I think Irene Cara said it best: "What a feeling!"
Of course, not quite the elation we experienced when Pujols hit that towering homer off Lidge to extend the playoffs last year, but still, not bad!
This game was a roller coaster ride. Every time we would battle back to get the lead, Weaver would let the Astros back into it, and then in the 6th, he let them take a lead that I feared would be for good. And then I heard the Reds were winning, and I worried we were going to let our division lead slip another game.
Then the magical ninth begins. When Lidge took the mound, I didn’t have the feeling of powerlessness I felt before last year’s playoffs. I just thought, "I hope we can get something going so Albert can hit." J Rod started things off with a gutsy at-bat and a single. Skip was brought in to run for him. Vizcaino did his job, bunting Skip over to 2nd. The scene was set for Preston Wilson to eke some revenge against the team that made him redundant, but he struck out. 2 outs. OK, at least we’ve got Speizio now, and he’s been hot. He gets dinged on the foot by the pitch and takes first base. Anticipation builds, and everyone is on their feet in Busch as Albert comes to bat, and we know Lidge is rattled. He could walk Albert, but then he’d load the bases. In retrospect, of course he should have. I’m sure he was thinking striking Albert out would end his head games. Albert waited for his pitch and launched a perfectly placed walk-off double into left field, scoring Schumaker and Speizio.
Admittedly, I’m a haiku poet, not a stat cruncher. I only really pay attention to other teams when they’re playing the Cardinals. I know there are a couple other worthy MVP candidates out there, but, tell me, is there anyone in the NL you’d rather have batting in do-or-die situations like these? And isn’t that what it means to be MVP?