Final day thriller

September 30, 2007

(This post was originally published on baseballgb.co.uk )

Excited?

I guess it depends whether you are a fan of the Mets, Padres, Phillies or Rockies. While us neutrals can sit back and enjoy watching the twists and turns, it’s going to be a tense, nerve-jangling day for the four teams involved. It’s one of the strange parts of being a fan of a sports team: you don’t really “enjoy” these days. Yes the rational thing might be to consider that the fans of teams completely out of contention would love to be in your position, but rational thoughts are out of the question in these moments. So near and yet so far, agony or ecstasy could be hours away. Sometimes you just want to lock the doors, unplug the phone, turn off your TV, radio and computer and look up the results when it’s all over.

But you can’t.

However painful it can be to watch, it’s better than pacing around for several hours not knowing what is happening.

It takes me back to the final day of the Premiership in the 2004-05 season when my team, Norwich City, were one of four teams fighting to stay in the league, with only one spot up for grabs. Crazy as it will sound to non-sports fans, I spent most of the day feeling sick and the results didn’t improve my condition. With our destiny in our hands, we somehow managed to lose 6-0 to Fulham. A friend tried to comfort me by arguing that such a heavy defeat was actually less upsetting than losing a close game. You probably don’t need me to tell you that I wasn’t persuaded by the argument! Rather, I uttered the immortal words of every sports fan: “you don’t understand”.

 

What makes today especially cruel is that it might not be the end. A Padres loss combined with wins for the other three teams will result in a four-way tie. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

It’s day games all the way on the final day of the season, which is great news for British fans as once again we will be able to watch the story unfold live during the evening over here.

The Mets are the first to start, with the first pitch in their game against the Marlins scheduled for 18.10 (BST). Tom Glavine gets the start for the Mets, hoping to rebound from a poor last outing. He’s going to have to pitch well though, as the Fish send Dontrelle Willis to the mound.

The Phillies are up next, twenty-five minutes later than their NL East rivals. Jamie Moyer should be the starter. NASN will join this game at 19.30, after the conclusion of the NHL game from the O2 Arena in London.

At 19.05, the Padres face the Brewers who seem intent on playing the spoiler. Will Jake Peavy start on three-days’ rest?

Finally, the Rockies are the last to start at 20.05, and NASN will switch to this game when the Nationals-Phillies game is over.

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