Thursday, October 19, 2006

New York City/The Believer

NLCS Game 6

Mets 4, Cardinals 2
Series tied, 3-3

My nameless colleague asked me to pinch-hit for him this afternoon as he speeds up Interstate 95 with his equally nameless brother-in-law, bound for Mezzanine Section 33 of Shea Stadium and a Ferris Bueller-esque evening of hijinks and merriment (and, in all likelihood, heart-stopping tension). Jealous? Yes, perhaps just a tad.

I found myself nervous and fidgety as Billy Wagner turned a 4-0 Mets lead into a tightrope exercise by eschewing his 100 mph fastball for his slightly wild 85 mph slider, so I can only imagine what my Metfan friend was going through. (In truth, I know exactly what he was going through - echoes of 2004, and all that.) In my brief interview with him this afternoon, though, he claims to have been mostly calm, expecting Wagner to finish off first Taguchi (not So much - erkerkerkerk) and then Eckstein (ecks-hale).

As for this evening, both Shea-bound Mets fans surveyed are mostly happy that their squad finds themselves in this situation, describing their mindset as "cautiously optimistic". I neglected to ask how many road sodas had already been consumed. I might have a different take, were I a Met fan contemplating the fact that Oliver Perez was taking the ball on 3 days rest in the most important game of the season.

There's already been some interesting symmetry between these Mets and the Idiot Red Sox of 2004, so I leave my colleague with this thought, lifted directly from my entry on the afternoon before Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS: "I don't have any words of analysis, because none of them are worth anything. Roll the balls out, get the game on, and let the chips fall where they may."

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