Painful 10 minutes in Arizona sports
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
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
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
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
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.