I have a whole mess of sports thoughts piled up, so let’s kick it off by running through probably the craziest 10-15 minutes of sports I’ve lived through in awhile.
Last night I had to multitask for my sports. I had the Colts-Eagles game on TV. And because the Royals were playing the White Sox, which are blacked out in Indy, I had MLB Gameday on my laptop with the game also on my phone so I could punch up the audio any time the game got interesting.
Most of the night I focused on the football game, which went well early. A couple times the Royals threatened to score, so I’d mute the TV and force myself to listen to Steve Physioc, who always seemed to be on the radio last night, call another disappointing inning for the Royals.
Right around 11:10 Eastern the Royals cut it to 3-2 and had a runner on third in the eighth inning. Billy Butler proceeded to hack at the first pitch he saw and ground out to end the inning. I had already been sending emails back-and-forth with Brother in Royalsdom Dave V., and Butler’s at bat prompted a new email from me that said only “One flippin’ pitch?” There was much angst at that time.
But as that was happening, the Colts, who led by seven points in the fourth quarter, were driving for what looked to be a game-clinching field goal. They were getting chunks of yards on the ground and Andrew Luck was finding receivers on third down to move the chains. Until he threw a ball that went right to a defender for an interception. The replay showed that the ball went straight to a defender because T.Y. Hilton, the intended receiver, had been pulled down while the ball was in the air. The Eagles marched right down the field and tied the game.
The Royals got through the top of the ninth and came up for their last at bat to salvage the game, and perhaps their season. Meanwhile the Colts couldn’t go anywhere and punted the ball back to Philly with a little over 3:00 to play.
Omar Infante grounded out and then Mike Moustakas doubled. The Eagles methodically marched down the field. Alcides Escobar grounded out. The Eagles kept moving and the clock kept ticking. Jarrod Dyson stole second and came home to tie the game on a wild pitch. Nori Aoki doubled. The Eagles got into field goal position. Then Lorenzo Cain singled on the infield, bringing in pinch runner Terrance Gore who was running on the play and came all the way from second to win the game. Seconds later the Eagles kicked a field goal as time expired to complete their 14-point comeback and send the Colts to 0-2 on the year.
Man, talk about emotional whiplash. The Royals season seemed to be slipping away while the Colts were getting a solid win over one of the best teams in the NFC. Fifteen minutes later the Royals had the most improbable of wins – seriously, two runners score from second on a wild pitch and infield single??? – while a bad throw coupled with a missed call open the door for the Eagles to steal the game away from the Colts.
I was angry and content, then thrilled and disappointed. But I think I got the best result. The Royals’ win, coupled with Seattle’s loss, put them two games up for the final wild card spot. The Royals haven’t been to the playoffs since 1985. Even if it is just for a one-game playoff against Jon Lester in Oakland, I want them to make the postseason. The Colts, on the other hand, are suddenly in a season of limbo. I thought they would be a much better second half team, but with Robert Mathis now out for the year and no one else on the defense able to get to the quarterback, I’m doubting that will be the case. It feels like a 8-8 year, but I’m starting to hope that they lose some other key players – just not Andrew Luck! – and turn this into a flukey 2-14 year that gets them another high pick where they can either grab another impact weapon for Luck, or a stud pass rusher to work with Mathis when he is back next year.