GIANTS POETRY

Ishikawa The Second

By Steve Hermanos

Game 3
I’m calming down now…
No, not really…
Schzerzer just blown off the mound,
Like a uneasy kid dumped on his first ski slope;
Well, we remember fondly, 
In the wayback machine,
When he was with the Cats de Detroit,
Crumbling in Game 4;
(Buster Posey smacked a homer);
LaStella walk;
Thanks, wind;
Yaz looks at a cookie strike three;
Buster eyes a fastball and slashes it to right;
Two dudes on base;
Crawford K;
Bryant K;
To Abner Doubleday and the other gods of baseball,
I pray,
That this was not our best chance of the night;
Bottom 1st;
Angel Hernandez gets it right in right, foul by an inch;
Bottom 3rd:
“I’ve never seen anything like it,”
Says Clayton Kershaw of the 50MPH wind;
Puhols doinks a blooper to right,
Scherzer bunts to first, Puhols lumbers to second;
“five or six hall of famers that played on this 2021 Dodger team…” notes Ron Darling;
Passed ball…Puhols books an Uber to third;
Mookie popup;
Giants Dodge bullets;
Top 4th;
Scherzer, striking out everyone,
Buster, Crawford, Longo,
The pretzel guy, the ushers, the batboy,
Scherzer, getting two strikes and firing right at the top of the zone,
Getting’ popups
And sliders down and in;
Bottom 4th;

Seagar walks;
Garden Gnome strike three;
Taylor walks;
Grounder to short, to second, ooooot;
Top 5th;
A Solo Shot throught the wind!
1 – 0;
Bottom 5th;
Puhols blasts a single into left field,
Then gets pinch run for,
Pop to right; one out;
Scherzer oooooot;
Wow, here comes Kapler to remove Alex Wood,
’Cause he’s been pitching too well;
Oh I do hate this,
Not letting the unscathed gunslinger keep mowing down the bad guys;
Tyler Rodgers, submarine man,
Smack up the middle,
Crawford routine spectacular play,
Toss to first;
But back to my peccadillo—
I don’t like axing effective poastseason pitchers;
It’s Russian Roulette
That the next guy is gonna blast himself apart,
Season destroyed;
Bottom 6th
Tyler Rogers still out there,
T. Turner to the warning track,
J. Turner to right, hit;
Chris Taylor to the warning track;
Bottom 7th;
Tyler Rogers, stil????
W H Y ? ? ?
Pollock, Donovan Solano, snag-n-spin, out;
John Philip Souza, Jr., single to right,
Will Smith in the 5.5 hole;
Second and first,
Gabe Kapler in his Ronald McDonald orange shoes,
Comes to pull battery-red-zone Tyler Rogers;
Jake McGee,
Austin Barnes three pitch strikeout,
Brandon Crawford pole vaults without a pole and without a running start, snagging Mookie’s liner;
He’s still rising, up past Blue Origin,
Past Space X,
Past the Space Station,
Up around the Moon,
Feeling the weightlessness at the top of his thrust,
A dios, Moon,
Down through our atmosphere,
Gently to the Chavez Ravine dirt,
3 outs,
No problem;
It’s so quiet in L.A.,
All the stars are sleeping,
Bottom 8th;
Camilo Doval,
Tre Turner bouncer to Longo to fist, out.
Five outs left,
This is the point that weird playoff tidings
The lug nuts are loose, the road is steep, twisty, potholed, icy,
Seagar to center, out;
It’s so quiet in Chavez Ravine;
The organ sounds loud;
Yaz snags it;
Bottom 9th;
Taylor popup to center,
The organ tinkles bravely on,
Pollock popup to the first base screen,
Bryant and Yaz fall like a pair of tuna into the voluminous first base netting;
Backwards K;
Gavin Lux (isn’t he the governor?)
Crushes oh no!  a fastball oh no! to center oh no!
Duggar jams the brakes,
Opens the mitt;
Rounding first base Gavin Lux stands dumbfounded, dumbfounded, dumbfounded;
And, thrillingly, so am I,
And thankful to the baseball fates,
Letting up the wind for Longo’s homer,
Building a wall of wind, denying Gavin Lux.
Game 4
This game’s starting half an hour early,
6:07 Vs. yesterday’s 6:37;
Oh the playoffs and plucking bare every advertising dollar like each tiny hair from Kim Kardashian’s body;
I learn of this at Line Drive baseball mecca,
In San Rafael,
The day’s meticulous timetable shredded,
The Dude crushing liners in the batting cage,
With a wood bat,
The pre-game on the lounge TV,
Batting practice sound effect provided by The Dude,
And kids playing catch;
This reality is better than the green easy chair and the remote;
Though I’m missing this crucial game, I’d
rather see The Dude hit,
Would rather watch him at the plate fouling nastiness and gritting out a walk,
Than any other player alive;
Though if you brought back Babe Ruth,
Or Matin Dihigo,
I’d love to see those guys through an at-bat,
The Dude and Mrs. L. in the stands next to me;
Bottom 2nd;
Lux stings one between second and first;
Bellinger to right;
Descalfani is a mess,
Time for him to go,
Alarm the bullpen,
Disaster in process!
Taylor sac fly to the warning track;
2 – 0;
Come on, Gabe Kapler, hoist the hook,
Right now…
Walker Buehler strikes out;
I coulda struck him out,
Come on, Gabe Kapler, the hook, the hook,
Mookie Betts, to the 5.5 hole, Crawford dives,
Bellinger stops,
Here’s the hook,
Desclafani gone to sit;
José Alvarez,
First and third, two outs,
Ball/swinging strike/
Popup to Yaz;

