The ace prospect overcame his initial jitters,
threw his heart out on that mound,
striking out multiple batters, giving up few runs,
walking no one in those first few outings.

Called up from the minors,
the fireballer overcame frequent rainouts,
a rough outing where he gave up a few homers,
and showed the rarely packed ballpark a hopeful future,
a path forward out of a long slog of mediocrity.

Then tragedy suddenly struck.
An injured elbow slated him for Tommy John surgery.
He would miss at least a season,
derailing the team’s much-vaunted rebuild, at least temporarily.

The promised one told a reporter that
he fell from “the absolute peak to rock bottom”
and that “it sucked.”

All those fans who turned out to see his first few starts
with unvarnished eyes brimming with blinkered hope
also concluded that it sucked,
that at the end of the day it did indeed suck.