Phillies 5, Reds 4

A pop-up to Wilson Valdez
To lead off the game, start the top.
A two-run homer in the bottom
Forgotten by the time they’d stop.

The online box preserves its shape:
Room for innings, just one through nine
(What did the real newspapers do?)
One clicks to move along the line.

One needs two clicks to see the start.
Or one to see the reviewed play.
Homer for Bruce, play stands as called–
But Ryan overshadowed Jay

Homering in the bottom half.
The Reds responded, out of kind
Loading up the bases, but
Baserunners proved harder to find

After Valdez’ eleventh-inning
Single. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, came
And went with zeroes. Hits at last.
But on the linescore, just the same.

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. When
To take the risk? No guidebook says
When to bring in Wilson Valdez
Or to take out Danys Baez
Fingers crossed tight for Martinez
Grateful cheers for Raul Ibanez
In the morning, somehow it’s done
And Valdez the unlikely hero
Rises to plateau, one and zero–
While Fisher falls to oh and one.

Cincinnati: no runs, no hits

Normally, you don’t pull guys in inning two. If it’s just an opportunity out of 162, you can say, “Okay, you and I won’t win today, but throw on and work through this.” You can admit that today is not your day. In spring, you might think “possibly it’s still our month”, though fall a long way down and it will sink in that this campaign is probably not yours. You might find out which squad is probably going to win. And, probably, it will win.

This rationalizing is not okay in a playoff, though. You can’t say “not today, but how about Friday?” You must think that any day is, possibly, yours.

This is what Cincinnati did, saying, “You guys want to win this, point, but our guys do also.” 2010 is not, so far, anybody in particular’s; in a month, you could say “oh, this or that squad won”, but as of now you don’t know who will win.

But still, pundits want to slap summarizing tags on 2010. “It’s for mound guys! It’s for youth!” On such an important night, though, anybody up to bat blocks all that out. You can’t win it all in your NLDS’s first night, but you can hold your own, ignoring past triumphs from your rival. You should try to.

So Halladay’s win is particularly amazing.

His skin was half-blank-and-oozing, half-in-cap-bill’s-shadow. It was a quick win, not far into a triad of digits for pitch count. Which is good–you don’t want to say “oh, it’s going to go this way, it is 2010 you know” in a bad or good mood at such an assumption. Don’t go for a brilliant night just for a brilliant night; go for a win, and find glory too.

A month or so will still occur. But now, I too am (slowly) inching towards that claim that 2010 is truly outlandish.