Jesse Jarnow

return to the upper deck (nlcs, no. 1)

Keeping score is a Braille record of the game, feeling the innings and statistics stretch, one by one. It is something to hold onto, something deeper than the drunken mayhem of the far reaches of the upper deck. Out there — even deeper than last time, now behind the stadium’s speakers — Ivan Neville’s rendition of the national anthem is almost literally avant-garde. Whole notes form ill-fitting harmonies with those on either of side of them in the melody.

Even the echo of the bat is gone, as is the announcer. The scoreboard is an unreadable sliver. In the eighth, we figure out that Manny Mota is pitching because the name on the back of the jersey is short and the number is somewhere in the 50s. On my lap, the scorecard is a languid other-world, far from the chants (“En-dy C,” “En-dy Cha-vez” and just “En-dy” all compete after a Ron Swaboda-like miracle catch) and the chill (which will surely be worse at future games).

The innings occasionally widen, only once filled with the black wedges that represent runs (Carlos Beltran’s two-run shot in the sixth), and sometimes aberrations (Beltran’s 8-3 double-play from centerfield to first base) (booya!), but mostly they roll by like a river and keep pulse: the heartbeat of a season extended nine more innings.


  1. neddy says: - reply

    Perfectly put
    Sweet game.
    Plus, a wunderkammern cameo.
    Thanks, Jesse.

  2. gardner says: - reply

    Great shot. I was hoping you were there, even if I still hate your stinkin’ Mets for stealing Carlos Beltran from my ‘Stros. That guy’s not bad in the post-season.

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