Kicking sand around the pitcher’s mound, Richie looked over at his coach. The coach’s head peered over the cement divide from the dugout, his hand covering his mouth. As the next batter came to the plate, his coach walked out toward the mound. Richie took a deep breath and thought finally he’d be taken out of this fiasco.
“How’s your arm Richie?” coach asked, placing his hand on Richie’s shoulder.
“It’s kinda sore coach.”
Richie looked up with sad eyes. “I can’t find the plate coach.”
“You wanna come out?”
Richie’s eye’s widened. “Yeah.”
“Well guess what.”
“You got us in this mess, you’re going to get us out.” Coach turned and walked back to the dugout, kicking grass on the way.
Richie watched his coach hoping he’d turn and come back. The coach reached the dugout, turned and smirked, stood there with his arms crossed. Richie scanned the field. His teammates stood impatient, their gloves on their hips. The second baseman yelled, “Don’t screw this up.”
He threw three more pitches, each missed the strike zone. Another bad pitch and he’d walk him. Lose the game. He felt the strike zone had shrunk so small that it was like trying to throw a marble into a soda bottle. His only way out of this jam was to let the batter hit it. Whatever happens, happens. Just, no walks. He didn’t want to risk throwing another fastball, so he lobbed the ball like he was playing slow pitch softball.
To Richie’s surprise the batter swung and hit a ground ball to shortstop. He scooped it up and threw to second for one out, then the second baseman relayed to first for a double play. Game over. They won. Richie looked up, brought his two fingers to his lips and threw a kiss at the sky.
The coach approached Richie after the game and gave him a light kick in the behind, “I knew you could do it kid.”
Richie thought to himself, oh really, who’s he kidding. It seemed like coach wanted him to fail. Richie attributed the win to Lady Luck knowing it could have gone either way.
Richie patted his glove and looked up at his coach, “Yeah, you’re right coach. I thought I could do it too.”