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?

Continue reading “Game 105 // First Inning, Chicago // The Death of the 2017 Chicago Cubs”

8-7 Wrigley 2016 Montero Rizzo

Game 82 // Thirteenth Inning, Chicago // Hashtag We Are Good

TOP OF THE THIRTEENTH: CUBS 6 – (6) 7 PIRATES

 

“Freese hits an infield single off the glove of Rob Zaztryz…Zaztrzyz…Zastryzny,” and Len Kasper’s almost worked himself up into a sneeze, stuttering over the strange sounds of too many Z’s.

In the Cubs’ clubhouse the other day (via ESPN), there was one simple question, posed to the team: “Pronounce Rob Zastryzny”—with the full gamut of butcherings drawn out, from the almost-theres to the dead-ass-wrongs. Continue reading “Game 82 // Thirteenth Inning, Chicago // Hashtag We Are Good”

Gustavson Jaso Art Baseball

Game 80 // Fourth Inning, Milwaukee // The Pirates, Pirates, Pirates

Sketch by Henry Gustavson


TOP OF THE FOURTH: PIRATES 6 (1) – 5 BREWERS

 

Before McCutchen, there was Sparrow. Before Bonds, Hook. Before Clemente and Stargell and Waner and Wagner, there was One-Eyed Willy, Redbeard, Billy Bones, Long John Silver. There was, before the very first pirate set foot beside the Allegheny River, the long marauding history of the buccaneers, the raiders, the corsairs, the filibusters, the freebooters, sailing the seven seas and beyond—the seasick and the treasure-crazed, lumped together in mussed-up crews from Sardinia to Barbados.

John Jaso holds sway over them all. The man, in nearly every way, is a pirate. Continue reading “Game 80 // Fourth Inning, Milwaukee // The Pirates, Pirates, Pirates”

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”

Game 43 // Fifth Inning, Pittsburgh // Home of the Freese

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH: PIRATES 5 (1) – 4 DIAMONDBACKS

 

Roses are red, Pirates are yellow, what the hell color are the Diamondbacks wearing?

They’ve got black lettering, charcoal gray fabric, and a black snakeskin pattern around the ankles that blends with black cleats as if they’ve been Continue reading “Game 43 // Fifth Inning, Pittsburgh // Home of the Freese”

Game 34 // Fifth Inning, Chicago // David Ross, Forever Young

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH: CUBS 8 (3) – 0 PIRATES

 

David Wade Ross turned thirty-nine years old on March 13th. He’s played in over 800 games. He has over 100 gray hairs bespeckling his beard. And in a sunny, afternoon game against the Pirates, in the fifth inning, he hit career home run number 99—into the reaching hands of a dozen Cubs fans, shirtless and drunk with the dream of a winning team at Wrigley finally alive. Continue reading “Game 34 // Fifth Inning, Chicago // David Ross, Forever Young”

Game 28 // Ninth Inning, St. Louis // Carpenter Builds a Win

TOP OF THE NINTH: CARDINALS 4 – (3) 4 PIRATES

 

It’s the first return to Busch Stadium for David Freese, who gets a standing ovation and the first chance (of probably many) to knock his former team back a peg or two in the NL Central standings.

He’s up against Trevor Rosenthal, who comes in flame-throwing 98-mph fastballs on the outside corners, wearing the classic, off-white uniform that would make Patrick Bateman faint in swooning jealousy. Continue reading “Game 28 // Ninth Inning, St. Louis // Carpenter Builds a Win”

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 3 // Eleventh Inning, Pittsburgh // Glory for Jordy Mercer

TOP OF THE ELEVENTH: Pirates 5 – 5 Cardinals

It’s 40 degrees at first pitch in Pittsburgh, and in the frozen late-night wasteland of the 11th inning it’s becoming too cold to mention, as Brandon Moss strides up to bat for the Cardinals. Probably not much of a Continue reading “Game 3 // Eleventh Inning, Pittsburgh // Glory for Jordy Mercer”