Game 137 // Third Inning, Milwaukee // The Tyler Chatwood Situation

BREWERS 4 (2) – 0 CUBS

 

“We might not win this one,” your dad says, ignoring his own hopelessness as he turns on the game feed and the first inning begins.

“It’s Tyler Chatwood Day.”

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Game 131 // First Inning, Chicago // Behold, La Sape Est Arrivée

BOTTOM OF THE FIRST: CUBS 5 (0) – 0 WHITE SOX

 

You know, we could talk about the ballgame. The Cubs, the Sox, the rivalry, the history.

We could.

But.

Look behind home plate for a moment. Continue reading “Game 131 // First Inning, Chicago // Behold, La Sape Est Arrivée”

Game 128 // Ninth Inning, Houston // Cory Blaser—What’s Going on, Big Guy?

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: ANGELS 2 – 0 ASTROS

 

Two days in a row now, a ballgame has ended with a walk-off replay review.

Bottom of the 9th, home team down by two, a runner called safe.

Then, a challenge, a review, and a reversal.

And an umpire. One umpire. The same umpire. Crouching in position on Sunday, crouching on Monday, crouching and making a terrible call.

Cory Blaser—what’s going on, big guy?

Continue reading “Game 128 // Ninth Inning, Houston // Cory Blaser—What’s Going on, Big Guy?”

Game 124 // Eighth Inning, Chicago // The Calliope Crashed to the Ground

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: CUBS 14 (5) – 10 BRAVES

 

It’s not yet halfway to May, and we may have seen the wildest inning of 2018.

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Game 113 // Tenth Inning, Chicago // Robert Osuna Gone Wild

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!?” 

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Game 105 // First Inning, Chicago // The Death of the 2017 Chicago Cubs

 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?

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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 giant blades 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)”

Game 99 // Third Inning, Cleveland // A Ball Off the Bat of Addison Russell

TOP OF THE THIRD: CUBS 7 (3) – 0 INDIANS

 

You’d be wise, not to blow all your smiles on a Game Six. You might not want to shout. Keep the champagne corked. Leave some green in your wallet. Don’t hug all your neighbors. Don’t profess new faith in the gods. Not yet.

Don’t start a brawl with the Cleveland legion. When the Cubs win, don’t unbuckle your belt, and drop trow in the aisle. Don’t hop the dugout roof and don’t run streaking onto the field. Don’t end up buck naked overnight in a Cleveland holding cell. Keep your clothes on. Keep your wits about you. You might need them for tomorrow.

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Jason Kipnis Dagger Home Run

Game 98 // Seventh Inning, Chicago // Falling Down

TOP OF THE SEVENTH: INDIANS 7 (4) – 1 CUBS

  

With no outs, Jason Kipnis sends a three-run homer soaring into the bleachers in right. The score’s 7-1.

Things. Go. Quiet. Your head falls into your lap. You close your eyes.

 

IN A DREAM—YOU ENTER WHAMMY BURGER, APPROACH THE COUNTER.

 

Sheila: Hi, can I help you?

YOU: Yes, I’d like a two-run single and a rally starter.

Sheila: I’m sorry, we’ve stopped serving offense but we are on the loss menu now.

YOU: But I want offense.

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