Thursday, June 3, 2010

So close, yet so far away.

I think I've seen Andy cry twice.

I almost saw the third time last night.

We were listening to the Tigers game in the car while running errands, like any other night. Except on this particular night, history was in the making. Tiger's pitcher Armando Gallaraga was perfect through 6 innings. We rushed home to catch the rest on TV, not wanting to miss this special moment in sports history.

We started watching and he made it through the 8th inning fairly easily. Then came the all important top of the 9th - the Tigers playing at home. The fans on their feet, feeling the history they were witnessing. Gallaraga could be the 21st player in the history of baseball to pitch a perfect game. A person waits their whole life to see this moment for their team, and most don't get to experience it. The electricity was in the air. Andy and I were on our feet.

1st man at bat grounded out.

2nd man at bat hit a long fly ball out to center field, and Austin Jackson made an amazing catch. At this point, Andy and I were jumping up and down and I could almost see the tears of joy in Andy's eyes.

The dogs of course just wondered what the hell was wrong with us.

3rd man at the plate. 26 outs in a row and one more to go. Ground ball between first and second. Cabrera leaves his post at 1st to retrieve it, Gallaraga runs to cover first. Cabrera tosses the ball to Gallaraga, he catches it, tags the base, and the runner is out. A perfect game has been pitched.

Except, the ump calls the runner safe. Andy and I stop our celebration to stare in silence at the TV in disbelief. Replays show that the runner was clearly out. The call wasn't even close. Those tears of joy in Andy's eyes had now turned to tears of defeat. Frustration. Anger. Thinking you just saw the thing every baseball fan wants to see for their team - something historic. And then to see your pitcher robbed by a blown call.

It was like a punch to the gut.

Armando, you pitched a perfect game last night. Although it may not be official and it may not be written in the history books - you did it. You accomplished one of the most difficult feats in sports.

And for the record (in case Andy is reading this) he did not actually cry. He'd probably like me to point that out. Although, I wouldn't fault any man, woman or child for shedding a tear over what happened last night.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Everyone around the nation is in disbelief. Another question I have is why the hell did that Cleveland Indian player run his butt off to get to 1st base? Seriously!