Clearly, I did not stay up for the ninth inning of a game that saw Houston starter Bud Norris throw 116 pitches through 4 2/3 innings and seemed to be on a pace to end around, oh, August. (It ended up being a 3:50 affair.)
And clearly, I made the wrong choice, because, well, good lord, A.J. Ellis.
Of all the outstanding comments in the game thread last night – and thanks, team, for pushing it over the 1,000 mark – my favorite probably came from “MotoMikey”, who noted something along the lines of our ongoing campaign to put Ellis into the All-Star game may be setting the bar low; at this point, we need to get him in the MVP discussion. (Seriously, vote vote vote though.)
After the game, Ellis noted…
“This is the greatest moment of my personal baseball career,” Ellis said. “It’s really humbling, just to be a part of where this team is headed right now. It feels real special.”
…and if that doesn’t warm your heart for a guy like that, I don’t know what does.
Of course, none of this could have been possible without the wonderful contributions of Houston manager Brad Mills. Has the legend of A.J. Ellis really not reached Houston yet? With one on and one out in the ninth, Mills chose to intentionally walk James Loney rather than bring in lefty Fernando Abad. Granted, Loney did have several solid hits on the evening, but having him face a lefty essentially makes him an instant out, since at the time the only bench player remaining for the Dodgers was backup catcher Matt Treanor.
Mills opted to put Loney on and have righty Wilton Lopez face Ellis. Ellis made him pay. All is right in the world.