Top 3rd;
Alex Dickerson bats,
And whiffs;
LaStella out to left;
Ruf K;
Bottom 3rd;
J. Garcia;
Lux with something to prove,
After last night’s game-ending smack;
Ball four;
The boat’s leaking bad…
Here comes pitching coach Andrew Bailey,
With a bucket of steaming black pitch to desperately spackle the widening cracks;
Strike, 2 – 1;
Bouncer to Ruf, to Posey,
Out at the plate!
0 – 2 to Taylor;
Fastball low,
3 – 2 bases loaded;
Lamont Wade, Jr at the wall,
Taylor emits an F-Bomb;
Mrs. L. shouts, “In your face!”
(Proud of this household);
Dominic Leone,
Pitching with effectiveness,
Top 5th;
One out, two Giants on,
Joe Kelly takes the dirt stage;
LaStella so far today hitting like Streetcar Stella;
Stella not fooled by cutters dropping out of the strike zone,
3 – 1 count;
3 – 2;
LaStella liner thorugh the 3.5 hole to right;
Bases loaded;
Ruf, Ruf, Ruf;
RBI groundout to second, to first;
Longo scores;
Crawford two strong swishes, two strikes,
Three hopper to short…dang.
Gabe Kapler’s chewing his gum at 16 frames a second sped up to 48;
Mrs. L. notes, “Gabe is getting his steps in”;
5 – 1;
Top 8th, Crawman,
Nowhere near these Treinen curves,
But whack!!!!
To the blue psychedelic billboard,
Posey a lameshot to the right side,
Bryant lameshot to the left side,
5 – 2;
That second Giants run,
A sole bucket of water into the blue tornado fire;
More fire tornado nightmare:
7 – 2;
It’s Weds,
The sun is cracking,
I’m calm;
The plus of 2 games each,
Is last week I snagged tix to Game 5;
The Dude, Mrs. L., and I were there wayback,
Seven years,
For Morse & Ishikawa*,
#1 on my list of games, longer than the tax code;
Tomorrow we’ll be sitting in those seats,
A packed stadium,
Vaccinated and barely Covid worrying,
Way up in the fog;
In the afternoon we’ll prepare like we’re packing for Antarctica,
& the next Ishikawa Giant.
The End
*look him up


By Steve Hermanos

Bottom 1st,

Darin Ruf leading off,

Fastball far out in the lefty batter’s box,

Strike three,

(That’s an Angel Hernandez strike,

Who’d be a bad ump in Little League,

Why is he given the spotlight for prime time at Carnegie Hall?)


Kris Bryant a million fouls and a forest of broken bats, popup;


Austin slater a warning-track bounce double into the stands;


Mr. Posey up,

The crowd buzzing,

Mr. Posey, no;


Top 2nd;


Chris Taylor smacks a double,

Bellinger out;

The G-Men intentionally walk A.J. Pollok for no apparent reason,

Other than, perhaps, cowardice;


Facing pitcher Urias,

The guy with the one good eye,

And a decent-for-a-pitcher .208 average;


Solid contact--this is the bad that was invited inside the house--the pitcher smacks a single to right;



Dodgers 1 – 0 Giants;


Betts cracks a single;

2 – 0;


Gausman’s pitches aren’t missing bats,

stuff is mediocre

looking post-tackiness rule not-so-good,

Aside from a camera, there’s an outlet in second base, and between pitches the ump is blow-drying Gausman’s pitching hand as dry as an antelope bone baking the desert;
Not as many baseball revolutions;


Bottom 2nd:


Donovan Solano a decent crack to right center,

Wilmer Flores tagging and chugging home;


2 – 1;


But there’s too much squandering;


Top 6th;

Bellinger double scores Will Smith and Trea Turner;

Pollock double fish-plates Bellinger and Chris Taylor,


That’s six sick runs,

And the Giants look weak, unsure, bad,

Everything going wrong,

Jean-Paul Sartre, La Nausee, The Nausea, rising;


6 – 1;


Like a bombed building keeling to oblivion,

It gets worse and worse;

Do we have to count the runs?

No, we do not have to count the runs,

Only a Giants masochist would do that,

And we’re the opposite, seeking spectacular vistas,

and victory parades;


Bad; (to be finished after the sun rises…);


And here’s the reality:

I’ve upgraded the jalopy, and job

(Flexibility WFH):

I can seek and find the spectacular vista (see last night’s green) any time I want.

Any time.



But the victory parade--

Despite my fog/blizzard/sleet/sandstorms of words--
I'm not hitting, not pitching, no advising nothing;
No say in that!


