August 28, 2008

I haven’t watched a Mets game in forever. As my three loyal readers may know, I listen to games on the radio because I don’t have a television (not for any hippie condescending reason, mind). While I enjoy hearing the game and imagining the players in my mind during every play, it’s easy for me to forget how much I love the sport on a visual level: the aesthetics of a double play, the arc of a home run, the velocity of a pitch. Or just the entity/deity we call Daniel Murphy.

Matt Cerrone hosted a viewing party at Butterfield 8 last night, so I went to hang out and view the game with him, Zoe, Coop, and their new colleague Dysktraw, Corey, and a whole host of screaming Mets fans. It not only reminded me of the pleasure of viewing, but the pleasure of viewing with a crowd. I’ve gone to far less games in person this year as well, so much of my experience has been stewing and pacing alone in my room as Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin call the action. And each scream or exhortation of delight seemed to almost exorcise what had transpired the night previously. Or we were all just drunk, who knows.

It was all about the lefties, but specifically Carlos Delgado. I feel like I’ve apologized to Delgado enough in the past few months (along with just about every other Met fan), but I’d like to say it again. After his first bomb I turned to Coop and said, “There’s no way he isn’t coming back next year, right?” And after the game-tying blast in the eighth inning, with two out and none on, I screamed at the television “I’M SORRY!” Beltran would follow with a side-spinning infield hit, and Ryan Church was intentionally walked, bringing up Murphy. I remarked to Matt and Zoe earlier that Murphy’s hitless slide coincided with my trip out of town. Obviously, he missed my attention and was just waiting for a big moment to prove his love for me. OBVIOUSLY. So our Murph and Savior smacks a double to plate the go-ahead run, and Brian Schneider bloops one for insurance.

And finally the bullpen held down the fort. Finally it was the Mets coming back with late inning runs. Finally it was the Phillies bullpen that blew a lead. And the Mets are back in first and, oh yeah, they just won the season series against the Phils. Nice way to go into an off-day, I’m sure.

texas vs. new york

August 26, 2008

It seems vaguely poetic that I would return to New York City disillusioned with the traffic and its people (well, Williamsburg at least) and the cramped space (well, my apartment) after a nigh revelatory vacation in big open huge Texas only to hear that John Maine and the Mets were being bludgeoned by a team from Texas. Though I wasn’t anywhere near Houston, it felt fitting. As did the next day, still somewhat jetlagged, when the Mets squandered a 3-0 lead and then a 4-3 lead to lose in extra innings.

But for better or worse, the start of the working week ushered out the Texas dreams and the New York reality set in, and back to the elbowing subway traffic was I. And thankfully the Mets decided that a split of this four-game series was necessary, Carlos Delgado’s 6 RBI and Mike Pelfrey’s second consecutive complete game leading the charge as they head into Philadelphia for a critical two-game set, as the Phillies remain a half-game behind the Mets in the division (hey, formerly beloved Dodgers, remember how I thanked you for sweeping the Phillies? Well I take it back, since you just LAID DOWN AND DIED this weekend). Here’s hoping they’ll finally figure out how to hit against Jamie Moyer, but I’ll be happy with another split in case they don’t.

I’ll unfortunately miss tonight’s game as I will be attending the US Open just down the way from Shea. Apparently I’ll be watching Venus Williams and Roger Federer, which is pretty cool except Venus always plays horribly in early rounds and I’m pretty meh on Federer, genius notwithstanding (I think in athletes I appreciate hard work over genius, hm). And to tie this into the Mets, last night James Blake won a five-set thriller over young Donald Young, all the while having the interlocking NY Mets logo on his left sleeve. James Blake, I find you bland and disappointing, but you’ve just won a point in your favor. I guess.

sweeps are sweet

August 15, 2008

Especially when there are two. Not only did the Mets sweep the Nationals–a team that has always given them fits–but my formerly-beloved now-hated Dodgers took four from the Phillies, knocking the Phillies a game behind the FIRST PLACE METS. Yes you read that right. Thanks Dodgers for helping us out.

Fantastic pitching performance last night from Oliver Perez as well as the bullpen. Perez’s consistency since June has been a marvel, surprising and joyous to watch; last year a friend gave him the nickname “Every Other Ollie,” which has now become antiquated. Every start now, Ollie means business. There were shades of previous meltdowns in the bottom of the seventh, as a 5-0 lead became 5-3 thanks to a pinch-hit triple by Pete Orr, but Joe Smith came in to get the final out. He got the first out in the eighth before walking Milledge and Kearns, but Duaner Sanchez bailed him out. Aaron Heilman completed a hitless performance by the bullpen in the ninth. Good to see these guys picking each other up; that meeting on Tuesday must have really done wonders. I suppose getting to face the Nationals will do wonders as well.

