Painful 10 minutes in Arizona sports
Published: October 03, 2011 @ 8:18am
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero can't catch the throw as Milwaukee Brewers' Jerry Hairston Jr. scores from third on a squeeze bunt by Jonathan Lucroy during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball's National League division series Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. ((AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Last Wednesday night I watched what I thought was the best night of Major League Baseball I had ever witnessed. The drama of playoff berths being on the line and teams rising to the occasion or falling flat on their faces had me hooked. It was the best reality TV since March Madness some six months ago.
The most entertaining was the Boston Red Sox taking a lead into the last inning against the Baltimore Orioles and losing. First time it had happened to them all season.
Less than five minutes later Evan Longoria capped a monstrous comeback for the Tampa Rays and clinched their playoff spot, while officially eliminating the Red Sox. Timing is everything.
Just a brutal span of minutes for a Boston sports fan. The world did a 180 on them faster than it takes Deuce Lutui to put down a mound of pasta.
I remember laughing that night and thinking, ‘Wow that's two gut punches wrapped into one for Boston fans. Didn't even have a chance to fully digest what had just happened.'
Sunday it was Arizona's turn.
The Arizona Cardinals took a nice 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter after a pair of third quarter Beanie Wells touchdown runs. The Giants offense wasn't doing much and the Cardinals offense was moving.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had just gotten exactly what they needed. Momentum. Justin Upton blasted a pitch over the left field wall to tie Game 2 of their NLDS matchup with the Brewers.
Arizona sports fans were feeling pretty good about things.
The Cardinals were on the verge of getting to 2-2 with two very winnable losses. I was already envisioning the "things are coming together" quotes and headlines we would sure to be seeing.
Daniel Hudson had calmed down after his typical shaky start and the Diamondbacks had hit three home runs in five innings. Their bats -- and confidence -- at the plate were showing life.
Approximately just before 4:30 p.m. MST Arizona turned upside down. It was like Canada was the country we border.
I was confused. I was shocked. I was disappointed in players, coaches and managers.
I find it hard to believe Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Ziegler has had a worse day as a professional. What a day to have your WORST day. The balk and then error on the squeeze play did him in. Mentally he was toast. He needed to hit the showers and admit ‘it's not my day' right then and there.
Unfortunately he was allowed to face four more hitters. All four reached base. It was 9-4 and the Brewers were staring at a 2-0 lead in the series.
While that was taking place in the closed roof Milwaukee stadium, back here in our own closed roof stadium a similar meltdown was happening.
The Giants were in the midst of rattling off 21 fourth quarter points and stealing one away from the Cardinals. The officials helped make it controversial (this happened right at the time Ziegler was throwing pipe shots) and the offense -- for the third week in a row -- was unable to execute when it mattered most. Giants win 31-27.
Just terrible. An awful 10-minute span that neither team was able to recover from.
A painful Sunday afternoon in the desert if you were on your couch. Unluckily for me I was on my couch with both games right in front of me. The two TV set backfired. I didn't have time to grasp what was happening.
After feeling good about things it turned for the worse and I suddenly had no hope. Zero optimism.
Lesson learned. Don't laugh at someone else's faults and failures. It's likely only a matter of time before those same failures are headed your way. This time it happened to be four days later.
Boston, I feel ya. Ouch.
What I learned this week…
I learned a team hasn't come back from being down five or more runs in extra innings with their first two hitters getting out and won the game since the 1870s. The Arizona Diamondbacks did just that last Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan Roberts hit a walk-off Grand Slam to give the D-backs the win.
I was at 9.5 innings of the 10. I left and missed the amazing comeback. I'm still shaking my head and imagine I will be for years to come.
Tweet of the week…
Bo telling it like it was . Exactly like it was.
Pelini: "I'm embarrassed how we played defensively. I apologize to the fans of Nebraska, because that was a joke. Plain and simple."
Brutus the Buckeye is coming to town this Saturday Bo. Figure it out.
Suggestion of the week…
This is a little old but well worth it. This interview was originally with Phoenix's FOX 10. Someone then decided to songify the report. Hilarious.