First inning: As Jason Marquis loads the bases, my digestive system begins to rumble in distress, only to give a sigh of relief, in a matter of speaking, when he escapes with no scoreboard damage. Things further loosen up when Todd Helton, the most locked-in batter on the planet right now, strokes a single to left, scoring Dexter Fowler. Starting to relax.
Second and third innings: Mike Cameron scores. Corey Hart scores. Brewers lead 2-1. Not relaxed anymore. Cramp! Cramp!
Fourth and fifth innings: The Rockies neeeeed this game, as well as the next two against the Brew crew, because they only lead the Atlanta Braves by two games in the wild-card standings, and their last series of the season sees them facing the Dodgers in Los Angeles, where they suddenly degenerate into a middling Little League squad coming down from a cotton-candy bender. But while Marquis settles down, the Rocks' bats make like the bow-tie pasta I ingested a few hours earlier. Tension ratchets upward, bowels continue to twist.
Sixth inning: Breakthrough. God Helton (intentional typo) follows Spilly's double with one of his own, tying the score; Yorvit Torrealba lifts a fly just far enough into the outfield to get Helton home; and Troy Tulowitzki scores on a fielders choice by Brad Hawpe, who looks as uncomfortable at the plate these days as my innards were feeling a couple of innings earlier, but somehow comes through anyhow. Suddenly, it's 4-2, and my guts unclench.
Seventh inning: The scoreboard keepers at Coors Field puts up the score of the Marlins-Braves game, won by Florida, extending the Rocks' margin to three games. I take a breath so deep it actually causes my lower exit point to whistle with joy, and that pleasure is only amplified by a fifth run plated following a Helton double play. Even when he does nothing these days, he does something.
Ninth inning: Huston Street comes in to close. He's seemed untouchable since returning from injury, so my digestive system is calm, placid -- until Jason Kendall hits a ball so hard that it would have gone through the left-field wall had it not gotten over it. I double over, my sphincter slamming shut like one of those vaults on Get Smart.
Tenth inning: My intestine grinds away on the remains of that bow-tie pasta, squeezing it so tightly that I can actually feel the shape of the stuff in my nether regions. Long. Hard. Serrated.
Eleventh inning: Through some miracle, Hawpe makes it to first during the Rockies' half of the frame, and Jim Tracy brings out Jason Giambi, who reacts to the pressure of the moment by waving frantically at every pitch, as if he's trying to fan a fire with a Mexican blanket. Thank God this guy's (reportedly) off the juice, because he already acts like a Red Bull addict so eager for buzz that he eats the cans in lieu of drinking from them. Disaster looms -- until forgotten catcher Chris Ianetta sends Mr. Spaulding into the night. As the Rockies whoop and holler, that object in my intestine fires out of me like a long-range missile.
It looks like obsidian. I'm thinking about making it into cuff-links. Victory cuff-links.