CHECK IT OUT Y’ALL:
The newest Met, pitcher of the decade Johan Santana. Finally.
Much gratitude to MetsGrrl for her diligent and swift updates throughout the night.
*post title courtesy of The Incredible Unending Pun Machine.
Thanks to Zoe for the image.
So after going 4-8 against the hated Braves for the entire season, causing everybody to be “tripping,” in the parlance of Willie Randolph and fellow assorted hoodrats across our fair nation, the Mets then went 5-1 in September (when it most counted) to tie the season series at 9-9. I will be glad to not see those bastards till April.
Though I’ll miss booing them. Last night, thanks to the generosity of some dude at work who I have never talked to even once, I got to go to the game for free. Weeooooo! Being the ungrateful dick that I am, I then left him to go sit with Zoe and Coop for the great majority of the game (hey dude at work, I am a total dick and am very sorry). Being with those girls meant lots and lots and lots of heckling. I am not very creative with my heckling, I must say. I called Francouer (who I despise more than any other Brave, imagine that) a pièce de merde (GET IT?! His last name is French LOLZ). I screamed, “Brian McCann you’re fat!” Because he’s fat. And balding. Ew. So yeah, I mean, not my greatest moments of wordplay, but when I’ve got beer in me it’s the best I can do.
I also curse a lot. A LOT. And am very vulgar. The Mets + beer = easy route to vulgarity. Unfortunately, there were children around. One mom had to constantly remind me of that fact. Whoops. And then there was this exchange:
me: DAVEY YOU’RE SO PRRRRRRRREEEEETTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!
unfortunate child’s father: You’re beginning to scare me. I was all right with your hand in my lap, but this…
me: That’s the least of your worries.
Ahem. Not that he was hot or anything, but I just like being vulgar I guess.
As for the actual game: John Maine looked great. He was coasting along up until that harmless fly ball that dropped between Beltran and Reyes, and then he took a page from the Ollie Perez Playbook and walked three consecutive batters. After a pow-wow on the mound and possibly some Ritalin administerin’ by Rick Peterson, Maine thankfully regrouped and got Matt Die, Ass! (I think that was another one of my “gems”) to bounce into a fielder’s choice, ending the inning.
Luckily the Mets had scratched out a run prior to this, and later Marlon Anderson hit a booming shot off John Smoltz to give them the lead, prompting me to caterwaul “Marlon I loooooooooooooooooooooooooove you!” Yep. I believe this was captured on tape, which is mortifying. The Mets made it 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a Lastings Milledge lead-off pinch-hit triple and a quick follow-up RBI single by Jose “No More Pop-Ups” Reyes.
But then: Bullpen Time! Jorge Sosa continued his stellar play in the top of the seventh, and in the eighth, Aaron Heilman looked to be doing the same, getting the first two out. Then a walk. Then a single. Runners at the corners. Pedro Dos comes in and walks Brian McFatt. Which then gives us our worst possible option in a tight ballgame with the bases loaded: Guillermo Mota, who walks into some loud booing. Again, I don’t condone booing your players, but it’s hard to really get excited about this guy considering how awful he’s been all season long. I did yell “C’mon Mota, you can do this!” a whole mess of times, not quite sure I believed it. To be fair, he seemed to get strike three but it popped out of Lo Duca’s glove, continuing the at-bat (I guess it was a foul tip or something? I don’t know, I was drunk). He also got a ground ball that Wright got and stepped on third, but it was ruled foul. Then, of course, pièce de merde gets a two-run single, tying up the game. Mota gets Andruw Jones to strike out (because that’s all he ever does anymore) to end the inning with a mix of cheers (Thank God We’re Out of This!) and boos (Why The Hell Is Mota Still On This Team?!?!?!?!). I demand the organization start selling “I Survived Guillermo Mota” t-shirts. And I hope to hell that Mota is not on the post-season roster. And I ask yet again: WHY ISN’T JOE SMITH BACK UP?!?!?!?!?!
