For those of you unfamiliar with Harry Potter mythology, a horcrux is an item that an evil wizard uses to hoard a portion of their soul in order to obtain immortality. As a result, the object takes on evil properties and clouds the mind of its bearer and slowly turns them evil.
My little boy was fortunate to obtain a baseball from the game, and I look at this as my horcrux; it contains a portion of my soul that has been tainted down a dark path. I couldn’t even hold it, and couldn’t bear to take a picture of it. I encouraged him to throw it back or give it to another kid, but he foolishly kept the horcrux.
My soul was dashed last night. That baseball holds the darkest remnants of my Rockies fandom, and I fear I may have uttered at least two of the unforgivable curses in the direction of Dodgers players last night. I swear Voldemort Guerrero, or whatever his real name is, has made me into a full-on dark wizard. Crucio!
This is the Phillies Game from almost exactly this point last year. The Rockies were enjoying some swagger, putting together some nice victories, had excellent hitting and passable pitching going into the ninth inning in Philadelphia with a lead. The Rox got to two outs, ran into some trouble and then an old, AARP sort of decrepit Ryan Howard came out in his wheelchair with the aid of his nurses and an IV carrier and hit a walk-off home run that ruined the season. Don’t believe me? As my pal Ryan Freemyer stated, the Rockies went 38-71 from that point forward.
This was that game, but instead of decrepit Howard it was some guy who got his ear bitten off in a minor league altercation with Miguel Olivo last year. I have a hard time believing the Rockies will shrug it off and bounce back tonight. In fact, I think they’ll wander into obsolescence.
This was the best the Rockies had. They hit well, they played good defense, and they came up big in the clutch. They didn’t make any mistakes (well, expect for one) and they got to Zack Greinke, hitting him hard once again. The slumpers were hitting and the team even had a passable managerial performance. Part of the reason this loss hurts so much is this was Colorado at its very best -- and it still couldn’t beat the Dodgers, who killed my parents when I was just a baby, which is why I bear this mountain-shaped lightning bolt scar on my forehead.
I stated sarcastically in the seventh when Brooks Brown threw four balls to Jimmy Rollins that walking the leadoff man never hurts. After almost (theme for the night) getting out of the jam, Joc Pederson’s RBI triple tied the game, and I thought the Rockies would regret that run. That wasn’t a deep, soul-crushing regret at the time. At that point there was still time – still time for a loving Dumbledore to not introduce me to Slughorn.
Tulo’s HR in the seventh was salvation! The Boy Who Lived! I foolishly uttered to my 7-year-old, "Rockies baseball is starting to feel fun again." Then there was talk brief talk of Nick Hundley perhaps hitting for the cycle (his triple was actually scored a double), but we were disappointed that he wouldn’t get to hit again, because the game was now buttoned up.
That ninth inning. Oh, Rafael Betancourt. What happened?
I could not sleep at all last night. Not one hour. Every time I closed my eyes I saw the Dark Lord reforming from Peter Pettigrew’s ashes. I saw, and will continue to see, that grand slam in my nightmares – and I think the Rockies will too. I would love, love, love to see them bounce back and beat down the Dodgers but history, and the eye test, tells me otherwise. Just ask Ryan Howard.
I can still hear the crack of the bat. I knew it right then and there. Raffy didn’t have it; after all, the bases were loaded before the homer. It cost the Rockies big time. Not just this game, but I fear the whole season. The swagger is gone, and even worse, the Dodgers gained some unneeded and undeserved swagger of their own.
This is the type of win that could catapult the Trolley Dodgers. It’s what’s known in the business as a watershed moment. And for the Rockies, a spiral. I fear that any momentum they had -- any swagger -- is irrevocably gone. Even the weather has been horcruxed, as it’s cloudy and gloomy again. That’s how bad this one was.
For the Dodgers, this may have been first step in righting the ship -- and who knows, maybe to a Game 7 NLCS walk-off grand slam by Voldemort Guerrero over a pitched-all-seven-games Madison Bumgarner. Such an event will only serve to tear the Wizarding World in half.
This was the Rockies' watershed game, too, but not in a good way. I am broken. My horcrux is out there. My soul has been tattered. If anyone is sitting in section 118 tonight, be careful of foul balls. Discard the advice I've given to you about how to obtain them.
Because, remember: only Goblin-made bats can touch horcruxes.