Oh man, that eighth inning.
Trachsel clearly running out of gas (though I was happy to see Willie let him hit for himself and go out there), Tim Welke's Magical Strike Zone contracting, the count mounting on Mike Matheny, I'm muttering Come ON Trachsel, hit it to anybody though preferably not Diaz, then Michael Fucker (whose name is somehow always misspelled) at the plate, looking to see if he can tear open Piazza's thigh with his spikes or if his old friend Angel Hernandez is around to help him cheat, and Trachsel's fastballs are high, his offspeed stuff rolling instead of breaking, and the count mounts on Spikey McFucker and the Magical Strike Zone goes back and forth like an accordion, and I'm now muttering comeonTrachselhitittoanybodythoughpreferablynotDiaz, and now Michael Fucker has walked and here's Randy Winn, and I'm thinking that's one batter too many and I just lived through this with Jae Seo and am not sure I can do it again, and Trachsel goes 2-0 on Randy Winn and I'm sure that's fatal, now I'm reduced to hoping we get lucky somehow and yelling Come ON Trachsel hit it to ANYBODY — EVEN DIAZ and then sonofabitch, he pops it up, and it briefly looks like Reyes and Cairo and Beltran are going to stare at each other until it plops into the grass, but no, Beltran gloves it, we're safe, still 1-0.
Well, safe except for Braden Looper out there on the mound. And he was accompanied by some strange moves by Willie — why double-switch and take Jacobs' glove out of the game for Chris Woodward's? Were we playing for the tie? I mean, if where Looper hits in the order comes into play, we're already screwed — and a screwing is more likely with subpar defense at first, isn't it? And speaking of subpar defense, why was Diaz still out there in right?
So of course Looper gives up a leadoff double to Omar Vizquel and I'm screaming epithets at him, but then somehow, just as I'm seething and rehearsing a blog entry about how we can't survive with Looper as our closer, he makes a terrific play on Pedro Feliz when nobody would have blamed him for avoiding the broken bat, then gets Moises Alou, then Ray Durham grounds into the second-base hole and Cairo flings it to Woodward and holy shit we've won , though I still kind of feel like throwing up. Attaboy Looper, I guess.
Man. This game'll kill you. And that's when you win.
Prescript: Antsy before the start of things (thank goodness that's the last 10:10 game of the year), I flipped over to watch Braves-Brewers. It was some kind of Turn Back the Clock night in Milwaukee, so the Braves (whom we now trail by just four, though let's not talk about that) were wearing Braves road unis, and the Brewers were wearing…Braves home unis. I felt like I had vertigo; it took me like two innings to get it straight and even then I had to keep checking. Then Ben Sheets came out of the game late with an injury and in came…Kane Davis. Kane Davis? Really? I figured he'd be on about Year Two of the You Need a Ticket to Get in Here Buddy plan. Strange night all around.