The offense picked each other up as well, in some cases in big ways, others unexpected, all of them delightful. When Jose Reyes couldn’t seem to buy a hit, here came another one–Argenis–to start a rally. And the big boys would drive him in. Another big homer for Delgado (ho hum) and one from Brian Schneider (what?!). Daniel Jesus Murphy seemed content to let the other guys have the spotlight for once (after all, he is humble and generous), politely going hitless in his first three at-bats before sensing the Mets bullpen may need extra cushion after the Nats had cut the score to 5-3. Jesus Murphy then singles to ignite a rally, summons his powers to get Fernando Tatis a double in his only official at-bat, and then a rested Damion Easley drove both in for insurance. For good measure, Jesus Murphy put a pox on the Nationals defense and the Mets would tack on two more. All in a good day’s work. He said, “Let there be runs.”


A message to my two readers: I will be going out of town on Sunday, so consider this my last post for a week and change. I’m flying into Memphis where my dear friend Emily will pick me up, and we will go to the Stax Museum and I will dork out. Afterwards, we’re heading to Oxford, MS where I will drink mint juleps and eat Chik-Fil-A (I hope!) and walk with the ghost of Faulkner and meet her parents and pack up a U-Haul, which we will then drive to San Marcos, TX, where I will hopefully meet a cowboy or farmer who will use the pick-up line “I’d like to check you for ticks” (c/o Brad Paisley) and teach me how to put hay in a bale or something, or ride a John Deere, and I’ll never come back to New York. That won’t happen, but one can dream.


August 14, 2008

I didn’t experience any of last night’s apparent demolishing of the Nationals, as I was at my requisite Wednesday night nerd hole of trivia at Pete’s Candy Store, which early on was packed to the gills with Wilco fans having drinks before heading over to McCarren Park Pool. All of which made the nerdy trivia regulars all wacky and mad. I suggested we shout, “Hey look it’s Jeff Tweedy!” at any schlubby white guy walking down Lorimer Street. Then we pretended like Wilco was going on early. Then we just tried singing Wilco songs, realizing that, um, we couldn’t remember any.

Anyway, at a certain point I saw some dude in a Mets hat and said, “Oh I should check the score.” Seeing the 8-run third inning, I shouted “It’s all cos Daniel Murphy is Jesus!” And a few Mets fans and I in the bar talked for a bit. Only later did I find out that it was true, Daniel Murphy was Jesus last night. Again.

SIGH. There’s got to be a Murphy bed pun I can make but I am too hungover right now. I held a boy’s hand last night to boot. A+ night all around I suppose.

bizarro mets play, win bizarro game

August 13, 2008

On a night when Johan Santana didn’t perform up to his capabilities (though, truth be told, even mediocre Santana is boneriffic), giving up two leads–including a game-tying homer to…pinch-hitting Ryan Langerhans?!–the offense miraculously plated the go-ahead run by…getting hit in the head? How poetic. With the bases loaded, Jerry Manuel made the genius move of pinch-hitting Castro for Daniel Murphy aka Jesus and…he struck out? WHAT! Jesus Murphy was supposed to hit an eight-run homer! Desperate for more runs–because, as Howie Rose put it last night, “With this bullpen, a one-run lead is as skinny as you can get”–Santana is pulled for…Brian Schneider?! Who strikes out. Which isn’t bizarre so much as comically tragically predictable. But with a 4-3 lead, Santana was in the position of winning the game. We’ve heard that one before.

And then the bullpen…didn’t blow it?

Not sure if it was the bullpen meeting before the game–led by Scott Schoeneweis, of all people–or Jerry’s ludicrous notion that Maine or Perez would be moved to the pen, or if it’s just that the Nationals are terrible, but somehow Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano (not, I repeat NOT Eddie Kunz, despite Manuel’s blather about how Kunz would get the first closing opportunity…WTF I say, but considering Feliciano got it done I’m not about to argue…too much. Maybe a little, as a matter of principle, of sticking to your word and all that) managed to…throw strikes? And get batters out?

Bizarre. But I’ll take it.

In other bizarre news, Boston scored TEN FUCKING RUNS in the first inning and STILL needed to rally against Texas to win 19-17. I wonder if Massholes got drunk last night (ex-boyfriend’s text last night “OMG WTF IS HAPPPENIG” confirms suspicions).