Okay. Deep breath. You allowed a couple doubles, but you still have some breathing room. You just need one more out. Here comes their best player. AL MVP a couple years ago.
SLAM. Ball meets garage door. Wrong square. 1-0.
Tomorrow I’ll be in trouble for all the dents I can see clustered there, but right now I’ve gotta focus. Dinner is soon. Gotta get him out and save the day for the Mariners.
SLAM. Boom, nailed it. 1-1.
Feel good about that slider I learned from my Nolan Ryan book. Great birthday present—I think I have 2, 3 inches of break already! Not bad for 9.
SLAM. Nope. 2-1.
This is why the Mariners went out and got you. Why else would they have given up Jose Cruz Jr. to get you? They believed in your arm and now you’re back home pitching for this team.
SLAM. Ugh. 3-1. The back door squeaks—”Dinner tiiiiiiime!”—but there’s time before she comes hunting.
Gotta get the strikeout here and get out the door. Here we go. Hometown hero, pitching for the Mariners, crowd on their feet, family at home cheering for me.
SLAM. YES. 3-2.
Man, I painted that fastball. Right on the edge of my strike zone square. He never had a chance. What AL MVP? I wonder if we’re having meatballs for dinner. Okay, one more. I’m gonna start it right in that same garage door square—hmm, that’s looking a little less neat than the others, I’m sure it’s fine— and land it right on the corner. Slider? Yeah, I gotta keep working that slider.