Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Game 130 - Mets

Mets 6, Braves 5
Record: 58-72

This was one of those weird games where I convinced myself my viewing/not viewing was actually having an impact. I turned on the game and the very first pitch I saw was Mike Piazza's three-run jack to left. An ever-so-nice way to begin my baseball watching for the evening. In the bottom of the third, though, I flipped over to watch some of that softball game in Boston, and when I quickly Previous Channeled, it was too late – Gary Sheffield had taken Jae Seo deep. 3-2. I stayed glued to the action and willed Timo Perez's two-run double that made it 5-2 (actually I was working on the hit-and-run Jedi mind trick, but this was even better). Shane "Two-Step" Reynolds tried to fool four umpires, 25 opponents, and me when he shuffled out of an almost-windup, but even I saw the balk. 6-2.

So I hop back to that T-ball game in Beantown and get so sucked into the pinball-like action (of the 7-6, 4th-inning game) that by the time I check back, Andruw "Scruw Yuw" Jones has leaked one through the left side to score one and cut it to 6-3. Javy "My Cousin Jennifer Stood In for Me for the Last 2 Years" Lopez then drooled a swinging bunt down the third-base line, scoring another run. 6-4. I actually saw this, so maybe the pattern had faded?

Bottom 9 and Mike Stanton is in to finish the job. With one out I foolishly pop back to the pitcher's duel in Fenway (then 12-8) to watch Manny Ramirez whiff, ending the Sox' best good chance. As NESN went to commercial, I hastily clicked back to MSG to learn that Stanton had given up a solo homer to a Mark Hessman. Do they even know who this guy is in Richmond? By now I was convinced that I absolutely needed to be tuned in for the Mets to have any shot. Even then, though, I was turning on this computer and not paying enough attention, because Stanton walked Marcus Giles on four pitches, bringing Gary Sheffield to the plate as the potential winning run. As a Mets fan, I know the inevitable retort to the intended rhetorical question "Is it too much to ask to beat the Braves without this agonizing 9th-inning drama?" Way, way too much.

And so I stood about five feet from my television, completely focused upon not a thing in the world except the Mets vs. Braves baseball contest. Stanton went to 3-2 and what struck me most was how disappointed I would be that a 57-74 team could make me break some of my own possessions. But then I decided not even to blink, and Sheffield tapped one back to Stanton, who threw to first for the end of the game and this madness of to tune in or not to tune in. This karma changes from game to game, but just in case, I'll need to be hunkered down tomorrow night for Game 2 of this utterly meaningless, completely gripping series.

No comments: