Wednesday, October 27, 2004

World Series - Game 3

Red Sox 4, Cardinals 1
Red Sox lead, 3-0

Plant life throughout Greater New England is in for a rough day today, as carbon dioxide levels will be drastically restricted by widespread holding of breath. I imagine you could hear a pin drop in Faneuil Hall right now.

You'll notice that it's taken me until 1:00 to get something posted today in the wake of the Sox moving to the brink of something nearly unimaginable even 10 days ago. I simply cannot find the right combination of words. Every thought is so freighted with meaning, yo-yoing back and forth in some torturous karmic yin/yang mindfuck. They're 1 game away from winning the World Series; but it's not over. The Sox are really going to do this; no, they're not, the Cardinals can come back. The Sox have been dominant in this series; but the Cardinals are bound to start playing better. I can't wait until they wrap this thing up; shut the fuck up, asshole.

(That last line was written for Whitney's benefit. He sent me an email earlier this morning telling me to make this a good entry, because I'd be reading it to my daughters in years to come. That line eliminates that possibility, and frees me up to suck for the remainder of this post. Which is a good thing, because I intend to do just that.)

The Red Sox are 1 win from capturing a World Series championship so elusive that 3 generations of Sox fans have never seen one. They find themselves on this precipice because they believe in themselves and each other to the exclusion of all distractions, and I and people like me find ourselves silently mouthing, "Believe" as games draw to a close. Though the karmic cruelty supposed by a Cardinal comeback in this series would be legendary in its devastating impact, we still hold on. "Believe," I tell my family. "Believe," I implore as Pedro Martinez faces a 0-out, 2nd and 3rd situation in the 3rd inning of a 1-run game. "Believe," as Pedro retired the next 14 Cardinals, and then watched Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke shut the door.

It's a new thing for us, this believing. We're all still dipping our toes in it, hoping that it's real. We know the facts, and the stats, and we understand that the Cardinals team, while terrific, really isn't set up well for postseason baseball, especially with so many control pitchers who don't make many batters swing and miss. Pitchers that throw a lot of strikes against these Red Sox tend to get battered - no change in this series thus far. We also understand that the Sox have gotten all the breaks thus far - that the Cardinals, the league's best fundamental team, essentially gift-wrapped Game 3 with 2 colossal base-running errors in the game's first 3 innings. We see the Sox rap 2-out hit after 2-out hit, and belief comes a little easier. We know that the bullpen is rested, that Derek Lowe is confident, that the offense is on fire, and that the Sox players are looser than the intestines of a dysentery patient. (Did he just introduce dysentery into this paragraph? Forget it, he's rolling.)

We know all these things, and we're so ready to really, truly believe. And yet, we're Red Sox fans, so the exhale won't truly come until Keith Foulke induces the last Cardinal batter to fly softly to center, until the last out of the last inning of the last game of the World Series is recorded, and the Red Sox have more runs than the Cardinals. And if that happens, God...I can't even imagine.


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