Grand Slam Sketch Yadi Cardinals

Game 108 // Sixth Inning // You’re a Wizard, Yadi



The bottom half of the Yadi inning begins with Yadi.

A replay from the top of the sixth, Molina gloving a fastball skipped on a bounce off the dirt, popping up from his stance, whipping a throw to second base to nail Alcides Escobar trying for a steal.

The cameras focus in on Yadi. Basking in the dugout. Chatting it over with Mike Matheny. Mulling over two options in his head, thinking aloud.

“Should I finally show them…. ?”

Matheny looks at him, Yadi looks back. Yadi nods. Decides to blow his cover. Just for an inning.

To do what only makes you think, to wonder, is this guy… is he… is… magic real?

He comes up to bat with the bases loaded. Cardinals down one run.

Four-game winning streak on the line. On a night that saw the Cubs, the Brewers, the Pirates all lose. With the Cardinals back, in a hurry, into the NL Central chase.

Yadi steps up to the plate, turns his head around as if to check the sign from the third-base coach. He faces the mound. Stretches his left arm toward the field, the bat pointed out toward the bleachers. Pointing the bat as if calling his shot. Pointing toward the outfield. Smiling.

“Here it is, boys, grand slam to left.”



Holy shit is this guy confident. There’s chatter in the crowd: where did this Yadi come from?

Then on the broadcast, a comment: “There’s a squirrel…”


“The rally squirrel is back, Danny.”

They both pause and look.

“That’s not a squirrel—that’s a cat.”

The broadcast camera picks it up, zooms in on it. A cat, small and gray, gamboling across the outfield grass. Running straight for Lorenzo Cain in center-field.



A kid with the Busch Stadium grounds crew runs out to grab it, dashing out onto the warning track dirt.

“Remember that incident in Seattle,” they say, “where the guy got the cat and then it bit him or scratched him?”

“That may happen here, too.”



It bites him.

“There it is!”

“Ow! Ow! Stop it!”



The grounds-crew kid grabs it on one try, running 400 feet with the cat in hand, bitten all the way, nails a full two-foot leap over the infield fence and off to the concourse. The whole stadium a smile. Fowler, Carpenter, everyone.

And so.

Yadier was only pointing. Not calling his shot. That’s the story. Not calling his shot. Definitely not. He wouldn’t do that, that would be reckless. To reveal to everyone that kind of power.

A magician never reveals his trick.

He was pointing. At the cat. That was all. Nothing more. Just pointing.

I think.

And then.

Peter Moylan throws a fastball over the plate, the first pitch after the stoppage.

Yadi swings. He hits. He lines a laser shot to left field. Into the bleachers. Busch Stadium erupts.

Grand slam.

Cardinals up 8-5. The Rally Cat begins.



Yadi rounds first base more ecstatic that you’ve ever seen him. Grinning, as if he overdid it—as if everyone knows his secret.

“Yadi! Yadi! Yadi!!” the whole stadium chants. A curtain call. Hoping he’s not found out.

He made this all happen. He did, didn’t he? Is he…?





Inning 38: Cardinals Top the Rockies

Inning 101: Worst Birthday in Baseball History