When the lineup is so stacked,
knocking out so many homers and extra base hits,
when the starting pitching is so unhittable,
striking out and shutting down so many batters,

One doesn’t think much about the bullpen,
especially the wildly bearded closer,
especially after a 100-plus win season,
especially with such a stark run differential,

that is, until the playoffs,
when shaky outing after shakier outing,
and repeated failures to find the strike zone,
nearly induce heart attacks.

Even with a comfortable lead,
wild pitches and walked-in runs
leave fans riddled with anxiety,
and wracked with heart palpitations.

They took to social media to share memes
about Toonces the Driving Cat,
Jordan Peele sweating profusely, stock cars sliding off the track, stock photos of heart attacks,
stoners freaking out and 30 Rock’s Kenneth spilling bottled water

all over as he comically tries to sip.
The bearded reliever apologized to the fan base
at a post-game press conference
for “all the heart attacks.”
But he got the job done,
by God, he always got the job done.