Kyle Gibson sat cross-legged upon the pitching rubber, the hustle and bustle of the pre-game practice around him was no longer a concern. In his meditative state, there was no sound that could pierce his calm.
The triumphs of his past quests seemed like distant memories, and the hum of his once fearsome magical balls had grown quiet. He had reached the wizened old age of 31, and he knew his days as a hero were coming to and end.
A butterfly gently landed upon the brim of his cap as he telepathically communicated with the spirit of his lost mentor. “The era of bombas and bullpenning is upon us, Kyle.” the voice said. “Do not fear, as all things eventually decay to bring forth new life.” A local squirrel skittered past along the foul line, stopping to look at the pitcher. Kyle gently open his eyes and looked towards the creature. The squirrel nodded respectfully, and Kyle nodded back before starting to stand up.
“And now so too must I.”
Hours later he found himself back upon that very spot. He stared down at the Royals lead off man Whit Merrifield as the masses roared in the stands. To them they were simply the sounds of the woodland. The buzz of cicadas, and the wind whistling through the trees.
This was peace. This was home.
Gibson wound back and hurled his ball with all of his might. Their was a crack as the ball skittered behind him and between 2nd and 3rd. He didn’t need to turn around, he knew Jorge Polanco had it. Soon he heard the thump of the ball being caught within the first baseman’s glove. One pitch, one out.
Adalberto Mondesi was next. This time it took 5 pitches, but his opponent fell victim to a strikeout.
Up came Jorge Soler, a major threat. Kyle nibbled at the strikezone, weary of the power hitter. Eventually Soler made contact and the ball sailed into the outfield. Gibson began walking to the dugout, he knew it was an easy fly ball.
“LOL NO” Yelled the umpire. “Catcher’s interference or whatevs.”
Kyle’s eyes widened. Was this an omen? Was this umpire sent by the reaper himself to signal the end?
With Soler on first, Gibson struck the next batter out. He returned to his dugout, an uneasy fog having swelled within him.
His allies fell 1-2-3 to his sworn foe, Mike Montgomery. Before he knew it he was back upon the mound. Alex Gordon was a comfort. He had faced the fiend many times in his battles, even now he knew the tricks to retire such a man. Another groundout.
Then it was Ryan McBroom. Kyle reared back and hurled another pitch. It felt wrong coming out of his hands, as if the last vestiges of the magic within his soul had left him.
“Ball One” sounded the umpire. Kyle’s face betrayed no worry, but inside even his calm had been broken. Another windup, and another pitch. McBrook struck the ball lightly and it dribbled towards third. Miguel Sano made a valiant effort, but it was in vain, as McBrook already stood at first base.
The tides had shifted.
Erick Mejia took to the plate. The catcher put down his signs and lifted his glove. Gibson wound up and threw with all the effort he had.
The catch, Mitch Garver, his greatest of friends, gave a nod to calm down his weary pitcher. Kyle breathed in deeply. Again he threw as if his life depended on it.
Kyle looked out at the fans who had supported him for so many years. He did not wish to let down these people, but he knew that sometimes you had to burn the forest before the flowers could regrow.
“Ball four, take your base!”
The world because a swirl around him, motions past and present encircling him like a kaleidoscope within spacetime. The present barely registered as he allowed back to back singles and the first Royals run. Pitch after pitch he simply could not deliver.
“Ball Four!” The words pierced his very being and echoed within the aether.
Down 3-0, the manager had finally seen enough. He signaled to his bullpen and out came a younger man to take Kyle’s place. Zack Littel jogged to the mound, where Kyle met him with a steely gaze. Placing his baseball into Littel’s hand he gently smiled.
“As my day has turned to night, I bequeath this unto you. My devotion, my passion. My destiny is now yours, my son.”
“What the hell are you talking about Kyle?”
HEY ITS A NORMAL RECAP NOW
Ol’ Zack attack induced a sweet sweet groundout and that inning was finally over.
Come on down to the bottom of the third where Nelson Cruz is about to bomba your socks off and tie the game in one swing! Gee I sure hope no one on Twitter threw a fit about the Twins being bad or anything, that would be embarrassingly short-sighted!
“Ties are for losers!” Miguel Sano then said, clubbing a solo shot deep into the left field stands. That’s actually wrong though. Ties are for....business meetings, I guess.
Lewis Thorpe would allow two runs while covering the 3rd through 6th innings, which is pretty darn admirable. Way to go Lew(is). Bring back the LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWW chant!
The Twins would tie the game back up in the 5th when Mitch Garver got his garvsauce all over the baseball and sent it into the stand for an official “one baseball point” as they say. A Sano double that scored Eddie Rosario that very same inning would give them back the lead. They would hold on to it.
As Chief Bomba Guy, Cruz felt obligated to tack on yet another Twins didgeridoo in the 7th, bring us the the final score of 8-3.
Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Sergio Romo and Taylor Rogers, followed Thorpe and kept the Royals run total where it was, giving our Twims another wim.
Peace would return to Kyle Gibson, forevermore.
STUDS: BULLPEN, NELSON FREAKIN CRUZ
DUDS: WHY EVEN HAVE THIS CATEGORY THIS YEAR TWINS WIN
BEHOLD, THIS ROLLCALL:
|4||Lars in SLP||15|
Comment of the Gamethread goes to my boss, TJ Blorgsplenger, for “Baseball is the only time its appropriate to support Royals beating Yankees.” Please tell SB Nation you require ten million dollars to retain my services.