I didn't get any homework done Monday night.
That's because I unexpectantly went to Game 4- my first playoff game!
I already had a purple hoodie on, so I threw on my Tulo jersey and grabbed a coat (which I didn't use).
I also switched out my black shoelaces for Rockies shoelaces on my shoes.
(Earlier in the year -June- I told my sister I would switch my laces if the Rockies made the playoffs.)
I'm glad I decided to bring my double-sided sign, 'cause I got on the Big Screen with it.
At the gate, Rally towels were handed out- so soft and beautiful!
We got to the game right before the National Anthem was sang. The oversized flag was beautiful (as always).
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown, and it was time to Play Ball!
The air was thick with a playoff atmosphere, especially in the 1st inning. There was a sense of urgency, but also hope in the air. When we were asked to choose the song for the night, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " was chosen. On the Big Screen were fans with signs that read "BelieveR" or "I believe in Rocktober" or "I still believe!"
Fans yelled and clapped and booed while the weather was nice (it was a nice day for a game). And man, did we boo those calls that were, in instant replay's opinion, wrong. Jim Tracy went to go argue and returned to the dugout. We still booed those (gr)umpires.
I think we made them mad.
The end and begining of each inning had different, but strong reactions....
"C'mon, Ubaldo, mow 'em down again!"
"Let's score some runs now!"
"Just get these guys out and we'll get em next inning!"
"We NEED runs!"
"It's Rrrally Time!"
"Yes, we scored a run! We're gonna win this thing!"
The noise and cheering was incredible- sweet, sweet music to one who had never attended a playoff game.
49,000 plus chanting (ch, ch, ch-ch-ch, chchchch...) TU-LO!!!!!!! or LET"S GO, ROCK-IES!!!(ch, ch, ch-ch-ch) and GO!!! ROCKIES!!! (faintly). Even the forced ROCK!!! TO-BER!!!! cheer is still stuck in my head.
With us still trailing by one run and Tulo up to bat, the Phillies made a pitching change. I was holding my "TULO IS ouR MVP" sign up and jumping up and down to stay warm (more on that later).
And then it happened.
For the second time this year, (and in 2 weeks) I was on the Big Screen! My five seconds of fame! In a Playoff game!
But then Tulo struck out.
And we would have to wait to take the lead.
The weather wasn't really that bad. I didn't even wear my coat or gloves the whole game. You could tell when it started to get a little chilly because everybody put on their mittens and the clapping wasn't as loud. I didn't even notice the cold weather until the next morning and I realized my lips were so chapped. Chapped from the elements and from nervously biting and licking them.
The bottom of the 8th came and went, but it should not be forgotten. For that half of an inning, Coors Field and the crazed fans were ROCKIN'! Thousands of rally towels and a few rally caps were deployed by us fans, and for one-half of an inning they worked! As Yorvit Torealba was on his way to 2nd after hitting his long double, the Rockies weren't the only ones high-fiving. I was screaming and jumping and high-fiving the fans next to and in front of me (and so were thousands others). It was the best half-inning of my life.
The 8th ended with our Rockies with the lead and the fans thinking that we were going to send it back to Philly for sure; Huston Street would close it for us! We believed in Huston Street.
Huston Street walked onto the field greeted by his music. The crowd went nuts. We were 3 outs away from winning.
"Huston. Huston.Huston.Huston.Huston.Huston.Huston.Huston." we chanted.
Huston got the first out.
The next two reached.
"We know dRama," I said.
The scoreboard read 2 2 2.
Only one pitch, and we would win. Just one pitch!
But somehow and someway that I would like to forget, the Phillies tied it and went ahead.
Huston Street was pulled; Joe Beimel came in.
Most of the fans sat down, not believing what they just saw.
"THIS ISN'T OVER YET! WHY ARE YOU SITTING DOWN??? THIS AIN'T OVER!!!!!!" a fan in my row screamed.
"I'M ASHAMED THAT YOU'RE SITTING!!! THIS AIN"T OVERRRRRRR!!!!!!!!
The fan left after Joe Beimel got the third out.
I flipped my cap. "This can't be the end, it just can't," I thought.
Tulo checked his swing, thus striking out, and it was over. Rocktober had ended. Baseball season had ended.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!," I wailed.
"I DON'T WANT BASEBALL TO END!!!!" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"But it was such a great season," other fans said. "Hey, the Broncos are 5 and 0!"
Though true, those statements didn't make me feel better.
When we went home, my parents had headaches, and I had a heartache.
Oh, yeah, and my voice was hoarse from screaming.
As I lied in bed, the tree in my backyard turned into fans waving rally towels. And Rockies players playing.
And I realize that this wasn't the end. They would be back next April. But it still hurt, and to put it in Jim Tracy's words, it's gonna hurt until we play the very last game in the playoffs and win it.
"175 more days!" I began to count......
The next day, my teacher didn't give me a hard time for not doing my homework because she was at Game 4 too, and she too understood a little bit of what I was going through.
So that's my view of Game 4: awesome, amazing, joyful, and heartbreaking.