When I got up this morning, I didn’t bother reading any headlines, articles or blogs about the Cardinals because I already knew what they would say. It is what the weary beat writers and naysayers spout every morning after a loss and I am just plain tired of the complaining about how the Cardinals can’t hit or the managers can’t manage or how our postseason chances are slipping away.
I may be one of the few Cardinal fans who will say this today, but I actually enjoyed yesterday’s game. Sure, the final score was crummy, but right down to the very last pitch, I knew we had a chance. And the game was full of moments that made me smile. Albert may not have hit his 400th homerun, but he had a 3-hit night. Matt Holliday sent one flying out of the park in the first inning. Jon Jay may have only gotten one hit, but I love that he tears out of the batters box and down the line to 1st base trying to beat the throw on an easy infield hit. Even Yadier Molina and his catcher’s knees had some extra energy as he ran the bases. And of course there is Adam Wainwright and the way his determined piercing eyes give him an entirely different (scary) demeanor on a night he’s pitching.
In the 9th inning when the boys came off the bench and sparked a rally, I thought “we are going to WIN this one!” Skip Schumaker, Randy Winn and Aaron Miles all made things happen. Then Jon Jay’s RBI brought the Cardinals back within one run of tying the game. Even as Felipe Lopez stood in, switch-hitting at the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the final countdown, I was glued to the television, firmly believing I would be witnessing a come-from-behind Cardinal victory.
But the victory celebration would have to wait. The Redbirds lost and that’s the way it goes sometimes. The Cardinals record will show an L for the August 24th game against the Pirates, but that loss certainly does not tell the big picture for me.
If you haven’t figured out by now, I love baseball. Warning: I am one of those fans who will occasionally cheer for the opposing team – not by mistake because I’m not paying attention, but because the hit or the play was just too good not to applaud.
So, even after a Cardinals loss like last night, I can smile because I saw some wonderful baseball. Sure the wins and losses matter – they matter A LOT – but this is the game of baseball. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Anything can happen and that is why they play 9 innings and why teams like the Pirates and the Cubs and the Brewer even bother to take the field. And that is why each game has the potential to provide countless individual moments of baseball magic that keep us coming back for more, that give every fan hope and that make us believe our team can still win… right down to the very last pitch.
The boys are back at it again for the last game of the series against the Pirates tonight at 6:05 PM! Albert will hit that 400th homerun and the Cardinals will win – I just know it! ;)
FYI: Today you can catch my article “What Is It About Aaron Miles?!” over at i70baseball.com. Love him or hate him, Miles is certainly an interesting Cardinal issue. Here’s the link – and thanks for reading!
GO CARDS!! =)