Double Switching

Life outside the diamond is a wrench.
Posts tagged "texas rangers"

Yu Darvish loses his perfect game bid with two outs in the ninth. Twitter explodes.

Virtually every sports fan has a story of a Game 7 that broke their hearts.

At least, those sports fans who enjoy games incorporating a best-of-seven round somewhere — baseball, hockey, basketball … There’s Game 5 do-or-die contests in baseball too, in the Division Series, but “Game 5” doesn’t quite come with the same gravitas. Game 7 is the ultimate. Six games played, three up and three down, and two undoubtedly tired teams must then fight one last time, winner take all. They are sports all wrapped up in one defining game: the highest highs, the lowest lows, the nail-biting and teeth-gnashing and incoherent joyful shouting and some of the most heart-racing seconds you will ever experience.

I’ve got plenty of Game 7 stories, having grown up a hockey fan. It’s where the awe and terror of those words was instilled in me, bound into my instincts. Say “Game 7” to those of us in the know and our hearts begin to pound and our hands start to sweat. They’re the scariest words in sports. Those nights are the best day of someone’s sporting life, and the worst day of someone else’s.

Last season was my first MLB playoffs, and we all know well what Game 7 broke many hearts (and buoyed up many others) then. If we’re going to be perfectly accurate, though, it was Game 6 that did the breaking; the next was just the cherry on top. It ensured that I’ll never be able to confidently say “Down to their last strike” about the Cardinals again—a valuable lesson that no game is ever certain, no lead protected, until the game is over. The Rangers had so many chances, were so close every time, and could never quite make it.

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While playoff baseball is fun, there is always something missing from the game when it “matters.” Baseball is at its most perfect when there is an endless stream of games on the schedule with hundreds of outcomes in play and death seems impossible. When there’s not only two aces squaring off against each other, but also two minor league lifers, each scratching out a living at the fringes of the game. When there’s another game to switch to during commercial breaks and so you need not fathom turning to The Voice. There’s only one more day of that kind of baseball left, so enjoy it.

The Toronto Blue Jays are fourteen games under .500. Just sit back and let that sink in for a second … fourteen. That’s a record of 56-70, tied with Kansas City (who are currently still battling the Red Sox in the 12th inning) for third worst in the American League, and works out to a winning percentage of .444.

It hasn’t been pretty.

I’m getting tired of all this sadness, so here for fun and therapy are some of the awesome things that we’ve seen this season. (Remember when awesome things happened to us? They were not in August.)

April 5th and 6th, Progressive Field: Marathon wins.
The first game of the season, hilariously, went sixteen innings, and ended with J.P. Arencibia smashing a three-run homer.

The very next day, the two teams went to extras again, and incredibly, the Jays took that one too. Both games ended with the same scoreline: 7-4.

The Jays dropped the final game of the series 4-3, but came back to Toronto to a whole lot of starry-eyed hope.

Video: From game 1, Arencibia’s three-run homer, and game 2, Rajai Davis’ double.

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Yu Darvish confounds hitters every which way, then gets up to the plate and smashes bats. This man is badass.