Last night the Giants played like we thought they’d play as the season turned to ’21,

And they’ve surprised everyone in the baseball universe,

Except themselves;

Go forth boldly!
To L.A., boys!
While I mount the jalopy and seek a vista;
Mountain or sea?

(Giants 1 -- 1 Dodgers)


Let Us Now Begin 
By Steve Hermanos
Bottom 1st,
Crawford blast too high too high,
knocked down by foggy breeze,
In Mookie Betts’ mitt,
LaStella to third;
Mr. Posey up,
Gone the kid from ’10 and ’12,
The vet in his prime in ’14,
Opted to sit maskless with twin girls at home,
in The Year of the Covid,
To let heal his worn-out parts;
Walker Buehler doesn’t want to face Le Buster,
Three balls,
Then a cookie,
Served hot in the middle of the plate:
Buster inside-outs it,
On a line,
Clearing the brickface?
Off an arcade water cannon,
(Right near where Barry despoiled number 73)
Bounding into the Bay;
But hey! What’s this sighting rarer than Bigfoot?...
Rounding third,
Buster’s breaking into a smile,
And he’s smiling on the bench;

2 – 0;
Top 4th;
Corey Seagar, 
Roller up first,
Logan Webb skitters over,
Lifts head to watch runner before fingers touch ball,
Drops ball in the beginning of a nightmare—
Wake up!
Trea Turner, counting his money,
Strikes out;
Explosive Garden Gnome Justin Turner 
Shot up the middle;

Second baseman LaStella flips it from his glove to Crawford,
Harry Houdinis it to first—
Double play,
(Erasing Webb’s fielding flub);
Bottom 7th;
Kris Bryant,
His perfect swing,
Cracking into a fastball 2/3rds across the plate,
High arcing—
I don’t think far enough—
Back to the wall goes X. –
I’m gladly wrong again, Coach—
Home run!
Walker Buehler just missed his bus,
Got dumped by his girlfriend,
Got rejected from every college,
Now gets fired by icy Dave Roberts;
A portmanteau contradiction of
Gaterade and Geritol;
Oh it’s nice to see Logan Webb at bat
In the 7th,
A sign of confidence in the starter,
If you squint you can see Catfish Bumgarner,
Batting late in the game,
The bullpen guys chewing cud, seated;
Top 8th,
Pollock topper up the first base line,
The same as Webb’s fielding flub on Seager,
See the ball, pick it from the grass, toss to first,
One out;
Lux topper to Webb,
Yet another dribbler to the pitcher,
A sign of mastery;
Mookie B rocks one to left;
Gabe Kapler, please stay in the dugout,
But no,
Here he comes to tell Kid Webb to get home for dinner;
Tyler Rogers,
On the third pitch,
Three bouncer to LaStella,
Not even warm in the cold moist air;
With two outs in the 9th, I state,
“The Giants are pitching masterfully, so far…”
The centerfielder on the sofa protests, “Tough wood!”
Mrs. L., “Take it back! You’re jinxing them!”
“But I said, ‘so far!’”
A chorus of family: “It doesn’t matter.”
Playoff baseball having returned, cozily, thrillingly—
Oh that wonderful feeling—
I do take it back.

Please share / See you tomorrow

Now, Voyager 
By Steve Hermanos




107 wins;
While everyone else was predicting 80, at best, back in March;
When we were wondering if we’d ever again be let inside the ballpark,
And no one was yet vaxxed;
The country’s clawed back,
Through every one of those wins,
Clawed through those hundreds of thousands of dead;


But now, Voyager,
The Dodgers have come to San Francisco,
For a best-of-five;
They racked up 106;
And we, the Giants, notched one more;
Theirs, you can see, 
Like a cherry-red Lamborghini;
A Tiffany shopping spree;
Making a 50 year old look like a 20 year old,
From far down the L.A. street;
Tossing ten-million-dollar-bills at Kershaw and Mookie B.,
Trading their farm for two dudes from D.C.;
They bought everybody they wanted;
Ours, we’ve got old guys, a team of no-names, re-treads,
Plus x-factors Buster Posey & Brandon Crawford,
Monitored by a busload of coaches,
And lidar and radar and computers up the wazoo;
As the oracle ballplayer living under my roof commented,
“Every one of our guys had a career year.”


And, man,
Didn’t it feel like a nightmare finished,
Walking into the brickyard by the Bay?
Yes to the garlic fries!
Yes to the shot glass of red wine!
I didn’t realize I could miss a tub of ketchup so much;


So it starts—
After six other playoff teams bash a triple-header of beer/car/edible gease/tequila/credit card commericals;
After the glaring, sideways October sunlight dims—
The Dodgers line up from home to first,
With a million playoff games under their Gucci belts,
Toting the gilded Bacarrat 2020-truncated Covid World Series trophy,
With painted nails and hairbands;
In this age of seven-pitchers-a-game, and scrutinizing millimeters,
It’s impossible to know if the G-men can conquer,
This new world,
The playoffs,
And prove the doubters imbeciles,
Three times, again;
Lots of extra garlic, please,
Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooo much!


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