C*H*O*K*E: Swallowing Walnuts on the Sunset Side

History will report the 2019 Bums season died due to their boolpen collapse in the top of the 10th, crowned by the hammer blow of Howie Kendricks.

But I’m here to disabuse you of that fancy. No, the end began in the bottom of the sixth. Them Bums had scored three quick runs off Strasburg in the first and second and now, ahead 3-1, Cody Bellenger opened the frame with a single, quickly advancing to second on a stolen base. This was the run which could have made the tenth inning moot. Except that the spirit of Walter Johnson – against whom it is legend Roy Chapman once took two burning strikes and walked back to the dugout while the umpire yelled “Hey! You got another srike coming,” to which Chapman replied “That’s okay, I don’t want it” – descended and took possession of Strasburg, who promptly struck out the next three bums. Bellenger, stranded at second like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, was the last Bum to sniff the plate. His teammates spent the rest of the night lunging and flailing away at Strasburg and his successors like a bunch of tormented snapping turtles.

It is true that the revenant of Clayton Kershaw was trotted out in the eighth just long enough to do a pretty fair impersonation of Justin Verlander a couple of nights ago, getting tagged for the two tying runs that pitched the game hard upon the punji stake of destiny. But if Bellenger’s subsequents had managed to lay any wood on the ball, Kershaw’s mere humanity would have been irrelevant. Ga-huck!

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