So, it's feeling like this is increasingly becoming a do or die situation for us. St. Louis is still up in the division by one and a half games, and the magic number is still five with four games left to play. It feels like a choke, it feels like a disaster, and it feels like the center has finally failed to hold. But, none of these things has happened yet--this team is still in control of it's fate, but if they lose tonight, and the astros win, things will be entirely too close for my taste.
So, now it's time for young Anthony Reyes to take the mound in his high socks in the most high pressure game of his career. St. Louis has backed down repeatedly over the course of the season, but the time to back down is over. Houston and Cincinatti are still in this, and they need to be closed out. If St. Louis wins tonight and Houston loses, the magic number is three, and that is way more comfortable. These narrow losses need to stop. The line must be drawn here. There is no room to back down any more.
That being said, if Reyes actually does come through tonight, and the team actually gets the win it needs to avoid the third 8 game streak, you would have to think that it would earn him a ticket out of the TLR doghouse. It would give the team hope that they can actually win games. It would be something to build off of.
Or not. Hopefully we won't have to think about the alternative--where this is a total collapse, and the team finds itself forced to retreat from it's poorly defined options, and hope to hand things over to a new group that may or may not be able to rebuild for later--the sudden disaster is simply too much to deal with, and valiantly staying and fighting and losing is the only thing left to do.
Tonight we will find out whether last week was the Alamo, or whether it was Black Hawk Down.
It's time for young Tony to show us what he's got.
Go mow them down, Anthony.
[Edit]: From yesterday's game thread, I just thought I should call attention to the insane line that Russ Branyan has put up this year: .224/.324/.498/.822 with 17 HR in 227 AB. The only line I've seen at all similar is Mark McGwire's injury-ridden 2001 line. Strange.