Well, ho-hum. Like they’ve seemed to do for the past few weeks, the Mets responded. Beltran singled, stole second, moved to third on Alou’s groundout. Shawn Green continued his hot hitting–two hits off Smoltz, and then singling in the go-ahead run off Ron Mahay, prompting us to cheer “Rosh-Ha-shan-ah!” Clap-clap, clapclapclap. Shalom, bitchez.
Not much to say on this glorious Labor Day. Pedro Martinez returned, looking pretty damn good in his five innings of work. Were it not for a cheapie first hit (how many goddam fucking swinging bunt slow rollers are going to stay fair against the Mets?!) and a line drive that Moises Alou lost in the sun, that first inning would have gone quickly, and saved Pedro from a few extra pitches (he was limited to 75-80 by Willie; he ended up throwing 76). Moises atoned for his goof by hitting a massive shot in the next frame, followed an inning later by a 2-run blast from (MVP!MVP!) David Wright, and a finally awake Carlos Delgado homer in the ninth for a good measure. In between, the boys kept tacking on runs, playing the kind of inspired baseball that makes you wonder why the hell they can’t just do this every game. The kind of inspired baseball they’ve played since Philly. This thing turned into a laugher, so much so that when Schoeneweis, Mota and Sele came in to pitch, I didn’t even break a sweat. Now that shit’s some confidence, lemme tell ya.
To top it all off, I actually cheered for the Braves today, as they took out Philly, giving the Mets a five game lead in the division. So: Phillies beat up the Mets, the Mets beat up the Braves, and the Braves (hopefully) beat up the Phillies? Sure, I’ll take that.
Really proud of the boys right now. I know that I and just about every Mets fan in existence had nooses fixed to our necks and were ready to jump after the four-game ABSOLUTE FUCKING DISASTER in Philly, expecting the absolute worst as they headed to Turner Field of Bad Dreams. As mentioned in the comments to the last post, I had a few bets going that our dear team would be either tied for first or in second by the end of this weekend. So I was expecting a sweep. What I didn’t expect was that it would be the Mets starring as Cinderella. And how about that: the lead is now at four over the Phillies (thanks for showing up, Marlins!) and a robust 7.5 over Atlanta. Being poor sucks, but I’m glad to give away that money. Word.
I also promised a self-imposed exile from watching or paying attention to any of the games this weekend. Turns out that I just can’t stay away (masochism suits me). The deal with myself was broken when I received a text from Danny which read “DEAD CENTER.” So I assumed that was good, and had to find out exactly what happened (this would be the perfect time for Delgado to stay awake). Throughout the rest of the night, Stan would flash his phone at me, taunting me with the score. (Petulantly, and not wanting to get my hopes–which were all too frequently raised and quickly dashed during the Philly Nightmare–I’d say “The bullpen’s just gonna blow it anyway.”) On Saturday, after gorging myself at the Red Hook Ballfields (omg, seriously one of the best atmospheres I’ve experienced in New York, and the best flautas I’ve had since moving from California) with Stan, I was back at his place watching the U.S. Open (good showing by the young Americans Donald Young and 6’9″ weirdly-cute goofball John Isner, despite their losses) and would periodically quietly pipe up, “What’s the score?” After a mocking “Oh I thought you didn’t want to know!” replete with that unctuous face he makes, he’d relay the information. My reaction: “Mike fucking Pelfrey is doing that?!” Atta boy, Pelf. Great time to get your first win of the year.
After going to bed much too late on Saturday*, I woke up this afternoon just in time for the final game of the series. I switched on the radio and immediately switched it off, thinking I was jinxing them with the Braves already scoring. I’d check the computer and see it was tied up. I’d switch the radio back on to hear David Wright (can we start the MVP chants now?) hitting a 2-run shot off Smoltz. I would do this back-and-forth for the duration of the game, especially when Heilman gave up a hit, and when Wagner gave up a hit. I listened to “Maggie May.” (I have been on a mission to discover Rod Stewart back when he was foxy. Any suggestions?). I checked the score and saw 3-2 with two outs and a man on. GAH WAGS! I turned the radio back on, and phew.
