Unbelievable! Stupendous! Remarkable!
That was all my mind could grasp as I sat in the blog section in the Vin Scully Press Box.
The Dodgers were down 5 runs to 2 in the bottom of the 8th inning. So far, Dan Haren had been in full control of the game. He had allowed 2 hits over 7 innings to the Dodgers. Ethier was the only player to figure him out as he accounted for the 2 Dodger hits against the ace starter. Haren just made the Dodger hitters look silly. Heck, he made Dodger pitchers look worse as he went 3 for 3 at the plate.
The bases were occupied by 3 speedsters- Pierre on third, Furcal on 2nd and O-Dog on 1st. James Loney was up to bat with two outs and would face a new reliever on the mound, Daniel Schlereth. This rookie had yet to allow a run in his short stint in the Majors. In 2 appearances he had given up one hit. Hardly enough experience to provide any insight into what could soon take place. Knowledgeable gamblers would refrain from placing a bet.
I sat on the edge of my seat with my hands clinched against my chin. My laptop screen had gotten in the way of my view so I pulled it down for a full panoramic effect.
Next thing I know Loney whacks a deep drive to the right centerfield gap. My eyes followed the trajectory of the ball. It sailed higher and deeper. Chris Young ran to his left and gave chase. I was sure, at the time, that Loney had hit a gaper to clear the bases, but it seemed to just hang in the air. Young was going to catch up. He leaped in the air as the ball headed towards the wall. Then, in a fortuitous act of fate the ball found its way out of his glove. It rested on the warning track dirt awaiting for its return home.
One run scored... then the second run crossed the plate... Orlando was close behind as he came home to tie the game. The stadium was a mass of cheering Blue heads. Folks were jumping up and down. Hugs were free for all who would accept them. All I could do was watch and smile.
While others clapped I clinched my hands tighter. When everyone cheered I bit my tongue. No fist pump. No standing with my hands outstretched above my head. No dancing to the impromptu song that was playing in my mind. I was trying to be as professional as all of the other folks in the media room. So, I stayed quiet, but, I'll tell ya what, I had the biggest smile on my face you could ever imagine.
By the time Casey Blake came up, before he followed up with a game winning single to drive in Loney, I was already resting comfortably in my seat. By this time I knew the game was ours. My smile had gone into full bloom. The Dodger are gonna win.