Is this the Beginning of the End?
Marc Avery / AP
You also begin to breathe deeper and the feeling of impending doom begins to filter through your head. There is something coming, and you feel it in your bones, but you are unaware of the aspects of unadulterated shock and awe that bombards your senses in just a few moments. You are drawn like a moth to a flame to the horror and dismantling being played out in front of you. You longingly gander at the instance of tragedy and the impending agony beginning to settle in front of your eyes. In the back of your mind, you are grateful it did not get thrust upon you that day.
You begin to act nervous and uneasy in your chair, looking for a place to guide your eyes to take this image out of your mind, to replace the scene with familiar things, better things, things that do not denote the events unfolding on the field. And unfortunately, you get that personal, up-front view of the whole thing. The carnage in front of you doesn’t take a property toll or even a life, but the events still throw you through the total gambit of shock and awe, and you wish you were somewhere else.
You want to be somewhere else, you want to crawl anywhere, do anything, see something else in your mind’s eye for a moment to take you away from the sounds and the motions of this events unfolding in front of you. Through more and more violent motions until that third out was clutched by B J Upton. And you hoped that it is all over……. or is it?
And in that silent moment, you notice the Rays players as they jogged off the field with their heads down, just barely glancing into the stands as they entered the Visitor’s dugout, stun and emotionally embarrassed of what had just unfolded in front of them. And the worst part was the fact they were all helpless and could only contribute when the flight of the ball and the flow of the game let them help. For once this proud team was powerless to the fury that unfolded in front of them.
You had a bit of uneasy confidence in going into that bottom of the fifth inning with a slim 3-1 lead. You knew that offensive woes have been the devil to this squad all season on the road, but tonight you almost got the feeling it might be enough to bring it home. But there was no way to honestly foresee the coming carnage within the next 50+ pitches. Matt Garza, who had great control most of the evening was not a candidate for a free fall that would see this game turn so fast. You knew that Garza was beginning to elevate the baseball, but something demoralizing as the next inning never played out in your mind.
And it was a bit surreal that the site of such an implosion would be on the same mound, the same stadium that evoked another meltdown of Garza a year earlier. Garza had taken measures after that chaos to gain control of himself, and you had no idea that such a event was to again unfold on that very same mound. And in a blink of your eyes you saw that uncomfortable 3-1 lead melt away like the last snow of Winter.
The damage was not subtle, it was not drawn out, it was a violent explosion of power and ability that had laid under the surface of this Rangers team all night. You knew the potential for damage was high with this Rangers team, but so far in the contest Garza had tamed the beast within. In the next long hour you saw a constant rush of a dozen or so emotions entangle your brain and pull on your heart strings. You felt for this Rays team, and empathized with their pain. You wanted to do anything in your power to stop the implosion, but it was too late.
And you did not want to see Garza, Jeff Bennett or Dale Thayer take any more of this constant barrage of the Rangers bats. You wanted it to all end, you yearned for a reprieve from the past hours events. In your mind you knew you just might have seen the candle flicker out on this team and that with that 11-run carnage, you might have witnessed their last stand. An event like this with less than 8 games left in the season could put up massive walls to just “mail in” the rest of the schedule.
And this is the type of game that you can not wash from your skin in a short time and again take the field with total confidence. This one lingers for a while and has a deadening effect on everyone in that clubhouse. No where to run and hide, this one smacks you hard and deep and leave more than a few welts on your mind and heart.
But still for that hour you watched in horror, but did not look away. You found yourself glued to the watch the entire event like you do when the local new reports a disaster or flood in the Third World country. But this time the pit of your stomach aches and you personally feel the emotions and the gloom you encountered as the events unfolded.
This time you felt like you might have been collateral damage from the game. That this one also stole a bit of you last night.