Harlem showed up with an outstanding team. They really did. In losing to a hot-hitting Kentucky in pool play, they still held that team to only two runs. Tonight they made the New England team from Massachusetts earn every inch of their victory. They worked counts, fouling off as many as 5 pitches beyond strike 2. They ran hard. They made brilliant plays in the field. They pitched fabulously. They kept the pressure on all the time--Harlem left 11 runners on base for the game. New England's Keith Landers was throwing with his back to the wall the whole time. He got some key strikeouts--against Harlem batters who were serious home run threats--in the fifth and sixth innings. When he came up in the bottom of the sixth with two men on, the score tied, he flew out deep to center. But for every good pitcher, there's a good catcher getting his back. Ryan Griffin came up next, worked a 1-2 count an additional three foul balls past strike 2, and found a pitch he could sent out past the right field fence to end it.
So this leaves me with good news and bad news. The good news is there's now no possibility I'll have to root against a US team in the Series championship game Sunday night. Any native Chicagoan will tell you, we don't ever root for New York teams. Period. With Harlem eliminated, that's a non-issue.
On the other hand, Saturday's US championship is going to be a bitch. I really like both the New England and the Texas squads. Oh well, my cup runneth over or something...
I like rain. Really, I do. I just wish it wouldn't fuck up my scorebook so much.