Irretrievable playoff race aside, yesterday was perfect. We went to the game, and much like the last game we went to in 2006 (where we also won in extra innings, thanks in large part to the other team’s defensive errors), it was the most fun we’d had at the park this season. FOUR Braves sang on the All Star of the Game feature (and Moylan made a homoerotic joke about Frenchy, bless him), there were extra innings, game-tying pinch hit homers, and for the love of God, DEVY WAS THE WINNING PITCHER!
I’ve been wanting to see Devy get some significant action all year, and Bobby finally put him into an intense situation, as he well should have, since Devy had just accepted an AA Pitcher of the Year award at a ceremony before the game. He got the first batter he faced, and then someone had the brilliant idea to walk the bases loaded (Bobby may be intentionally trying to drive the kid mad . . . the jury’s still out). Devy, predictably, had his panic attack. I was having a sympathy panic attack for him in the stands as well. I felt like I was watching a family member out there, teetering on the brink of insanity. The count went to 3-0, and walking a run in may have been worse for his psyche than giving up a slam (okay, it wouldn’t have been, but Slam Number Three was a distinct possibility, too, and like the time Frenchy fell over the side of the outfield wall and disappeared into the stands at the last game we went to in ’06, I was afraid I was about to witness the death of a favorite player, emotionally if not literally). The obnoxious teenagers next to me began to scream “YOU SUCK!” I considered physically harming them, but then . . .
Devy got out of it! Man, I went crazy. Best moment of the year for me personally. I was so, so proud of him. I had been begging Bobby (from the very back of section 410, maybe he heard me) to put him in, and he really did me proud. When they announced that he was the winning pitcher as we were walking out . . . I nearly teared up. Well, not really, but I considered the fact that tearing up would be appropriate. Truly, it was a triumph of the human spirit.
Also, one of them bought a yellow Corvette that looks exactly like Heap’s black one, and parked it next to his in the player’s lot. Until proven otherwise, it was Frenchy.
Really good game.
This was my favorite game of the year too, purely for this: AT&T All-Star of the Game! The hip thrust made me…*whew* Pete does NOT need to do things like that.
I too have been a Devine fan for years (the Braves PR machine/blogs/forums strike again!) and it was always tough to watch him struggle. I was at a Braves/Giants game in 2006 in San Francisco and got a chance to have a chat with Devine quickly before the game. He had struggled the night before, but I made sure to say, “glad you’re on the team” as a pick-me-up, ’cause you could see he needed it. Go Joey!
That’s awesome — I don’t really have much of a desire to talk to the players, but Joey is one who I actually would love to have the chance to say something like that to.
I had a long hiatus from regular baseball watching after Maddux left the team, and one of the first games I watched that got me back into it was poor Joey’s disastrous debut. And the day we were eliminated from the 05 playoffs (Grand Slam #2: The Nightmare Continues) was the first game that again gave me that lovely/awful gut-wrenching feeling I’d once experienced when watching baseball. He and Heap were a big part of what got me back into the game . . . it’s been great watching Heap do well, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Joey get past what they put him through in 05. Hopefully Heap can help him out there. :)