Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First hit

Great game. Nice moment. Beautifully captured.

But for me, the story of this game was Colin Curtis, a 25-year-old prospect drafted in 2006 out of Arizona State. He lined out in his major league debut on Monday night, but on Tuesday night Joe Girardi sent him out to pinch hit for Pettitte with two outs in the top of the eighth. The Yankees had already put the game moderately out of reach by scoring four runs in the frame, bringing the lead to 7-2, so there was really no pressure at all on Curtis. He took a ball and then a strike before launching a fastball to the wall in center field. Two more runs scored and Curtis ended up on second with a double, his first major league hit.

His eyes went to the ball, tracking it as it came in to the infield and found its way to second base umpire Laz Diaz. I’ve never been on the field in these moments, so I always wonder how it is that everyone on both sides immediately knows that the ball needs to be saved, but they always do. As Robinson Canó crossed home plate, he immediately began signaling for the ball. For his part, Diaz got Curtis’s attention, pretended to tuck the ball back into his pocket to be used again, then laughed as he tossed it towards the Yankee dugout. Curtis was suddenly eight-years-old again, and he grinned from ear to ear. The YES cameras found his family in the stands, focusing on his older brother who was high-fiving everyone within reach.



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