This is about Game 5 of the World Series, which was baseball's gift to everybody one spectacular Sunday night at Minute Maid Park that lasted into a Monday morning that felt a little bit like Christmas morning in Houston. Even after a Game 2 between the Astros and Dodgers that everybody talked about as one of the best Series games of them all, it turned out that we hadn't seen anything yet. We hadn't seen Astros 13 and Dodgers 12 over 10 thrill-ride innings of Game 5. There is really only one appropriate way to describe what we saw that night, and what we heard in Houston. You do it with these two words:
Of course that was Dick Enberg's signature phrase across one of the elegant, storied careers in the history of sports broadcasting. Whether it was an Angels game earlier in his career or with the Padres before he finally retired from play-by-play for good after the 2016 season, there would be a moment, a play, something would happen in baseball or tennis or the Olympics or a Super Bowl, and Dick would punctuate it with "Oh my."
We lose Enberg now, suddenly, at the age of 82. But if we are going to talk about Game 5 today, there is no better way to describe it than as Dick would have. Because, oh my, did the Astros and Dodgers ever give us a game.
It was only the best and craziest and loudest and most exciting World Series game I have ever seen in my life. I was talking about it on Thursday with Jeff Van Gundy, who continued to live in Houston even after he stopped coaching the Houston Rockets. And this is what Van Gundy, who has seen plenty as a coach and a broadcaster in his life in pro basketball, said:
"The greatest sports event I have ever witnessed in person."
When I wrote about the game for Sports on Earth, I said I honestly believed it was the loudest I have ever heard baseball, as if the game were trying to make a sound it almost could not make. For the longest time, I thought the loudest Series game ever played was in the Metrodome in 1991, Twins against the Braves. That one went 10 innings, too. That one ended 1-0 for the Twins, by the way. But then that is another of the endless joys and beauties of the sport: You can see all the best of it, in lights, when there is only a single run scored. And you can see the best of it, an even better light show, when it is 13-12 for the Astros in the 2017 World Series.
If you are an Astros fan, you will remember so much of what happened in the postseason of 2017 that finally ended with your team winning the first World Series in its history. You certainly will remember the way the Astros came back from Yankee Stadium down three games to two in the American League Championship Series, and how Justin Verlander stood there at Minute Maid Park and was as much of an ace as there has ever been in a moment like that, with the Astros facing the first of two match points against them. You will remember Charlie Morton, in the first of his two remarkable Game 7s, the next night.
When it was all over and the trophy was theirs, Astros fans will remember the parade, the day when the city finally got all the way back up after Hurricane Harvey. But you have to know that parade likely would not have happened if they hadn't won Game 5: A time capsule game on the night, and Monday morning, when baseball time seemed to stop in Houston.
The Astros and Dodgers played for five hours and 17 minutes. There were 417 pitches thrown in the game by both teams. It didn't end until a tough out and a dirty uniform named Alex Bregman, whose real position just seems to be baseball player, singled home a pinch-runner named Derek Fisher to finally end it.
"I was pretending to be Derek Jeter," Bregman said later. "I always grew up loving him. One of the reasons I wear No. 2 is because of him. Yeah, he was the ultimate team guy. He was a winner. And just a good guy for a kid to look up to. And I always pretended to be Jeter."
It was 3-0 for the Dodgers in Game 5 after they scored three runs in the top of the first. Much later, in what almost felt like another game, it was the Astros who were three runs ahead, going into the ninth. I sat next to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and MLB Network for the three games at Minute Maid. When the Astros did have that three-run lead at 12-9, Bob turned to me and said, "It's gotta be over now, doesn't it?"
I shook my head.
"Why do I think the Dodgers aren't going quietly?" I said. "It's just not that kind of night."
The Dodgers did not go quietly. With one out in the top of the ninth, at about five minutes to midnight in Houston, Yasiel Puig hit one out to left. Now it was just 12-11 for the Astros. You felt as if everybody had been standing at Minute Maid for a couple of hours by then. Maybe more. Austin Barnes of the Dodgers doubled to left-center. Finally with two outs, Chris Devenski had a 2-2 count on Chris Taylor. And because you can't make these things up, sometimes they just happen, it really was midnight in Houston.
Twelve o'clock, straight up.
Taylor singled home Barnes.
Of course it was 12-12.
So much had happened by then that you weren't able to properly process everything that happened. The 3-0 lead for the Dodgers had become 4-0. And did I mention that Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for the Dodgers? Did I mention that in Kershaw's luminous career to that point that the Dodgers' record was 100-1 when they had given him a lead of four runs or more? But in the bottom of the fourth the lead was gone, Yuli Gurriel hitting the three-run homer that tied the game at 4.
No problem for the Dodgers. Not that kind of night. Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer to give the Dodgers another lead, this one at 7-4. Then came the bottom of the fifth. Then Jose Altuve, the best baseball player on the planet this season, the Astros' little big man, not so long away from finding out he was the MVP of the American League, hit a three-run homer of his own. It was 7-all at Minute Maid. We didn't know at the time that it was only halftime.
"When [Altuve] is on the field, I always expect great things to happen," Carlos Correa would say later. And much later than that, Bregman would single home Fisher to end it. And if you were there that night at Minute Maid, it is something else you will remember about the Astros, and this run of theirs: You will remember what it sounded like and felt like on Texas Street and all the other streets around the ballpark when the long night was over, even if Astros fans did not want it to end.
This was baseball at its glittering best, never looking better or sounding better. Or feeling better. The Astros became only the second team in history to overcome multiple three-run deficits in the same World Series game. They became the first team with five different players -- Gurriel, Altuve, George Springer, Correa, Brian McCann -- to homer in the same Series game. They did all that in Game 5. Oh, what a night. Oh my.