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BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: INDIANS 2 (1) – 2 ROYALS
The streak. It lives. 22 games. In a row. It lives!
It was down to its last strike, this winding snake of a streak—Francisco Lindor up in the ninth with two outs and a 1-2 count.
The best Cleveland moment since Rajai Davis, Game 7.
TOP OF THE EIGHTH: ROCKIES 5 (2) – 2 D-BACKS
This wasn’t so much an inning as it was a play. A moment. An at-bat.
Specifically…. a shift.
The very weirdest you’ll ever see. Weird. Weird weird. Incredibly weird.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH: ROYALS 5 (3) – 4 TWINS
The Wild Card chase is on, folks. The Wild Card chase is on.
The Yankees, the Twins, the Orioles, the Angels, the Mariners, the Royals, the Rangers, the Rays—more than it’s ever been, the chase is on.
And it’s all hanging in the balance, this sunny afternoon in Minnesota… with a check-swing from Lorenzo Cain batting, that just might’ve saved the season.
BOTTOM OF THE TENTH: CUBS 6 (3) – 5 BLUE JAYS
Your dad is on the couch. Sat there all afternoon. Took a nap through the middle innings. Day-dreaming of a sweep. Watched the Cubs score three runs, slept, then woke up to see them give up the lead. Tied up.
And then, in the top of the tenth. It’s Justin Wilson. “No!” your dad shouts. “Justin Wilson!?”
BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: DODGERS 5 (2) – 4 WHITE SOX
You turn on the broadcast and there’s a line.
“The home run that Puig hit in Miami on the first day of the second half—a seminal moment of his career.”
Sixty seconds before seminal moment 2.0. So you get to thinking, as Yasiel Puig steps into the box, what’s might be that most seminal of seminal Yasiel Puig moments? Continue reading “Game 112 // Ninth Inning, Los Angeles // The Yasiel Puig Moment”
TOP OF THE SIXTH: ROYALS 6 (2) – 1 ATHLETICS
Mr. Cam Gallagher, I’m assigning you a mission. You have a job to do.
Start from tonight. Build from here. Create a groundswell, a renown, a name.
Take this game, this inning, and go full throttle toward the headlines. Fame. Household dinner-table fame. Sponsorship deals. All-Star games. Fame. Big fame!
This job will be a tough one. This job is unlikely. This job, after tonight, just became a little bit easier.
BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: YANKEES 5 (0) – 3 RED SOX
It’s August. It’s Yankee Stadium. Boston vs. New York. It’s a soldout ballpark and a hell of a lot on the line.
The Red Sox have won eight straight. The Yankees slipping farther behind by the day, toward that crossroads that says: Accept your Wild Card fate!
Red Sox up 3-0. Four and a half games up in the A.L. East.
And, then, the beginnings of a rally. From the tip of Brett Gardner’s toe, center of Yankee Baseball Universe, for just a moment. Continue reading “Game 110 // Eighth Inning, New York // The Aaron Hicks Game”
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH: CARDINALS 8 (4) – 5 ROYALS
The bottom half of the Yadi inning begins with Yadi.
A replay from the top of the sixth, Molina gloving a fastball skipped on a bounce off the dirt, popping up from his stance, whipping a throw to second base to nail Alcides Escobar trying for a steal.
The cameras focus in on Yadi. Basking in the dugout. Chatting it over with Mike Matheny. Mulling over two options in his head, thinking aloud.
“Should I finally show them…. ?” Continue reading “Game 109 // Sixth Inning, St. Louis // You’re a Wizard, Yadi”
TOP OF THE NINTH: RED SOX 9 – (8) 10 INDIANS
This last inning at Fenway, grand finale to the Austin Jackson Catch Game.
Which, if you hadn’t seen it… Continue reading “Game 108 // Ninth Inning, Boston // Christian the Redeemer”
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD: NATIONALS 9 (2) – 0 BREWERS
First of all, I have a conspiracy theory.
Nationals Park, you know those seats behind home plate, that you always see on TV?
They’re not what you think. Continue reading “Game 107 // Third Inning, Washington D.C. // The Home Run Pentagon”
BOTTOM OF THE SECOND: BREWERS 8 (0) – 2 PHILLIES
First game back after the All-Star break.
The Brewers up five games in the NL Central. Their best season since 2011.
Second inning, down two runs, Domingo Santana up to bat—the beginnings of one of those “But Wait There’s More” innings. Continue reading “Game 106 // Second Inning, Milwaukee // Snowman in Milwaukee”
TOP OF THE FIRST: PIRATES 10 (0) – 0 CUBS
Not yet 1:00pm central time. The sun just at its peak. Fifteen minutes into the first inning at Wrigley, Jon Lester down for the count. Pulled before the first inning ends. The worst of his career.
The world champion Cubs are… the world champion Cubs are… down by 10? It’s the first inning and they—10 runs?
10 runs. 10 runs? Holy cow.
This the end of the Cubs as we know them?
BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: ASTROS 7 (3) – 6 YANKEES
Red white and blue uniforms. Fourth of July weekend. Betances on the mound throwing 98mph. Texas and New York. Stars and pinstripes. Baseball, at its very American best.
And those Houston Astros, in full sprint toward the best record in baseball. Their best season since… have they ever been this good before? Continue reading “Game 104 // Eighth Inning, Houston // The ‘Stros at Night Are Big and Bright…”
TOP OF THE NINTH: ROYALS 1 – (2) 4 BLUE JAYS
The two teams that rose, in 2015, from the ashes of two down decades. An ALCS for Toronto, a World Series win for Kansas City. And now, sinking down… down… by the law of averages, back to the bottom. Hopskotch jumping between last place and its closest neighbor—with the dream of 2015 a scrapbook piece for history.
But these Royals, these last few weeks. These last few wins. They onto something? Continue reading “Game 103 // Ninth Inning, Kansas City // Here Come the Royals”