Did the Nats win: Depends what you mean by win.
Was it fun to watch: When I wasn’t gouging my eyes out.
Visceral Emotion of the Game: Oh no oh no oh no oh no WAIT OH YEAH OH YEAH!!!
Sometimes things take a while to get going. It takes time for an oven to heat up, it takes time for me to muster up the courage to look at a picture of Tom Gorzelanny, and it takes time for the Nationals to realize that they should stop doing so poorly in the biggest game in this team’s history. But you know, that’s easy to forget to do. Despite getting out on top early on, the Nationals did not play at a major league level. They didn’t even play at a Houston Astros level.
This game was all about incompetence. 2 of the 3 lead changes were not thanks to impressive baseball skill, but rather miserable failure. Well, one of the failures was miserable. The other might have seemed like a silly thing to do, but in reality helped the more powerful group claim what they wanted. I would compare Pete Kozma’s error to appeasement towards the Nazis. It gave the Nats just a little, after which they took a lot. Now I don’t really like comparing the Nationals to the Nazis. But just like the Nazis, the Nationals don’t support smoking within their homeland, so there certainly are similarities.
Let’s start at the beginning. And by beginning, I mean 2nd inning. Because if my countless hours of watching Fox News have taught me anything, it’s that it’s always fine to skip over things if they don’t fit into your narrative. Things got going with a Suzooka being launched to left field. Sure, it misfired a bit and wasn’t very powerful, but it got the job done. Things were fun until…Gio showed up. Now I know what you’re asking, how could the guy with the greatest smile make things so miserable? Clearly, the man out there was not Gio, but a fake. An impostor Gio. Lio Gonzalez, his evil twin who has beautiful mane-like hair instead of a beautiful smile. Well too bad Lio, your sabotage did not work!
Or maybe it was just Gio and he sucked.
Gio walked batter after batter, with a total of 4 in the inning plus a wild pitch. The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-1 lead. But Gio had not given up a hit! He couldn’t be that bad, right?! Well, today I learned that a walk is as good as a hit. In that both are equally capable of making me miserable.
The game dragged on for inning after inning. Certain players succeeded, lik Ian Desmond. No, that’s not a typo. Oh wait, it is. “Like* Ian Desmond.” There, better. Others failed, like Jayson Werth, who missed two opportunities with the bases loaded. What Jayson, not a fan of public orgies? Come on, just cause a bunch of guys already reached all the bases doesn’t mean you should shy away.
There was a tense moment in the 7th, when Stammen loaded the bases and was taken out for Ryan Mattheus. But Ryan Mattheus delivered everything I had ever hoped for and more. Except a pony, but I figured if Santa hadn’t done that by now, Ryan wouldn’t have a good shot at it. Ryan induced a grounder to get the first out at home, and then a double play to get out of the inning. Thank you, Ryan. To honor you, I crown you King of Ground Balls. That should earn you praise on both the baseball diamond, and in Middle Eastern cultures where they eat every part of the lamb. They’re very tasty when ground up and spiced properly.
As the game arrived in the 8th and I had the suicide hotline ready on speed dial, something happened that was beautiful. Who was involved? Well, it being beautiful rules out a few Nationals. No, it was a Cardinal who saved the day. Pete Kozma committed the worst error someone from his family had ever committed since his parents decided to raise him in Oklahoma. Michael Morse reached on that error, which was followed by an Ian Desmond single. Desmond moved to 2nd on a sac bunt by Danny Espinosa. Shame the thing he sacrificed wasn’t himself, because that would’ve certainly done more good for the team than Espinosa had done up to that point in the game. Kurt Suzuki then K’d, making the situation runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs.
We needed a hero. We needed someone to step up and propel this team to a victory. That man…was Chad Tracy. Chad Tracy’s name was announced, and as it echoed through the stadium, Chad knew he had a great task at hand. The most important at-bat of his entire career. His time was now. He could be–Oh wait, pitching change. A lefty? Let’s send up Tyler Moore instead.
Tyler, a rookie, stepped up to the plate, and in the most important at-bat in perhaps this team’s history, he came through. It wasn’t a big one, but it was placed just right. Which is also what women say to make guys with smaller penises think they can still please them (not that Tyler Moore is necessarily one of those men, but he might be). And just like that, the Nationals were on top 3-2.
Tyler Clippard came in to pitch the 8th, and overcame an error to get a scoreless inning. Then Drew Storen made his way out to shut the door on the first ever playoff win for this team. He just had to look at the game as if it was a Jehovah’s Witness. It was extremely frustrating having to sit there while it went on and on, but when you finally had an opening you had to shut the door and be done with it. And shut the door he did.
The Nationals did it. They won a playoff game. If you had told the Nationals last year that they’d be winning a playoff game in 2012, well nobody would hear you. You would’ve had to speak up to be louder than Livan’s overpoweringly loud and constant chewing. However had they heard you, they would not have believed it. But look at us. Now, in the end, this team should feel lucky to be where they are right now.
Because there’s a casino right across the river from the stadium, and craps is a lot of fun to play. I envy them.