Augie called it the miracle victory. There are games you watch where the victory--the happiness you feel after the game has been won--is the reward. Then there are other games where the experience of watching the game, either in person or on television, almost surpasses the feeling you get from your team having been victorious. For us, the 2009 Fiesta Bowl was the former, the 2006 Rose Bowl was the latter.
Last night's game ended anti-climactically, with Texas grabbing a four run lead and Taylor Jungmann mowing through the Sun Devil lineup . By the 9th inning it was all over but the shoutin' (that is, most observers had to see a victory as inevitable). What made last night special was the rollercoaster of emotion for the three hours that preceded the final calm hour or so. Just as we all remember the 2006 Rose Bowl based on our own individual experience of the game, we imagine many of you went through a similar ride that took you from the pits of despair through three innings to the top of the mountaintop we currently occupy.
So while it may be a bit self-indulgent, and it may be a bit confusing, we thought the best way to sum up Tuesady's amazing roller-coaster win over Arizona State would be to recount the text conversation between the two of us that played out during the game. A couple of notes that will help some of it make sense:
1. AO grew up an enormous LSU fan because his dad went there. The Tigers are still a very close second team.
2. We were pessimistic way before most of you were, apparently, kind of expecting a blow out.
3. We've edited for language with asterisks; still not sure you should read it with kids looking over your shoulder.
4. JA is a Red Sox fan as well as a Nats fan
5. AO is at summer camp
OK, that's pretty much all you need to know.
Jun 16, 2009,6:12 PM (top 1):
JA: Is there a way to quit while we're ahead?
F***. Hope that wasn't our one chance to torch this guy.
6:30 PM (top 2):
JA: Keyes and I hit the breaking ball equally well
AO: Haven't seen anything yet. What's happening?
JA: We put first and second nobody out (leadoff double) then belt k'd and moldy hit into dp. Easy bottom, 1st and 2nd, 1 out top 2
AO: Sucks that we're the road team. Pleased we're getting men on.
JA: Yeah, batted through...just no runs, he is throwing a lot of pitches at least
Leake is almost unhittable when he throws a first-pitch strike
Strikes out the side, his slider is sick
1-0...yankees load the bases and get a sac fly, bot 2
AO: I don't care about the Nats and neither do you
6:43 PM (bot 2)
JA: F***. Solo homer. 1-0 asu
AO: Well G**dammit. Can't win without scoring 1 anyway...
OK, about to be able to turn on TV
JA: Had him 0-2. Strikeout single.
AO: S***. So 1 out man on 1st?
JA: Corners. Gonna call it--not our night
A ginger kid hit the f***ink homer. F***.
AO: F***ing ginger. AZ State may be as scary as LSU.
Though it would actually be cool for LSU to play a school to which it is clearly academically superior for the national title, I guess...that would be a first.
JA: I believe our words before the game were "we are going to get rocked tonight..." this wrap-up will write itself.
AO: Just turned on TV. F***, 3-0 now. Don't like the look of it.
Actually really dig ASU unis, though
6:56 PM, bot 3 (3-0 ASU)
Damn. This is really looking like even though they may be better, they also have the baseball gods.
JA: Yeah. Even the homer wasn't hit hard
AO: That doesn't make sense
JA: It was skied to left and barely cleared the fence
AO: OK. I don't think we have the horses.
JA: Nope. No real shocker to either of us.
AO: No. When is loser's bracket game? Tomorrow?
AO: Yeah just found that. Cool.
Ruffin really just made 2 mistake picthes. I don't entirely get pulling him now. (4-0 ASU)
JA: Good experience for Dicharry...it is all about building for next year in my eyes
AO: What a ridiculous attitude in Omaha. We have the pitching to come through the loser's bracket if necessary.
JA: Good point made by TV...protect his pitch count, pulling him early means he can go again
AO: Now that one I believe. But looking to next year is insane. Once you're at the CWS, it has to be about now. And wow, what an awful AB from Dicharry to start
JA: I can think about next year, Augie isn't
AO: Right but next year requires an entire season. Too vast for me to consider yet.
5-0 is ballgame I'm afraid
JA: BoSox rolling...woo
AO: Don't care.
What. The. F***.
JA: Just falling apart
AO: Tucker's head is way up his a** for some reason.
I expected to lose; I did not expect to be embarrassed
JA: Watching Simpsons after that, too much s*** in real life to get down on this
AO: Simpsons on? What channel?
JA: DVR...Simpsons, shower, bed time. Woo!
7:37 PM (top 4, 6-0 ASU):
AO: Maybe it ain't over...
I knew you didn't turn it off
7:42 PM (top 4, 6-3 ASU)
JA: the team has shown fight all year, no reason they'd just give up.
I was flipping back and forth
AO: True. The way this postseason has gone...
JA: There have been some strange games.
(Texas ties the game at 6)
Holy. F***ing. S***.
AO: And I have a meeting at the office in a few minutes. F*** that.
JA: I'm in shock
AO: Can't believe it my own self
JA: BON thread is tons of fun. All the guys who have been following all year were pessimists, the new guys were optimists. Very fun.
