Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I went to bed right after Hairston hit that 2-run shot in the 13th to give the Pads an 8-6 lead. I was exhausted (almost midnight on the east coast by then), and figured the Pads had the game wrapped up.
I should have known better.
I should have known that postseason baseball doesn't allow mere 2-run leads in the 13th inning of a one-game playoff to stand without a challenge.
I mean, think about it: baseball plays a 162-game season. 162 games and these two teams end up tied for the final playoff spot. And whereas all other playoff teams get 5 and 7-game series to defeat an opponent and move to the next round, these two teams have one game. One. A single night to prove their worth and keep their season going.
Of COURSE there's going to be drama. I'm not surprised that both team's starting pitchers tanked, just as I wouldn't be surprised if they both pitched gems.
A grand slam? Of COURSE.
Misplayed ball that leads to a tie game? Of COURSE.
Extra innings and depleted bullpens? Yup. Of course.
So why did I think nothing would happen when the Pads took that 2-run lead in the 13th? Did I seriously believe Trevor Hoffman, the King of Saves in all of MLB, would be able to slam the door on the Rockies?
I can only blame it on the fact that it was rapidly approaching the midnight hour, and the beers I had consumed earlier were dragging my already heavy eyelids downward. I suppose it wasn't that I THOUGHT the game was over, just that I had HOPED it would be over.
How wrong I was. A leadoff double. Another double. A TRIPLE by Holliday, the Rockies MVP, to tie the game. Then, a sacrifice fly to right that led to the controversial play at the plate, where many a Padres fan are still waiting for Holliday to touch home plate.
A wild ending to a wild game and a wild season for both teams. A marathon season that came to a close in a quick 90-foot sprint home. Six months of baseball coming down to 6 seconds.
And I thought it was over. Little did I know that it had just begun.
Goddammit. I should have known.