The crowd howls.  The entire stadium resonates with their elation, and I wish they’d shut up.  The noise vibrates my guts like a guitar string and sets my teeth on edge.  After 121 pitches and 26 consecutive outs, I don’t need any additional distractions.

Chavez flashes the sign—change-up, low and away.  I nod, grip the ball, and come set.  For an instant the stadium falls silent, and I feel the air gust toward the seats as the fans stop screaming and collectively draw a huge anticipatory breath.

I throw…

…and totally muck the pitch trying to sell it as a fastball.  It winds up a monumental loser instead, slowly drooling toward the middle of the plate, belt high, and I know Jeffries is going to destroy it.  He swings, and I start walking for the dugout as soon as I hear the crack of the bat.  I don’t even bother turning around to watch.  It’s fucking gone.

Jeffries is too amazed to run.  He simply stands in the box, gawping like a dirt farmer who just handed P. T. Barnum his last dime for a glimpse of the Fiji Mermaid, and watches as my perfect game leaves the stadium.


Perfect — 1 Comment

  1. “Elliot is one pitch from perfection.”

    –A Free Jack Klugman original, inspired by the fact that no Chicago Cubs pitcher has ever thrown a perfect game.

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