Michael takes the mound

Tonight, Michael Blood made his first start for St. Louis U High’s junior varsity baseball team. It wasn’t what I would call his best outing but in the end, SLUH won the game 5-2.

Michael went three innings and gave up one run but his pitch count was up around 60, so for the first time out, his coach went with some other pitchers.

It’s such a strange feeling when your son is out there on the mound.

Michael’s been pitching since third grade and has always done really well at it. He’s got mound presence. Though he doesn’t possess a blazing fastball, he generally has really good control, has developed a wicked curve and is a very crafty pitcher, knowing how to get hitters to go after pitches that are out of the zone. And he’s always had a strange knack for getting out of jams. Tonight was no exception. I wasn’t there in time to see the first at bat but I think he walked the guy. Next one up hits one right back to Michael and he wheeled to get a double play but the shortstop wasn’t there in time so he stopped his throw and then short-armed one to second and the runner was safe. Two on, nobody out. He walks the next guy after having him 0 and 2.

So it’s bases loaded, nobody out and up comes the clean up ¬†hitter who strikes out swinging. The number five guy then leans his head into a curve ball (literally) and lets it plunk off his helmet – thing was, he leaned in so much, his head was in the strike zone and he gets called out by the umpire, followed by a pop up to second. Inning over.

Next inning, he gets saved my a major league double play with a diving stop by the shortstop who flips to the second baseman covering who then throws a short hop to the first baseman who stretches out to grab it right before the runner crosses.

Now, does any of this matter in the least? No. But it’s fun and it was a great day to sit outside and watch a little baseball, played by kids who aren’t being paid a dime but who put everything they’ve got into it. Now that I’m freelancing, I should be able to make a lot of games (at least in theory) so I’m looking forward to more sunshine, more baseball and more sitting back and enjoying the moment. Your kids only play sports for so many years and once grade school is done, there’s no guarantee that they’ll keep on playing.

I can still remember tossing balls underhanded while kneeling to a bunch of kindergarten boys ready to smack the ball but not quite sure if they should take off running down the first base line, third base line or just make a bee line to center field. Those boys are all sophomores in high school now.

Live in the moment and enjoy each day. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back and wondering, where did the time go?