Game 52 // Ninth Inning, Cincinnati // Votto Time

 // Sketch by Henry Gustavson

 

TOP OF THE NINTH: REDS 6 – (4) 6 CARDINALS

 

The Cardinals strike back. As always, as dreaded, as anticipated (by now) every time an NL Central tenant finds themselves with a lead.

And the red-faced Reds, a late-game lead vanished, looking up at Continue reading “Game 52 // Ninth Inning, Cincinnati // Votto Time”

Game 27 // Fifth Inning, S.F. // The Eating of the Words

TOP OF THE FIFTH: ROCKIES 17 (4) – 3 GIANTS

Less than a week ago, when this very same Giants team gave up 12 runs in a single inning:

I don’t think I’ll have to eat my words, I said, if I say this was this biggest inning we’ll see this year. And, by the end: Wow, I said, if that isn’t the biggest Big Inning I’ll ever see.

I’ll ever see. A week ago.

So as Redditor see_mohn so charmingly asks, Would you like those words broiled or fried? Continue reading “Game 27 // Fifth Inning, S.F. // The Eating of the Words”

Game 23 // Ninth Inning, St. Pete // Rays Walk It Off

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: RAYS 4 3 – 3 BLUE JAYS

 

It’s Chris Archer Bobble-Head Night down in St. Pete, it’s my first time in the Trop, and its domed, decaying interior is making me queasy. The concourse looks like a high school gymnasium and smells like off-brand candy corn. I’m not in Kansas Wrigley Field anymore…

Sitting next to me is my dad, repeating the questionable joke that it’s actually “bobble-hands” night—with two errors in the first inning, and Continue reading “Game 23 // Ninth Inning, St. Pete // Rays Walk It Off”

Mets 12 Run Inning

Game 22 // Third Inning, New York // Mets on Mets on Mets

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD: METS 12 0 – 0 GIANTS

 

Don’t think I’ll have to eat my words if I say this was the biggest inning we’ll see this year. Without a doubt, it was—and the biggest in the Mets’ whole history. 12 runs. 12 runs!! A dozen Metropolitans storming home in an endless third inning, a full midnight-to-noon rotation spinning toward Mets o’clock, with the fans in Flushing unsure of Continue reading “Game 22 // Third Inning, New York // Mets on Mets on Mets”

Game 21 // Sixth Inning, Phoenix // Wainwright Rights the Ship

TOP OF THE SIXTH: CARDINALS 7 2 – 3 D-BACKS

 

Patrick Corbin is on the mound tonight for Arizona, wearing all-white shoes in the vein of the Pee-Wee Herman biker bar dance scene of Great Adventure, as he delivers a strike to Yadier Molina and proudly mutters to himself under his breath, “Tequila!!”  Continue reading “Game 21 // Sixth Inning, Phoenix // Wainwright Rights the Ship”

Game 20 // Sixth Inning, Los Angeles // King Kershaw Crumbles

TOP OF THE SIXTH: MARLINS 5 0 – 3 DODGERS

 

We start tonight in the presence of greatness—predating the stadium, half the league’s teams, and nearly the state of California: the legendary, the avuncular Vin Scully, who’s now in his final (and 67th) year calling Dodger baseball Continue reading “Game 20 // Sixth Inning, Los Angeles // King Kershaw Crumbles”

Game 19 // Seventh Inning, Toronto // Sox Shock Again

TOP OF THE SEVENTH:  WHITE SOX 6 1 – 5 BLUE JAYS

 

So in case you haven’t heard, there’s something special going on in Chicago, and not the more expected sight of a Blackhawks team clawing its way back into yet another Stanley Cup Finals (pour one out…)

It’s that…and I didn’t think I’d be saying this in 2016… the White Sox… are best in the American League. And it appears Continue reading “Game 19 // Seventh Inning, Toronto // Sox Shock Again”

Game 18 // Twelfth Inning, Phoenix // Un-tie, Re-tie, Repeat

TOP OF THE TWELFTH: PIRATES 10 88 10 D-BACKS

 

