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NLCS Game 2

CHANGE OF PLANS!

Friday evening after some phone calls and encouragement from Karen, Dad & I bought Game 2 Cardinals tickets!  This is definitely one of my (non-existent) bucket list items. (Opening day is on there too.)
The game did not disappoint!

First things first.  We met downtown because I drove to St. Louis Saturday morning (FYI 55 has lots of 1 lane only construction right now=lots of delays).  I was originally parked at a meter by Market and while I sat there the meter man came by giving out tickets and since their meters are so poorly marked, I asked him what time the meters go until... 7 (It was 2.) And I asked, Is it 2 hour parking?  Yes.  (So that's why the fellow Cardinals fan walking by as I parked said "2".)  I needed a new spot so I headed over to Dad and parked right behind him.

Karen had a wedding Saturday.  Karen wants to go to a game next weekend with Mom & Dad so Mom decided one game would be enough for her.  So Dad & I scored some pretty decent seats!

On the walk in we bought some Gus' pretzels from a street vendor (they're my favorite pretzel and they don't sell them inside... and they're $3 for 3 sticks).  We walked over to see the progress of Ball Park Village and the pre-party and then we went inside the stadium.  
Yes, my towel is hanging in my place.  What?
We all got the rally towels as we walked in (I didn't actually use mine since I didn't really want to hit the people next to me in the face, but I love it).  Then I was on the hunt for a scorecard.  I usually have my book, but it's full right now (it's on the Christmas list) and I thought it would be fun to have an official one for a postseason game anyway.  Well, as I found out from the scorecard vendor they will only be selling the program and scorecard as a package throughout the postseason.  (For $10!)  I think I rephrased my question to buy only the scorecard 3 times before he said, "You won't be able to buy just the scorecard anywhere in the stadium."  Boo.  As we walked away, Dad laughed and said, "You won't believe how much a scorecard used to be."  I think it was like a quarter.
This was my solution:  Dad suggested I used the back of the sheet I printed out our tickets on.  He flipped over his ticket, "Of course you reused paper to print the tickets."  Yep.  This was my solution...  

I only got to make key notes, writing around the print.  It was rather sad.  Dad said he used to report on football games in college on his radio show and he would always take notes on an old envelope.  

As we walked to our seats, Dad asked, "Who do you think will throw out the first pitch?"  I kind-of shrugged it off.  I guess I didn't realize actual recognizable people throw out the first pitch in the postseason.  They were setting up for the first pitch and I grabbed Dad's arm and said, "Dado, look, IT'S TONY!"  And he said, "Oh, look who it is:  Red Schoendienst!"  They threw out the first pitches and I said, "Dado, I'm so happy Tony's here."
See the postseason banners decorating the stadium?
The game was tight.  We got to see Wacha pitch (our recently brought up rookie who's making his name known in the post).  And he did not disappoint!  We were sitting a couple rows behind a sign that said, "Wach-tober".  I think around the 3rd inning, Dad said, "Looks like we have a pitchers duel."


Honestly, all the pitchers did their respective jobs wonderfully.  But man, seeing Martinez in person was amazing.  Watching on TV doesn't appropriately represent how he makes his 95 mph pitches look so effortless!

We are technically the underdogs in this series.  Bound to happen when their payroll is double ours.  One comparison:  "For Game 1 of the National League championship series, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent their $147 million starting pitcher to the mound to dispose of the Cardinals and their $493,000 pitcher, Joe Kelly."  (Post Dispatch)  By the way.. we won in 13 innings.

The energy in that place was amazing!  Two strikes, everybody on your feet.  Cardinals batting, everybody on your feet.  No real reason, everybody on your feet.  Perfection. 


Dad kept picking on me because in the 6th inning we got into some trouble.  Wacha was pitching and runners got on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.  He got a pop up from the next batter and they walked the next guy intentionally.  I understood why they walked Gonzalez (he's their #3 hitter) and they wanted force outs available... double play.  Regardless, I wasn't happy about the decision.  Dad said, "What would your strategy be?"  Me, "Strike 2 people out!"  Then Puig steps up.  Apparently he has a pretty bad rep in baseball of being full of himself and he was pretty rude at the plate and deserved all the boos.  Seriously, Wacha would be literally ready to release the ball and he'd call time and step out of the box.  Boooo.  Dad, "He's trying to get in his head."  Me, "I don't like it.  Or him."  STRIKE OUT.  Uribe steps up.  He wasn't as rude as Puig.  STRIKE OUT.  Dad, "I guess your strategy worked!" =)
Whew.  Insane.
And when Wacha needed to win a charismatic, riveting, bases-loaded confrontation in the sixth inning with Dodgers’ rookie enforcer Yasiel Puig — done. With aplomb. With a strikeout. With Busch Stadium in a state of collective delirium. And then Wacha punched out Juan Uribe to end the inning and the Dodgers.
“It sounds like waves crashing on rocks,” is the way legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully described the roar at Busch as Wacha and Puig threw down with Game 2 on the line. And with Uribe waiting to take a ride at Wacha World.  (source)


We won 1-0.  5th inning.  Freese hit a double.  Advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch.  Jay sacrificed.  And Freese scored on the SAC.  That was our one run.  We now lead the series 2-0 and it was amazing.

Even though when Jeff & I went to a couple games at Dodger stadium in 2006 and we won, Dodger fans threw their trash at me, I did not reciprocate, because I'm a Cardinals fan.  We welcomed them into Busch stadium.

Attendance:  46,872 106.6% full.  Hellooo standing room.

Amazing!

We walked over to Washington Ave. and had a delicious dinner on the patio at Pi.
And had a lovely walk back to the car.
As we walked across downtown, Dad pointed to a building a few blocks away and asked if I recognized it.  Nope.  Apparently it was a building we visited when I was in grade school.  This story takes a little background.  When I was in grade school I was still going to the private school in town and my siblings were both at the public school so we would have some different days off.  This was one of those days where they had school and I did not.  Someone needed to watch me so Dad took me to court in that building.  Apparently I sat there very nicely the whole time and when we walked out I turned to my dad and asked, "Dad, did you win?"  That's his favorite part of the story.

Dad even surprised me with the new Cardinals magazine!
Tonight I'm hitting up a class at the gym with Molly and then we're hopping across the street to a dive to watch the game!  Goooo Cardinals.  Goo Wainwright.  Please!  (You can watch a video update here, if you'd like.  "Don't let the Dodgers get up.  Don't let their hopes be raised.")  

“We understand what we’re walking into,” Freese said. “And that’s a tough challenge against a good team like the Dodgers. We’re up 2-0 and it means nothing. Did we beat their two best pitchers? Yes, we were fortunate. And it doesn’t mean anything.” (source)

P.S.  An article just for fun.
"The Cards have always hugged Midwest virtues while the Dodgers loved movie stars in the box seats and star power on the field. But this year both teams are such extreme versions of their traditional selves it's just delicious." 

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