They've been off for almost two weeks. When Casey is hot, Dan is cold as ice; if the words are coming faster than Dan can get them on paper, Casey's dithering for hours over walk versus base on balls. Pants have disappeared, to no effect. There is no mention of ghostly interference, though Jeremy once gets as far as "Th-" before Dana hurls a binder at his head.
Last night marked twelve straight days of missed beats and mispronunciations. "Lucky thirteen," Dan offers before they go on air, and Casey nods grimly.
The teaser is awkward and it only gets worse. In the twenties, Casey is tripped up by the Seattle Mariners (Dana's disbelieving shriek in his ear: "Stealth Mariners, Casey, really?"). During the commercial breaks Dan stares down at his script without speaking, and Casey reminds himself, for the fortieth useless time, that twisting himself into knots over Dan's need to take responsibility for everything bad, ever, will not make the show any better.
"It'll be okay," he says quietly, and Dan shrugs without meeting his eyes. "Really."
The words don't seem to register. But in the forties, Dan's voice drops unexpectedly on Mariano Rivera, sinking like a lazy slider into a register that lends a touch of drama to everything he says. Suddenly the Yankees didn't beat the Red Sox; the New York Yankees brought the hammer down on the struggling Sox. Casey closes his eyes for a moment, because he can't command inspiration but he can damn well take advantage of it when happens two feet away. He follows Dan's suddenly confident voice through the AL and the NL, and when Dan says "one point three ERA" with the breathless awe of a boy at his first ballgame, Casey feels it right down to his toes.