Colorado Rockies NLDS Diary, Part Four: What It Feels Like to Lose to Yourself
To win, the Rockies will need to get to touch Lee for at least three runs and Jimenez will need to show that killer instinct. He needs to be an attack dog out there.
3:02 p.m.—Sitting down at Tom’s, there’s a cute 20-something blonde hunkered down next to a squat middle-aged balding man seated behind us. The table is scattered with empty shot glasses.
Immediately we hear the words, “So tell me what it’s like to be an attorney…” and know that there is some serious business being done on this late lunch.
3:06 p.m.—I’m almost positive she’s a prosty, although unclear why this guy thought it would be a good idea to pick her up at 2:30 in the afternoon. To each his own, I guess.
3:13 p.m.—Top First: Shane Victorino just popped one to right. I can’t decide if this means Ubaldo is in serious trouble or if it means that Victorino just put the barrel on a 99mph fastball. I’ll let you know in a couple innings.
3:20 p.m.—Top First: Another bad call goes against the Rockies. That puts the score at 6-1 for the series. I’m getting a little tired of this. My team needs a break right now.
3:34 p.m.—End First: That was a really frustrating first inning. Nothing horrible happened, but wow, just about everything could have gone better. We’re in trouble.
3:54 p.m.—Top Third: This team is looking mighty flat today. We need some fire in our hearts if we’re going to stand any chance at all today.
4 p.m.—Top Third: Another borderline call goes against the Rockies. I hate being that guy, but how many breaks can one team get in a five game series?
Frankly, I’m losing faith in this game really quickly. My faith is flooding out of me right now.
4:05 p.m.—Middle Third—Jimenez is dodging bullets left and right. In game one, he was Rambo out there. Now he’s Neo. Honestly, I preferred Rambo.
In other news, the Rockies have no business being within a run of this game right now, none whatsoever.
4:14 p.m.—End Third: Inning over and still no fire from the Rockies.
Also, the prosty sitting behind us literally hasn’t shut her mouth since we got here. Her name is Natasha and a few years back she had some gnarly face acne. We know this because she’s talking about it in detail right now.
She is currently massaging her 62-year-old partner’s crotch. Unreal.
4:29 p.m.—End Fourth: Cliff Lee is quietly destroying the Rockies lineup… again.
4:43 p.m.—End Fifth: Lee is lulling me to sleep right now. This is what a great pitcher looks like when he pitches. Gonzo had a shot with a man on second, but Lee poofed the chance away from him. He’s a smooth criminal.
4:47 p.m.—End Fifth: Natasha quote update: “If I give up modeling and acting, I want to go into child care, but a kid might be attracted to me.”
I can’t make this stuff up. I’m going to go ahead and tip toe out on a limb here. That person should not be in childcare. You have to have a brain to raise children and I’m not sure Natasha qualifies.
4:51 p.m.—Top Sixth: Literally started making my homerun sound effect the moment Jayson Werth connected with his solo shot there. He’s going to go ahead and win the game for Philadelphia tonight and there’s nothing I can do to stop him. 2-0 Phillies.
4:56 p.m.—Middle Sixth: Cliff Lee is without a doubt the difference maker on this Philadelphia team. He’s a man-eater.
Phillies fans should have to pay some kind of happiness tax to the city of Cleveland after the playoffs this year to complete the mid-season trade. As is, it’s just not fair.
4:58 p.m.—Bottom Sixth: I am laughing so hard I have tears spurting out listening to Natasha’s explanation of Christianity. She insists to her attorney friend, “I know, too, cause I read the bible almost front to back.”
I think she bought the book on tape.
5 p.m.—Bottom Sixth: Tulo just dropped his Thor hammer on Cliff Lee with a double into the gap. Helton scores from first, the steam engine is pulling into the station… chug a chug chug. 2-1 Phillies still up.
5:03 p.m.—End Sixth – Tulo comes in with some booboo base running to end the inning. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
5:17 p.m.—Middle Seventh: I just had an emotional moment. With the Rockies playing their way out of the playoffs, this might be the end of baseball this year. What will I do? What will I think about all the time? I feel seriously lost right now.
5:23 p.m.—Bottom Seventh:Natasha’s closing quote to her 62-year-old friend (this is after she’s talked openly about both of them being married): “Alright. Take me home. I like you too much. Let's break rule number one.”
Who knew this stuff happened in the real world?
5:25 p.m.—Bottom Seventh: Rauuuul just dropped an easy fly ball and yelled something obscene. Seth Smith is at second with one out.
It’s moments like this when special teams show what they’re worth. Time to take some ownership, boys.
