Game 104 // Eighth Inning, Houston // The ‘Stros at Night Are Big and Bright…

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…”

Houston Astros Rays Minute Maid Gattis Homer

Game 79 // Ninth Inning, Houston // The Back to Backers

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: ASTROS 5 (3) – 4 RAYS

 

The quickest of the big innings, by far, this season.

Carlos Correa, with the first pitch of the Houston ninth, no outs.

An opposite field home run to left, surprising even himself, as if the swing were accidental, expected foul, then watching it watching it carry carry carry on and over the wall just fair enough and just far enough for a score. Continue reading “Game 79 // Ninth Inning, Houston // The Back to Backers”

Game 60 // Fourth Inning, Houston // The Thin Yellow Line

Sketch by Henry Gustavson


BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH: ASTROS 5 (1) – 2 MARINERS

 

Taijuan Walker’s on the mound for Seattle against the Astros, wearing striped socks, high stirrups and carrying 2016’s trophy for Best Given Name That Is (or Sounds Like) a Country. In the pantheon, you’ve got the retired Chili Davis, former long-time holder of the title, and the several Jordans and Chads of current and past MLB rosters. And beyond those? You can scroll, for as many hours as you can bear, through Baseball Reference’s database and find the real heroes of the category—the overlooked, nation-named afterthoughts now enshrined in stat sheets and pixels. Continue reading “Game 60 // Fourth Inning, Houston // The Thin Yellow Line”

Game 50 // First Inning, Houston // Lift-Off Astros

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST: ASTROS 7 (0) – 0 ATHLETICS

 

The Oakland A’s have their forest green tops, bright yellow shirt seams. Three matching stripes on the socks, a horizontal burst of gold. And the Houston Astros with their recent redesign, bright orange tops and a navy helmet throwing back to the Colt ‘45s.

Packers against the Broncos. Oregon against Boise State. Norwich City F.C. against… Montpellier F.C. And I’m out of references, sinking on a quick decline into sports obscurity. Continue reading “Game 50 // First Inning, Houston // Lift-Off Astros”

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 4 // Second Inning, The Bronx // Castro… “He’s so hot right now”

TOP OF THE SECOND: YANKEES 6 – 1 ASTROS

We’re at Yankee stadium for a rematch of last year’s AL Wild Card game, both the stakes and temperature considerably lower, bench players sipping on hot chocolate out of paper gatorade cups in the dugout.

I tune in and spot the towering frame of Michael Pineda tossing warm-up pitches on the mound, maybe the league leader in sideways-cocked hat angle bravado, up there with Continue reading “Game 4 // Second Inning, The Bronx // Castro… “He’s so hot right now””