The sun hung up through the early evening begging for some baseball to be played. Anyway, that’s what I thought. One boy wanted to race scooters with a legion of cohorts. The other wanted to dig for buried treasure – gold, jewels, something ancient. “If it’s valuable, we can sell it and become rich and famous.” I stood with the bat on my shoulder. Baseball had to wait.
We heard the bracing cough before we came through the door. Pregnant to popping and sick with cold and fever, my wife was holed up in bed. We shut her door and proceeded towards bedtime with the boys taking advantage of me when they could, as always. The Yankees were already in the second inning, I guessed. Baseball would have to wait some more.
“The laundry bag looks like a ghost,” Henry said. He has chosen a bedtime story about a boy who imagines monsters for three nights in a row and he’s mastering the racket. Last night is was a painting of a giraffe that’s been stationed on his wall since before he was born. The Yankees must be halfway to a win by now.
When I came out to warm up Chinese food and watch the game, I found my wife stretched out on the couch. “All I want to do is to fall asleep with the TV on,” she said. I didn’t have the heart to suggest a ballgame and I figured I would try to catch the ninth if Mariano was pitching. But to my surprise, she already had the TV switched to the Yanks and Astros.
I came in just as Kuroda found his groove and the Yanks scored some runs. Kuroda was as terrific as you can be after being terrible for a few innings. The first part of the game must have been a sluggish affair with all the base runners and walks.
David Robertson had one of those innings where he looks like the best pitcher in baseball but lets up two runs including a big homer. He absolutely blew the Astros away except for when the Yankee shift turned a ground out to short into a single. He had his chance to strike out Chris Carter, just about any kind of pitch in any spot would have done it, but the one Robertson threw unluckily hit Carter’s bat and ended up 20 rows deep.
Mariano had a night a little bit like mine. He was all set to go when Robertson hit Carter’s bat, but then the Yanks added a whole bunch of insurance in the ninth. Eduardo Nunez had an especially nice game and Ichiro and Hafner chipped in as well. Mariano sat back down, figuring it wasn’t his night. But Shawn Kelley got touched up and the score got close enough for Mariano to earn a save with one sweet strikeout, 7-4.
Winning is always worth the wait.
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