I kept with yesterday’s Mets game, for reasons even I can’t understand. Perhaps I am drawn to failure, as the salmon is compelled to swim upstream, or Jeff Francoeur is compelled to swing at every pitch thrown his way.
I was in the car on the way to the mall when Ollie Perez had his gutless first inning shit show. I had no faith in Ollie to begin with; I was more interested to hear how the crowd would greet Pedro Martinez on his return. Warmly, as I expected. And early, since he got a turn at bat before even taking the mound.
And when Jerry Manuel made a terrible situation even worse by yanking Ollie mid-batter, I’d heard alls I could stand. As I parked the car, I made a point of turning to another station so I wouldn’t hear the game when I returned. No more Mets today, I said to myself. It ain’t worth the aggravation. Maybe they can mount a comeback, probably they can’t. And in either case, who effin’ cares?
My resolution lasted approximately 15 minutes. In true hopeless junkie fashion, I kept checking the game on my phone, and saw that the Mets dared to make it interesting, scoring four runs off of Pedro. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was at Queens Center, which is my most hated mall of all time, full of the rudest human beings on the planet. That place could turn Fred Rogers into Travis Bickle.
Ignoring my earlier impulses, I got home in time to see the last few innings, and as the Mets mounted a rally of sorts (aided by the Phillies’ less than capable gloves), it looked like they might be able to come back after all. First and second, nobody out, a run already in, a very shaky Brad Lidge on the mound who seemed primed for a total metldown, and Francoeur coming up, who’d been swinging the bat well (and often, as usual). It was at this point that my wife and I had this actual conversation.
WIFE: I can’t watch now.
WIFE: ‘Cause it’s just too nerve wracking.
ME: But this game doesn’t mean anything. Maybe they pull off an awesome comeback, maybe they don’t. At least they made the Phillies sweat. It actually turned out to be a decent game, in a weird way. So what if they lose? What’s the worst that could happen?
Well, that’s the worst that could happen, pretty much.
At this point, it’s easier to name the horrible ways to lose games that the Mets haven’t managed this year:
- Sharp liner to center field lands in Angel Pagan’s pocket, winning run scores when he can’t dislodge it.
- Omir Santos unable to tag out runner at the plate when he spontaneously combusts.
- Something involving Angel Hernandez. That prick has not reared his ugly head in a Mets game this year, but trust me, he will before the season is over.
- Attempting a squeeze play, Luis Castillo trips on the same ball he bunts and is therefore out. And also fractures both ankles.
- Anderson Hernandez unable to turn a game-ending double play when he accidentally inhales a hot dog wrapper.
- Gary Sheffield hits a walk-off homer, but is called out when he can’t run the bases because he’s been impaled by the shattered end of his broken bat.
- Shane Victorino gets caught in a rundown and punches Daniel Murphy in the face. Umpires award him a three-run homer for some reason.
- In his return to the lineup, David Wright fouls a pitch back, which caroms off the brick backstop and hits him in the head again. He now thinks he’s a roguish European baron.