There is a fire burning there before us. It has been there all along but its warmth has waxed and waned with the temporal wind and disparate rains. It was there before we saw it rise from the coals. The embers were made by us, by them, by those who came before and they will be maintained by those who come after. There were nights we could not feel its heat. It was there then, though. Do not forget that fire. Do not lose it now. Now that he has come to guide us through that final night.
He rode upon the painted mustang. As the winds whipped and whirled around our meager encampment upon the hilltop, the last thing we needed was another mouth to feed around those low-burning coals. He came down from upon his horse like one whose legs were limber but eyes were long. He walked the way one does who has seen the other side, and somehow made it back. I remember that night well. He spoke that short phrase, "I am Marte," and so we called him, reluctantly. The embers barely flickered in that dim night.
Marte would prove his worth. He would stoke the fire and those that gathered there around it grew to do so in turn too. In seeing his unbroken will and high spirits those named Trumbo and Cano and Seager and Guitierrez helped to stoke that fire, too. No longer was that fire subject to the hailstorms and gusts that we felt there on those late nights. Our hands were warmed by the work we had all done there. Marte had made the fire glow orange-red. We feasted as kings.
It could not always be this way. We should have known. Marte, alone, could not keep the fire going. We saw the Bullpen lose its way in the darkness. We knew those evenings when we were on the offensive and those we were on the defensive. It was never the same either night, and even Marte, on those nights where we could barely keep the fire going, seemed shorthanded and incapable of our salvation. The Wild Card was calling, we wished to answer, our voices were too weak then.
Tonight Marte was all we needed. He reminded us of those times back when he was all we could see. He backed Paxton for his short outing with all the help he and the rest of those assembled there to pitch would need. Marte, fast and furious and ever-testing the enemy's resolve, he alone was capable of our salvation against the newly lofted heroes of the Texas flatlands. Without Marte we would have had no hope. We would have been as we were, huddled upon the hill, fire flickering with the changing breeze, waiting to die together.
Instead we were given the spark again. We watched as he led the charge against the Rangers and cut through them like some rivers we had once crossed. We saw then two things at the same time. We saw what is before us, immediately. That the calling Wild Card was now only five victories away. We saw, too, the distant thing lying before us. We saw the next year when Marte would lead the charge, when we would take back the land that we had lost. We will get off this rocky, craggy hill. One day, our fire will burn all the brighter.
There is a fire there before us. There is a whisper on the autumn wind. There is a Marte deemed to guide us. And the Playoffs are calling, calling.
Let us go.