That was pure torture. And I'm not just talking about listening to Rance Mulliniks for 5 hours (more on that later).
It would be tough to bemoan our bad luck and missed opportunities when the fact is that (1) Texas had far more opportunities than we did to put this brutal game to the sword, and (2) the only reason we ever reached extra innings was Broussard's shocking error in the eighth. But still, man, we sure could have used a timely sac fly from the Midget in the 8th or the formerly great Joe Inglett in the 10th. Vernon also had a couple of chances to get the decisive hit, and made great contact on both occasions, but it wasn't to be.
It's painful to think about the game, let alone write about it, so I'll limit myself to a couple of thoughts:
(1) Gibby might at least consider the possibility of extra innings when managing his bullpen. Burning through the entire pen by the 11th inning was absurd, and put us in a terrible situation.
(2) Good on AJ (and, apparently, all the other starters) for volunteering to go out there. But man, was there any doubt at all that we were dead the second he toed the rubber in the top of the 14th?
(3) Jesse Carlson's performance last night should go in the annals as one of the best, and gutsiest, pitching performances in Jays history. Seriously. The guy is one week removed from his ML debut, he was brought in to an extra inning game with the bases loaded, and he struck out the side! It was pure brilliance. And then he added on another two scoreless innings to boot. His stuff looks nasty as hell against lefties, although I have my doubts about his likelihood of sustained success against righties. Regardless, we may have stumbled upon another lefty specialist, which would be great since when Downs trots out from the pen I still see the useless 2006 version, not the surprisingly decent 2007 version.
(4) Zaunie looked like shit on the game-deciding passed ball (Rance said he did everything right, which I take as rock-solid proof that he fucked up). He made a superficial attempt to block the pitch, but he left a Lohan-esque enormous hole between his legs. I'd forgive him if he had played a full 14 innings, but he came in half way through the game for Fat Rodney.
(5) Maybe it's just me, but the difference between 8-7 and 9-6, from a psychological perspective, is huge. I don't know why, but to me 9-6 sounds like a winning team well on its way to a 90-win season, while 8-7 sounds like a team that just scrapes by and will be happy with 85 wins. Fuck.