5:31 p.m.—Top Eighth: Got no fire from the Rockies that inning. We’re letting the clock tick away on our season.
5:36 p.m.—Top Eighth: Tulo and Barmes just let Chase Utley take second on a defensive indifference. This is a team filled with rookies right now.
5:41 p.m.—Top Eighth: I love singing Franklin Morales’ praises as much as anyone, but if you can’t lock it down in the playoffs, then get off the field. Go home.
Walking the bases loaded, this kid just doesn’t believe in himself. He and Jason Hammel should take some night classes together, work on their self images. It’s just sad watching meltdowns like that.
5:46 p.m.—Middle Eighth: Rafael Bettancourt covers for Morales there and gets the game saving strikeout. We still have a chance. It’s time for a hero.
5:53 p.m.—Bottom Eighth: Fowler draws the walk on four pitches but Lee stays in the game to face Helton, who has to be his last batter. Epic battle here.
5:56 p.m.—Bottom Eighth: Whoa. Helton hits into the double play but Fowler literally leaps over Chase Utley to make it into second safely. That’s the fire I’m talking about. Here comes Tulo. Tense moments to follow.
6 p.m.—Bottom Eighth: Diving catch from Ben Francisco in left field. I’m in shock. He may have just ended our season. That’s just one more reason the Cleveland Indians screwed the Rockies this season. Crazy.
6:02 p.m.—Bottom Eighth: Tie Game! Tie Game! Tie Game! Jason Giambi, the big ‘ole man-beast ties up the game!
As an aside, someone just threw something at our table. My celebrations have become bothersome to other patrons. Whatever.
6:04 p.m.—Bottom Eighth: YORVIT!!! You have the fire in your heart, my friend! You have the fire!
Torrealba doubles to right, knocking in two and putting the Rockies in the lead 4-2. I am thrilled, smitten, totally bowled over with elation.
6:09 p.m.—End Eighth:We’re three outs away from going back to Philadelphia for a game five. The one’s on you, Huston Street. Believe in yourself. Just do what’s in your heart.
6:14 p.m.—Top Ninth: One down. Greg Dobbs goes down on strikes. Huston Street is delivering heat.
6:17 p.m.—Top Ninth: Two down now. Barmes’ defense is sharp at second base. Street vs. Utley for the game. Here we go.
6:25 p.m.—Top Ninth: Oh. No. Street is visibly terrified of Utley and Howard. He’s pacing between pitches, calling time at every spare moment and conceding the entire inside half of the plate.
He’s playing don’t lose baseball right now and he’s going to lose. It’s only a matter of time. If he doesn’t challenge Howard hear, The Rockies will lose this game.
6:26 p.m.—Top Ninth: Ryan Howard doubles to tie the game.
6:27 p.m.—Top Ninth: We’re playing with three players who want to win and 22 who don’t want to lose. We can go home now. We’re not ready for playoff baseball.
6:28 p.m.—Top Ninth: Jayson Werth singles in a run to put the Phillies in the lead.
6:29 p.m.—Top Ninth: …
6:30 p.m.—Top Ninth: I hope someone asks Huston Street after the game how he feels about the inside half of the plate. He’s dead to me. He’s not a competitor. He has a _____ where his _____ should be.
I am angrier than I can remember. It’s for reasons like this that bartenders don’t let you bring baseball bats into bars, even if they’re your favorite good luck charms. I’m dangerous.
6:35 p.m.—Middle Ninth: There comes a time when you say, “We’re just not good enough to win this game.” That’s where The Colorado Rockies are at right now. I didn’t think I would take it quite this hard though. This is tough.
6:44 p.m.—Bottom Ninth: One chance left with a man on first. Todd Helton up…
6:46 p.m.—Bottom Ninth: And it’s déjà vu all over again. Todd Helton gets on base and we’re about to get Tulo vs. Lidge, round two.
Are you playing to win, Tulo or are you playing not to lose? This is the one guy I would want up right now. Show me that fire in your heart, Tulo. Show me.
6:50 p.m.—Bottom Ninth: Check swing strike three on Tulo. Game over.
6:52 p.m.—Bottom Ninth: That’s how winners celebrate, 2009 Colorado Rockies. Take a long, hard look. Watch that.
7:10 p.m.—Text to Peter: I am alone in a parking lot screaming as loud as I can. The train has come off the tracks.
I would stick around to recap, but I’m going to take a little time off of baseball. This game is going to have some ripple effects for a couple of days.
I’m going to go on a personal search for perspective and reason in life. I need some time.
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