He just ran right into it.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

He just ran right into it.
The ball was coming. He chopped his steps to time it up.
And then he just ran right into it anyway
Like a child so focused on when to jump into a game of Double Dutch
That they forget the part where they have to actually jump.
It hit him in the shin, in both shins, bounced off toward the photographers’ well
And the inning was just over.

He’s going to have a bump for a while.
And a baseball right to the shinbone really hurts, even a weakly hit one
That ends the inning and makes everyone wonder what the hell you were thinking.
It sticks around forever and hurts far longer than it ought to.
Those high sanitary socks are no protection at all. They’re nearly nothing.
I remember peeling off my uniform after a particularly sunny game
And finding sunburns in a tiny checkerboard pattern on my calf.

If you didn’t know there were two outs, you’d think
It was a brilliant piece of baserunning.
Bottom six, Jose Altuve leading off second. Runners on first and second.
Bregman chops one to third and Altuve takes a bruise on the shin like a hero
Rather than allow the Blue Jays to turn a double play.

But there are two outs. Jose Altuve is positively — I don’t know what.
I got interrupted as I was writing that line and now I have no idea what
I was going to say that Jose Altuve positively was.

It didn’t actually cost the team very much. If the ball doesn’t hit him,
Then Clement scoops it up for a rushed but easy force out.
The inning’s over either way. Why not run some very literal interference?
Let it slip between your legs and maybe Ernie will do the same.

It’s just that he looked for all the world like he was planning something big,
The way he slowed down to get the timing right,
Spread his arms for balance, kicked his heels up as he ran:
Like he was going to leap dramatically over the bouncing ball;
Like he was going to tumble around it in a diving summersault
That somehow ended up with him hugging the bag safely;
Like he was going to convince the ball to skip between his ankles;
Like he was going to pirouette with such dazzling beauty as it whispered by
That the infielders would be too moved to pay it any mind whatsoever.
And then he just ran into it.

“That is amazing,” says Buck Martinez. “A player of his stature
Somehow lost sight of the baseball.” And, well, that’s pretty funny.
When he gets picked off third two innings later,
Killing his second two-on, two-out situation of the night,
It’s less forgivable, especially for a giant of his tiny stature,
But it’s also much easier to understand.

In the sixth inning, it’s unclear what exactly he’s trying to do,
And that’s why my first thought is to crank up the poetry machine
Where there’s no limit to what can be true at the same time.
Real events can be caused by endless permutations of factors
But those inputs always have to add up to a hundred percent,
Whereas on the page any possibility you raise can be
Equally valid: a hundred hundred-percent-true explanations.

Okay, that’s not true. My first thought is that he looks like Raccoon Mario
From Super Mario Bros. 3, sprinting with his hands out, ready to fly.
I just wish I knew for sure whether his plan failed
Or whether he never actually tried it out in the first place,
Whether all that preamble was ever post-ambled at all.

I was sick the entire month of March. I’m still coughing constantly at times,
Constantly clearing my throat although I have nothing to say.
A few nights ago I made a note to look up the mechanics of throat clearing,
the two-part how of the inhaled ah- and the exhaled -hem.
I tried to look it up, but I couldn’t find anything.

Davy Andrews is a Brooklyn-based musician and a contributing writer for FanGraphs. He can be found on Twitter @davyandrewsdavy.

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1 month ago

Davy channeling Carson Cistulli’s poetry corpus with a heavy dose of NotGraphs

Good stuff