We start tonight with Tyler Clippard on the mound for Arizona, wearing about the 50th jersey outfit this team’s rolled out this season, his ankles giving off the bloodied-sock look made… fashionable? by Curt Schilling in 2004. This must have deeper meaning: maybe that…the Diamondbacks will… stomp gorily over their competition? Stab themselves in their own Achilles’ heel? Spill grape juice on Continue reading “Game 18 // Twelfth Inning, Phoenix // Un-tie, Re-tie, Repeat”

Game 17 // Fifth Inning, Houston // Colby to the Rescue

Bottom of the Fifth: ASTROS 5 1 – 1 RED SOX

 

These new uniforms look fantastic. The open-air sunshine into Minute Maid park looks fantastic. Never seen it like this. The full house of fans looks fan-tastic. And Colby Rasmus, what a fantastic man. He’s like a suped-up, cleaned-up, in-shape version of those cavemen from the old Geico ad campaign (and Continue reading “Game 17 // Fifth Inning, Houston // Colby to the Rescue”

Game 16 // Fifth Inning, Milwaukee // I Wanna Be Like Maik

TOP OF THE FIFTH: BREWERS 1 – 1 4 PHILLIES

 

Time to show Philly (and Milwaukee—Milly?) some love, starting with the one man set to save the City of Brotherly Love from the sports blues, the heir apparent to William Penn, Rocky Balboa, and Chase Utley. Mr. Maikel Franco.

2 home runs today. 23 years old. All-Star appearance number 1 coming in Continue reading “Game 16 // Fifth Inning, Milwaukee // I Wanna Be Like Maik”

Game 15 // Fourth Inning, Boston // The Price Is Wrong

TOP OF THE FOURTH: RAYS 8 2 – 5 RED SOX

 

David Price on the mound today against his former team, wagging his yellow mouth-guard out between his teeth and cheeks, getting the first out of the 4th inning with a 5-2 lead. He’s got Continue reading “Game 15 // Fourth Inning, Boston // The Price Is Wrong”

Game 14 // Fourth Inning, St. Louis // Jason Heyward Strikes Back

TOP OF THE FOURTH: CUBS 2 0 – 1 CARDINALS

 

It’s a grudge match tonight: Cardinals miffed, Cubs nervously hopeful.

It’s bragging rights, a rematch, an eons-long rivalry, a rehash of last year NLDS, a parallel midwest face-off as the Blackhawks lose to the Blues, it’s the first face-to-face meeting after an offseason of Continue reading “Game 14 // Fourth Inning, St. Louis // Jason Heyward Strikes Back”

Game 13 // Eleventh Inning, San Francisco // Late-Night Seagull Mania

TOP OF THE ELEVENTH: D-BACKS 9 7 – 7 GIANTS

It was a back-and-forth extra-innings duel at AT&T Park, the Giants hosting the Diamondbacks in a late, 12th-inning comeback.

And it was an unregistered third team vying for inclusion in the standings, attention from the fanbase, circling above the diamond, squawking, flapping, flocking, scarfing down leftover concessions. Continue reading “Game 13 // Eleventh Inning, San Francisco // Late-Night Seagull Mania”

Game 12 // Twelfth Inning, Minnesota // Here Come the Twins

BOTTOM OF THE TWELFTH: TWINS 3 2 – 2 ANGELS

 

These Twins are making a comeback, folks. Optimism is coming out of its winter hiding like a Baseball Groundhog Day, hope spreading around the upper midwest from Duluth to Fargo, Winona to Winnipeg.

First nine games of the season: L L L L L L L L L. But then, something changed.

On Friday, Minnesota came back from Continue reading “Game 12 // Twelfth Inning, Minnesota // Here Come the Twins”

Game 11 // Seventh Inning, Arlington // Rally in the Heart of Texas

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH: RANGERS 8 2 – 4 ORIOLES

 

So here I am, a life-long midwesterner, a Cub fan, watching Texas baseball with a song running somewhat traitorously through my head:

The stars at night are big and bright…. I see a slew of Rangers cross the plate, roaring back hard for the lead with a six-run rally… Deep in the heaaaaart of Texas!! Continue reading “Game 11 // Seventh Inning, Arlington // Rally in the Heart of Texas”