Watch This Now

Unless Christina Aguilera begs me to go out with her this weekend, I’m watching the most incredible baseball matchup on paper I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies and Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants share the same number of letters in their first and last names. They also will transform a jaded 31-year-old man who watches games as a job into a 10-year-old boy who lives for baseball right before gametime of Game One of the National League Championship Series.

Halladay enters the game fresh off a no-hitter in the postseason. That doesn’t happen that often.  Lincecum struck out 14 in his last game, a shutout against Atlanta in San Francisco’s Divisional Series.

It’s the best pitching matchup in the postseason since Denny McLain took on Bob Gibson in Game One of the 1968 World Series. McLain won 31 games that year, but fell to Gibson in a majestic game between two of the best pitchers in the game.

Lincecum jogs into Game One with two consecutive Cy Young awards. He’s led the National League in strikeouts the last three seasons. The kid they call “The Freak” has only played in the major leagues for the better part of four seasons. Equal parts mesmerizing and jaw-dropping, Lincecum proved he’s no flash in the pan. Amateur scouts and ne’er-do-wells think Lincecum will throw his arm off. The 3-time All-Star continues to prove everyone wrong.

Harry Leroy Halladay goes by a pair of nicknames: Roy and Doc. I’m not sure if he has a preference. The 7-time All-Star made his postseason debut in a hitters ballpark against the best hitting squad in the National League in Game One of the Division Series between the Phillies and Cincinnati Reds. Halladay proceeded to throw a no-hitter. Earlier this season, he tossed a perfect game against the Florida Marlins. He’s the best pitcher in baseball right now as the sports transfers from homers to hurlers.

Do not miss the first game of this year’s National League Championship Series.

I understand it’s on a Saturday night and you probably have plans. Push them back an inning or two. You don’t have to watch an entire baseball game to get the story. It usually boils down to a couple of plays here and there. You just never know when that will occur.

The difference between baseball and magic is simple. Magic is fake. Magic in baseball is real.

Vin Scully, the legendary baseball broadcaster, threw out a gem right before Kirk Gibson hit that memorable homer for the L.A. Dodgers in 1988: “Not a bad opening act.”

Here’s hoping Saturday’s play follows that script.

Chris is on Facebook. You can join his group by clicking on “Dash of Dachille”

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