At 8:47 p.m. local time Saturday, American baseball fans resumed normal breathing.
Until that moment, Team USA had played 14 complete innings in this World Baseball Classic without holding a lead against Italy or Mexico. But then came a two-strike saucer from reliever Matt Torra, a thunderous swing from David Wright and a noise that echoed to Chase Field's uppermost trusses.
A tiebreaking grand slam? A lead? A chance to ... win a game?
Sure. Even skeptical American fans -- like the unimaginative fellows droning "THIS! GAME! SUCKS!" rather than "U-S-A!" -- stood, welled up with national pride and screamed like hell. Some even waved the Stars & Stripes.
Suddenly, the U.S. led the Italians, 6-2. It stayed that way for the rest of the night.
Breaking news: We don't stink at baseball anymore.
"Talk about being able to exhale," Team USA manager Joe Torre said. "That was basically what that was. We've been teasing ourselves for the last couple days, and all of a sudden we've got ...