Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 211: No One Could've Picked that Game Four Ending

See what I did there? Picked... Sorry, I couldn't resist. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you must be currently residing under a very large rock. It was the pick-off heard round the world. Red Sox closer, Koji Uehara, snapped a throw to first base that found Cardinals rookie, Kolten Wong, leaning the wrong way for the final out of game four. Red Sox win 4-2, series tied 2-2.

It was a finish that the Red Sox needed. After falling victim to that horrible obstruction call the night before, they needed an equally dramatic finish to game four. One that found the boys of Boston on the winning end. And that's exactly what they got.

But let's just say the road to that final out in the ninth was nothing short of heart attack inducing. The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third, the Sox came back and tied it up in the fifth. And then the magic happened in the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Dustin Pedroia singled to center. David Ortiz then followed with a walk—one that appeared to be unintentionally intentional. (Who wouldn't? The guy was batting .727 at that point in the series!)

Jonny Gomes, who found out he was playing only an hour and a half before game time, followed... desperate to break out of his 0-for-9 World Series slump. Cardinals relief pitcher Seth Maness threw a steady stream of sinkers to Gomes, but on a 2-2 count, he left that last sinker just a tad high and Gomes made him pay. Big time. He launched a line drive over the left/center fence for a three-run (and eventually game-winning) home run. Sox up 4-1.

Then came the stress. Like most of the close games throughout the post season, I felt nauseous every time a Cardinals' bat connected with a pitch. I felt barfy each time a Cardinals' runner reached base. And I felt the bile rise in the back of my throat when they scored a run to cut the Sox lead to 4-2. With each passing inning, my knees started shaking violently as I sat nervously on the couch.

The bottom of the ninth finally arrived and it was Koji Time. An out... a single... a pinch runner... another out and then it happened. The thing no one wants to see. Carlos Beltran at the plate representing the tying run. Oh shit. I almost couldn't watch. But then... well... see above. There's nothing better than a pick-off to end a game that leaves Beltran standing there at the plate... helpless and alone.

That win, my friends, means one very important thing. This World Series will be headed back to Boston!

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