AO: That's hilarious. Don't want to go to this meeting...
The shame is, we ought to have a comfy lead
JA: They'll figure it out without you! Don't move!
AO: I won't leave during this inning...
Huge bottom half here; need Dicharry to pick it up.
8:00 PM, bot 4, 6-6
JA: Yea...damn, double
AO: Man. Our pitchers are not being themselves tonight. I do like that Rudys nephew plays for asu
Ok that last one was a strike. But now I feel even more strongly that pulling ruffin was a mistake
JA: Need dicharry to step up and throw strikes!
AO: Yep. He's not on his game at all
JA: Hasn't pitched since bc, can't be helping
AO: Holy s***. Jungmann?? Who starts the rest of the way if we lose? Workman then...? Really don't like the way we're handling the pitching staff tonight
JA: Green. Pitching on 5 days rest, then Ruffin can go again...you forget how spread out these games are
AO: If workman were to win Thurs then green would have 4 days rest on Fri. Then who goes Saturday?
AO: Ruffin on 3 days' rest?? Good start there though. Obviously if Jungmann can shut it down and we can win, then this is a great call...
JA: And I do believe you're looking slightly ahead
AO: Bad time for rupp not to handle that
Of course I am. But my attitude has always been that there are only 2 results possible in Omaha. Elimination in 2 games is no worse than in 5
8:16 PM, top 5, 6-6
AO: Ok I'm in the office for a few min.
JA: Nats losing :(
AO: We score yet?
JA: No, new pitcher...asu closer who threw 40 pitches on sunday
Clark swings at ball 4, 1 out
Didn't bunt then two fly outs...gotta execute
Jungmann mows em down 123
8:38 PM, top 6, 6-6
AO: Jungmann decision starting to make me rethink my criticism
Yeah watching again
JA: Can't keep stranding em
AO: Hate that so much
9:00 PM, bot 6, 6-6
JA: However this ends, Jungmann was the right call
AO: Willing to agree to that
JA: This is all my fault...
AO: Jesus 4 pitches
JA: Phewness...I'm off the hook
9:08 PM, top 7, 7-6 Texas
AO: What a weird team
JA: Seriously. Maybe my favorite augie team no matter the results, maybe because we have followed so in depth, but they have so much fight with less talent
AO: Dumb s*** getting picked off
Equally dumb s*** swinging at 2 awful pitches
JA: Yea...gotta keep focus
AO: This guy must have crazy movement on the ball for us to be swinging at this nonsense
9:15 PM, bot 7, 7-6 Texas
JA: 9 outs, come on tay tay
AO: I am terrified right now
JA: I'm so tired. I won't get to sleep till midnight at the earliest, win or lose
AO: Living in the Eastern time zone was your own foolish decision and you can live with it
JA: I am awake after that k...6 more outs
8:23 PM, top 8, 7-6 Texas
AO: Yeah, sweet K. Jungmann totally in the zone.
Insurance would be awesome
I hate Lambson's pickoff move
And I'm super impressed with his pitch count. And what a play on Belt's bunt there
JA: Yea...asu is a real good team. Apparently so is Texas, hard to believe that is news but Texas really hasn't played elite competition this year
AO: Texas may be a great team, but the one thing I'm sure of is that they're impossible to read and equally fun to watch
JA: Yea, about as enjoyable a team to follow as I can recall
I heart keyes...can't say that enough
9:38 PM, top 8, 8-6 Texas
AO: Gave Keyes too good a pitch on 1-2 and he did what good hitters do. Awesome. Love it. Let's pick off those ducks on the pond. Both Lussons!
JA: You could say he has the keyes to my baseball heart...?
9:40 PM, top 8, 10-6 Texas
AO: I won't say that, no. But wow this guy is making serious 2-strike mistakes and I love our chances giving Jungmann a 4-run lead with 6 outs to go. Freaking love it
JA: I am still shocked at this. I look forward to reading the full transcript of our negativity
AO: We were actually more philosophical than we usually are as I recall
I honestly can't believe this has happened in this game
9:50 PM, bot 8, 10-6 Texas
JA: Yea, it's an insane shock. Stop talking about Strasburg!!
AO: Dude, this is going on a 4-hour game. They need to talk about whatever has to do with baseball that they can think of
JA: It already is a 4 hour ame with 9 more outs to go
I think the most amazing part is this has been done without ruffin. He has been the teams heart and soul, he has not gone less than 6 IP all year. Then this...
AO: Yeah. It's pretty nuts
I just realized what a huge advantage the schedule gives LSU
Ranaudo can go Friday on full rest, then Coleman on Saturday if necessary. They'll never need a 3rd starter until championship round
10:06 PM, top 9, 10-6 Texas
Belt has a really silly stance and swing
JA: Over Texas?
AO: No, no, not over Texas. Over the Ark/VA winner
JA: Yea. That's why this game is so critical
10:11 PM, bot 9, 10-6 Texas
Baseball gods are on our side based on the last two outs
One more out!
10:14 PM, Texas wins 10-6!
AO: I heart Jungmann
JA: What a night! Going to bed
AO: LSU and Texas in the drivers seats. Great to be me right now