I guess I should have more faith. I wasn’t in the mood for my already-broken heart to be completely decimated this weekend, and look at that: it’s started beating as strong as it was last weekend.
*So, okay: my self-imposed Mets exile would’ve been much easier had I accepted the invitation to go to Worcester with my something-or-other-I’m-not-sure-yet. We had a nice little back-and-forth all day on Friday before he left, my favorite being:
Anderson: Please please please come. I’ll buy you a white hat so that you can fit in.
me: are there non-white people in worcester
I’ll buy you white skin so that you can fit in.
me: i want a clambake!
Anderson: Worcester is not even close to a beach
me: oh do you need a beach
Anderson: Whatever, you’re just afraid you’ll be burned at the stake. We stopped doing that to minorities at least ten years ago.
Even though his promise of going to Fenway on Saturday was tempting, I ended up declining the invitation. And then this happened. And then I got this much much later on that night:
Anderson: No hitter. NO HIIOTTERT! I SAAW A NO HITTER and you coauld have too if you were’nt so STUPID adn LAME1 OMG. i’m drunk. yahdood
I am so stupid.
An odd, thrilling, see-saw of a game that featured no shortage of dramatics, comebacks, potential heartbreak (many times over) and big hits. It had an air of Bigness, of Magic, didn’t it? Oh yeah, cold wind and rain also. This is August? Huh.
San Diego’s Chris Young vs. John Maine. From the very get go, NL Player of the Week Thank God He’s Hitting Again Carlos Beltran looked at Young’s MLB-leading 1.93 ERA and was all “I don’t give a FUUUUUUCK.” Two-run homer. After an RBI single by the delightfully named Milton Bradley cut the Mets lead to 2-1, Beltran shrugged and blasted a two-run double. Beltran 4, SD 1.
Then things got shitty. By the sixth, Maine had managed to throw nearly a hundred pitches, including a homer to ex-Met Mike Cameron and an RBI triple to a pinch-hitting Giles brother, coming in for Young, who’d only thrown 64 pitches, leading WFAN’s Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy to go BONEHEAD MOVE. Well, not really, considering the result. And considering SD’s bullpen. With two outs, Maine was pulled for Scott Schoeneweis, and I’m all “Oh no!” With one of the Giles on third, I’m Trying To Improve The Show strikes out the other Giles. For the first time ever, I pumped my fist and shouted “Yeah, Schoeneweis!” And I got really, really confused.
Bullpen problems blah blah. Sosa, who’s been so effective in his new role, coughs up a double and a single to give the Padres a 5-4 lead. So Beltran sighs and singles in Reyes to tie the game.
Is there any pitcher who creates his own mess and then cleans it up as much as Aaron Heilman? Heilman reminds me of a scene in that flashback Simpsons episode where toddler Bart spills milk and then mops it up with a baby’s diaper ass. I will now start referring to Heilman as Baby Diaper Ass. Maybe.
Wags comes in with the score tied, which usually means “Something bad might happen.” Padres score another run, and forgive me for cursing the heavens at this point, but with the thought of All Time Saves Leader Trevor Hoffman coming up to face the bottom third of the Mets lineup, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic. But the rest of the Mets followed Beltran’s cue and said “I don’t give a FUUUUUUUCK.” After Milledge’s lead-off single, you just kind of knew it, right? You can sense when this team is gonna create some magic. Nice sacrifice by DeFelice. Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson with an RBI single (after the game, Willie was being interviewed and someone asked something to the effect of “In that situation, you have Anderson and Green on the bench. What makes you go with Anderson?” Me: “WTF Duh.”). Reyes blooper. Castillo (O, how I love Castillo!) with the game winning hit. Howie Rose: “They’re beating Castillo!” (see above). Fuck yes. Welcome to the team, Luis. How do you like the blown save, Hoffman?
Cold, wet, and windy. Temperature in the 50s. Tension and drama. Big comeback against a top closer, huge celebration. You sure this isn’t October?