Top of the ninth. One out. One man against… another man. A pitcher from the San Diego Padres facing a pitcher from the San Francisco Giants. Huston Street, Padres closer versus Jean Machi, quadruple-A pitcher most infamous for his flatulence. Machi had never had a Major League plate appearance… until now. In a battle so epic, I will call it “The Battle of Machi Street.”
You came for the GIFs, and I will give you the GIFs. You must see how a batter prepares to know the skill level of your opponent:
He can hold a bat. This probably means he will be a more formidable opponent than Santiago Casilla when it comes to a threat of a hit. Street must be wise in his approach.
Fastball running over the top part of the strike zone, Machi is late. He will catch on if Street follows the unwritten code of the relief pitchers where they are said to only throw fastballs to each other.
Street has chosen to attack his opponent with no mercy: a slider that never reaches the plate. Jean Machi has not taken enough lessons from Marco Scutaro in hitting those pitches the other way. His body winds up facing the Giants dugout. He must control himself, for an 0-2 count against Huston Street sees that hitters are… oh, .375/.375/.800. Well, still. Be ready, Machi, be
… Huston Street used three different pitches on Jean Machi to effectively tell him that they are not friends and he hopes he will be demoted to Triple-A Fresno once Santiago Casilla is activated. You are a cruel man, Street.
Round one goes to Huston, but Jean Machi will be waiting for his next turn at bat.