Thursday, October 13, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Braves experience meltdown

What a weekend! While Ole Miss was getting back on the winning track and Mississippi State was being annihilated by Florida, and Tiger Woods and John Daly were going head to head in the American Express Championship at Lake Merced, the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves were playing out the longest game in Major League Baseball playoff history. That game almost lasted all weekend. Eighteen innings and five hours and 20 pitchers later the Astros completed the meltdown of the Braves.

We all know the Houston Astros – the team which always seems to want the series to bounce back to Atlanta. For Atlanta, it was deja vu all over again. The Astros put them out last season. The Braves have on their walls 14 unprecedented division crowns. Now they have to go back home denied again. To their credit, the Braves have won one World Series.

I am sure all of us can remember one game in some sport where the players were doing their utmost and nothing was coming out right. That was the case with Houston.

Score tied 6-6 and running out of pitchers – that’s when the word went out for “Rocket” Roger Clemens. Two years out of retirement and over 20 years of the relief rotation, Clemens took the mound, after being warmed up by his son who was called from the stands, and rocked the Braves for three and a half solid innings. He got the win when Chris Burke sent the single shot over the fence to end the stalemate.

The New York Yankees were on the brink of elimination, thereby placing one of my hare-brained predictions in serious jeopardy. The Yanks took the first of the best of five by a not so hefty margin 4-2, then dropped the next two. They were rained out in NY on Saturday and had to make that game up on Sunday. They evened the series two all on Sunday. Now they have to face “jet-lag” and play again on Monday night.

I still think that the Yanks are up to this formidable task; however, just to make sure that I don’t jinx them, I won’t watch the game!

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