Only One Man Can Stop the Choking (and it ain't Frazier this time)
One really terrible thing about being an avid sports fan is that sometimes you know before you know. Sometimes you've seen something play out so many times that you can feel it happen before it happens. If that premonition benefits the team you are rooting for, then great. When it doesn't.... Feels like dead man walking.
After the Marlins took the lead in game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, Game 7 was already over. The fans knew it, as did the players. When Joe Montana got one last drive in Super Bowl 23, he was GOING to lead them to a TD.....I could go on and on....
Right now, I have that feeling. I honestly don't even want to watch tomorrow (of course I will)... I'd rather just wake up at 4:00 and look up the final score.
This is a choke. To me a choke is when you fail to do something in a pressure situation that you would normally do. If the Reds get swept at home when two of the games were started by Vogelsong and Zito, that is a pretty big choke. Our body language after the Sandoval HR told a story.....they looked totally defeated. Some of the AB's in the 7th and 8th were pretty half-hearted.
It feels over. And it would be better if they were on the road. The pressure is only worse at home because the fans feel it too. I wish this game was in SF.
But I do have one glimmer of hope..... I think Latos is the best man to try and save us. I think he has the stones to handle this immense pressure. He would be my choice over anyone (even a healthy Cueto) to take the ball tomorrow.
Latos has a chance to relieve some tension. If he comes out throwing darts, fans and his teammates will begin to feel a bit better. If he gets rouged up early, lights out.
If he can outshine Cain, then maybe we scratch a run or two or get it to the bullpen tied.... I'll actually like our chances if its real close in the final innings. But my fear is that Cain gets 2 or more run lead and we wilt.
Honestly, I don't trust anyone else. I don't think Votto or Bruce or BP are going to get it done and make the big play to push us over tomorrow. It's all on Latos. Hoping he rewrite an ending that already feels etched.