Ever since Joe Maddon brought a magician in to teach the Cubs the inner workings of his craft, they’ve been regular thaumaturgists. The way they have been escaping close games of late has been downright miraculous. Still, their last 5 wins have come against the Mess [sic] and Stanton-less Marlins. The Cardinals are quite a different story.
Skilled practitioners of the black arts of voodoo, legerdemain, and even necromancy, the Redbirds can’t be overcome by a little sleight of hand and misdirection. But early on, it looked like those simple tricks might, well, do the trick. Jon Lester entered the game 0-66 at the plate for his career but slapped a single off of John Lackey, literally, in the 2nd inning.
Surely that was some kind of sign, right? Ah, but the Cards went “Oh!” for 666 and turned the magical tables and fired an Avada Kedavra curse at the Cubs’ chances. Shortly after Jhonny Peralta broke up Lester’s no-hit bid in the 7th, Kris Bryant’s throwing error opened the door for a 2-run frame for the visitors and the skies opened up to soak the field and bring out the tarp.
The evil sorcery had actually started a little earlier, when Starlin Castro was batting with men on 1st and 3rd and only one out. He cracked a sharp grounder the right side Kolten Wong wizarded his way to a diving stop that triggered a double play to end the inning. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or hurl feces at the wall.
Oh, and just a bit of housekeeping here: if anyone reading this actually tweeted at Len Kasper to blame him for costing Lester a no-no by discussing its possibility, and were serious about it, please stop reading right now. Seriously, please log off and go sit in a corner somewhere and question your life decisions.
I understand that baseball is a game of superstition, but — and I know this is somewhat at odds with the theme of this post, but I’m using the concept ironically and whimsically — if you actually believe that a TV broadcaster has any influence on the outcome of the game, you need to reevaluate things. Whew, that feels better.
With the game delayed by rain, I’m going to go back to setting wine and vinegar traps for the fruit flies that have invaded my home. There’s just something very satisfying about ridding the world of little red menaces that ruin everything and make me want to resort to violence.
And now I’m back to the game and Edwin Jackson is in and doing Edwin Jackson things, which means that I’m not even waiting for the bottom of the 9th to run this. May you all recover the portion of your soul that was lost tonight.