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Game 156 Open Thread: September 26, 2006

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carpenter williams
15-7, 2.93 10-5, 3.53

here's a mental trick to help neutralize the deer-in-headlights karma that's overrun cardinal nation this week. goes like this: the cardinals have 7 games on their schedule -- and those games represent round 1 of the playoffs. if st louis wins 4 out of the 7 games, they win the series and advance to the next round. (yeah, i know -- they might advance by going 3-4 or 2-5, and there's also a slim chance they'll need to win 5 out of 8 to move on. but just go with it.) the playoffs are here, and we made it --- hoorah!! tonight is game 1; naturally, carpenter's starting. reyes goes tomorrow night in game 2. and so on and so forth. and what a stroke of luck -- all 7 games in this series will be played at home. and five of'm are against a sub.-500 team. that should give the cardinals a decent chance ---

hold on; what's that you say? the cardinals always choke in the playoffs? stop hitting, play uptight, pitch just well enough to lose --- get beat by inferior teams? you mean this make-believe scenario is making you more nervous? . . . . ok, then let's try this: the last 6 games were the playoffs. the cardinals got knocked out -- pulled their usual choke job and disappointed us all again. that damn la russa. after that debacle, baseball's the last thing we want to watch; might as well take a walk, enjoy the autumn air, read a couple chapters of the new oprah book-club selection, and call it a night . . . .

still not working for ya?

ok, last chance. this one can't miss. here's what you do: run on down to the corner and buy a case of gin. cart it back, open up a bottle, and start drinking just as carpenter throws the first pitch. drink deeply -- finish the first bottle while the leadoff man is still at the plate. then keep going -- two, three, four bottles, more. drink until you don't know what inning it is, what city they're playing in, or which team you root for; drink until the ballfield dissolves into a blur of raw geometric forms, vectors and arcs and right angles and trapezoids. pour the gin straight back; brush your teeth with it; saute some cabbage in it, roll up the leaves and smoke them. pour a bottle into your bathroom sink, soak some gauze in it, and tape the gauze over your eyes. fill the whole bathtub and immerse yourself; tune shannon and rooney into one headphone and zappa and the mothers of invention into the other.

when you've finished the case, go down and buy another one. repeat as necessary until the season has ended.

see ya in november.