I'm in need of a counselor...
I don't know where to start...
I just sat through the entirety of game 5 of the NLCS between the Astros and Cardinals. I shared in the Astros joys...and their bone crushing agonies.
As of earlier today we were ahead in the best of 7 series 3-1. 1 more win and we go on to the world series. a place we've never been.
It was 2-1 st louis going into the 8th, when lance berkman hit a miraculous 3 run home-run to put us ahead 4-2. I held my breath through the entirety of the next 2 innings.
I was at my friend Cherie's house, and both of us were on our feet, she doing her dance that seems to work for the White Sox...me telling my bladder..and my heart... to keep it together.
The Astros were created in 1962, and since then they've never even sniffed the world series until last year, when we went up 3 games to 2..and proceeded to drop both in st louis.
Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler for the Astros breeze through the Cardinal hitters in the bottom of the Eighth inning, and the astros go 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
3 outs away and we're in.
Chris Ewing calls me, and I talk for a sec, but since his T.V. signal is 4 seconds faster than mine, I can't stand it and I tell him I'll call him when its over.
We bring in our stud closer Brad Lidge...at first I was wary because he's pitched so much lately..but in times like these I understand you gotta ride your big guns.
First guy strikes out.
Second guy strikes out.
Only one more out to go..i can smell victory...I imagine myself stripping naked and running through the streets with excitement.
The annoying fly in David Eckstein gets up and with 2 strikes on him, slaps a single to left.
My gut clenches slightly.
Edmonds gets up, and I know..I KNOW..that we CANNOT WALK THIS GUY..because right behind him was Pujols..who scares the living doo doo out of me.
Whatdya know, we end up walking him. 2 men on...and albert "i never smile during the game" pujols gets up. I'm reminded of those movies when the big hitter gets up, grits his teeth, stomps at the dirt like a bull, twists his hands on the bathandle so hard that dust falls off...just the meanest looking guy ever..thats pujols in my eyes. I think of maybe walking him..but apparently garner wants to take him head on.
We get him swinging at a slider. strike 1.
only 1 out away.
lidge serves up one of his nasty sliders...except it doesn't slide.
Pujols knocks the rear end off of the ball out into nothingness...it was so far it didn't hit anything. cards 5 stros 4.
I'm stunned. paralyzed. i call chris. he doesn't answer. i call again. he picks up. "I just threw up" he says. I don't know what to say. theres nothing to say. I dont know what to do. I just sit there. disgusted. 5 minutes later i pick my jaw up off the floor.
we go 1-2-3 in the ninth. game over.
now we go back to st louis just like last year. all of a sudden the momentum has changed with one swing. its a whole new ball game. A loss like that is completely deflating to a team. I just hope they players can fight throught it and maybe..HOPEFULLY..PLEEEASE just pull one win out in st louis. we've got to.
Tomorrow I'm taking the entire day to go for a long bike ride out in the forest preserve just to digest it all.
Tomorrow's a new day.