My wife is reading “Charlotte’s Web” to my soon-to-be Kindergartner, one chapter a night before bedtime. The younger guy doesn’t have the attention span for that yet, so we read picture books while they visit with Templeton and get ready for the fair.
When it’s time to say goodnight, one parent stays in the room while they drift/wrestle to sleep. Allegiances from story time carry over. The little guy demands that I stay in the room; my older son wants my wife. Tonight it was my turn and it was a disaster. My older son wailed for Mommy for a long time. I pleaded half-heartedly, but basically was just hoping he was going to run out of tears.
Finally I got up and and calmly walked to the kitchen, snatched the iPad from the wall socket and, just as calmly, re-entered the room. I said, “I know you want Mommy, but I if I stay I can tell you the baseball scores.” He jumped into bed like Jack Flash and the “tears,” if there ever were any, dried up before his head hit the pillow.
In the dark I whispered updates and he counted runs the way some people count sheep. By the time the Yankees got to six, he was asleep and the Yanks were on their way to an easy victory.
The Yankees won a game tonight the old-fashioned way. By kicking Cleveland’s ass up and down; by having all the best players on the field and dominating every aspect of the game. Hiroki Kuroda’s splitter dug into the dirt around home plate with such precision that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was writing a message down there – “Sit Down” or something to that effect. The Indians swung over it again and again and Kuroda racked up seven strikeouts.
The Yankees scored two runs in each of the first three innings. Everyone’s noticed that Robinson Cano is, suddenly and by far, the best hitter on the team? He drove in three on a ringing two-run double and a solo homer. Dewayne Wise knocked in another three runs – two with a homer and one with a triple.
But this 7-1 win is best summed up by the three outs of the top of the eighth. Girardi tried to squeeze the eighth out of Kuroda, but he was over 100 pitches and Sin-Soo Choo’s double put Indians at second and third with no outs. Clay Rapada replaced Kuroda and faced three Indians. None of them were especially turned around by his sidewinding delivery and all three slashed dangerous looking drives into right field.
Nick Swisher, breaking on balls like he was Carnac the Magnificent, tracked down all three. He raced in and towards the line to make an excellent sliding grab on the first ball. He went back toward right center to stab the second. And he ran deep into the right field corner to haul in the third. It’s not so much that any of the catches were difficult, it’s that he covered a ton of ground each time. And he did it with an ever-expanding grin. By the time he caught the third ball right in front of the fans in the right field corner, his smile was epic.
He led off the next inning and I was kind of glad he struck out. Had he hit his second homer of the game, he might have pulled the muscles in his face.
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