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Three Strikes You're Out

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:53 pm
by Tetsuwan Penguin
A recent post on Facebook inspired this bit of humor.

Cobalt dug the runaway fast ball out of the dirt and buried it deep into the pocket of his catcher's mit. He got up from his crouch to his feet, and slowly walked towards the mound. Atlas shrugged his shoulders and his eyes burned an angry stare at Kobaruto. His face echoed a question, “what did I do wrong now?”

Cobalt remained calm as he approached the pitching rubber. Saying nothing, it extracted the baseball from his mit, and pressed it into Atlas's right hand. “Take it easy,” he voiced. “You've got this. One more out and this game is history.”

The Sankei Atoms baseball team hadn't existed since 1968 when they moved to Yakult, leaving Sankei without a team. The Atoms had also changed their name to the Swallows, a move that hadn't brought them any good luck. Now that a new league had been formed that allowed robot players along side humans, they had a new team. Astro, Cobalt, Atlas, Uran, and Mars had joined the team for their first season, and they were near the top of the standings. Right now they were playing a crucial game against the Lamigo Monkeys, a team from Taiwan in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. It was now the bottom of the ninth inning with the Atoms leading by three runs. Up till now, Atlas had been in perfect control on the mound, but with two outs and nobody on base he'd just thrown three balls in a row.

Liu Idk, dug in the batter's box and waited for his next pitch. Cobalt turned about and walked slowly back to his position behind the plate. Astro watched from his place at first base, with Uran at the ready on third. Jetter Mars was manning short stop, with Bem nearby at second. The outfield was manned by human players, with Kenichi in center field, Shib in right, and Reno in left. Atlas took a deep breath and tried a curve ball this time. The pitch didn't quite break the way he hoped for, missing the inside corner of the plate by a millimeter. Liu Idk dropped his bat and jogged towards first base.

“Crap!” Atlas growled, ripping off his glove and throwing it to the ground. Astro calmly walked towards the red and blue robot. “Hey, it's your first walk of the game. No big deal!”

“Yeah, you're right,” Atlas answered. “I'll get the next one out!”

Over the PA, the identity of the next batter was announced. “Now batting for the Monkeys, Zhang Wat”. Wat stepped out of the on deck circle and was replaced by another player who waltzed out of the dugout. He took his place next to the plate, and carefully inspected his bat, which he then shouldered as he glared towards the mound.

Atlas wound up and released a high fast ball that might have been over the plate. Wat took a whack at it, and shot a sizzling ground ball right through the pitches legs! Mars fielded the ball perfectly, but made the mistake of heaving it towards first base, instead of tossing it towards second for the sure force out. Astro made a valiant attempt to get the runner at first base, but Mar's throw was wide, and Wat legged it out by inches.

Atlas turned around to inspect the damage, and gave an evil eye to the two base runners now at first and second base. Both Cobalt and Astro voiced “take it easy”, which the blue and red robot was able to lip read. Qiang Hu walked from the on deck circle to the plate. His biceps bulged as he lifted the extra heavy bat over his left shoulder. Cobalt spied Liu Idk taking a long lead off of second base, and gave Atlas the sign for a pick off.

Atlas shot an atomic fastball a mile outside the strike zone which Cobalt caught in his mit. Kobaruto fired the ball towards Uran who sucked it into her glove. Idk quickly reversed and dove towards the ground, his fingertips barely touching the bag at second before Uran's relay landed in Bem's glove.

A fast ball over the plate made the count 1 and 1, but a repeat of the steal attempt at third with yet another failed pick off made it 2 and 1. A somewhat shaken Atlas then missed the plate with a curve ball, bringing the count to 3 and 1. Atlas pulled his glove off, put down the ball and bent down to wipe his hands in the sandy ground of the pitcher's mound. He then again took his position, and shook off two signals from Cobalt, who was trying to settle him in. Qiang Hu fowled off the next three pitches, leaving the count at full. Atlas couldn't believe that a human could keep making contact with his best deliveries. After throwing three more pitches to this guy, they were still stalemated at a full count. Finally he cheated, with no one seeing his deed he leaked a few drops of oil from a hidden fitting and wet the ball. He wound up and threw a robot spitter. The ball almost broke over the inside of the plate, but Hu wasn't fooled. “Ball Four!”, the umpire shouted and Hu took his base.

Suddenly Cobalt fell over and started laughing. He winked at Astro who also understood the reason for his brother's sudden hysterics. Atlas threw down his glove and marched toward the plate. “WTF is so funny!” he demanded, kicking Cobalt in the butt.

“Don't you see what's happened?”, Kobaruto told him. “Hu's on first, Wat's on second, and 'I don't know' is on third!