll, in as a defensive replacement for Atkins, cashed him in with a single. 9-6 going to the bottom of the ninth, and usually lights-out Manny Corpas wobbled, allowing a one-out solo jack to Delwyn Young, getting Martin to ground out on the first pitch, and then allowing a double to Andre Ethier.

I was rocking, whimpering, shaking, crossing my fingers, unable to stand up and totally drained by this point. I didn't know what he was going to do if Manny didn't get the next out -- but he did. Groundout. Game in the bag. And one totally exhausted, completely euphoric, never-did-finish-reading-her-politics-assignment-so-what fan, who almost collapsed in her computer chair and took a while to get up the focus to take a shower, much less anything else.

It's almost 3 AM. I'm still awake. As one of my friends reminded me, Rockies playoff race > everything else. I have taken up a 24-hour Rockies representation -- I have worn my Hawpe shirt for the past three days, and now I am sleeping in my Atkins shirt. Nine in a row ties the franchise record and leaves us still one behind the Padres (ARGH! FUCKING GIANTS! Try not sucking for once in your life! Goddammit! Yes, a lot of frustration here... we could have been tied if they'd just hung onto a 4-2 lead in the ninth!)

Peavy vs. Misch for the Pads/Giants tomorrow. That's bad. Fogg vs. Lowe for us, not great. Tim Hudson vs. Kyle Lohse for Braves/ Phillies, good. And not to mention... I believe. I do. I do. This is a Rockies team that is hot and hungry like you would not believe.

I have learned my lesson.

I will never doubt them again.

I may never sleep, either. Or get anything done in a timely fashion.

One thing I will not do is stop loving my Colorado Rockies. Ever.


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