Death Fernandez Boat Sketch Miami

Game 85 // Eighth Inning, Miami // Rest in Peace, Mr. Fernández

Credit to the great Bill Gallo, for inspiration


TOP OF THE EIGHTH: MARLINS 1 – 0 NATIONALS

 

Five days ago, the final game of a career cut short. Eight innings pitched. Zero runs. Zero walks. Twelve strikeouts.

An audience of 17,961—watching the very best baseball of the Miami Marlins. A home run from Giancarlo Stanton. A shut-out. A win over the first-place Nationals. A José Fernández start, a brilliant one at that.

“And José’s into the eighth,” they say as the inning begins, “and he fires a strike.” Continue reading “Game 85 // Eighth Inning, Miami // Rest in Peace, Mr. Fernández”

Vogelsong uniform Pirates baggy yelllow

Game 78 // Fifth Inning, Pittsburgh // The Marlin Sink the Galleon

TOP OF THE FIFTH: MARLINS 3 (1) – 2 PIRATES

 

The Pittsburgh skyline, with its yellow bridges and clustered office buildings, looks in on PNC Park and sees a sorry sight: the hometown Pirates, in mid-table struggle and fading, wearing the kind of outfit concocted from nightmares. Bright yellow baggy tops. Jet black baggy pants. Black shoes. The old kepi hats, striped yellow and black. Ryan Vogelsong hiking up his slipping pants after each pitch, with the elastic waistband too loose—and appearing, as the live-feed pixels blur out for a moment, like a big banana, dipped in tar. Continue reading “Game 78 // Fifth Inning, Pittsburgh // The Marlin Sink the Galleon”

Crawford 7 Hits Miami Stennett

Game 73 // Fourteenth Inning, Miami // Brandon Crawford For Seven

Sketch by Henry Gustavson


TOP OF THE FOURTEENTH: GIANTS 8 (7) – 7 MARLINS

 

There’s a Corona Light ad visible on the backstop behind home at Marlins Park—“Corona Light: The light cerveza”—and I’m not sure if it’s trying to half-teach English to non-native speakers, or half-teach Spanish to all gringos. It’s that Dora The Explorer bilingualism, high-pitched and nauseating, speaking very very slowly into the educational airwaves: “I can’t find my osito anywhere!! Where’s my teddy bear??” An ad campaign written by the Bumblebee Man from The Simpsons, targeting an audience of in-betweeners, Spanglish as the primary tongue. Continue reading “Game 73 // Fourteenth Inning, Miami // Brandon Crawford For Seven”

Contreras Marlins Miami Wrigley August

Game 71 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // Simon Says Throw a Wild Pitch

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: CUBS 5 (2) – 4 MARLINS

 

Sunny afternoon at Wrigley. The dog days of early August. Just out of a mid-season slump. Playoff race unsettled. Season awards unsettled. Onto the stretch before the home stretch. Looking for a win streak, out of the momentum of a wacky three-set against Seattle. Down two runs here now against Miami. A win in doubt amid the Ichiro 3k fanfare. And Miguel Montero leading off with a double, ‘buggy-whipped’ to right, Giancarlo Stanton running it down in the corner. Hustling into second, geriatric joints impeding speed on every step. We are good, he says. We are good. Hashtag we are good. Very good. I am good. All is good. Good and very good. Continue reading “Game 71 // Ninth Inning, Chicago // Simon Says Throw a Wild Pitch”

Game 54 // Third Inning, San Diego // Ichiro The Great

TOP OF THE THIRD: MARLINS 8 (1) – 1 PADRES

 

Ichiro Suzuki is up to bat, 2,974 career hits to his name, and somewhere over the night sky of America is the grumbling, cursing echo of Pete Rose, throwing household objects at the TV set, cancelling all newspaper subscriptions, wondering what went wrong with the baseball youth of today—What about me? Mr. 4,256? Anyone?? Continue reading “Game 54 // Third Inning, San Diego // Ichiro The Great”

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”