Category Archives: Atlanta Braves

All of Cleveland knows how Washington felt Friday night

Cleveland fans can empathize with the pain of the Washington Nationals.

Five times Friday night the Nationals were one strike away from beating St. Louis and advancing to the National League Championship Series. Five times St. Louis somehow found a way to stay alive.  Somehow the Cardinals turned a 6-0 deficit into a win. Somehow they scored four runs in the ninth to beat the Nationals 9-7.

It was exhilarating for St. Louis, torture for Washington. Slow and agonizing torture.

And closer Drew Storen pitched the entire ninth.

This was a Jose Mesa of the highest degree.

The only thing different from Washington and Cleveland was the Indians’ ninth-inning came in Game 7 of the World Series, which made it all that much more painful. But this Nationals meltdown was reminiscent of Barry Bonds getting thrown out at home in his last game as a Pirate, of the Red Sox turning a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 win over the Yankees, of so many other improbable comebacks.

And Storen, as this excellent story in the Washington Post by Mike Wise shows, suffered tremendously when it was over. For a picture of what a clubhouse is like after a game like that, give it a read. (Thanks to Twitter follower Raj Malik, @rajmalikdc, for pointing it out).

Baseball is such a great game. The Reds were mounting a comeback like St. Louis in their final game, but Cincinnati’s line drives were caught by the Giants. The Cardinal somehow kept finding open spaces.

The lesson of the Indians, Pirates and now the Reds really highlights the one great element of baseball that makes it different from other sports: There is no clock.

You have to get 27 outs.

There is no taking a knee, no killing the clock, no using time in the final minutes, no timeouts to stop the clock, no going out of bounds, no playing four corners.

Twenty-six is not enough. Neither is 26 and two-third.

You have to get 27 outs.

The one group of fans that can identify with Cleveland fans

I’ve always thought that the one group of fans that can identify with Cleveland fans lives in Pittsburgh, and roots for baseball. Because when Atlanta’s Sid Bream just beat the throw from Barry Bonds to win the seventh game of a playoff series in 1992, an era ended. That was Pittsburgh’s Drive, Fumble and Jose Mesa moment — and it’s given an excellent look here. Yes, Pitsburgh still has the Steelers, but that one had to hurt.