…so much so that even Lastings wants a piece. Who wouldn’t?!
Details from the Mets’ 8-4 win over the lowly Pirates are fuzzy as I descended into drunkenness at the JLI and totally son’d Stan and Joe at beer pong, with the aid of Stephen. I do recall sitting next to some dude who cheered when Jason Bay hit a home run off of Maine in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 2-2. I recall shaking my head as he yelled “THAT WAS A MEATBALL” and wondering how the hell I managed to sit next to the only Pirate fan there, and if murder in this case would be justified, and God please can’t Johnny settle down and start pitching like pre-ASG again?
Turns out he did. Hitting a home run helps. But before that: Someone shaped like Paul Lo Duca lifts a ball into left center, and Xavier Nady can’t get to it, meaning Lo Duca Shape has a double?! Then Shawn Green–now nicknamed “the Jewish Apatosaurus” by the delightful smart aleck commenters over at Mets Geek [Ed. note: as started by delightfully smart alecky commenter Future]-singles him in?! More wackiness to ensue: Green moves to second on a wild pitch, and Milledge (who, more and more, is inspiring confidence, especially since Moises Alou is still as fragile as Jose Valentin’s leg bones) singles him in–nice run and slide by the Jewish Apatosaurus! Who says he can’t move? (A: all of us with eyes)
The pièce de résistance of this wacky fourth inning is, of course, Johnny Maine’s first career home run. The bar echoed of “Holy shit!”s and “Oh my God!”s and much booming laughter, and I smiled like an idiot, especially watching the aftermath: Maine’s incredulous/slightly stupified look as he trotted the bases, Milledge’s hug, the goofy smiles by David Wright and Shawn Green and HoJo and everyone else in the dugout (except for Willie Randolph and his trademark “I am slightly bemused by this recent development”), Johnny’s seemingly embarrassed curtain call (some great photographic evidence on Mets Grrl’s flickr). After that, Johnny settled down and took care of business, Milledge added a bomb of his own, Heilman pitched well, and Mota gave up a harmless (but frustrating) 2-run shot in the ninth, because–well, he’s Mota.
But really, the night belonged to Maine. Hell, he had a better offensive night than Wright, the only Mets starter to go hitless (though he managed an RBI with a sac fly–just one of those nights when everyone produced, I guess). Marty Noble’s report is full of gems, but I’ll leave you with my favorite two:
“He didn’t smile once the whole way around,” Joe Smith said. “Hey, I smiled when I struck out in my one chance. Are you kiddin’? If I hit one out, I would have been doing backflips.”
Oh, Joe. Let’s make babies.
So what would some of his colleagues have to do to surprise Shea Stadium as Maine had? That was a topic of discussion for a few moments on Tuesday night.
Shawn Green pondered the question for a moment.
“For me?” he said. “… Hit a home run.”
I’ve said before that Maine looks like a stork during his at-bats. Maybe I need to rethink his status as Worst-Looking Mets Batter. Hiya, Shawn! [Ed. note: I did make fun of Green in Monday’s post, which in fact was the end of my self-imposed week-long ban on Shawn Green jokes. Phew. That was a long week.]