The Slow Burn

Metal cleats on concrete

Sound like

Tap shoes on work boots

Pacing the dugout

Down to one last out

Fans in a frenzy, the roar grows and grows

As the tension mounts and mounts

Bottom of the ninth

Bases juiced, home team down by one

Time out, mound visit, pitching change again

Go to commercial

And we’re back,

Batter digs in

Pitcher gets the sign

Fastball low and outside

Strike One

A hush falls over the crowd

Nail biting and prayers

Repeat the sequence

Batter digs in

Pitcher receives the sign

Fastball low and outside

Late swing but contact

It’s a high fly ball

Down the line to right

It’s going, its going

It’s a foul ball

Inhaled gasp from the hometown faithful

Strike Two

Batter jogs back to the plate

Retrieves his bat

Takes a couple deep breaths

Climbs back into the box and stares

The pitcher strides the rubber

Fans rise once again, with them, the noise

The sign, outside slider

Ball One

Again slider, again the batter spits on it

Ball Two

Fast ball up and in

Ball Three

Home crowd erupts

Full Count

Catcher stands with two hands out

Relax, relax, he urges

Pitcher takes a deep breath

Batter digs in and does the same

The fans hold theirs in anticipation

The sign

Catcher puts down one finger

Sets up outside

The delivery

Runners go

Batter expecting the heat starts his swing early

The pitch

Camera flashes and wide eyes

Hard contact deep center

Center fielder going back, back

At the wall

He leaps

The home crowd goes mad

With excitement

The ball is just off the fielder’s glove

Homerun, Grand slam

Home team wins

It’s a walk off celebration at the dish

Smiles and jubilation

Game one is in the book’s folks

One hundred and sixty-one to go

Get home safe

We’ll see you back here tomorrow night

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