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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Optimized for Drama

Optimized for Drama

I imagine that on the day of the last game of the NLCS series, the highest of the Gods of Baseball summoned one of his divine interns and told him: "I have an errand for you to run, Wingy Boy. Go to New York and make the Game 7 between the Cards and the Mets as dramatic as possible." And the Wingy Boy flew to New York and turned the Game 7 into such a hair-raising thriller that he soon landed a permanent position on the baseball Olymp as a Lesser God responsible for transforming the hardy fans into heaps of purple jelly.

As I was hoping, Jeff Weaver stared the Mets offence down for the all important 3:2 lead. In the next Game the Cards hesitated and New York baseball kettle reached the boiling point with the Game 7 coming up at the Shea Stadium.

Mets' blogs were abuzz with hopeful expectations that day, but Cards' pitcher Jeff Suppan decided to remake his memorable Game 7 from 2004 (against Astro's Roger Clemens) into a perfect blogbuster. He took no prisoners and even Endy Chavez miraculous over-the-wall catch of Scott Rolen's homer-to-be didn't do much to throw off his throwing. The Game 7 went into the 9th inning tied at 1.

To set up the nerve-wrecking bottom, offensively inconspicuous Yadier Molina shook the living daylights out of an unsuspecting ball for a two run homer, the most valuable hit of his career so far. If anyone in St. Louis was sleeping at the time, they surely were awoken to the screams of his name.

The rest of the show was directed by Cardinals rookie closer Adam Wainwright. And he made sure that the plot thickened considerably. He was finding his rhythm in fits and starts and by the time he got two outs, the bases were loaded with anxious runners. So it all came to this: game 7, bottom of the ninth, two run lead, bases loaded and two out. And standing opposite to Wainwright is a man with whom the Cards have a giant dinosaur bone to pick. Carlos Beltran, who not only homered against them in this series, but also in the 2004 NLCS, then for the archrival Houston.

I am not sure how much nail mass was collectively bitten off in St. Louis during that at bat. I'd guess several pounds. But Wainwright, completely oblivious to this tissue loss was already warmed up enough. 1-2-3. Bye Bye Carlos and Hello Tigers!

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