Grand Slam Oakland Royals 6-2

Game 111 // Sixth Inning, Oakland // Cam Gallagher, You Have Now Arrived

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.

Your job is this: Continue reading “Game 111 // Sixth Inning, Oakland // Cam Gallagher, You Have Now Arrived”

Game 110 // Eighth Inning, New York // The Aaron Hicks Game

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”

Grand Slam Sketch Yadi Cardinals

Game 109 // Sixth Inning, St. Louis // You’re a Wizard, Yadi

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”

Game 108 // Ninth Inning, Boston // Christian the Redeemer

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”

Washington Sketch City Diamond

Game 107 // Third Inning, Washington D.C. // The Home Run Pentagon

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”

Game 106 // Second Inning, Milwaukee // Snowman in Milwaukee

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”

Bryant Throw Final Out seven

Game 100 // Tenth Inning, Cleveland // You Can Only End the Drought With a Little Rain, Or: How You Learned to Stop Worrying and Witness the Greatest Game in a Century (A Treatise on Heaven)

There’s almost a certain sadness to it all. Winning, against two lifetimes of failure. Peering out through the morning fog of the battlefield, seeing an arch-enemy finally downed. Shot, and stabbed, crying out and writhing—its innards eviscerated, a row of knives sticking up from its back.

You start to feel mercy—what did that poor Billy Goat ever do to deserve this?

Can we at least wish it a happy goodbye?

There’s a sadness to it all, in the end. In the end. The end. The most heartbreaking book you’ve ever read—but ending? You never told the author you’d wanted an ending. Not for real. Continue reading “Game 100 // Tenth Inning, Cleveland // You Can Only End the Drought With a Little Rain, Or: How You Learned to Stop Worrying and Witness the Greatest Game in a Century (A Treatise on Heaven)”

Kershaw Save Bullpen NLDS Clayton

Game 96 // Ninth Inning, Washington // A Salute, to Your 2016 L.A. Dodgers

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: DODGERS 4 – 3 NATIONALS

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers of the year 2016. Champions of the N.L. West. Surmounters of the fearful Giants, beaters of the odds, overcomers of the expectations, endurers over the injuries, prudent protectors of the blisters, demoters of the Puig, promoters of the Puig, winking smiling last-laughers over the doubters. Party-throwers for Sir Vin’s last major-league run. Victors, in this last great win, over the Washington Nationals. Continue reading “Game 96 // Ninth Inning, Washington // A Salute, to Your 2016 L.A. Dodgers”

Game 95 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // The Cubbies Win the Pennant

TOP OF THE NINTH: CUBS 5 – 0 DODGERS

 

Chapman on the mound. Hernandez strikes out. Ruiz walks. Puig grounds to short. Russell to Baez to Rizzo. Double play. Cubs win.

*          *          *

What can be said about this game that hasn’t already been said about Christmas morning? Better than that. The first day of a summer break. Better than that. Evening fireworks on the 4th of July. That, too. Better than all. A graduation, an engagement, a marriage, a festival, a celebration. An outdoor fete to anything.

A birthday. Each one of them. For each one of us. Happening at once. Jammed together onto one calendar day. A four-hour party for a whole world of twins, newly made. Smiling the same smiles, unwrapping the same big gift. Sharing matching outfits in blue. Sharing it all. Continue reading “Game 95 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // The Cubbies Win the Pennant”

Game 93 // Eighth Inning, Chicago // The Montero Slam

CUBS 8 – 4 DODGERS


I’m three beers down.

It’s 3:00 AM.

I barely remember the night that was.

The Cubs win that was.

The Miguel Montero grand-slam home run that was.

The bedlam insanity hugfest mad jumping screaming whooping dancing hollering crying smacking yelling wild scene that Wrigley Field was.

Continue reading “Game 93 // Eighth Inning, Chicago // The Montero Slam”

Game 91 // Second Inning, Chicago // Cubs. October. Samardzija. Wrigley.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND: CUBS 4 (1) – 0 GIANTS

 

Our good friend Jeff Samardzija. Football son of Notre Dame. Chicago Cubs draftee. Starter for the 2015 Chicago White Sox. And finally, finally!, he’s stepped up big for this city. Brought home the big one. Poised atop the mound for playoff baseball, the league-best Cubs at home, at old Wrigley, the fans in eager hope of a deep run, our good friend Jeff Samardzija—stepping up to do his part. Bringing home that win he was drafted for, just like we all hope he would.

Thank you, from the bottom of this Cub fan’s heart, for shitting the bed in Game 2 for these San Francisco Giants. You’re the hero this city deserves. Continue reading “Game 91 // Second Inning, Chicago // Cubs. October. Samardzija. Wrigley.”

Lindor Kipnis Perez Home Runs Sketch

Game 90 // Third Inning, Cleveland // Playoff Baseball in the ‘Land

TOP OF THE THIRD: INDIANS 1 – (1) 2 RED SOX

 

How long has it been…

Since this Indians team knocked off the Boston Braves for a World Series win…

Since Vic Wertz flew out at 420-plus feet, in the deep center field of the Polo Grounds…

Since they lost it to the Braves, since they lost it to the Marlins… Continue reading “Game 90 // Third Inning, Cleveland // Playoff Baseball in the ‘Land”

Game 89 // Eleventh Inning, Toronto // Showalter, Britton, Ubaldo, Walkoff

BOTTOM OF THE ELEVENTH: BLUE JAYS 5 (2) – 2 ORIOLES

 

It’s the eleventh inning of the A.L. Wild Card game. Ubaldo Jimenez steps onto the mound with the 162-game weight of a quavering Orioles season on his back.

“Once upon a time,” says Eddie Johnson, “this guy was unhittable.”

Once upon a time. The long-ago start to a fairy tale ending not so well at all. Continue reading “Game 89 // Eleventh Inning, Toronto // Showalter, Britton, Ubaldo, Walkoff”

Miggy Miguel Montero Sketch 103 Cubs

Game 88 // Ninth Inning, Cincinnati // The Reds and the Blues

TOP OF THE NINTH: CUBS 7 (3) – 4 REDS

 

Joe Maddon spits onto the dirt outside the dugout, grinning, his fingers spinning as if he’s winding up string. Dave Martinez smiles. Dexter Fowler smiles. Ten-thousand Cub fan maniacs smile, in the stands around them like an invasion has taken place. A handful of blue figurines lurching ahead on a Risk board—taking Kamchatka, Irkutsk, Cincinnati. Continue reading “Game 88 // Ninth Inning, Cincinnati // The Reds and the Blues”

Philadelphia Cespedes Wind First Base Pop

Game 87 // Eighth Inning, Philadelphia // Lost in the Wind

Sketch by Henry Gustavson


TOP OF THE EIGHTH: METS 5 (3) – 1 PHILLIES

 

Coming back from commercial break, the furry green Philly Phanatic is dancing atop the dugout with “Franklin The Dog” of the 76ers, with a baggy gelatinous midsection bouncing down to his ankles and back up to his chest, grabbing it, ruffling it, a man inside a suit handling and shaking the suit’s own ass and blue tail, the fans in front unsure when they’ll be permitted to stop smiling. Its long green snout juts out in front of two plastic eyes, with Continue reading “Game 87 // Eighth Inning, Philadelphia // Lost in the Wind”