Opening Day has come and gone this week. The Chicago White Sox have lost their first two games of the season. While I listened to game three against the Cleveland Indians, yesterday, it occurred to me that I had finished my last book and needed another. Bottom of the ninth, game tied 3-3. Mark Buerhle left the game in the top of the second after a line drive put a giant bruise on his left arm– his pitching arm.
Jermaine Dye singles; Rob Mackowiak pinch runs. Joe Crede singles, Mackowiak to second. Failed pickoff attempt to second base sends the ball to center field, Mackowiak to third, Crede to second. Tadahito Iguchi intentionally walks, bases loaded. A.J. Pierzynski batting: ball one. Then, Pierzynski is hit by the pitch, Mackowiak scores. Game over.
Pitching and moaning, indeed. This is not the way I like to see wins happen. Nevertheless, it is a win.
In 1998, Stephen King published The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. This would be the last book he would publish before his injury. The story follows a nine year-old girl, Trisha McFarland, as she wanders off the Appalachian Trail and into the dark woods. I cannot say as I blame her. The constant infighting between her mother and her older brother would drive me off the trail, too. But these are Stephen King dark woods, full of peril and terror. For solace, Trisha tunes her Walkman to the Boston Red Sox game and follows the gritty performance of her hero, the closer, Tom Gordon.
In 2004, in the chronicle of the Red Sox season, Faithful, Stuart O’Nan poses King the question: now that Gordon is pitching for the Yankees does that girl still love him? It is a good question. King, so far, has left it unanswered.