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.