DUSTING OFF JUAN URIBE

DUSTING OFF JUAN URIBE

(10.30.2015 No.160 — http://www.162BaseballPoems.com)

By Steve Hermanos

@HermanosSteve

SteveHermanos.com

It’s taken all this time,

’til the bottom of the 6th inning of the 3rd game

Of the World Series,

And finally,

The Mets send up Juan Uribe to pinch hit,

Uribe who won it all with the White Sox in ’05;

Uribe who won it all with the Giants in ’10,

Leading them when young, fat Pablo Sandoval

Ate himself out of the lineup,

Uribe,

Who wears his gunked-up batting helmet,

At a rakish angle,

A huge chaw in his cheek,

And might as well be sporting a gold hoop earring,

An eye patch,

A scabbard won in combat;

The pitch is up and away,

Uribe slashes it to right,

Knocking in Juan Lagares,

Sending Wilmer Flores to 3rd;

Mets 6—Royals 3;

At first base, Juan Uribe claps his hands:

Take No Prisoners!

(Mets 9—Royals 3)

(Series: Royals 2—Mets 1)

—end of poem

18 INNINGS OF SIGNIFICANCE

18 INNINGS OF SIGNIFICANCE

(7.19 No.90 — http://www.162BaseballPoems.com)

By Steve Hermanos

Painting the inside stairway,
I’m cool, while the sun bakes exterior surfaces,
Shirtless, lumpy, hairy,
No one in the house,
Listening to Mets Vs. Cardinals,
Going into Extras;

The Mets ’n Cards
Have played shift-long games,
Into the wee, murky hours,
Into delirium;

Wasn’t there a 25-inning game,
in the ’70’s?
A 20-inning game in the 2010’s?

The team emanating from the polluted swamps of Queens,
The team from The Exact Middle, the polluted Mighty Missip:
Together, America!

And as each step is painted,
In a greenish-taupe picked by Mrs. L.,
The Mets get a run in the top of the 13th;
The Cards tie it in the bottom of the 13th;
Inning after inning,
Juan Lagares goes 2 for 10,
Wilmer Flores is 3 for a zillion,
Lucas Duda is 0 for 7 with 2 walks,
Colton Wong is 1 for 8,
Pete Kozma 0 for 6;

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom
Pinch hits,
Earns a walk;
The Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez,
A starter,
Is pitching the 15th, 16th, 17th;

The steps are done (the first coat)
And I’m swirling the off-white,
To touch up the banisters;

18th inning:
Mets’ Wilmer Flores singles;
Curtis Granderson singles;
Kevin Plawecki sac bunt, error by Carlos Martinez:
Bases loaded, no outs;
Ruben Tejada sac fly,

Mets 2—Cards 1;

Eric Campbell sac bunt,
Granderson scores;

Mets 3—Cards 1;

The Mets hold
The Cards in the bottom of the 18th,
Win;

And the Cards
Hit the showers,
The saline IVs,
Remaining the best team in baseball;

And the Mets,,
Ride the A/C bus to the airport,
Chill,
Fly to D.C. first class,
Catapulting through the sky,
In victory,
To challenge the 1st-place Nationals;

If the Mets,
Play a meaningful game
In October,
They’ll point back at this sweaty game,
And I’ll remember the steps.

—end of poem

HUNTER PENCE AGAIN

HUNTER PENCE AGAIN

(7.07 No.74 — From 162 Baseball Poems 2015)

By Steve Hermanos

Giants 3—Mets 0
Top sixth, no outs,
Curtis Granderson on third,
Having tripled;

Ruben Tejada slaps a drooping fly ball
Down the right field line;

Tongue out,
Glove out,
Hunter Pence slides towards foul ground—
Pence, who’s been out two weeks with wrist tendinitis,
Pence, who’s been missed like the only sane guy in the office
has gone to Google,
Pence, who’s been in the dugout for this
7-game losing streak;

Just above the grass, Hunter Pence snags the baseball,
As Curtis Granderson sprints towards home;

Pence awkwardly rises, awkwardly whirls,
Awkwardly cannon-fires the ball,
Towards home,
Where Giants catcher Andrew Susac,
Deploying body language,
Of a guy waiting for a bus,
That’s over the horizon,
To make Curtis Granderson believe,
The situation’s urgency is softened;

Susac grabs that sharp throw,
Spins and slaps Granderson’s leg—
Like one of those nature shows
Where a Barn Owl snags
A stunned field mouse,
For lunch—
Home plate ump Doug Eddings
Lustily punches the air: OUT!

And for the first time
In forever,
37,000 Giants fans roar together in ecstacy,
At our guy out there,
In right field;

And as we nestle back to our seats,
Murmuring amazement,
so many of us,
Now are thinking of Panda—
Pablo Sandoval, away in Boston—
The second otherworldly hero, gone;

At the third out of the inning,
Hunter Pence jogs in from right,
And we roar once again;
Welcome back.

(Giants 3—Mets 0)

ROOKIE PITCHES NO-HITTER

ROOKIE PITCHES NO-HITTER

(6.09 No.64 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)

By Steve Hermanos

I believe in celebrating every happy thing,
Trying not to let the bad stuff dominate;
So I’m sipping
My first cup of coffee
In three years,
Honoring last night’s Chris Heston no-hitter,
Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants,
Vs. The Mets,
(Our offspring,
Left on the doorstep of Flushing);

Mets fans are whining,
About plate umpire Rob Drake’s,
Expansive strike zone,
And maybe they’re whining about Mets
100 MPH pitcher Noah Syndergaard’s
2-4 record, his 4.15 ERA;

Hopewell Junction New York’s Joey Panik,
Of the Giants,
Brought 100 fans,
And Manhattan’s Finnerty’s Bar
(Lovers of the Giants),
Brought a few hundred,
Lots of orange-and-black amidst
The Mets’ orange-and-(Dodger) blue;

Those hundreds erupted at Joey Panik’s
7th inning monster homer;
They drowned out Mets fans
Celebrating each Chris Heston out in the 8th,
And 9th;

And Mets fans, as most fans would,
As the outs mounted towards 27,
Came over to the orange side,
Cheering the potential
Historical mile marker,
“I Was There”;

Chris Heston,
Who was released by the Giants in 2013,
And when no team thought his potential worthy
Of the major leagues,
The Giants took him back;

Chris Heston,
Whose high school coach
Flew from Florida
To watch the game;

Chris Heston,
Who wouldn’t be on the team,
Except for Matt Cain’s mauled elbow;

Chris Heston,
Worthy of a Buster Posey end-of-game
Hug;
As the team rushes from the dugout,
Mets fans exhult;

Let us celebrate,
These Giants,
The first team since the
’62-’65 Dodgers,
With 4 no-hitters in 4 years;

Didn’t those Dodgers have pitchers named
Koufax and Drysdale and Claude Osteen?

Didn’t they win multiple World Series?

And look,
There is Madison Bumgarner,
Smilingly standing to the side
Of the crowd around Chris Heston,
Bumgarner who pulled the Giants to
World Series glory,
Bumgarner, who was Sportsman of the Year;
He ain’t got no no-hitters.

—end of poem