Look, I think we’re all a little bit guilty on this one. YOU know what you were thinking as you watched the end of that game yesterday! “Oh, we’ve got it in the bag! I don’t need to pay attention anymore; this game is OVER.”
Don’t deny it because I know you were thinking it. We were ALL thinking it. Doug Fister had just finished murdering the Nationals through eight innings, Brandon League was in there with a 4-run lead, he let a few runners on, then got a double-play STILL with the 4-run lead.
It was over. It was OV-ER.
This wasn’t one of those kinds of freak, one-in-a-million type things where you’ve got an 8-run lead and you blow it in the ninth. First of all, those almost never happen. Secondly, those almost always require the full allotment of outs. Nobody comes back from a billion runs with 2 outs in the ninth and a harmless base runner standing at third.
You know how sometimes you can just sense these things coming? Maybe you’ve been snakebitten in the recent past; maybe your closer can hardly muster a 92 mile per hour fastball; maybe you’re just unlucky in 1-run games. This wasn’t that, either. Brandon League had been lights out! Sure, maybe a teensy bit of dread crept into my heart when he walked the guy right after the Smoak error … but that dread was slammed the fuck shut once he got that double play!
And then someone singled to make it 5-2. And then Mike God-damn Morse drilled a ball off of League’s leg.
After that, I’m not gonna lie to you, I knew it was over.
You know how The Perfect Storm generally relates to having a bunch of oddball shit happen all at once? Yeah. An error, a walk, a single, an infield single off the closer thereby knocking him out of the game … David Pauley. Who didn’t have complete faith in David Pauley going into last night’s game? I know I did …
and yet, I still knew the game would end on a home run. At that point, it just seemed like destiny. They weren’t just going to tie it on a home run; they were going to WIN it on a home run.
And that’s just what they did.
I have yet to read anyone’s recap, so I guess I can’t say I’m all that well-informed about what happened or why it happened. All I know is it’s pretty useless to play the blame game here. Who’s at fault? EVERYONE. Smoak and his error. Wedge and not leaving Fister in to close out the game. Wedge and going to his closer in a non-save situation (when, really, you’re talking about the AL’s saves leader and someone whose been used too much as it is). David Pauley and his hanging slider.
Each and every one of us fans for believing that the game was over before we’d gotten that 27th out. And, quite frankly, the players themselves. Could you blame them for thinking it was over before it was over? I know I couldn’t.
That lead felt about as safe as a 15-run lead. Except it wasn’t, because we all fucking jinxed it.