That felt like the longest 4 hours and 14 minutes of my life. Especially the 3½ hours in the middle where the Dodgers were dead in the water and couldn’t get a run in to save their souls.
There was that great Lux double play in the top of the 1st, then it got eerily familiar: Betts taking 1st and Seager homering. And again I thought (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one), ok, this time it’s not gonna be like last time and the offense really will be dialed in today. Morton was in deep shit and he even loaded the bases after the Seager long ball.
Ok, maybe I’m a pessimist at times, but, when we left the bases loaded at the end of the 1st, I said to myself, fuck, here we go again.
Then Buehler proceeded to melt down under a perfectly blue sky and, yeah, I figured we were fucked.
I started watching the game at home, then I had to listen to part of it on the radio when I went to pick the boys up, then I got back and watched the rest of it on the TV with Jacob. I saw enough of Buehler drowning in molten lead to make me glad I didn’t have to watch him when I was in the SUV (they took the ball away from him by the time I got back from picking up the boys.)
The middle of the game was a nightmare. I buried my face in the couch a few times…although nothing was worse than seeing Buehler go down in flames, it was still pretty painful. And drawn out. I have no idea why a game that wasn’t even a full 9 innings was that long, although Roberts using 9 pitchers didn’t exactly expedite matters. But it just seemed to go on forever, and the Dodgers kept missing opportunity after opportunity. It all felt hopeless. Jacob even asked if I wanted to turn it off, but I said, no…I haven’t walked out on a baseball game before the end in my life (except for one game I was playing in and took a nasty spill and had to be taken to the ER to have my knee xrayed) and I wasn’t gonna start when my team was fighting for its postseason life.
When it was clear that the game wasn’t going to be done by dinnertime, Belen came to the pool house and asked if we wanted her to bring us our dinners. This was just as the game was taking off, and I don’t think we were as polite to her as we should have been…but who cared about dinner when the Dodgers had two men on base and Bellinger was coming up to bat?
Y’all probably heard that the hero of the game turned out to be Bellinger with that 3-run homer. I, for one, never entirely stopped believing in him, and, even though he sucked all season long, you can’t say he hasn’t been clutch as fuck in the playoffs. Before he got the homer, he nearly swung out of his shoes again…but I think he shortened up a little on the swing that got the ball out. He doesn’t lack power, even with a slightly shorter swing, as the ball going out proved. And hacking away at the ball as hard as you can doesn’t usually end in anything but a strikeout.
Me and Jacob were literally jumping up and down when Belli hit that long ball, and then we did it some more when Betts got the double that got Taylor home. Before that we were both half asleep, expecting that the team was gonna lose and that we’d have to watch another game tomorrow which statistics said they would lose…and, instead…
“See, cowboy, this is why you never walk out on a ballgame,” I told Jacob.
This isn’t a game anyone’s gonna forget anytime soon. I know we’re still down 1, but it feels like we’re tied since there was so much emotional up and down to this game. (Not that it was a rollercoaster: it was up, then a looooooong down that got even more down after the 4th, then a quick and huge up…and finally some worry in the top of the 9th that Jansen was gonna fuck it up. Lucky for everyone his cutter was working and he was pretty dang unhittable.
Of course, now we have to win 3 more. The good thing about a win like today’s is that makes it seem like that’s possible.