Friday, April 18, 2003

Game 16 - Mets

Mets 7, Pirates 2
Record: 6-10

The sheer beauty that exudes from a game played pretty much precisely the way you had it in your mind's eye all offseason can really make your night. Of course, a puddle of murky pondwater is a beautiful thing in the desert. This brings me back to my associate's contention that the losses do more to drive you crazy than the wins do to get you fired up. It's probably an accurate assessment for Red Sox Nation, but for Mets . . . Township, not so much. The niches these two teams in question currently fill in this league are vastly different. (To say nothing of the diametrically opposed histories of these clubs: one a venerable, storied franchise with never-the-bride misfortune for their last 84 years, the other an upstart bunch of young turks who have managed two for-the-ages titles without ever really paying their dues.) The 2003 Sox are a talented, scrappy, enjoyable-to-watch, legitimate contender whose every misstep hurts their slim chances of overtaking that behemoth from the Bronx. The Mets are an overpaid, undertalented, undisciplined, often painful-to-watch .500 contender who are at times so gawdawful that the impressive victories that come -- and in a 162-game schedule, they will come -- are like rays of sunshine in an otherwise very cloudy sky. Another loss tomorrow will be just another cloud, but this win was a veritable shaft of light. Okay, I'd better abandon this goofy line of imagery before I delve into whether close losses are cumulus clouds and blowouts are cirrus or vice versa . . .

I was glad to be able to watch this one. Jae Seo pitched as if he were a guy you've heard of, keeping the Pirates in check for seven innings. The ever-slipping bullpen gave up 2 in 2, but see how it doesn't matter when you hit? And I can finally, finally give the offense a tip of the cap. Big Mo called them out last night and tonight he put his big-time money where his mouth was. He had 4 hits and 4 RBI, 3 of them coming on a 7th inning double to the opposite field that broke the game open. Piazza tacked on a tape-measure jack for fun, which I am taking as a good sign that he is getting it together. 7 runs, 13 hits, no errors. This is just another night at the ballpark across town, but for the Mets it's a breakthrough. The dugout was all smiles, everyone was relaxed, it was great. Yeah, it should probably be perplexing me that it's taken 16 games to achieve this relatively insignificant threshold, but there will be time for that when I get back to bitching, moaning, groaning, mocking, and shaking my head at these guys. Probably after tomorrow night's games. For now, Let's Go Mets.

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