What if you're a Cardinals fan?
Can you imagine the ecstasy of seeing your team rally from two runs down with two outs in the ninth? Can you imagine the absolute bliss of seeing Pujols creaming that pitch over the train tracks? I know, it's hard to see it from a different perspective, but we Astros fans just have to tip our caps to the Cardinals and say congrats. 'Cause it ain't gonna last.
Two bits of... comfort?... I received yesterday. First, from my fellow jobless baseball fanatic Alex Louie: These guys are professional ballplayers. Oswalt, Clemens, Lidge, Berkman, Biggio... they're not going to fold just from one loss. They're going to go out the next day and dominate. They know how to play the game, and play it well. What's more, they've been in this situation before: Fighting for the Wild Card the past two years and playing the Braves and Cardinals tight for two years. They're professionals, and they know they can win.
Second, from my fellow ultimate player and non-baseball lover Lawrence Walters: Dude, so what? They lost a game. No big deal. They're still up aren't they?
Both are good points. I wonder if we'd be feeling so crushed if we lost 8-3. If it weren't close... if we weren't one out away. We'd probably be feeling pretty good about our chances. We won the series at home, we're up three games to two and we have Oswalt and Clemens starting in St. Louis. Still...
And how about these guys being professionals? Oswalt gave a press conference which really cheered me up. He reminded everyone that the team is cool and collected and ready to battle in St. Louis: "They are trying to catch us," he said. "We are not trying to catch them."
He also gave us a glance at Lidge's psyche: "He's the type of closer that has amnesia. He won't think nothing about it next time he gets out there. He'll come out tomorrow, end of the game, and I'm sure he'll be lights-out just like he always is."
"Oh, we kidded with him the whole time on the plane today. We actually told him we almost got hit by the ball when it took off. That's the thing about baseball, once it happened last night, it happened last night. You can't do nothing about it today."
Good point, Roy. Now get out there and win us a ballgame.