Two outs and a runner on second.
Jay Lindsey at bat, me in leftfield.
Jay hit a screamer to left-center his
last at-bat for a stand-up double so
he knew we knew he'd do it at will.
Instead of me playing more toward
center I'm two steps from bald spot
in left toward the foul line, which
Jay knows is my challenge to him.
While banging cleats at home Jay
sees that my right leg is less bent
at knee than left, meaning I'm set
to push off toward center if he aims
another screamer at center-left alley.
Jay could pull a good pitch down
the left foul line with me set to
push off in opposite direction but
our pitcher Brian Murphy throws
mostly heat so trying to pull the
ball on Murph is low percentage.
Jay knows I'm ready to run a slant
toward deep left-center and I know
he knows that 'cause we've played
but today it's his Little League team
against mine so there's more at stake
than a mere pickup game at Githens.
"Where's he gonna go?" I wonder as
Jay digs in at home and Brian rears
back for what I know will be another
fastball instead of his drop-dead
curve and Jay swings at rising heat
to meet ball without wrist-snap.
Pat Hayes at short backpedals but
I call him off even though I see I can't
catch it without diving but instead
I run in as though it'll be an easy
putout as Jay glances while running.
I plant left foot inches to left of
where ball bounces and with palm
down my right claws up-bouncing
ball as left rises to site my target.
I aim at Stimer's heart at first with
no concern for high or low 'cause
it's a catapult screamer sans spin.
Leather meeting leather is heard a
tad before Jay's spikes thump base.
And he's never forgiven me that.
* * *