I missed the first few innings of last night’s game as I went to the Chelsea home of a writer (who I count as one of my biggest inspirations) to drop off a manuscript, and subsequently was treated to a nice bottle of wine and plate of cheese and some catching up with said writer and his partner. During which time I was called the Helen of Troy of gay lit, which was pretty awesome if wildly inaccurate. Said writer then informed me that the editor of a magazine asked him if he would interview an athlete, only he didn’t know any athletes. I immediately suggested David Wright, and were it to happen I may be able to tag along. Cross your fingers!
After I left I decided to stop in a bar to watch the game, only I was in CHELSEA so that meant the only option was the only gay as in homosexual–let’s face it, every sports bar is just a little bit gay–sports bar in New York, which is pretty much like every gay bar in New York except here 70% of the clientele pretends to give a shit about sports. And it’s also pretty much like every sports bar in New York except here the meatheads lisp.
I got there just in time to watch John Maine give up a solo shot to Austin Kearns, but thankfully was able to cheer silently (as opposed to the cluster of fags and one hag who loudly cheered on the Yankees) as Jose Reyes hit a solo shot to tie the game at 2-2, Ryan Church singled, Wright singled (on a ball that popped out of a diving Lastings Milledge’s glove), and then Carlos Beltran’s3-run homer that effectively ended the game.
Maine hasn’t exactly been the dominant force that many of us fans were predicting, but with each subsequent start he’s looking better and more in-command. In the seventh he got the first two batters, but then gave up two successive walks. I have to say that his reaction–he screamed “FUUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!” on the mound and in the dugout continued to do same, all while pouting–was surprising for such a mild-mannered, emotionally reserved guy. Hot too. And good to see. I like that he threw a very good game and is still upset about his performance. I like that he knows that he can do better.
Enter Joe Smith to strike out Ryan Zimmerman looking to end the inning, receiving fist-bumps from Maine and Peterson and Willie. I was a bit squirmy though, thinking that Aaron Heilman would be coming in for his usual eighth inning neurosis fest, and was surprised to see Smith back on the mound, striking out Johnson, hitting Milledge (on a pitch where it seemed Milledge had no idea where the ball was going to end up) and then getting Kearns to hit into a double play to end the eighth. I think having Smith instead of Heilman pitch the eighth might suggest a lot about the team’s level of confidence with Smith, and maybe says something about what they feel about Heilman right now. Maybe I’m just projecting. There was a funny moment in the dugout when Pelfrey, sitting next to Smith, did a little impersonation of what Zimmerman looked like when he struck out. Smith’s pitches are looking goddamned awesome, and with him, Pedro Feliciano, the return of Duaner Sanchez, and a dominant-looking Wagner (who earned the save), I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the bullpen in tight games.
Yes yes, it’s just the Nats. But keep it going tonight, heading into Philly, and then Chicago. It’d be nice to get a good little run going. It’d be nice to give those booing idiots a reason to shut the hell up and/or go back to “cheering” the Yankees.